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The Pearl

I used to study with people who really cared. We’d get together in a conference room around a wooden table and really hash things out. Being. The Good. The Uncaused Cause. The Big stuff. We’d try to say what we thought, but if somebody thought something different, he’d say it. Or she’d say it. And if the person said something that wasn’t what the first person thought it would get them really emotional. They’d shake, they’d yell, they’d cry, they’d run screaming from the room.

For example. We were having a conversation about what is a pearl. And Jackie said “A pearl is a shiny secretion from a mollusc.” And Roberto said “If that were true then there could be pearls from other animals. Like there could be a pearl from a snail.” And Jackie said “There are. There is a kind of snail that makes pearls. It is called a meli meli.” And Roberto ran screaming from the room.

Of course we coaxed him back from the bathroom where he was weeping — we’re not animals!

Of course sometimes people faked it as if to say “I can run screaming from the room too! I care too!”

But in actuality every couple of moments somebody’s view of life would become so radically shaken and their sense of themselves so torn up that they would feel something deeper and better than shame and they’d burst into tears and run screaming from the room.

It makes you sensitive to the other ups and downs Trickster Dealer Life has in his deck for ya! If it’s not going to change my estimation of the value of a pearl, of what life is, of what is for a being to “Be” — then you think to yourself

“I got this!”

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3 thoughts on “The Pearl

  1. Entirely seriously, I think that your writing style is a lot more Biblical than mine. Yoram Hazony says in The Philosophy of Hebrew Scripture that there are different ways of making a point. Biblical philosophy is bundled inside stories and allegories. For example, instead of saying simply“Obey God” or “Think for yourself no matter what God says,” the story of the binding of Isaac presents a horrifying situation and challenges the reader to think about it. Western philosophy in general, and British philosophy in particular, tends more toward a “what you see is what you get” style of argument. From the latter standpoint, what I find in this blog post is that both passion and cool rationality are important. Without passion, we don’t care about the conclusion. Without cool rationality, we have little chance of finding a correct conclusion. Balance is the key. IMHO.

  2. a story and an argument are two different ways of talking for sure. I wouldn’t say that one is clearer than the other. Sometimes a specious clarity is actually quite obscure. Stories can be deep or shallow.

    • Hazony makes the same point. I suppose it’s a bit like having a telescope and a microscope. You can get reliable information from either, but only if you keep in mind which one you’re using.

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