27 comments on “Sophistry

  1. Ah, but the credulous’ courage may be being tested by imagined dragons, who wait for those who yearn more to learn then they fear being burned, and if such a sojourner ventured inquiry, all who watch may be surprised to find that scales fall from their eyes and what they perceived the dragon to be, is not an intimidating dragon at all, but a man who talks in monologues, understanding his own thoughts without needing to explain himself to himself.

    That’s something Jesus Christ himself did, so that the spiritually deaf and blind would be ever seeing and hearing in the flesh, but not seeing nor hearing spiritually, so that the chaff would be separated from the grain. His true friends asked him to explain his teachings, and scripture shows that he did so, though he expected them to be more thoughtful for the long duration of time they had spent listening to him.

    I would not compare myself to Christ, I’m a dragon in comparison except for the covenant of His atoning blood that covers and counts me righteousness in the eyes of God in spite of still having the sinful nature residing in my flesh… I know Christians are called to emulate Christ by taking on His likeness by the sanctification of the Spirit, and all students of Jewish Rabbi’s traditionally take imitation of their Rabbi so literally they will seek to quite literally walk in his footsteps. Jesus is a Jew, and all Christians who hold the Old Testament on equal ground with the new, though interpreting the truths of the old with the fuller light of the new, could easily be considered Jewish-Christians. Sadly many dismiss the old, and claim to be “New Testament Christians” rather than “Biblical Christians”. I don’t think that glossing over the depth of truths in things like poetry need be called sophistry automatically. I know in my case, when I do so in my haiku, I would be overjoyed if anyone would ask me what I meant, or attempted to have a conversation with me about what I’ve said.

    I know when I’ve read a poem I’m interested in, and the meaning is not clear to me, I will post a comment asking the poet what they meant to convey, and when I do, they seem quite happy to, and appreciate greatly that what they said was admired enough by someone they ask about what the author surely knew themselves was worded obscurely. From my experience, people love it when someone wants to more fully understand them. I’d love it if someone would, but I don’t go around complaining about no one caring, I try to set an example instead, and try to part of the solution instead of hypocritically being a part of the problem that bothers me so much.

    I assume no one asks me what I mean in my poems, because they either understand, don’t care enough to ask for an explanation, or are silly and somehow intimidated by me and don’t have the guts to have a conversation with a guy who is lonely and loves meaningful conversations, thus his leaving comments on people’s blogs beyond single sentence praises, seeking to show that the words shared were worthy of the time it takes to leave a response that actually shows the writer’s words sparked some genuine thought.

    So much of social networking is glossy and superficial connecting with people, and I actively seek to wage war against online pretensions by trying to foster thoughtfulness in concise wordplay that says a lot in haiku, without being too wordy, as people online seem to struggle with short-attention spans as it is.

    A dragon’s sophistry is sometimes just smoke and shiny mirrors, and is actually an attempt at simplicity meant to give people things to think about, without overwhelming them with insight. I’d rather foster thoughtfulness, then think people’s thoughts for them. Benjamin Franklin said something regarding this idea that I agree with – “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”

    Like

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