I took my snow day seriously.

I watched movies, including recently downloaded copies of Zoolander and The Count of Monte Christo. I actually didn’t think of much at all, other than the constant theme of revenge which permeates many of the stories that seem to survive and be retold. I’ve often wondered how we ever got from “Do unto others…” to “An eye for and eye…” Forgiveness is a hard quality to come by, unless of course you’re stupid. There has been a lot of writing about it going on, but it seems as if we don’t transmit the story unless the evil guy actually gets his just reward. It’s the instrument of vengeance that fuels the debate, no one seems to take the “vengeance is mine, sayeth the lord” part very seriously. Is it necessary to deal out punishment to be a good citizen? I don’t think so, but that’s what the master narratives say.

I do want to clarify one thing though: I have never sought to separate feeling from thinking or to value it more highly. Thinking, for me, involves both feeling and reasoning. They work together, and recent evidence I’ve been looking at really suggests that they function differently. There is a false sense of hierarchy proposed that implies that reason can control feeling, and thus is more important. I keep after a holy grail of sorts, the idea that they can be cooperative and synergistic, by teasing out the differences.

However, that synergy in some cases doesn’t seem to be a good one. The revenge question is one strong case. Reason would suggest that forgiving an enemy, and allowing them to make amends for their wrongs would be more productive in the long haul. However, feelings seem to dictate that a need for closure will not be achieved until the unjust are punished. It’s a complex mess, to be sure, and the binary division of the two does not answer fundamental questions about human behavior. Seeing the two factors in thinking separated and at odds with each other is a model of limited utility, but it is the most convenient way of talking about it sometimes. Another more limited way of approaching it would be to separate conscious vs. unconscious desires and motives, because it does seem that our emotional beings are often subsumed, causing them to be manifest in odd ways. That’s why meditation or hypnosis may be a big tool to control that uncontrollable side, to bring people into harmony with both sides of their “thinking”.

the view from the patio

Life is complicated. So is thinking. Obviously, I do too much thinking most of the time. It pisses me off how quickly it starts up again. Yesterday, I was mostly enjoying the snow, and being stupid like Zoolander.

It’s really pretty stuff, especially when you can look at it from a nicely heated apartment.

No freezing rain this time, no power outages.

Just a nice day off.