The days are long and full and lots of the nights are spent writing reports. Last night I had a rare chance at a "no time limit" internet access, so I went for it, dead tired and all. End result is that I wrote only part of what I intended. Here's what got me thinking:
We all believe certain things. I'm not sure whether belief is on a scale or binary. I think it is binary- one either believes in a specific god or doesn't; either believes that a specific political decision was good policy or self-serving corruption. I don't see a lot of people believing sort of in a god or that a decision was mostly good policy but partially corrupt. But maybe they do and the language just doesn't express it that way.
But people can certainly be more vested in a belief than other people with the same belief.
I was talking to a man the other day and we share a lot of the same beliefs and concerns. We have a similar vision of what a good life entails and similar concerns about how aspects of civilization endanger that vision. The obvious difference is that these are just things I believe and these are part of who he is.
(It doesn't matter what the belief is- whether he wears hemp and birckenstocks or boots and knife and compass, there comes a point when it is a costume, a person crying out "this is me, this is who I am.")
So that was the obvious aspect- how others will see you, identify you. If you are too vested it seems irrational and your opinions, right or wrong, are easy to dismiss. If you don't vest in your opinions (and I tend not to- many strong beliefs have vanished in the flames of real life over the years) you get read very differently.
Some, the self-absorbed, just assume that you agree with them.
Some see silence or a lack of strong opinion as wisdom. Maybe.
The thing that struck me though, is that the strongly invested mistrust people with less investment. As if they expect that being labelled is proof of belief.
It is a test, I think. Trying to find someone to join their mental tribe. Just a thought.
This probably should have been an edit to last night's post.
Jan 31st 2015 - If you are in the Bay Area ... This Saturday, 4 - 6pm ish. Book reading/discussion/Q and A on 'The Liar the Cheat and the Thief' + play, at Soja Martial Art...
3 days ago