Binary Oppositions

“You are an expression of your culture.” – Stephen West

Binary oppositions help us navigate the world but breakdown when forced to interpret the signified or thing referenced. If you say is this shirt clean or dirty? We know but if we say is mars clean or dirty we don’t know what to do with it. The binary opposition of clean or dirty are still there but the signified object has changed from shirt to mars. The meaning then does not lie in the terms or the rule but in the relation between the terms and their governing rules.

How does the term operate under those perimeters? Can it be answered? Or does it need further inquire? Better yet, how many signified objects do we use daily that more than likely need further analysis? We need to first understand both the operator and operated upon before we can understand their byproduct of meaning.

Zoroaster: The Person You Might Not Know

Zoroaster saw the human condition as the mental struggle between asa, which means truth, and druj meaning lie. Asa is very intricate and only vaguely translatable, but it deals with the creator, creation and existence.

Our purpose, as any creation, is to sustain asa. This is exercised throughout life through the use of constructive thoughts, words and deeds.

In 2005, the Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy ranked Zarathustra as first in the chronology of philosophers. Zarathustra influenced modern day thought by influencing the ancient Greeks. He himself dated back to around 1000 B.C. and came up with the word Mazda-Yasna, which means”the worship of wisdom.” Later, his followers, Zoroastrians, educated greats like Pythagoras, who is the person credited with coining “philosophy,” which means the lover of wisdom.

Zoroaster put a special emphasis on the individual’s personal right to exercise their freedom to either choose to accept asa (truth) and ignore druj (ignorance/chaos), or give into druj and therefore isolate themselves from asa. Because truth can see through ignorance, because it is about it, but ignorance cannot see truth, for it ignores it.

Zoroaster taught that if we have good thoughts, good works, and good deeds, then we were not slaves but became co creators of both the world and ourselves.


Writing About Writing

Grammar is what always stopped me from writing. I had never formally learned proper grammar and punctuation and it stunted me or retarded of delayed my progress in that area.

But it actuality, it allowed me to not get bogged down by being right in how I use the rules, and instead I use the rules to do what they were meant to do: express a precise purpose. Writing is a creative expression. And in a truly creative expression I needn’t have rules that are rigid but better rules that are flexible. It’s my voice my message. I know where and what kind of pause I want my reader to have, not because it’s correct in a rule sense, but because it’s correct in a purposeful sense.
So often it is the case that with rules, they are originally established to help with precision,  but later, it becomes more about the rules themselves and not their purpose. Such is the case with grammar that can be traced back to Ancient Greek, Protagoras and the sophist movement – but their reason for creating such a system was for my precise communication; more accurate expression of ideas.
Therefore, when writing, use the rules, but don’t let the rules use you by limiting your means of expression.

A Dialogue of Deception

“All warfare is based on deception” – Sun Tzu

But with whom are you at war?

Those who have deceived me.

But if you’re deceived by them how can you defeat them?

I was deceived, but through truth, I have become the deceiver while they still believe themselves to be.

Well, who are these that you speak of who have previously deceived you?

You would know – if you were not one of the deceived.

How would I be so sure I wasn’t just paranoid?

Because once you have peered behind the screen of the magician, you realize there was never magic at all, but instead simply the appearance of it orchestrated by a feeble puppet master. . . once the trick is exposed, one can never go back into the submissive role of being the deceived, but instead becomes the deceiver.

But, if he becomes the deceiver, isn’t he just as bad as the original deceiver?

He could be – if he chooses self – but if he chooses others and views them as himself, then he will not fail.

“If you know your enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.” – Sun Tzu




If I were a King?

When I think of being a king, I think of ruling.

But that is where I have made my first mistake.

A king should not rule.

In actuality, if I were asked to make my first rule. I would automatically say, “that there are no rules.”

If this is the case, then nothing and no limitations can be put on anything after the fact because it would violate the first rule of no rules.

And what is something that has no limitations or restraints?

That is freedom and by definition it can have neither because if it does then it would not be free.

What is Philosophy?

This may be the epitome of philosophy: questioning itself. But if you really look at the origins of philosophy, you find the answer is quite beautiful.

Unlike other disciplines like business or marketing that are concrete and tangible, philosophy is abstract. Philosophy started with wondering about life and the human condition.

But that’s not the beautiful part. The beautiful part is the goal of philosophy: to help each individual answer questions about self, life, religion, etc., for themselves! Instead, of merely being clones that rote memorize and recite what the world has told us philosophy helps us get our unique perceptive into the mix.

I mean after all there is no one that is you other than you; therefore, you are entitled to your perspective on what these difficult and abstract concepts mean to you in your life.

We may learn about famous people and their philosophical theories, but those theories are the product of philosophy. Philosophy is the activity that requires one to question all the assumptions they make about life, the world and themselves.

Philosophy is about the journey not the product that is brought back. Though tremendous insight can be found by reflecting and pondering the works of great philosophers before us, but there is always something lost in translation. They knew what they were trying to describe better than anyone else and even better than they could write it because words are limiting.

Words are what limits us from really describing what we truly mean precisely and the goal of philosophy is freedom.

But, one should not get caught up with comparing themselves and their philosophies to other people’s theories of the past or trying to convince people of your philosophies in the present.

Philosophy is not about other people (as selfish as that sounds) it is about discovering the views that most reflect your true self and are your own. Of course, by doing so and questioning yourself and being open to new ideas and different opinions, this will undoubtedly help you apply your philosophies to others, to help others, to understand and respect others for their unique perspective and life experience.

The goal of philosophy should never be to fight with others about how wrong they are but to look for truth: both truths that are true to you  and those that are true to the world as a whole.

No one can find THE truth, but you can find tiny truths along the way.