“We find those ideas clear that reflect the same degree of confusion as our own.” said Marcel Proust, and he was obviously right.
Because clear means what exactly? Clear glass so we can see the thing behind it?
But if everything were perfectly clear we couldn’t see anything at all! There’d be nothing behind the clarity to see clearly!
People like clear gem stones but this is childish. People mock mud but they eat the food that grows in it.
Sometimes instead of clear we say — clearly articulated. You can tell where the little pieces start and where they end and how they go together. It’s a clear argument we say and mean — I know what the premises are, and what is supposed to imply what. It is not tricking me with ambiguity — I know how to take this thing apart and put it back together. I have control over it, it has no control over me.
That murky thing draws me in and makes me want to clarify it. It’s muddy and it makes the muddy stuff from the bottom of my mind rise up and make my own mind unclear.
But imagine two ponds. One of them is so unusually clear that it lets us see a starfish at the bottom. We think the starfish is ten feet down. But it is really a thousand feet down. The clear pond was deceptive. The muddy pond was the one we could trust. We couldn’t see more than ten feet — we didn’t know what was at the bottom of it.
And that was right!