Thursday, July 14, 2011

Opinions

Opinions
by Scott Bradley


"Do not seek for truth, only cease to cherish opinions." — Hsin-Hsin Ming (R. Clarke)

I have, no doubt, offered up this quote before. It is one of those simple teachings which, for me, cuts right to the heart of the matter. In a very real sense it turns my whole approach to life, my world view, on its head. That which I seek — that which is peaceful and harmonious — lies not in knowing the correct ideology, theology, philosophy...way, but rather in the forgetting of such things altogether. It is about the experience of an openness of heart that dwells beyond the rights and wrongs of ideas. It is a place of wandering so primal and organic that words become superfluous.

I confess that I am highly opinionated. I know lots of rights and wrongs within the world of ideas. Most of my understanding is shallow and marginal, of course, but this makes no difference. I cling to these ideas nonetheless. Nor would it matter if what I think I know was completely true. It would still have nothing to do with Reality itself. "About" is not "Is".

Ideas separate us from Reality. We cannot "be" what we objectify.

But this, I admit, is not my primary concern with my opinionatedness. My concern is that it makes me miserable. And this leads me to seek transcendence. It seems counter-intuitive, perhaps, that thinking one knows things should make one miserable, but the problem with knowing the 'rights' of things is that you also know the 'wrongs', as well. And since it is a very rare thing indeed for my 'rights' to match perfectly with the 'rights' of others, I find myself in perpetual, ideological conflict with the ideas of others.

The more one is sure of 'truth', the more opinionated one is. And the more opinionated one is, the more emotionally involved one is in those opinions. And this, of course, is what defines "opinionated" as opposed to simply having an opinion. It is "cherishing" opinions, thinking that they are of primary importance, that is the root of the problem.

That's my opinion, anyway. So, now it's time to vanish into Mystery, where all opinions become a happy joke.

You can check out Scott's other miscellaneous writings here.

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