Sarah Sheard's Thoughts and Theories

Monday, August 28, 2006

Sarah's Thought on Theory and Practice

There is no difference between theory and practice in theory,
but there is in practice.

(I have no idea who said that, but I like it.)

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Sarah's "Grand Canyon" Theory of Reality

This is a tough theory, but also important, so here goes...

Reality is like the Grand Canyon...the whole of reality has an uncountable number of nooks and crannies,* each of which resembles the whole Grand Canyon, (the canyons are fractal...) but isn't the whole. You can only see that small canyon or cranny that you occupy. Truth is different in each of the small canyons. In some small canyons, Buddhism exactly describe the whole of what's real. In others, reality is atheistic. In others, God is a white male human figure on a celestial throne. And on and on.

Now you note, small canyons intersect with the whole big canyon. The trouble is, most of us are located fairly far away from the big canyon. Even if we are able to move out and peek into bigger canyons, the immense size of the whole "Grand Canyon" of reality is too huge for humans to conceptualize. That's why we simplify. That's why we make models. That's why we tell stories about what is real.

We get in religious arguments when we KNOW that reality is exactly as it looks in our canyon, and the other person KNOWS that reality is the way their canyon looks. However, our canyons aren't the same, and the reality is different. There are some similarities, but the two canyons may differ in important ways. However, we need to know that we are always looking only at our canyon. We aren't IN another person's canyon, so we can't interpret for him or her since we don't see the same thing they see...their reality is not the same.

You will find people whose canyons look out on the same medium-size canyon as your canyon does...with these people you are kindred spirits, as you understand the same fundamental truths. You will find others whose canyons are far away and have a different cut altogether. When talking to these people, you wonder what *planet* they came could they possibly be so WRONG? (or different).

If you keep in mind that they aren't being obstinate or stupid, necessarily, they just have a different canyon where the reality really is different, then in my experience you can both learn and accomplish more.


*(not to mention crooks and nannies)
** Thanks to o0o0xmods0o0o from for the photo.