Languages riddles out my experiences and reflections while tango dancing through the in-betweens. It is with writing that I can play with plausible combinations, unifications, and loopholes.
In The Book, Alan Watts addresses this idea that true wisdom is comprised of awareness of the unification of appearing opposites and dichotomies. Throughout all of my experiences, I have repeatedly come to understand that most seemingly opposing ideas are actually just broken-up versions of a grander idea which is then itself capable of confronting new hypothetical opposing concepts. However, there does seem to be like there is one underlying pattern in all of the poles that we draw with dichotomies. I cannot put my finger on what it is exactly, but it often seems that it comes back to experience and observation (or reflection), within and without.
I often wonder the extent to which our ability to engage in approximations of “objective” thought might be grounded in our experience of others. As we see someone else experiencing something, we are aware at once both that there is something mutually external to take in as an object or event to be witnessed and also that we are more than just an experiencing subject when we are seen by someone else. Therefore, I think that “Self/Other” is a pretty foundational paradigm from which we develop other modes of comparison and other ways of apprehending and theorizing opposing concepts. It is truly extraordinary that we can both live in or through an experience and also reflect upon that experience. It is even more extraordinary that through mindfulness meditation we can learn to do both more or less simultaneously.
I suppose I should tell you about Amsterdam. It is not as glamorous as Paris, but it does encourage reflection. Paris is almost so picturesque and lovely that it is hard to find a moment to reflect on it all. Amsterdam is interesting because it is such an interesting clash of old and new architecture and liberal culture amongst what almost seems like the refurbished ruins of a Medieval society.