Notions #5 – Accepting the Unacceptable

Some notions, every week. Here are some:

Accepting the Unacceptable

I still remember the first time I really grasped the notion that all things were interconnected. It was gloriously cliched – 14 or 15 years old, reading Siddhartha in class instead of doing my work, then leaving the room without explanation to go outside and exult in my new secret knowledge.

Ever since then I’ve grappled with the sometimes difficult logical conclusions of interconnectedness. If we really accept it, then beyond all wants, needs, desires, preferences, and prejudices – we must accept the world wholly or not at all. If we take interdependence seriously, then to reject any one aspect of reality is to reject the whole world.

I want to embrace this world and this life – they’re the only game in town, after all. I really believe that what is must be the ultimate basis for what could be or should be. But accepting the world in this way has to involve making peace, at some level, with our very unjust present, as well as the past that created it, and the on-rushing future time is daily knitting from the threads of our lives.

I want to embrace this world and this life. But I don’t know how to accept the unacceptable, other than abstractly and theoretically. And so despair often creeps in…

How do you fit rape and murder into this picture? Not a rhetorical question.

Against Reductionism

Scientific reductionism can be very useful. I want to say that out of the gate. But it can also be boring, misguided, and stupid.

The main reason I say this is that an ideological attachment to reductionism – rather than genuine analytical reductionism – diminishes our capacity for clear thought.

A 19th-century Berdache weaving

One side effect of this is the opposition and disdain of many otherwise intelligent people towards the push for transgender rights and acceptance.

There are two genders, so the argument goes, because reproduction is a binary of cock and pussy, so there. But this biological ‘analysis’ misses the social and cultural realms in which gender and sexuality operate, and so misses the point entirely. In a saner world, we would be listening to anthropologists on this topic. Gender norms should be analysed at the level of human culture, not biology or even psychology. Doing so reveals a very different picture than ‘man, woman, end of story’!

. . .


Got any notions of your own or notions about my notions? Put your notions in the notion-box below or, if the notion strikes you, swing me a like!

You can read last week’s Notions here

You can read next week’s Notions here

The image used for all these posts is artwork from a Magic: the Gathering card called ‘Horde of Notions‘. It’s beautiful.

One thought on “Notions #5 – Accepting the Unacceptable

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s