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December 13th, 2004
02:11 pm
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"If you were me, and had this happen to you, I'm sure you wouldn't be able to leave it alone. You would seek a theory that would account for it. For over four years now, I have been trying one theory after another ..."

- Science fiction writer Philip K. Dick, speaking for everyone who has ever had a mystical experience, as he quite earnestly discusses a theory of his that maybe we're actually living in 50 A.D. and any evidence we see to the contrary is a manufactured reality we've drawn up to fool ourselves.

(Personally, I find that idea batshit crazy -- but then, he'd find my ideas batshit crazy, and I'm sure we'd both be able to agree that any number of ideas for reality that billions of other people have assembled are equally batshit crazy. We're a world of batshit crazies, we are.

... But I exaggerate for effect. Us people who acknowledge the weirdness of our own beliefs do tend to take a more lenient view toward others'. And it's becoming increasingly clear to me as I age and my horizons broaden that the collision between reality and sanity is not that reality is too small to incorporate all the "batshit-crazy" theories; it's that it's so big it includes all of them.)

Current Music: "Money," Pink Floyd
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From:r_caton
Date:December 13th, 2004 03:22 pm (UTC)
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Thanks for that: I've never seen that piece before; and it was fascinating
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From:kaijugirl
Date:December 13th, 2004 05:22 pm (UTC)
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And it's becoming increasingly clear to me as I age and my horizons broaden that the collision between reality and sanity is not that reality is too small to incorporate all the "batshit-crazy" theories; it's that it's so big it includes all of them.

That's exactly it! :]
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From:eredien
Date:December 13th, 2004 09:39 pm (UTC)
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I tried, once, to read some of Dick's theory on his brain.

It didn't work, which says something--as I was infinitely sleep-deprived at the time and usually anything makes more sense when I am in such a state.

I occasionally worry about the point you made above, though. Where do you draw the line between "that's crazy" and "that's not my cup of tea, but understandable?" For instance, I have a really, really hard time with people claiming they're angels. It just doesn't work, for me, on a number of religious/ideological levels.

But how crazy is it to claim I'm a dragon, then?

It's a little bit like the animal intelligence problem: a dog is intelligent. What about a frog? A bug? An amoeba?
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From:roaminrob
Date:December 14th, 2004 07:29 pm (UTC)
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I occasionally worry about the point you made above, though. Where do you draw the line between "that's crazy" and "that's not my cup of tea, but understandable?" For instance, I have a really, really hard time with people claiming they're angels. It just doesn't work, for me, on a number of religious/ideological levels.

But how crazy is it to claim I'm a dragon, then?


Well, it's exactly as crazy as a person that claims to be angel. Which is to say, I'm willing to hear them out, and even give them the benefit of the doubt -- if they can show that they've given sufficient enough thought to their beliefs.

I have a powerful, abhorrent dislike for hypocrisy in any form; it is one thing which will cause my respect for an individual to drop like a tech stock. I think it's hypocritical for a person with an unpopular worldview or belief system to call another person crazy for having an equally unpopular worldview or belief system.

Also, there's the matter of definitions. I'd be willing to wager that you and I have wildly differing ideas of "angels", and maybe even dragons, et al. As long as a person can define their belief in such a way that no part of their belief directly contradicts any other part of their belief, and that no part of their belief contradicts a generally observable part of reality, then I have absolutely no problem with what they believe, and I'll be the last to call them crazy on the basis of their belief alone.
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From:tyraelis
Date:December 14th, 2004 09:51 pm (UTC)
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I don't think 50 A.D. is entirely believable, but I can imagine that certain years might have popped in the first millenium. We probably are just short by a few years of the real millenium, if so.
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