3 ₪ Mindfulosophy

Opinions occupy an interesting place in our mental repertoire. [Or pantry. Other stuff to look at is “convictions”, “conclusions” (things that close something), “leanings” and “prejudices”.]

Opinions are not “truths”, not “facts” — those elements have a different taste and weight — but rather a way of positioning ourselves. Opinions represent a maneuver, more or less war-like.

Think of the classical tale about the elephant and blind men. Each of them stand in a different relation to the animal, thus “see” different sides of it, which they take for the whole.

Blind men can be excused for misunderstanding the animal thus.

It is a different case with people with eyesight who still choose to view the elephant, the world, other people, phenomena, situations, from one specific angle — without bothering to or even refusing to move around. Thus not seeing that identity depends on angle.

Some people are probably totally convinced of their opinions, but many of us, if we practice inlook (introspection), can see that this is more of a game, a “truth-contest”, a trial of strength, a showdown.

This town isn’t big enough for both our opinions!

An important step towards clear-thinking is separation of opinion from “fact” or “truth”, seeing that holding (holding on to) an opinion has very little to do with thinking.

Opinions have a Martian, fighting element, but also an element (perhaps Lunar) of emotional security and safety. They can be like soft pillows, giving us a sense of warmth in an unkind, competitive world.

Mars and Moon seem to go well together: Barricading yourself in one corner of town, or in one square, armed and prepared to defend that corner with all your might, DOES confer a sense of wild and homely security. “At least we have a corner…!”

If you are actually attacked, this is somewhat understandable. But if you aren’t (and we often fool ourselves in this respect), if you just imagine that you are attacked while actually YOU are the attacker, we have a different situation.

Just defending what we already have does not lead forward. We are moving not weiter but rückwärts.

Much shorter:

Opinion is a stance, usually static. Thinking is dynamic dance.

3 ₪ Mindfulosophy / Slow Thought

3 ₪ Mindfulosophy or Slow thought is my contribution to the art of dialogue. Or conversation, which is my preferred word.

It grew out of two things: A seemingly reckless impulse to start an old school philosophical school, à la Plato or Socrates.

And secondly the meeting in the 90s with Cafe Philo, which I visited many times, pondered, and made into something different. (Coffee, philosophy and conversation is a good combination.)

Mindfulosophy is not a method or system or course, but rather an informal philosophical toolbox with a few directions for using it.

Right now everything in Mindfulosophy turns on me, which is clearly limiting. My aim is to, as fast as possible, train others to be able to guide Mindfulosophy sessions.

But were are not there quite yet, so let’s explore the toolbox.

What are the tools, how do we use them, to what advantage? As you will see they connect with the larger goal of the Venusian Peace Project, namely exploring, creating and entering what I call the peace room.

The tools can and should be used on a collective as well as an individual level. Individuals make up the collective, one helps the other. It is much easier for an individual to change than for a country or political party.

But change often starts with a single person. As Barry Manilow sang in “One voice”:

Joining with your one voice
Each and every note another octave

Coming soon: The tools and their application.

Ladislaus Horatius

(Yes, I am a pianist.)

Photo: Christer Elderud