“I must premise, that I have nothing to do with the origin of the primary mental powers, any more than I have with life itself.” ~ Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species, 173
Darwin wrote this line the opening paragraph of “Ch. VII Instinct” from his master work. I have always thought it a curious way to express what he really means, which is he doesn’t know how cognition arose any more than he could explain how life came to exist. But taken out of context, this is a deepity (thank you Daniel Dennett for this stealing this term from a teenager; brilliance may come at any age) of magnificent proportions. On the surface it sounds profound, but really, it is meaningless. Nobody has had anything to do with either of those. All we can do is experiment and observe both of those things. Sure, we can manipulate those things, and design electronics that can almost mimic them, but nobody is in control of those things. They are systems in the universe, nothing more.
There are many such sayings in the English language. Most of my readers will no doubt recall I have railed against such pieces of attempted empathy.
“I’ll pray for you,” is one another friend pointed out. Brené Brown gave us, “If you bless my heart, I’ll punch your face.” I am sure your mind is readily providing you with many examples as you try to read on. And while I claim they are meaningless, they are often loaded with insulting context, or perhaps something worse. They end up meaning something to very different to the person hearing them. I bring up “stay strong” because this one hits me in just that fashion.
For one, it is a command. That’s rude. Also, there is in implied situation when I wouldn’t be trying that anyways. I conquered of yoga inversion without any assistance, and while they are still only wall guided headstands, they are from another planet as far as my body is concerned. I have done them now for two days in a row, and I am kind of addicted already. My cheerleading squad of one has been watching from the first attempts. She beams with joy and pride when I do, and observed with today’s attempt, “Daddy, you did it on the first try!”
“What is it about me that makes you think that I will fall and lean on weakness rather than trying to keep my fortitude,” is what my mind does when someone says that to me. Obviously, these are not the intended emotions the speaker wished to invoke, if they actually wished to elicit a response.
What has this to do with the price of fish?
This being the 100th edition of MM, I wanted to check myself, mirror up, and hold to a standard of communication in this series. I love sharing these with the world. More and more readers from across the globe are clicking-in to see what I bring to the world with my writing. The elation is indescribable, but I seem to keep trying. *wink* I hope I and will continue to try to make sure that I never put a meaningless word into any of my composition. I have trusted the world with my stories, and I hope the world will trust my articulations. They are born from a womb I hold most sacred—my being.
“If I have even just a little sense,/ I will walk on the main road and my only fear will be/ of straying from it./ Keeping to the main road is easy,/ But people love to be sidetracked.” (Fifty-Three, Tao Te Ching)