Friday, September 02, 2005

The Chosen

Sometimes I think to myself: What have I gained from all my knowledge and enlightenment? If I imagine myself in the shoes of the Ultra-Orthodox Kollel Yungerman I shudder with contempt. But the fact is that I cannot say that my current life is better off. Moreover, if had the mindset and lack of insight of the Hasid then I would be happy, not just because I would have a supporting community and good family life but because I wouldn't know any better. And so the questions is, if living in illusions and wasting one's life while being immersed in a fundamental religion is a comfortable life, then why change it?

This is a very tough question and the reason why it's so tough is that while the sophisticated person is by and large capable of understanding the nature and mindset of the unsophisticated since they have experienced such life to some extent, the unsophisticated cannot possibly understand what it's like to live a sophisticated life because they have never had a taste of it. Since everything in this universe is relative and there is no relative "better life" for the unsophisticated, their life, therefore -- as primitive and erroneous as it may be -- is the best possible and just as perfect as the perfection of the sophisticated person's life in his frame of reference.

Try to prove that a better life is possible and that he's living in error! If he does not acknowledge any need for change and does not grasp the genius of your arguments, then he does not realize that a better life is at all possible and by definition his current life thus becomes "perfect".

This makes the evolution of species and individual organisms within a species a somewhat paradoxical process. The less sophisticated is leading a simpler life which is more vulnerable but since it is simpler he does not realize that it is more vulnerable and so there's no need for change! it's a perfect state of existence!

The truth, however, is that while we will never attain perfection, a small step in the right direction is all that nature demands of us. If we don't take the step we are capable of taking then we have failed even though we can very well perceive our life to be perfect. Thus, if one species or individual member of a species does have the insight to initiate a progressive adaptation and others do not, then those who do not take the step fail! why do they fail? Because those who did take the step perceive them as such! Even though they consider themselves perfect, their frame of reference does not count because it is based on an incomplete evaluation.