Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Worldview Necrosis

This is one of those posts that I’m not sure about putting up… but here goes…

Long term readers of this blog will (hopefully) be aware that I like to challenge my worldview.

A worldview should in my opinion not be something static with foundations cast in stone, but rather something that evolves over one’s life with part or all being knocked down and built up again to keep it resilient and alive. If a person does not explore and test their worldview, one potential outcome is that it becomes rigid and ‘turns to stone’.

However, exploring and pushing the boundaries of your worldview is not without risk. Pushing your comfort zone can lead to fear, anxiety, depression, feelings of euphoria and feeling disconnected from the world. But that’s not the worst of it.

One outcome that I’ve considered a potential outcome is worldview necrosis. This is where a person becomes so enamoured with their worldview that they try to mould, shape, hammer and squeeze everything that they come across that grabs their interest to fit their worldview. But the centre does not hold and things start to fall apart, necrosis sets in and even this can be woven in to their decaying worldview.

A (hopefully) light-hearted illustration of this is a story I heard many years ago…
In a Hebrew hall of study a bird flew in one day and started circling the cabinet in which the Torah scrolls were stored. For three days the bird circled the ark pausing only to sleep at night. Eventually one of the students could not contain himself any longer and rushed over to his teacher.
“Rabbi!” he said bursting with excitement. “This bird has been circling the ark for three days.”
“Nu?” the rabbi replied looking up from his books.
“Perhaps it’s a Gilgul?” the student asked, referring to a reincarnated soul that has come back in an animal form.
The rabbi sighed, looked at the bird and replied: “Perhaps it’s just a bird.”
All the dots can be connected. That does not mean that they always should be connected. As it recommends in chapter 1 of Sefer Yetzirah, test them… explore from them… Experience for yourself and see if theories hold up. If they don’t, knock them down and move on.