Wednesday, October 10, 2012

An Interesting Connection Between Posts?

Someone just pointed out to me that the most recent post on Success and Failure is really informed by and develops a previous post from two years ago on Stories and Anecdotes.

It is an interesting connection, and I can see how my thinking has moved in terms of adding "dialectical" thinking when addressing why "dichotomous thinking" is so dangerous for experience-based learning.

Thank you. for pointing out this connection.

Dialectics is a hard way to think but I believe it is what Baldwin was getting at in the last paragraph of Notes of a Native Son when he writes,

“It began to seem that one would have to hold in the mind forever two ideas which seemed to be in opposition. The first idea was acceptance, the acceptance, totally without rancor, of life as it is, and men as they are: in the light of this idea, it goes without saying that injustice is a commonplace. But this did not mean that one could be complacent, for the second idea was of equal power: that one must never, in one's own life, accept these injustices as commonplace but must fight them with all one's strength. This fight begins, however, in the heart and it now had been laid to my charge to keep my own heart free of hatred and despair."

Not only is this one of my favorite essays ever by one of my favorite writers ever, he arrives at that "dialectical" conclusion in such a heart-breaking manner that it is breath-taking.
Or perhaps it is what Fitzgerald means in the oftquoted line, "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function."

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