Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Finding Senses

While there is a great degree of overlap in the way we sense the world, our individual experience with reality certainly can't be said to be universal. For instance deaf people experience a different type of reality from blind people. Those with down's syndrome experience a different reality from those with autism. While one can try and say reality is a singular entity, our interaction with it seems to make this more idealistic than practical (at least for things that can't easily be changed)

With any perspective it is hard not to assume the way one interacts with the world isn't mitigated by cognitive structures. Now this doesn't imply any value judgment on those on whom these structures are distributed. One certainly could try and rationalize why a sufficiently powerful god would cause (or allow) such things, the simplest explanation seems to be that it is just how things work out. Thus one could view the expenditure required for a fix to be inefficient, other requirements too pressing, the task too difficult, the net results beneficial or any combination thereof.

Ironically though, many people seem to have a hard time accepting that some people just don't have the same spiritual experiences others do. From a believer's perspective, many people just can't accept that Joseph Smith had a vision, that the testimony of the 12 witnesses is valid, or one's born again experience or personal testimony is valid. From another perspective, people may have a hard time accepting that sincere prayer and effort can't result in a spiritual experience. It seems odd to accept a normal distribution for certain cognitive traits and not for this one.

It certainly seems as if religious tendencies are an inherit human tendency. This doesn't mean everyone has such tendencies though. Nor does it require that such tendencies can only describe a fictitious reality. It simply means that the difficulty making this sense a commonly accepted paradigm, means it is really quite inappropriate to require everyone to act as if it were universal.

So if one falls into either end of the spectrum, what does one do? I think the parable of the talents is quite appropriate. People rarely seem to go wrong making the best out of what they have. This seems to imply accepting one's state instead of trying to act average. To my mind, anything else denies the reality they experience. This would require living in an incongruent state. This type of incongruence rarely seems to foster happiness, sustainable growth, or the character development that most paradigms value.

So what is one to do? Finding ones senses seems key. It also seems key to resist an assumption that all other perspectives are invalid just because they are based on a different perspective of reality. Truth, and its continual discovery seems to be based on not getting caught up in tight, self rationalizing systems.

No comments: