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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Looking at Life through Aphorisms

A fun place to visit on the Internet, I have discovered, is the blog "Out of Context," run by a fellow Blogspot blogger who goes by the name Nothing Profound.  The site is nothing but a collection of funny, quirky, and sometimes profound aphorisms that range from observations on Murphy's Law to short Nietzsche-esque quips that reveal a deep, complicated understanding of major philosophical questions.

I've heard a lot of people criticize the aphorism as a cheap, unthinking way of seeing the world, but I have to demur.  A good aphorism is a way of presenting complicated intellectual problems through the use of a single declaration that contains all its assumptions.  A really good aphorism creates a logical relationship between different ideas with grammatical constructions like parallelism or syntactic play.  A good aphorism makes you think.  Just ask King Solomon-- or William Blake.  The aphorism is a great way to start a meditation, to open up thinking-- not to shut it down.   

Anyhow, Nothing Profound has an aphorism this week that I thought I'd share with you:  


If there is anything that sums up my life at the moment, this is it.  Especially my relationship to The Laramie Project and Matt Shepard's murder.  Where does my confusion stem from, and what am I actually gaining with this inquiry?  To what extent is this search for order create, rather than alleviate my confusion?  And is invoking that sense of confusion the end I'm actually seeking, something akin to Solomon's declaration that increased wisdom leads to increased sorrow?  The more I pick apart this aphorism mentally, the more appropriate to my situation it gets, and the farther down the rabbit-hole it takes me...

2 comments:

  1. I came to say Hi! from BC Real Bloggers group
    and
    Cairo!
    Have a beautiful weekend!

    http://BLOGitse.blogspot.com

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