"I hate quotations. Tell me what you know." --Ralph Waldo Emerson
This got me thinking this morning. What do I know?
I started to consider the difference between knowing, thinking and feeling. What follows is not for the faint of heart or those less philosophically inclined.
I was feeling particularly pleased with my last post. I liked the juxtaposition of the poetry with the pictures. Just using my intuition it came together with pictures I had taken and a quote I had found. I post a lot of pictures with quotes. I like to pair my pictures with quotes because the words seem more eloquent or beautiful than something I can write myself. I tend towards intellectualizing when I write. It's more difficult to write poetically. It's easier for me to write documents than to write fiction. I know this about myself. After I read Emerson's opinion I wondered if I should not use quotations, should I write only my own thoughts in my own words. Hmmmm.....
I consulted Wiktionary.
To know: to be certain or sure about, to understand a subject, to be informed about
To think: ponder, to communicate to oneself in one's mind, to conceive of something, to be of the opinion, to guess, to reckon, to consider, judge, regard
To feel: to experience an emotion or mental state about, to become aware of, to receive information through the senses
Well, I have read many things that people have written about with great certainty. They believe they are absolutely right about something but sometimes I don't agree with them at all. I ponder things and communicate with myself in my mind all the time! This is actually kind of amusing. It's ego and ego likes to be certain and sure about everything. Usually there's the judgment that comes into play when we are certain that we are right because that means other people are wrong. In our world of dualistic thinking (politics and religion come to mind), I have infinite opportunities to practice acceptance of the many different ways there are of thinking, knowing and feeling.
So, as I do daily, I went out to feed the animals. I thought about what Emerson had to say, and about my blogging, and about knowing, thoughts and feelings. This is what I came up with:
I love my family, my friends and animals. I love nature, beauty and creativity, the arts. Life is very fragile. I am getting older one day at a time.
I believe the sun will continue to rise in my lifetime. I understand that eventually the sun will burn itself out and the earth will die and I will be long gone. This is based on what scientists tell me. I wouldn't know much about anything if I didn't read what other people think or know or feel.
What I believe, what I think is knowledge, may not be true for someone else. I know it's all in my mind. The bottom line is that I don't know much but I think a lot and I have many feelings. Does anybody really care? Is anyone else getting a headache?
In her fabulous blog Courtney Clark wrote a post titled Me in the Center. She raised the question of narcissism in blogging. Aren't we all just a little bit narcissistic? Isn't that a part of why we blog? Do I think I have something important to share? Sometimes. Do I know anything? Not really. Does Emerson? Who was he to shake up my day? Does it matter if I quote other people?
So I ask you, dear bloggers, what do you know, think or feel? Would you like to share?
P.S. I know this took me over an hour to write and now I will be late for work.