Sens-iety:  Anxiety induced by attempting to make sense out of the senseless.

I like all kinds of puzzles and have since I was a child. But the best, most challenging puzzles are contained within the human mind — on both the individual and collective levels. What makes perfect sense to one individual may seem utter nonsense to another. Why is that? Oh, please, don’t hold your breath waiting for an answer from me!

I am frequently reminded of a scene from an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit entitled “Zebras” in which Stuckey, a youthful crime scene investigator, is processing a murder scene and stops to tell his wild theory of the crime to Detectives Benson and Stabler. Listening to Stuckey’s theory while bending over the victim’s remains, Benson pauses, looks up at him and says, “It’s not zebras.”  Stuckey is obviously puzzled by this comment so Stabler explains, “If you hear hooves in Central Park, don’t think zebras.”

I first equated the Zebra Syndrome to jurors in the Casey Anthony capital murder trial. They heard evidence little Caylee Anthony had been smothered in duct tape, stuffed into garbage bags and disposed of in a swampy area. The coroner testified she determined the manner of death to be homicide but could not determine the cause of death. One juror genuinely concluded the child’s death was an accident made to look like a homicide.

See what I mean? There’s no explaining that. He believed what he wanted to believe.

Anyway, welcome to my blog. Whether I’m ranting or just musing, I promise I’ll try not to bring you zebras. But, frankly, some things just aren’t so black and white.

Linda K

  1. #1 by Ashana M on September 11, 2013 - 12:17 pm

    So, finally getting back to you about the issue of minds and bodies. There is in Hinduism the idea of having multiple “bodies.” These aren’t, in a strict sense, actually bodies but more like entities in perhaps the way that ego and id are entities that don’t have a real physical existence. The soul is Atman. In Advaita Hinduism–and I am mostly an Advaita Hindu (it’s probably now the more dominant form of Hinduism)–Atman is the same as Brahman. Brahman is the creator. This oneness of soul and God is the key mystery of life, and there are all kinds of stories told about how you can go about understanding this. So, not having achieved moksha and liberation, I’m probably not in a good place to explain this to you, since I don’t entirely get it myself. However, these various bodies are understood as only appearing to be the self. The self is not any of those things. The self is pure Atman. Some of these bodies follow the self through various cycles of life and death and some die with the physical body, but they are all understood to disappear once you have achieved liberation from life and death. They are all temporary–illusions. Only the self, the Atman, is permanent. There is, of course, the physical body, but what we in the West think of as personality and the self would fall into the category of the “subtle body.” Various writers have different ideas about the role of the subtle body, but I think of it along the lines of what Krishna-ji said in the Bhagavad Gita: it is something you take on and off like a new pair of clothes as you go through the cycle of life and death. It is not you, anymore than the physical body is. This doesn’t mean I don’t value it.

    • #2 by Linda K on September 11, 2013 - 1:31 pm

      [For the benefit of other readers, Ashana M and I engaged elsewhere in a discussion about the components of Self. Her comment, above, is a continuation of that discussion.]

      Ashana, thank you so much for the clarification. I believe I now understand your perspective and the roots of our relatively minor philosophical differences. This is a topic I would like to blog about in the future. If and when I do, I sincerely hope you’ll join me.

      • #3 by Ashana M on September 11, 2013 - 2:01 pm

        I will. I was going to write a post about it, but as I started looking at where my ideas about this came from, I realized that there was a lot I really don’t understand very well.

        This is actually the post where our conversation started, but it seemed as though could no longer add to the thread.


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