Let's fight fire with fire?

Joe Idoni's picture
Submitted by Joe Idoni on Tue, 2006-01-03 06:33

Some may have read my recent thread entitled AC/DC. I'm sure to at least someone's chagrin, this had nothing to do with the rock band. In fact it had to do with an issue I was grappling with when it came to dealing with the conversion of a friend of mine to the path of rational thought.

In this particular instance I use the word friend as someone I feel a particular sense of benevolence toward. As a person, I know that she has been inundated with the putrid volatesence of altruistic thought, but has had enough experience to know that there is a line between right and wrong. In an effort to expand this to a point where she could understand, I did some preparation.

I begin thinking that in order to deal with the average mentally disordered mind of the people we see and deal with daily, one must actually speak in dis-integrated terms. On some level, since I felt the need to pose the question, I knew that was not just a dangerous way to present the material at hand, but also more damaging than helpful. Thanks to Shayne Wissler for pointing that out.

The irony is that even though I might have wanted to attempt this technique to test the results, I was mentally unable. At some point during my preparation, I had convinced myself that since I had once been dis-integrated and mentally fouled, that I would be able to relate to others this way. Fortunately this was not the case.... or was it?

The primary subject was romantic relationships, in which I diagrammed, using my fingers, a rough time-line denoting mental progress. My thumb indicated where she once was and my forefinger where she is now. Somewhere in between I used my other forefinger to denote her current apptitude with relationships. I said that the point in between indicates a contradiction wherein I believed that she felt as though relationships should have the same characteristics at the thumb point, but that relationships were actually closer to the forefinger point.

In replaying this situation in my mind, ex post facto, I realized that I had gone into this conversation with the exact same attitude. My thumb indicating a time when relating to people with my own dis-integrated views and psychologizing got me to the point I wanted (and at that point, it had, but I didn't really understand that what I had wanted was so anti-life!) and my forefinger demarcating my current philosophical understanding. The other forefinger would also have been indicative of my own contradictory thought; That I could disintegrate to get what I thought needed to be had.

So what tactic did I end up using? Well, typically I stick with gestalat therapy, but knowing this would not work was the cause for seeking new techniques. Finally I used the only weapon that I know works with all of the intellectually starved: Curiosity.

In talking up all the most important views, but not naming them or providing extensive detail, I (hope) managed to make her curious as to what made my life so joyous.

I'm sure that I will need to have more conversations in order to expand her knowledge, and refute any erroneous ideologies that I can, but in the interim, my friend now has a copy of The Fountainhead.

The moral of this anecdote is best summed up with a line from a book you may have heard of:
"Contradictions cannot exist. Whenever you think you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong."

Lesson learned Mr. D'Anconia. Lesson learned.