Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Gentle or Justified? Part II

Continued from here.

I remember reading somewhere that in our brains, our emotional center is closer to our decision making center than our logical center is. I don't know how true that is, but it surely rings true enough for the point of this post. From a logical* point of view, you can imagine the implications of this theory; we humans (mental illness notwithstanding) are not entirely logical creatures.

If we're not logical, it probably isn't suitable to apply logic in order to explain everything humans do. That's probably why no machine has so far passed the Turing test - it might require a partially logical kind of artificial intelligence, which I imagine would be significantly harder to create than a wholly logical one.

If we've come to rely on facts about reality to cope with our AD/HD, it can be particularly painful or difficult to adopt the idea that facts are generally mutable. Or just that nothing is ever absolutely true. But it doesn't have to mean a total denial of reasoning - just that with a lot of things that appear true, they may only be true enough for human understanding. There could be infinitely more to it that is well outside our control or understanding.

This doesn't have to be a bad thing. It can be quite a positive thing if we choose to see it as such. If we understand the world this way, we tend to become a lot more tolerant to different people's experiences and understanding of themselves and the world we live in. It may make us a little less grating to be around. It may also make reality's game of hide and seek all that more amusing for an AD/HD mind.

Trusting people can be hard when you don't trust yourself. And a lot of AD/HDers have trouble with social cues and nonverbal communication. But if you remove the idea of static being, you may find yourself becoming a lot more receptive to the nonverbal things you miss. (Keep in mind that this helps, but it doesn't fix things just like any other one thing in a comprehensive AD/HD management plan. So keep working with professionals, too.)

This is by no means an easy point of view to adopt in every day life. As I said earlier, its something that I tend to struggle with. But occasional contemplation on the idea may just make life a little easier and more fun. If my apparently cast iron chain of reasoning can crack or break as often as it does, I'd be pretty unreasonable to consider that reason may not always be the answer.

This whole post reminds me of a classical poem which I may just have to share another time. For now, I'd like to point you to a lecture by Dr. Robert Miller, a former philosophy teacher of mine. He is also the author of a book entitled Buddhist Existentialism: From Anxiety To Authenticity And Freedom. I'd wager to say that it makes for a good read for anyone, regardless of their mental health.

*Note that I'm using logic to explain the problems with logic. Confusing hey?

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