Friday, July 10, 2009


While pleasantly cruising River Road on Johns Island, SC, were were not expecting the head on collision between rival philosophies. We came upon, but thankfully not into this, the most annoying of all philosophical metaphors. " If a tree falls...," well, you know how it goes.

The Primacy of Existence is the theory that existence obtains independent of consciousness. Things are what they are and are thus classified, understood, accepted. You go out into the world, you find, see and learn by looking outward rather than inward. We hold the steering wheel, shift the gears, work the clutch and apply the throttle knowing from experience what is happening and the good and bad consequences of these acts. We didn't conjure this process by meditating upon our belly button lint.

The other side of the coin is the Primacy of Consciousness wherein one looks inward for reality and to define existence without regard or respect for that which they actually experience, hear, see, feel or smell. In short, one is unwilling to witness or permit a reality which does not come from within and the hell with the existent outside world. This is theology over technology, accepted beliefs over proven facts. It is often the path of greater convenience and lesser effort. This fog shrouds more than religion, it unfocusses everything. You fiddle around with this and pretty soon you don't exist.

This is all very interesting, but along the road to our existential errands that old fallen tree business is around every corner. It's one of those often repeated quotations which becomes woven into the fabric of the collective consciousness. Any concept when promoted through repetition soon becomes accepted as truth. The Big Lie theory is generally considered to have come from Hitler's "Mein Kampf," but in fact it is timeless. The idea is that little people tell little lies. If you are a figure of consequence in a position of power, the little lies just won't do. You must use the big lies and repeat them constantly. They will then become fact in the minds of those who dig not too deeply for the truth. This includes the majority of TV viewers who naturally evolve into internet believers. This tool is neither the property of the Left nor Right wings of public policy as it well fits both with the same glove.

Someone cooked up this nice little ditty along the way:

"To be is to do" - Socrates.
"To do is to be" - Jean-Paul Sartre.
"Do be do be do" - Frank Sinatra.

The question should always be: 1) Is it true? and 2) Does it matter? We didn't hear this tree when it fell but, 1) It's down and 2) It's this guy's yard and it certainly matters to him. We can credit neither Socrates nor Sartre for this fallen tree. We're going with Old Blue Eyes on this one: " The summer wind came blowing in...."


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