"The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing." -Socrates

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Curse

Example 1: Restaurant

"Oh this meal was wonderful. Based on the reviews I read, this restaurant far exceeded my expectation."

"I'm not sure what Jodie was talking about. I didn't think this was very good at all!"

Example 2: Travel Destination

"This place is beautiful, just like the postcards."

"It's so windy here, not quite what I was expecting."

Example 3: Movie

"I don't know what the critics were thinking. I thought this was pretty good."

"I guess to each his own, but I don't think this quite lived up to the hype."

Above are a few examples of how opinions of others, photographs, and media disable us from seeing things with a blank slate. Ever since we were born, we've been under a curse that prohibits us from seeing and experiencing what is. We inadvertently compare the original with the perception others have shared. Whether in the form of an opinion, picture, or image, nearly everything has been replicated and widely distributed to the masses. Is there anything we can experience without a preset expectation? Can we see, feel, hear, smell, or touch anything with a clean mental slate?

This is the curse The Bible says started with Adam and Eve:
Genesis 2:17 "but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
As we all know, they ate the fruit.

Everything in the world has a label, understood by agreements we share using sounds or symbols. If I were to show you a picture of a dog, you would have a feeling toward that. If I were to write the word hate or love, you could understand what I mean through those written symbols. But, what you feel about a dog would most likely differ from what someone else would feel based on the individual's experiences. If someone's dog just died, the image of what's scientifically known as Canis Lupis Familaris, could make that person feel sad. For someone who's been attacked by a dog, that person could feel scared. And for someone who enjoys dogs, they would most likely get a good feeling by seeing that picture.

Everything we see holds a meaning based on outside influences. The word Hawaii could make you think of the beach or warm weather. A picture of a cross could be related to Jesus Christ, or a pentagram may cause someone to think of an occult. If you were to see a movie, you may have have a certain expectation by comparing that film to what critics say. Same with restaurants, travel destinations, and everything else. So can we ever have an experience without an expectation? Can we ever see something without giving a label based on what we've learned? Can we ever see the Truth if we are unable to let go of what others have told us?

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