How can I learn my optional illusions?
How can I reject my optional illusions?
In the dialogue “Apology” Plato writes about Socrates while in the dungeon just before drinking the hemlock that the citizens of Athens condemned him to be executed.
In the dungeon shortly before drinking from the hemlock cup Socrates spoke to his followers. He spoke about the accusations against him at the trial. He said that the sworn indictment against him was “Socrates is guilty of needless curiosity and meddling interference, inquiring into things beneath Earth and in the Sky…”
Socrates further adds that he is accused of teaching the people of Athens, to which Socrates vehemently denies that he is a teacher. He points out that in matters of wisdom he has only a small piece of that territory; the wisdom that he does have is the wisdom not to think he knows what he does not know. Socrates conjectures that he has the wisdom to recognize the boundary of his present knowledge and to search for that knowledge that he does not have. “So it seems at any rate I am wiser in this one small respect: I do not think I know what I do not.”
For Socrates a necessary component of wisdom is to comprehend what one is ignorant of.
How can I know ‘what I think I know’ but which I really do not know? How can I learn what are my illusions?
I think that the kaleidoscope might be an appropriate visual metaphor for attitude. With each turn, while the core matter (intuition?) remains the same, the presentation changes. The changing pattern is our only correspondence with the intuition (core matter?).
We display an attitude toward most any subject. An attitude cannot be described explicitly but is a notion, which is an inference, based upon behavior. We are all inclined to behave consistently to a situation and this behavior is attributed to our attitude. Our attitudes and the quality of such attitudes are judged based on observed behavior.
Britannica specifies that attitude is “a predisposition to classify objects and events and to react to them with some degree of evaluative consistency.”
If I consult my inner self I cannot focus upon an attitude but can infer such an attitude based on behavior.
If I wish to become conscious of my intuition I can through observation of behavior describe the attitude, which, in turn, allows me to ascertain the nature of my intuition.
When a mother tells her son “you must change your attitude”. The son cannot change the attitude but the son must change his intuition from which the inferred attitude emanates. This does become a bit convoluted but in essence when we wish to change an attitude we are saying that our intuition must be modified.
The point of all of this is that it is the intuition we wish to understand and our attitudes are a means to discover the profile of our intuition.
Attitudes are email from the intuition. I think email is an appropriate word because the attitude is reasonably clear and the source is mysterious and at the present unknowable.
The attitude directs the behavior. The public and I can observe the behavior and from that gain insight as to the attitude. Under attitudes one might create the categories of values, interests, sentiments, beliefs, predisposition’s, irrational tendencies, taste, knowledge, certainties etc.
The public from my behavior can infer attitudes. The question is how do I use the attitudes as a vehicle for making conscious to me the nature of my intuition? The answer is that through solitude and concentration I can focus my conscious intellect and develop inferences as the structure of my intuition.
Solitude becomes the catalysis for developing insight into the nature of intuition. This insight may provide a pattern from which further inferences can be drawn thereby making other aspects of the intuition accessible to the conscious intellect.
Solitude is not meant to be sensor deprivation, which can lead to hallucinations. Solitude and perhaps a modification of normal environment can facilitate the faculty of imagination.
Solitude creates a mood that enhances the faculty of imagination, which becomes the driving force for conscious action. The faculties of imagination and reason set the human species off from our non-human ancestors. Imagination as a force for human discontent is therefore the force for human advancement. Human flexibility motivated by the discontent of imagination has provided the impetuous for human material advancement.
Goya said that fantasy united with reason “is the mother of the arts and the origin of their marvels.” Fantasy, the child of imagination, plus reason has produced all the scientific and humanistic and artistic accomplishments. It can also help us comprehend what are our illusions.