I’ve been reflecting on my previous post and thinking I’m not too happy about what I did there. I’ve been feeling a cocktail of embarrassment and shame actually. I felt strongly about the ideas I discussed—ideas that I love about water and the human body and how this universe works—but also I felt angry about the way some people have used their influence to progress certain ideas. While there is nothing wrong with anger in and of itself, how it expressed is important, and I realize in looking back that in my anger I took the internal step of making Richard Dawkins the “other.” At least I did so within my own mind.
I wish to apologize for that. If ever there were a step I’d like to advocate not taking with one another it’s that one. While I don’t like the way Richard has communicated on certain issues, that is secondary to the fact we share a common heart. That is the reality, and it is far more important than being right about something. When we attempt to cleave ourselves from one another in that interior way, we are creating suffering. You may have sensed this or felt yourself on the periphery of that unfortunate state from my writing this last time out, for which I am sorry.
Being right at the expense of another is a weighty thing, and a troubling thing. I felt the weight of it fairly quickly, and I don’t want to function that way. I do want to explore some ideas that come to mind when I listen to Sam Harris’s podcast, but I want to find a way to do it much more positively. I want to do it in an inspiring and uplifting way, and I will.
I also want to note before jumping into a second piece that I’ve retitled the series Intellectual Unwillingness. The term intellectual dishonesty can come across fairly strongly, and I’m not attempting to suggest that Sam Harris or any of his guests are dishonest people, or attempting any sort of nefarious manipulation of the truth. I’m simply suggesting that deliberate choices are being made about what is and is not included in particular discussions, that those choices are interesting to me, because I think there are some stones being left unturned, so to speak. As I noted in a comment to the last post, this omission of particular ideas is better categorized as an intellectual unwillingness than in terms that suggest any sort of character flaw. These are certainly differences of opinion on what is reasonable.
So I wanted to say these things, and will return soon with a more positive offering. Thank you for bearing with this interruption in the regularly scheduled programming…