Why is it that we "get" some things but not other things?

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Over the months, we have watched any number of controversial subjects get raised on the forum - you know, politics, religion, guns, ufo's,... the usual suspects. Each spirited debate and flame war consists of people who feel that they 'get it' in the context of whatever the subject is, and those who are just as adamant that these same folks are full of crap.

Ever wonder why this is? Are we pre-disposed to getting some things but not other things in some way, or perhaps is it that we somehow 'filter' things out which prevent us from "getting it"? Why is it that we ever got Y2K, and what is it that we don't get?

-- Rob MIchaels (sonofdust@net.com), April 13, 1999


If you look around you will see that there is overwhelming evidence of a God and a Creator. However the atheists DGI!!!!! They must be blind!

-- smitty (smitty@sandiego.com), April 13, 1999.

Remember the original Whole Earth Catalog? I bought my first one at a Stars and Stripes in Mainz, Germany. So many great ideas. I wanted to climb into the margins of that newsprint and grow peaches the rest of my life.

I knew then it was the right thing to do...

Rob, I wish I knew the answer.

my whole life just flew by. ~C~

-- Critt Jarvis (middleground@critt.com), April 13, 1999.

I've lately given thought to this and was a bit leary bringing the topic up. Discussing this with my wife, she says its perhaps my gene pool (do we get random outcomes when we are conceived?). Both parents show no traits of a conspiratorial mind, but have a sensitive artistic mother (professional painter) perhaps molding me into the sensitive conductor that I am with choirs. (No small town shy chorus director here!) The point is, I see my sensitivity to things around us as a factor. We may be seeing reality in this situation while the DGIs have wrapped a shield around themselves. Its not my being a musician...you may be a farmer, a sanitation person or whatever, but you may have a keen sense of responsibility to your loved ones and home area that causes you to prepare because you see and accept POSSIBILITIES in this situation. This is not a hope for problems, but a hope to use this sensitivity to go past a possible problem. We are rooted in seeing reality, not looking for things like UFOs.

-- churchorganist (musicswede@webtv.net), April 13, 1999.

Two points here, Rob, if I might:

1. From a strictly Christian perspective we either get it or don't because God allows us to have access to the information, and He also allows us the free will to make our own choices as to what we will do with that information.

2. Generalizing to the overall population - it has been obvious to me that the GI folks here in the DC metro area are those who by and large are NOT tied into any of the power elites, and are also not yuppie upper middle class country club sorts...in other words folks who don't have all that much vested interest in the current system.

just my 2 cents' worth, Arlin

-- Arlin H. Adams (ahadams@ix.netcom.com), April 14, 1999.

Well, I don't know about the rest of you, but I used *reason*.

Using inductive, and deductive logic; the ability to "connect the dots" regarding what I know about my industry (software), and what I learned about the customers using software (government, military, and industry).

Most of you may or may not attribute your "GI" state to reason - but more than likely, THAT is the faculty you used.

Since reason is not taught in our schools, and eschewed by our philosophers(sic), only a small percentage of people are exposed to its power.

And most of you who credit a god or God for your "GI" status - I submit that perhaps you should take the credit yourself. You deserve it.

Jolly is a reasonable man.

-- Jollyprez (jolly@prez.com), April 14, 1999.

Unless I misunderstand you, Rob, no one, except God, "gets" everything. One of the most valuable aspects of this forum is the way people forcefully debate one another. In centuries where most people were convinced that truth matters, our debates would appear OVERLY polite. And the jury is out on many of these matters we discuss, since they can't be determined until we meet the future.

Agree with Arlin mainly. There is a world "system" (power elites part of it), not merely technical (the least of it, though instrumentally, it is vital or Y2K wouldn't matter) but cultural (not the best word). To varying degrees, people line up within it or outside it. It's not accidental that most of the topics raised on the forum discuss ideas that are not "approved" within that system. That's why very few threads are really off-topic: Y2K is the centrifugal force of the forum but not really its center. The center is, "how should we then live? (I had the same experience with the Whole Earth Catalog, Critt!)"

Where things get a little hairy is that even those who hate the system (think: Marx) end up strengthening it. What we used to call "being co-opted" would take this thread in another direction but it is quite germane to the battle between those "in" and those "outside". Fortunately, my convictions encourage me that truth isn't a numbers or power game when one takes the long, eternal view.

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), April 14, 1999.

Nice comments everyone! I agree with you. I belive in God because I experenced a miricle through Him. When I was younger(about 5-6) I was on vaction outside of the country. I had tubes in my ears because of constant ear enfections. Getting water in my ears meant hours of agony. Then I was at the beach, and i went into the water, even though I wasn't alowed to. The tide was going out, but suddenly a wave rose and came back against the tide, as if lifted by the hand of God. It hit me in the ears, but instead of pain, I felt a warm peace, that drove away all fear... I then went to the doctor, becaus it was an ear infection(large amounts of water in my ears means an infection, even now..) but there was little pain even afterwards. I had been praying with my mother shortly before going to the beach, and had asked for help. On the plane trip back home, the one of the tubes fell out, without any reprecussions, which was amazing, as I was supposed to havee them until I was 20 or so!! The other one feel out a year or so later. They had accomplished what they hd been placed in for( saving my hearing). Sorry for the length of this post, but I just had to share my feelings, and I wanted to explain why I "Get It" when it comes to God. I feel that those who are DGI or DWGi have just never experenced this sort of thing before... Perhaps I'm worng??

-- Crono (Crono@timesend.com), April 14, 1999.

I think that to "get it" whatever IT is, be it Y2k, or other issues, one has to be open to it. It requires an open inquiring mind, an ability to see life outside of oneself, and to see the larger picture. It also means a willingness to make changes in one's life, even if they're not easy. Living with intention and a sense of direction is required as well. It's way too easy to just put in the 8 hours at the job, pop dinner in the oven, open up a brew and sit back to spend the evening in front of the tube. And life passes......

-- anita (hillsidefarm@drbs.com), April 14, 1999.

Dang, I know I've come across some great articles on the mechanisms of perception, seeing, "getting it" during my jaunts through cyberspace(associated with Y2K and more). Learning to see is a subject that I've great interest in. I'll go hunting.

-pondering substance and appearance, windows and doors of perception,...

-- Donna Barthuley (moment@pacbell.net), April 14, 1999.

I think I get it. I don't want it. Does some want mine?

-- PNG (png@gol.com), April 14, 1999.

Perception it seems is a subject considered since human beings first began considering subjects,...

Plato's Parable: The Prisoners in the Cave

In this story, prisoners are bound in a cave in such a way that they cannot turn their heads or move about, but can only see a blank wall in front of them, on which are cast shadows of themselves, and of other people wandering about in the cave, by the light of a distant fire behind them. Because the prisoners have been bound in this way since birth, their only perception of themselves and their world is by way of the moving shadows on the wall, which these prisoners therefore take to be actual objects in the world, rather than mere shadows of them.

Suppose one of the prisoners (we could call him "Socrates") escaped, and made his way up the rough track and into the daylight. On the way up, he'd seen the fire, and the causeway, and the two-dimensional figures. In the real world above, to begin with, he was blinded by the sunight. As he got used to it, he was amazed by the shapes, the colours, he textures - now he knew what a tree was, or a girl, or a house. He couldn't wait to get back down into the cave to tell the others. He tried to describe the brilliance of the light and beauty of the things he'd seen. The prisoners soon got tired of his nonsense and killed him. They preferred the pictures on the wall. They preferred the world they knew and understood.

Seeing carries risk, seeing and then telling, still more risk.

Kurt Vonnegut mentions foma (harmless lies), and I like the quote from someone above, the way Paul Simon says it: "All lies and jest, still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest."

-- Donna Barthuley (moment@pacbell.net), April 14, 1999.


I'm now preferring to investigate sustainable living, because there's a compelling reason to find out about it. It was something that always intrigued me before, but other interests took center stage.

As for "getting it" on a global scale, I've travelled a lot since age 10, when I went to Europe for four months and became a "citizen of the world" at that ripe young age.

Whenever your pond expands, often, your mind does too.


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), April 14, 1999.

Smitty said: "If you look around you will see that there is overwhelming evidence of a God and a Creator. However the atheists DGI!!!!! They must be blind!"

Smitty and other "believers" are the DGI. Primitive, superstitious, no different than savages dancing around the campfire praying for rain, a good hunt, or whatever. The fact that they may be somewhat rational in real life is due to "comparmentalizing" (aka "split personality").

As to "why" in general. Man is a social animal (mammal) genetically and socially similar to primates like chimps. (Screw you -- creationists -- don't bother replying).

Evolution requires some, but only a few, to be a little different from the rest of the troop (herd, tribe). Personality is also genetic and subject to evolution. Whether or not one has a tendency to GI may work out in various areas, different from one person to another.

In any evolutionary crisis (that is, crisis due to climate or other ecological changes, however caused) a great part of the species dies off. Some of the "oddballs" survive, some don't. But those that survive are more suited to the new circumstances.

If Y2K leads to TEOTWAWKI, we will get a chance to see evolution in action. -- smitty (smitty@sandiego.com), April 13, 1999.

-- A (A@AisA.com), April 14, 1999.

delete "Smitty" tagline on last line, just above. (Copy/paste error on my part.)

-- A (A@AisA.com), April 14, 1999.

Well, "A", see you on the other side of that thing called "death" and we'll compare notes at that time .......

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), April 14, 1999.

Good question, Rob. I don't know the answer and to me, that just makes it a better question.

I have one, too. How come (in general), whenever I think I've 'gotten it', the next thing I know, something comes along to shake my certainty? With Y2K, for example, whenever I've convinced myself that it's bound to be an 8, good news breaks out and I slide to a 5, then I'll read something else and I'm up to a 10. Even worse, I could be right in all three cases, in different regions. And so much of life is like that, especially people. You know, they just don't 'box' worth a darn!

BTW, did I 'get' your question??

-- Tricia the Canuck (jayles@telusplanet.net), April 14, 1999.

Folks: Can we, as Tom Carey once wrote, agree to disagree, at least for this discussion.

So far some plausible possibilities have been given to a question that really, when you get down to it, may not have any clear answer, which is one reason I am interested in exploring it. I haven't asked a good "vexing" question for a while! Where are you Hallyx and Runway Cat?

Tricia: Yes, I vacillate also, and feel that whoever came up with the roller coaster analogy was on to something. That was the main reason I posted a thread a week or two ago about "What you Need to Know."

-- (sonofdust@net.com), April 14, 1999.


"Expect the unexpected," works for Y2K, and life in general.

When we "get" the total unknown, then we can accept change, in all it's wonderous diversity.


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), April 14, 1999.

Once again Rob whips out ye olde can opener...hoping to find something other than creepy-crawlies...

Great question, Rob.

I no longer imbibe spirits - at least not in the usual sense, meaning alcohol/illegals. There was a day in this life when questions such as Rob's + good reefer/booze + a bar/room/camp site full of people = an enlightening (accentuate the small 'e') time for all. Sorry, I've been reminiscing about the bad old days quite a bit lately :-(. Most disconcerting!

Anyhow, my take on it is rather simple. Ego. Ego serves several important functions for each of us. Psych 101 & all that. If we allow the ego to become over-emphasized as a part of our whole being, it becomes the EGO! E-G-O! I'M RIGHT & you're wrong! This IMHO is the achilles heel of our species. Over-inflated self-importance (hyphen- hyphen).

We each have our own belief system. When the EGO becomes industrial- sized, it does not allow for the possibility that the belief system of another person, which does not jibe with the EGO's take on things, could be correct FOR THAT PERSON. Or anyone else! The EGO excludes the possibility that there are many realities, each one's own experiences as incorporated into their life.

To share a belief system in common with others is truly a joyous experience. Likewise, to discuss one's ideas/experiences with those who follow different paths can also be a truly joyous experience. When castigating others for not having a given belief system in common, the EGOTIST reveals him/herself quite plainly.

The filter you've queried about, Rob, is IMHO the out-of-control EGO.

Can I expand my consciousness if I place myself at the the center of the universe, with everyone & everything orbiting around my belief system? If I believe I have the ONE truth, how can I grasp that which falls outside this truth? All other possibilities become irrelevant, dangerous!

Thanks for yet another question which prods each of us to chip off another layer or two of crud from our souls.

Smile from the Heart!

-- Bingo1 (howe9@pop.shentel.net), April 14, 1999.

Hey, A, evalotion is not true!! It's a lie. Tere are many errors in the theory, that totally discredit it! if evolution were ture, where are all the "missing links"??? Were are the 1/2man, 1/2ape creatures??? Or the 14/man, 3/4ape creatures??? I haave seen documentation that one of the "steps" in man's "evolution" that was billed as a cromagnon was really a "normal" person with ostoperosis!!! When you find REAL evedence of evolution(like you EVER will!!!), then get back to me and I'll provee it wrong!!!!!!!!!!

-- Crono (Crono@timesend.com), April 15, 1999.

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