Here’s a simple exercise consistent with conscious evolution:
Notice when you (or anybody else for that matter) says “It is … “ or “It’s ..”.
As in “It’s depressing” or “It’s annoying” or “It’s not right”.
“It is” . . . as if stating a fact.
Whereas what is usually being stated is a personal opinion.
I’ve noticed that such statements seem prevalent: certainly within Western society and, personally, feel that this says a lot about the (sad) state of the world.
Let’s take a simple example: “It, the sky, is blue.”
Yes, if you happen to be old enough and intelligent enough to understand the concept of colour (and of sky) and can speak reasonable English.
But not at night.
And what if you’re blind?
The sky is not blue. What many of us call ‘sky’ is, sometimes, what some of us call blue. That’s it. That’s as close to fact as one can accurately state. And yet we keep on insisting that ‘the sky is blue’!
Could it be that, in many so-called developed societies, we don’t know the difference between the description of something and that which is being described?
Have we become so persuaded by the power of language that we’ve lost touch with the reality beyond the sentences and phrases that our words are attempted to portray?
As I good beer-drinking Englishman, let’s take the humble pint of ale as an example. I know a good beer when I drink one. Of cause, the ‘best’ taste of anything is a very personal thing, but members of CAMRA (that’s the Campaign for Real Ale for any readers not into British pub culture) will generally be in reasonable agreement on the better real ales. By saying such things I’m immediately distinguishing between beer and lager, but even with that difference highlighted up-front, there’s beer and there’s beer. No one who’s never drunk a pint of English beer can possibly know what ‘beer’ is.
Ah! So, I’m merely arguing that knowledge often requires a knowing born of experience? Partly. There are certainly made things or ideas that do require first-hand experience to understand. But what level of understanding?
That depends on what level of experience!
When I talk about knowing beer through drinking it, I’m not talking about knocking back enough pints of some beer-like beverage in order to get drunk! I’m talking about mindfully savouring each sip or quaff.
With sincere apologies to any (recovering) alcoholic who may be reading this, imagine it:
Picture yourself at your favourite canal-side hostelry or welcoming ale establishment. Take in the ambience: the highly polished brasses perhaps or hanging baskets. Probably an absence of ambient music, just a background murmur of sated voices. Maybe an empty plate in front of you that, very recently, contained local ham and eggs, cooked to perfection by your genial host.
Of cause, what you imagine could well be very different to what imagine. Which is another reason why “It is …” can never have a universal or accepted ending.
We can, perhaps, simply say, in good Taoist fashion “It is.”
Particularly true, for example, whilst savouring a decent pint of English beer with no thoughts whatever disturbing that complete and absorbing experience.