Having today attained the age of 85, we feel confidently enabled to confirm that, as previously declared, old age [assuming reasonably good physical health], decidedly, is not a disease. In fact, for the contemplative persona, it is the enjoyment of the enlightened rewards of mature perception, and, perhaps, some confirmation of one’s traditional understandings as to mankind, in general, as well as his personal assessment and self-image. The normal market price to be paid is certain losses of prior physical prowess and comfort, but for us, it is deemed well worth it. Mankind’s celebrity on Earth has never been based upon his superior strength or physical capability as compared with his contemporary fauna, but rather, in his potential to learn and to reason from such learning.
Our blogspace of slightly shy of 700 writings [essays and poetry] to date, has been dedicated to the promotion of mankind’s continuing journey on Evolution’s intended highway to the ultimate gold medal of wisdom. Consistent with such intention, we have among other recommendations, promoted man’s participation in chosen elective interests, totally unrelated to the performance of his mundane personal and familial obligations, to expand and diversify his outlook and enlarge his personal growth. These have included, reading good literature and enjoyment of the various aesthetic arts and music, as valuable sources of private and personal experience, predictably resulting in increased personal sensitivity, and an empathic understanding of the eternal human condition; all of which, tending in the direction of the development of wisdom and mature perspective.
In our many essays, we have, when relevant, praised the philosopher, John Locke, for his devout declaration that man is born with a “clean slate” [“tabula rasa”], and that all knowledge is obtained, by way of his empirical experience. Were man to suitably follow Locke’s empirical theory of knowledge, there would be no irrational beliefs in superstition, no false conspiracy theories, no despicable criteria relative to the respect and acceptability of his fellow man, no unchallenged falsehoods, no delusional, promissory pie in the sky. We would, predictably, have a world population, living full lives in peace.
Our 85 years have taught us the sad lesson that a great many people demonstrate little interest for experiential knowledge or empirical truth. The distortions making up their irrational and atavistic beliefs, come, not from personal learning by [Lockean] experience, but, in unfortunate, stark contrast, upon communicated social inheritance from non-empirically oriented, atavistic thinking, family, or community sources. Such passed-along, tribal irrationality is, for such people, indistinguishable from, or perhaps, synonymous with, “fact” or “truth.” The worrisome and existential fact is that there exists in our society, a great many devotees of such ignorant assertions of non-truths or misleading memes, a great many of whom are devout acolytes of the despicable duo of Donald J. Trump and Mr. Jim Crow.
Experience has taught us that the fundamental mandates for societal communication by language, is the understanding of a common vocabulary, and its shared conceptional meanings. We have observed, over the years, that the chronically deluded cohorts of the ignorant and irrational, have fixed, nuanced, references and manufactured contexts of reality. These are defensively intertwined with their self-conscious feelings of projected mistrust of the fictional and eternally existing and singular, ongoing conspiracy between the “deep” forces of the government, in sub- rosa nefarious league with the “coastal liberals.” The plethora of “wacky” [paranoid-delusional] conspiracy theories are, verily, religious scripture to this substantial cohort of irrational, less than adequately schooled, discontents is beyond logical, or sane, description; inclusive of Trump’s, well-known, “Big Lie,” and the recommended preferability, for humans, of veterinary horse wormer, over medically approved vaccine for preventing Covid.
Long years of focused observation have taught us that the members of said ”underbelly” of the Nation have an altered and bizarrely dysfunctional, perception of reality and essentially, have developed their own nuanced frames of reference existing in a logically unshakeable context. On some occasions in past years, we have responsibly attempted to use reason and experiential [empirical] arguments in our good-faith attempts to re-orient such individuals from the mindset of atavistic and untested perceptions and to revisit their distorted vision of reality. We made such attempts, [please note] despite our long-held, negative feelings regarding ”missionary work,” but due to our deep concern about the danger to our democracy [see immediately preceding essay, ”Infestation of Termites”]. We have consistently, been met with ignominious failure, often met with anger and even on a few occasions, accusations of being propaganda agents for the imagined [usually, “liberal”]conspirators.”
Lockean experience has taught us that all, however ardent, attempts to encourage rational thinking to the many cohorts, populating the [Trumpian] underbelly of the Nation are done in vain and doomed to empirically predictable, disappointment. The only effective National vaccine against the danger of abasement of our unique democratic experiment is the unanimous vote of its enlightened citizens and the thorough, non-political, vetting of all nominees for high office.
We would confidently invest our 85 years of experience and concern in the latter recommendations.