Monday, November 21, 2005


“Man is in the world as if in a pure optical and sound situation. The reaction of which man has been deprived can be replaced only by belief. Only belief in the world can reconnect man to what he sees and hears. The cinema must film, not the world, but belief in this world, our only link...Restoring out belief in the world — this is the power of modern cinema (when it stops being bad)...we need reasons to believe in this world.” — Gilles Deleuze, Cinema 2, p. 172

Have I writeen about perspective yet? The above quote is in regards to films but I think it deals with perspective as the way I see it. When you start talking about truth and morality and things like that I don't think you can really say there is any real truth or morality that is absolute. I think you can believe in an absolute truth and morality in regards to a particular culture, but outside of that culture that abolsute truth or morality isn't necessarily absolute anymore. I think I just lost myself on that.

What I'm getting out is the way you experience the world and what you believe is all a matter of perspective. You view things through the lens of your experiences. Those experiences are what you rely on to determine what is true, what is moral, what is right. Your experiences are going to be different from mine, thus a different lens and a different perspective on what is true, what is moral, and what is right. We probably agree on a lot of the same things, but not all, because we come from the same American culture. However, if you sit down with an Iraqi fundamentilist, or hell, and American fundamentilist, the perspective different between you and them is going to be HUGE. Suddenly, what is true, what is moral, and what is right is very different for the two of you. Who is to say whose truth is absolute? I think saying your truth is more right than theirs is the height of arrogance and is the root of most misunderstandings.

Jeebus, what the hell have I been smoking?


Ben said...

First off, try reading a good translation of Plato's Allegory of the Cave. It may or may not help you clarify this issue, but at least it will help you realize that people have been smoking whatever you have been smoking for a long, long time.

Without getting into too much detail, Plato likened our lives to people trapped in a cave facing a wall with a fire behind them. They couldn't see the objects in the cave, but they could see their shadows on the wall. Plato believd that all of our thoughts and actions were based on our peception of reality and not reality itself.

Now take Plato one step further: imagine that everyone has their own fire and each one is in a different position in the cave. Naturally, everyone's view of the shadows on the wall will be different and they will behave differently even though they're all talking about the exact same object.

Pretty deep stuff.

Ryan said...

Yup, that's exactly what I'm talking about. Thanks for refering that to me, I'll have to pick it up somewhere.