I had never met his brother before.
But his brother was a member of ROTC.
I really enjoyed talking with him. I thought he was a really thoughtful person. I felt like he had a lot of views that I wanted military members to have. He supported things like racial and sexual equality. He was very with it.
But talking to him reminded me more than ever of my interest in the military. My interest in war. My interest in violence.
Perhaps I'll share an anecdote to make this clearer. I have been getting to know a friend recently (shout of to j-dawg). Me and him share an interest in Zen and Buddhism. We were chatting one night and he told me about something he was reading. He said that certain people believe that in order to understand our own lives we need to understand the entire cosmos. That knowledge needs to be total, from the individual mind to the nature of the entire universe.
And my immediate reaction is, WHAT?!
Cosmic understanding WHAT?!
You want me to understand the entire cosmos?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
Shall I flip out now or later?
The only option is to flip out now.
Because that notion conflicts with my deepest assumptions.
Today I told a coworker that it was fascinating to make assumptions explicit. When you take something that you have assumed, that has existed on an implicit level, and you make it explicit, things change. Suddenly things are raised to a higher level of consciousness. You are aware of yourself in ways that you weren't before.
And in that moment with J-dawg one of my assumptions was made explicit.
I assume that the highest reality (intellectually, analytically) is the political and social world.
The thing that I must analyze is the political and social world.
To ponder the cosmos is quite serious, but for some reason, feels inadequate or silly.
The world that needs to be contemplated is the political world.
And I don't mean to imply that there is a complete disconnect between the cosmic and the political world. That is one reason that I want to revisit John Searle's chapter 'Language as Biological and Social' in Making The Social World. Because there is undoubtedly a relationship between the natural (cosmic) world and the social and historical world.
But can violence, war, and politics be explained by references to the cosmic world?
I don't know.
But I need to pursue military history.
I am very upset.
I don't know how to continue to think about violence and war.
I think that Soldier's Heart: Reading Literature Through Peace and War at West Point might be a good book for me to turn to.
I hope I read it.
I hope you love me.
I hope I love you.