Friday, March 29, 2013

Stay Light (i.e. Superficial)

The capacity to stay superficial when faced with daunting facts or circumstances is often under-rated, mostly because we see the concept of superficiality as superfluous and unnecessary and pejoratively.  It is an insult, mostly.  If someone is superficial, that person is bad.  We purport to value deep people, folks who can delve, who walk the walk, so to speak.

The consequence of this is that we spend a lot of time trying to appear meaningful, and at times suppress what could be fine thoughts that might otherwise appear to be superficial.

The other consequence is that we, as in me, can be overly harsh on ourselves, mostly because we see a lot of the popcorn thoughts we have as throw-away, as fluffy meaningless fodder, thoughts that do not purport to align with the architecture of meaning that we value.

And that's good in a way because a lot of thoughts are meaningless, and bad in a way because we might make errors and not know that we're making those errors. That is also bad because it makes us rigid and inflexible, and mostly, it serves to confirm what we already knew were deep thoughts.  It stifles creativity because we're already pre-filtering what we will evaluate further and value more.  We're being charlatans with ourselves all the time, in other words.

And that probably cuts both ways, sure, in that we don't just want to adopt any idea that comes along, or become so flexible that we have no standards, but I think it is probably much harder to try to accept a seemingly superficial idea as deep, and evaluate it as if it is has great meaning that takes time to understand, than to dismiss it outright.  This makes me uncomfortable (my advice to evaluate that which we don't like or understand as if we should and really do like it and can eventually understand it), but it is important....

No comments: