I’m not sure why nobody ever told me this, or – if they did – why I have zero recollection of it… but it’s far too vital a point in living to simply gloss over.
For sooooooooooooooo long I’ve been a king of theories. A master. Seriously. If theory composition was a college major then, theoretically, I’d have so many doctorates that they’d have to invent a whole new level of academic measurements.
I’m sure you saw what I did there…
But really. Theories on relationships, interpersonal interactions, politics, religion (theology), psychology, issues of the soul… for every facet of life I had at least 2-3 theories on its inner workings. I saw it as pivotal to being an individual. Why? Because most people accept provided explanations, don’t challenge the status quo of a thing, or simply use their observation as blindness and continue on as if they did not see.
That will never be me- and part of my many self defensive tactics was to formulate operable theories about virtually everything. I am, by nature, a critical thinker. Analysis is my playground. It was an easy thing for me to flip my natural intuitive and intellectual gifts over into the world of theory to survive.
And that has been precisely the source of my undoing.
Acceptable truths have a way of becoming accepted truths, which then tend to displace the truth.
The primary issue with being an outside of the box thinker in any capacity is that, because you see – or are open to see – what others do not, there’s a tendency to believe that you know more than you do. Another way of saying it is like this: Knowing more than the guy next to you doesn’t actually mean that you know much at all.
But ohhhhhh how deceptive are the steps that lie upon the theoretical path !
The origin of theory is, ironically, truth. When there is a gap between what is known and what is true, theories are formed to bridge the chasm. Theories are empty flasks, or hollowed out shells in and of themselves. Their only true substance and definition resides in how effectively they connect what is true to what is known. But I had started to stray far from this place of theoretical safety. In a combined effort to flourish in my poetry and prove the validity of my rather odd identity, I began to spin theories for fun.
Just because I knew it would make me stand out. When you’re smart- you can make anything make sense. When you have influence- people will listen to what you have to say even if it doesn’t make sense. Ironically, it was these exact two qualities that I believed for so long that I was hopelessly deficient in… even as I exercised them. I created theories for fun, stumped people by making the ridiculous logical, and forced them to think outside of the box about things even if they didn’t want to.
Eventually, however, I got caught up in the throes of my own game. Rather than sticking to the original plan and using this singular ability to unlock and unveil many hidden truths, I began to draw wholeness in my ability to create theory alone… Truth became supplanted with a permanent question mark as I crafted theories for theory’s sake.
But theory for theory’s sake is meaningless.
Theory for theory’s sake is meaningless.
As stated prior- theory’s only existence is to bridge the gap between what is known and what is true. It’s a creative device- an artistic tool for the flexible mind.
But pull all that away, and a standalone theory is an exhaled breath among the stars.
Nobody told me this. I am certain of this.
Mostly because I see it all around me. We are in a society where what one thinks of a thing matters more than what a thing actually means. People are no longer concerned about what is true, so much as about what could be true. This type of thinking is encouraged! PARADED! “Look at me!!” the average, socially accepted person can say. “Look at me!! I have a vague notion about something which means it ought to be shared, and then defended to the death!”
A bit dramatic perhaps, but then so be it all the more so for purposes of heightened illustration.
I often wondered why people, myself at the forefront, didn’t simply just shut up when they didn’t have something true to say. I am talking in an everyday, general sense. Beyond any intellectually witty shticks, or constructive debates.
People, again myself at the forefront, just put… whatever out there and the rest of us have to just deal with it.
And by means of self examination- I think I have deduced why.
In an era, hitherto unprecedented, where personal identity is a dang near invisible entity and the drift away from faith and God is at an all time low… we need something to make us feel again. Much like the wife who is down to her last emotional straw in dealing with her stoic, sexually withdrawn husband- we need to feel. She needs to feel like a real woman. We need to feel like a real- whatever your name is. A real Joshua. A real Steven. A real Mia. A real Erika.
In the absence of personal knowledge about ourselves, we have a desperate need to feel our way back into self realization.
And toting theories – that we then stick by regardless of their relation to actual truth – does that for us.
Theory for theory’s sake is…
… wait for it…
social and intellectual masturbation.
“Theory has it that…”
No- theory doesn’t have it.
Find out the truth of a thing. Anything. Just to see what it feels like. To see what it’s like to know what you’re talking about for once. Even if what you’re talking about are theories. “The latest theories about that are…”
You’re intelligent- so be knowledgeable.
Intuition. Use it.
Wits. Use ’em.
Logic. Use that too.
Formulate good theories out of the depths of all that you are; just don’t forget about what theories actually are…
A wise man’s roadmap to unconventional truth.