On Authority

What makes you expert enough to decide who to believe?

Authority is the almighty footnote (or now days, the link) But by what authority does one appeal to such authority? If you are using the work of another to heighten your virtue to the conversation, what expertise gives you the authority to endorse it? Authority simply means you are the author—it is a shame, really, that books now multiply by osmosis and libraries are filled with books about books—and the more footnotes the better! How on earth do you generate an original thought when inundated with opinion from all sides? How do you know the truth? By seclusion and solitude, by experience and not words from a page

Experience is not words or symbols that make them. Nor can experience by gained through the biastic process of reading what you agree with and dismissing what you don’t.

It seems that everyone is right, so everyone is also wrong, which means the amount of truth in the world could fit in a thimble. Each side vehemently believes they are right—it makes an interesting game, though not a very fun one. Is this game really worth the candle? Are things really that way, or are we all caught in the trappings of belief?

By endorsing the authority of another, it shows one must have some kind of expertise, that this person or group has a leg up on the situation and now you do too. Yet, if you have the expertise to make the judgment you are making, then you yourself are claiming some kind of authority—or that you don’t trust yourself but simply fall in line to the opinions of others based on how you were raised, which makes your opinions meaningless.

I can’t believe people can be this stupid!

If you are right and they are wrong, how can you decide they are wrong unless you are more expert on what they believe than they are?

If you believe you are right? in whose dogma are you believing that makes you more qualified to assess other beliefs of which you know less?

Bias is a funny thing—and like common sense, has been redefined by those who think they have it by some pure, determined analytical prowess (bias on steroids) versus the masses who don’t? Common sense is better defined as culture that acts in a commonly accepted behavior, but it really isn’t—only to you.

But in the end realize, the only common sense of today is this; that in spite of one’s beliefs about the other, the world is getting along just fine without them—nearly 8billion, one at a time, that can’t believe how stupid people are. We are right-on that—finally can agree.

For many millennia the world has been populated by an idiot majority—and realizing you play a part in that success should make you wonder (or sonder) and lead to a little tolerance, I would hope. Nevertheless, it’s an incredibly interesting show!

What makes you expert enough to decide who to believe? I have it on good authority (me) that by disconnecting from the grid and living in solitude for a few years, a life of living without words, not by the book or the videos (because that compels us to belief in another) that there is no monarchial boss of the universe. There is no father in heaven, nor are we separate from the whole thing.

Sonder: the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk—John Koenig—The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

Choosing Authenticity

How prepackaged everything has masked our identity. Who are you really without them? Who do you really want to be?

Stephen has done an excellent series on authenticity.

shifting our orientation from treating others as objects that exist to serve our interests, to an openness to the other as an expression of mystery.  This shift invites us to relate to others by resisting our temptation to reduce the other via labels, definitions and concepts and instead invites us to be open to who the other is as a multi-dimensional being who emerges over time”—Stephen

Authenticity is a set of skills really It is difficult in this day and age to discover our true selves. Everything that now influences us is carefully packaged by specialists and experts. Finding your true self requires one to analyze, step back and embrace real, authentic, internal change through awareness that our very core has been challenged by agendas.

Me and my brother—1967