Knowledge is the spirit that saves the heart from the darkness of ignorance, it is the light that saves it from the darkness of iniquity.
Abu Ali Thaqafi
Yesterday was the Islamic New Years Day. May you have lasting peace.
The only times during the day when I feel everything is all right is when I'm sleeping or I'm writing even though I'm a wretched typist.
My long story, Brian and Christine, http://db-vagabondtales.blogspot.com/ occupies me everyday. I know how the story ends but I don't yet know how to get there. I'm discovering the pathway as I go, one or two jumps ahead of my readers, cutting my way through the jungle of troubles, misunderstandings and injustices.
One of the big discoveries I've made along that route is that a lot of the trouble Brian has to deal with has come about through ignorance, his own and other people's. The story unfolds and conflicts get resolved by gaining bits of information, putting them with other bits of information, clearing up misunderstandings and thus gaining knowledge.
Backing away from my computer and looking out the window to the street below I see children going to the library. I note how fortunate they are to live in a country where there are libraries accessible to them, where they have schools and teachers, where they can easily gain information which will give them knowledge, and hence understanding and possibly even wisdom.
I also note how much iniquity there is in the world. Wrong doing by people who should know better and who would if they had the ability to learn right doing or who took advantage of the opportunity to gain the information that is available to them.
When I first began reading philosophy my main interest was in the field of ethics, a topic that has occupied philosophers since the beginning. It's a very complicated subject, it seems. And yet it's one of the most outward looking practices of the philosopher. It is germane to the subject of ethics that it address a conscientious and coordinated system of behavior toward other human beings and all living things. It necessarily focuses thought away from the self and onto one's place in society.
The world seems to be so filled with abuses: domestic violence, street gangs, robbery, rape, fathers attacking their sons' soccer coaches, teachers abusing their students, managers abusing their workers, child slavery and prostitution, owners abusing their animals, torture, graft and corruption in government and business, careless wasting of money by the rich, terrorism, racism, religious intolerance, fanaticism, revenge, the gouging of people's incomes by government, the shameless waste of natural resources, overpricing of necessary items, hatred, war and all other iniquities too many to name, that it seems most of the human race has never heard the word "ethics."
People will talk about ethical behavior on the left side while they are cheating their neighbors out of something on the right side. Or what is even worse, they will use the idea of ethics to justify some unethical behavior: "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth."
My story has given me a chance to look some of this immorality in the face and explore it directly or indirectly. I'm not a great writer but I'm learning. I'm gaining knowledge. And one of the things I've learned is that in order to convey knowledge and understanding a writer must tell the truth and reveal things about himself. Secrets must be told. While it's true that he who has more knowledge can do more evil, he can also do more good. There is no such thing as generic good or generic evil in this life. It all comes down to the individual, his knowledge of the world around him and his behavior in it.