Two thoughts about last night’s #NNM4N broadcast; they are probably related.
THOUGHT ONE: Chris Hoffman introduced his game I called The Oracle Bowl. Chris had cut up a hardback dictionary into tiny inch-long pieces and put them into a large oval plastic jar. We then asked our call-out guest to think of a concern or question about the recent election of He-Who-Cannot-Be-Named as POTUS; Chris would then reach into the Oracle Bowl, swirl it around and pick out one square piece of a repurposed dictionary; the guest would reveal her concern or question; Chris would read the words. He was serious and I was not. I want to apologize to Chris and the OB. The first question and answer was unnervingly, wonderfully, scarily related.
Listen to Program #4 and you may understand what I mean. But, I poo poo-ed the result, and I feel – because logically it makes no sense – the OB turned away from us. The answers that followed did not resonate like the first one. I want to apologize to Chris and the OB and try again with new faith, based in a sense that life is about a bigger energy that I do not understand – but desire to engage. Amen
THOUGHT TWO: Paul Ruben is without a doubt my best friend. His way of thinking is similar to mine but not mine, and I always turn to him when I have something important to think about. He is a deeply thoughtful person and so when I ask he always responds with an idea – an approach – that I had not considered, but should. On the program last night Paul responded to the election of DT.* He talked about the connection between actions and outcomes and analyzed the trope – ‘the ends justify the means.’ He used two examples – the Trump election and how DT accomplished his “ends” and President Obama’s meeting with DT in an attempt to modify the POTUS-elect’s promises and his one-sided approach to ruling this country. Both examples included means and ends – one used moral means the other not. I am unsure of Paul’s final thesis in relation to this analysis – but it got me thinking about this trope — Means < Ends – which seems to be flawed.
“The Ends JUSTIFY the Means” is argued by someone who is thinking about moral ends; ends that are justified in a positive way – yes? But what if you do not support a certain “ends” – call it E1. The means to E1 might be moral or not – if E1 is positive – how you get there is of no concern. This seems to make no sense. Nazi Germany’s goal – universal, White, Germanic control. Nazi means were mass imprisonment and death. For a supporter, these ends are moral, and any way to get there is supportable — any means necessary. This equation is relative to which side you are on – yes? As a moral statement — one side eliminates the other–algebraically.
I propose a different approach – a non equation. There are no ENDS – only choices and doings. Human life is a series of actions that we take, that lead to other actions; outcomes –ends – that results in another world, another realm of possibilities opening up to new choices, new possibilities of human life. ENDS have no meaning – only processes – choices that are made from moment to moment.
Looked at this way – in the realm of human, social life – each step taken is important – forget the ENDS — they do not exist. Each action is a new world – basic – primary. That is who we are – what we will be. AND – the social structures – political/governmental/economic/ media – either limit or extend that process towards a democracy of voices – all of whom yearn for a moral compass. Amen
*Why did this not occur to me – DT – also stands for Delirium Tremens. “Delirium tremens (DTs) is a rapid onset of confusion …” Is the “Force” telling us something about our times. Chris, I am giving myself over to the OB —