Looking for the Diogenes Club

Sidney Paget: Sherlock Holmes

Sidney Paget: Sherlock Holmes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I spent a few too many precious minutes (more likely hours), recently discussing politics, world view and the bias of Fox News.

Of course this was a complete waste of time for either of us as we vociferously typed away at our keyboards making our viewpoints and rationalizations known. In the end of course, it was a complete waste of time, at least for me, then again not….

I continue to learn and grow even from negative experience. I gained renewed insight into the way I think as it related to this person. My discourse theories are to focus on the topic and surround it with supportable, relational thoughts and quotes by others more well-known for their insight. Instead, I think we left off with a few snarky comments, criticism of a spelling error and recognition from the person to whom I was writing, that he knew where (specific title of book), this information came from. All in all a dance around the pin without a single Angel foisted thereon. This left me wondering, if I hadn’t misspelled the one word (oh darn), and didn’t quote from, shall I say it, The Fountainhead, all I would have left to read is a healthy dose of sarcasm?

Then it dawned on me, have I adopted some of the traits describing Howard Roark, in The Fountainhead?

“In the spring of 1922, Howard Roark is expelled from his architecture school for refusing to adhere to the school’s conventionalism. Despite an effort by some professors to defend Roark and a subsequent offer to continue, Roark chooses to leave the school. He believes buildings should be sculpted only to fit their location, material and purpose elegantly and efficiently, while his critics insist that adherence to historical convention is essential.” Note 1: excerpt from a plot summary found in Wikipedia.

This is neither 1922 nor am I an architect. Frequently misspelling that word, besides complete denial of knowing that trade, I’ve found myself controverting with various individuals and organizations which are conventional, provincial, and frankly in my view, anachronistic. This leaves me to wonder, how do you acquire the outwardly rational, observant skills of the fictional character of Sherlock Holmes, knowing full well it’s so much easier adopting a singular encompassing philosophy or point of view.

I’ve tried for years to be conventional, main stream and that just hasn’t taken root like maybe it should. After all, I fit a demographic, therefore I’m according to a poll or two, bound to think buy and even select mates by some loosely defined prescription. I completely bought into a Christian religious sect and was a member of it for years. I’m still friends or an acquaintance of some of its members. I find most of them to be great people to know or having been associated with but the problem I’ve had over the years is an inquisitive mind.

magnifying pencilWhen I learn more or perhaps to be fair, when I think I know more, I become aware of some of the glaring holes in logic, beliefs and life strategies. This wasn’t easy because when you’re in such an organization and are found out, that is to say you let it be known to anyone you question some of its practices or even the foundation, well you are certainly  moving into reprobate or apostate territory. Then the guilt starts, sometimes even from your own family as they are agog, (great Christian adjective), and want to immediately define your boundaries as to where you can seek out further methods to either confirm or reject your new hypothesis. Of course, being the caring person, means you don’t just suddenly tell everyone they’re obviously wrong and to stop bugging you about it; that comes later.

So what do you do when you know for certainty that you’re not the most brilliant match in the box, not a Sherlock Holmes sans hat? Perhaps adopting a slogan might work? “Diogenes Club: better living through omniscience“. Well that doesn’t work for me either.

The bottom line to all this personal soul-searching with regard to singular life philosophy and lack of religious questions or political affiliation, comes to this for me; seeking truth isn’t an easy exercise. I’ve had numerous stumbles, scrapes and episodes with it from time to time and it’s as elusive as a Harry Potter Bandersnatch.

If you too find yourself in this self-exile from social collectivism, perhaps you too might join the Diogenes Club. I understand it has been opened even to those who aren’t male…. Can I have a Matt Damon ‘ooohhhhh’ here?

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