Interesting that I published a blog yesterday on the importance of what is called entertainment, and then this morning came across this article in The New York Times in which its author posits that art is “fun” but that the only true way to understand reality is through the scientific method. The scientific method – observation and the rational conclusions that follow – is the only means by which we can acquire reliable knowledge. And nothing, the author goes on to insist, is more important than knowledge. I love knowledge. I love that I know all these words, for instance. Because I have learned the meanings of so many words and the rules for how to string them together into sentences I am able to write blogs far quicker than if I had to keep one finger in a dictionary and the other in a grammar manual. I love that I know how to drive and edit videos. I love that there are people who know how to build airplanes and write computer code and make crème brulee.
But what is the use of all this knowledge? Why do we have it? Isn’t the only reason we have all this knowledge so that we can make the stuff we want to make? What is anything’s value unless it is in service to creating what we love? No amount of scientific research, no amount of clinical observation and rational concluding, can, has, or ever will be able to tell you or me or anyone that has ever lived what they love. Love is unknowable but to the one doing the loving.
As it should be. You are not a machine, organic or otherwise. You are not a glorious accident. You know, as you read this, that you chose to read this. You know that when you are done reading this that you will have to choose what you will do and say and think and write next. And you know that the reality of your life is that you can do and say and think virtually anything.
Perhaps there would be a benefit to being an organic machine, one that could be known, like a formula is known. Perhaps there would be some benefit to our lives being a great Darwinian, mechanical tick-tocking cause and effect. We will never get to know those benefits, because we are free. That is our reality.
If you like the ideas and perspectives expressed here, feel free to contact me about individual and group conferencing.
You can find Bill at: williamkenower.com