Press "Enter" to skip to content

A thought inspired by Sunday’s Daf (page) in the Talmud, Gittin 82

A thought inspired by Sunday’s Daf (page) in the Talmud, Gittin 82

Pulling Anything Apart.

This post presents a philosophical idea inspired by the text of today’s Daf. The Daf is one page in the Talmud that tens of thousands of people study each day. I explain the connection to the text in a comment below. My purpose is to show that there are underlying philosophical assumptions in the Talmud that can have great significance for anybody today trying to understand our complex reality.

Almost any concept can be broken down into its component parts. Here’s how to play this trick:

Start with a random word and then write down a few related words that come to mind. Just let your thoughts flow freely and create a short list. Then, imagine the original word without each related word.

Here are a few examples: Tree without leaves. Lake without water. World without clouds. Ball without roundness. 2 but not 1 + 1. Skyscraper without height. House without occupants. Occupants without a house. Mountain without a peak. Garden without flowers. Library without books. Rainbow without colors. Music without melody. Science without curiosity. Writer without words. Time without change. Whisper without sound. Journey without a destination. Chess without strategy. Mirror without reflection. Sculpture without form. Language without meaning. Candle without flame. Ocean without depth. Bridge without support. Camera without a lens. Butterfly without wings. Fire without heat. Mountain range without valleys. Invention without purpose. You get the idea.

Words come in clusters but any such cluster can be pulled apart. The results can be interesting and can spark creative new ways of thinking. We often don’t consider that a cluster can be pulled apart, but these limitations are self-imposed. They are the chains that confine our minds, but they are also the walls of the cup that hold the water of our mind.

A repeatable tool is quite exciting. There are other similar techniques, such as combining two random words or breaking down a text into a list of assertions and asking which is novel. Simply apply the same procedure to as many subjects as you can imagine. We may dismiss this repetition with the saying, “to a person with a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” However, let’s not forget the excitement of embarking on a journey with a new tool, with endless possibilities awaiting exploration. Just imagine the thrill that explorers experienced when ocean-crossing ships were first created, opening up a world ready to be discovered.

The challenge lies in the fact that the total number of combinations of unusual thoughts is almost infinite. Most of these paths have no value, unless we ask ourselves, “What is value?” They are like mining for silver deep underground. Human knowledge, as a whole, resemble the veins of silver in a mine that have already been discovered. You can explore near the richest veins and you might find more silver. You can also venture into new directions and discover new veins. However, in most directions, all you will encounter is rock.

Perhaps a more promising strategy than random dissociation is to dissect two ideas and then carefully examine how each component of the concept survives and interacts with the world. This way, you have a tool for exploring each component, one that could deepen your understanding of both sides.

submitted by /u/eliyah23rd
[link] [comments]

Source: Reditt

%d bloggers like this: