I have been mildly frustrated with blogging lately. It might be my mistaken attitude. I think it stems from a very simple and juvenile demand for attention. Kids have some kind of natural, profound understanding of such things– whether it’s good or bad attention, it’s still attention.
“Mistakes are almost always of a sacred nature. Never try to correct them. On the contrary: rationalize them, understand them thoroughly. After that, it will be possible for you to sublimate them.” ~ Dali
I went exploring to find some therapy for my frustration and mistake, and found consolation in two unexpected places – the fallacy of an academic, and the alchemy of a madman.
Have you heard of the Fallacy of Misplaced Concreteness? It’s the error of confusing the abstract with the concrete.
Really think about that. I’m still trying to sort that out.
We put a lot of effort into figuring out what things mean and getting things right in our heads. And as a result we construct a reality in our heads that is made up of ideas.
But, is reality made up of ideas?
Like good and bad attention, I think there might be good and bad realities.
“One day it will have to be officially admitted that what we have christened reality is an even greater illusion than the world of dreams.” ~ Dali
I think we may have no choice but to construct what’s in our heads with the sticks-and-glue of ideas-and-abstraction. What else would we fill our heads with?
I don’t think, however, we have to believe what’s in our heads is equal to the concrete world surrounding us. Sure, we have to go around all day trapped in our own heads, in a sense, but that doesn’t mean we have to give our thoughts the trump card over everything.
Whatever is going on up there shouldn’t so much be the issue. Instead, what if we looked at how that stuff in our noggins makes us behave in the concrete world?
Unfortunately, like attention, even the good or bad realities in our heads are still realities.
I started to wonder if people in the blogging world didn’t know how to take me because I’ve thrown away that trump card. I didn’t want to lock down my ideas as real. I figured they were uncageable, abstract sprites and wandering ghosts that should be given little more authority than necessary. What I do want is to play in the sandbox and explore the toys of reality. I would much rather have a safe place where everyone could play together over a place where I’m always right.
But that meant not fitting into the realities other people were constructing in the blogging world. In my own quest for attention, I found a friend in confusion.
“You have to systematically create confusion, it sets creativity free. Everything that is contradictory creates life… What is important is to spread confusion, not eliminate it.” ~ Dali
Salvador Dali dove head-first into confusion and splashed ideas all over the place. He was the modern alchemist. He could paint with the skill of a Renaissance master and go spelunking into imagery as far as Freud ever could. But he was blatantly unconcerned with portraying the concrete world as it is. Reality wasn’t something to get right for Dali, but something to be explored, something that adapts to the creative behaviour of play. In his art, Dali removed the rigidity in objects, and as a result removed the rigidity in ideas. I hope the same could be said about realities, and blogging too.
Pressured to pronounce himself politically, Dalí stated, “I am not Hitlerian or Stalinist. I am simply ‘Dalinian’. “
I think when it comes to blogging, I’m Dalinian.
“It is not necessary for the public to know whether I am joking or whether I am serious, just as it is not necessary for me to know it myself.” ~Dali
I may not know the first five things about successful blogging, but I don’t regret the mistakes I’ve made and whimsies I’ve tripped over. I don’t believe the answer is to pick sides or to put authority in my own precious ideas. This is about cutting a new path, either through the surreal mess in my head or the fabricated realities people hold so dear.
“It’s better to have loved and lost than do forty pounds of laundry a week.” ~ Dali
If Salvador Dali can teach the blogging world anything, I think it would be this: whether you fully understand it’s significance or not, sometimes you simply must embed, right in the middle of your work, a rhinoceros.
“In the study of ideas, it is necessary to remember that insistence on hard-headed clarity issues from sentimental feeling, as it were a mist, cloaking the perplexities of fact. Insistence on clarity at all costs is based on sheer superstition as to the mode in which human intelligence functions. Our reasonings grasp at straws for premises and float on gossamers for deductions.” -A.N. Whitehead
What do you think?