Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Island of Blind People

Today I randomly thought about a story I learned from my Philosophy of Religion class while wiping the kitchen counters. It was story told by a philosopher, his name escapes me, as he prefaces it by describing an island inhabited by completely blind people (genetically they do not have the gene for sight). They know how to survive on the island so their people prosper for generations. However, through an act of god, a handful of people suddenly get the ability to see. For the 1st time in the history of this island people, the beautiful lush colors of the wildlife around them can be seen and magically know what they are. Those lucky few 1st are breathless, and really want to tell their family and friends about the new world around them. However they all face the same problem, how can describe you describe color to somebody who has never seen the light of day? They tried their hardest to think of a way to use communicate these things they are observing, but questions in circle. "That bird is red." "What is red?" "A bright color." "What is a bright color...." And the sequence continues. It will not happen.

The point he is trying to make though is that this analogy, is equivalent to somebody having a religious experience. Somebody who sees visions from a higher power, how can you describe this otherworldly experience to somebody else? The language and words you have knowledge of are not sufficient because there is nothing like it before. Also it is unique experience so the other person cannot relate to it. So don't knock off a supposed crazy person because you really do not know if they are making it up or actually felt something.

This is a cute story because it has certain storybook or literature spin to it. An experience, a perspective, is needed to understand something, and especially it comes with the supernatural. Not sure how I feel about it personal, but as a creative individual these little stories really do turn the cogs in the brain. It would be a crazy twist in life if these mental illnesses were a side effect of an experience with something not of this world. I guess that's the old Christian belief, where bad spirits do bad things to people, but what really made this little tale memorable was the fact that describing color, to someone who is unable to sense it, is an impossible task. We are lead to believe in life, doing the impossible is the human spirit. Putting a man on the moon, moving mountains, etc.  But when the task of doing something words, let alone a question of a description? Thought provoking stuff.

Still thinking about what I want dress up for Halloween, playing a show with my Ska Band tomorrow night. Have a few ideas from all the old clothes my grandparents have had for decades.  Going to be a fun and groovy night. 

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