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|One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. -Nietzsche|
May 5, 2009
One Good Argument
I have previously considered arguments to be a pointless battle of monologues, and though they are useless for deciding the truth of a matter with someone who defends or asserts an ideology they feel attached to, a good argument reveals discordant interpretation.
A friend and I got into a furious argument in a highly public location, neither of us caring who saw and heard. We had at it like a bitter married couple, with awesome yelling, absurd name-calling, and wildly venomous accusations. It was a sustained explosion, but after the release, we traded interpretations of the problem, which was found to not actually exist, and then we laughed at the ridiculous behavior just displayed.
Often what someone says with great emotion is not what they really care
about, but is the best approximation they can summon up at the moment and
reasonably approximates feelings they don't understand and are often
separate from reality. It doesn't hurt to listen with a curious ear, but
the conflict has to eventually contact the real issue. Consider it abstract
art, taking none of it literally because it is trapped in language.
In this case, she was honest and comfortable with directness even after the storm subsided - an unusual but valued temperament. A friend's fundamental fairness and acceptance of reality is reassuring and obviates the need to strongly dilute real life with comfortable cliched lies. It also lets you know someone is honest and a straight player who can be trusted with anything. The worst is when you come to expect everything someone tells you to be a fraud.
It's also a good way to find what someone is made of. I find myself now sometimes instigating even petty arguments with people I size up as difficult, just to more quickly get to their substance. If that's the fastest way to truth, strap in - we're going for a wicked high speed ride on unpaved roads. There's a really beautiful landscape around the bend that could take months or years to get to by conventional paths, if it's even reachable that way.
Discard your travel habits and enjoy navigating the rough roads. They are more honest.
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