Believe Nothing

Lose the Lattice

“You are young yet‥but the time will arrive when you will learn to judge for yourself. ‥Believe nothing you hear, and only one half that you see.” – [1845 E. A. Poe in Graham’s Mag. Nov. 194]

I’ll go past that. Believe Nothing, Judge for yourself. Everything we have been taught is wrong. Or will be proven to be. Or agendaed. Or incomplete. At best we can only say “This is the best answer to date.” This caveat must be appended to every “fact” we are given. Prefixing “Recent studies have shown” to a statement doesn’t verify the statement.

The tendency to believe runs deep in our genes. In the paleolithic a youngster who didn’t instantly follow his mother up a tree when a lion appeared became lion-lunch. The same is true today. When I was a child I ocasionally ran away from home. I could only run as far as aunt Maudes house because I wasn’t allowed to cross the street. One pretty day in California, I decided to take my daughters to see the Sequoia National Park. I blew right past the “chain law” sign at the entry. It was a beautiful sunny day. About half-way up a switchback road It started snowing those big flakes that stick to your windows. The only vision I had was the two areas on the windshield that were cleared by the windshield wipers. Outside everything was white. It was my memory only that told me that to the left was a sheer cliff down and to the right a sheer cliff up. The car started sliding on the ice. Then the thought came to mind of the time I rolled a VW off a switchback in Germany. It also occured to me that I couldn’t see other cars and other cars couldn’t see me. This is not looking good. So I get to the inn at the top, and found my daughters on the floorboards covered with blankets and pillows. One said “when daddy’s knuckles turn white, it’s time to get worried”

But there are people who have found this “need button” and there are people who have this “need” to believe. I call them assholes and idots. So once you’ve followed mama safely up the tree, watching the lion pace below. Ponder whether you could have done anything different. Judge for yourself

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