Without ambiguity, we will suffer intellectual death.

By Stephen Sheehan



The realm of ambiguity is a wonderful place of certain uncertainty.  A place to be confronted. A place to exist without really knowing how or why, or for what purpose. Imagination lives here. Without ambiguity, we will suffer intellectual death. To be intrigued is to be stimulated. However, without progressive stimulation, our minds deteriorate due to negative and complacent stimulus. I would explain negative and complacent stimulus as being a mental activity which creates cerebral engagement, regardless of its negative impact upon the minds function to decipher information or think abstractly; and quite possibly, maintain a state of happiness.


Building a brick tomb

Masses are venturing deep into the abyss of complacent and negative stimulus through the activity of virtual escapism. With that said, the escapism being experienced is firmly locked into an agenda loaded society. The chasm of information celebrates our arrival with open arms.  We are presented with “facts” and “truth”. There is no longer room for the ambiguity that is vital to build a healthy working mind.  A virtual participant can and will search for the specific content they wish to fill their alternative reality with. The mind is a functioning network that becomes programmed by its environment over time. It needs ambiguity to grow and develop. Without ambiguity, the definitive information being divulged becomes a brick wall. A dead end. If one builds enough brick walls a conceptual tomb is created. The space to move and explore is limited to that tomb. The mind is being satisfied but slowly suffocated in this familiar and safe space. There is no uncertainty here. The truth was searched for. The truth was found. Intellectual death awaits.

Within a literal society that understands definitions as a functioning practice to understand, championing ambiguity can be viewed as a nonsensical gateway to chaos. Let us not be confused and use visuals such as cars burning in the streets or societal unrest as a metaphor to solely associate chaos with. Friedrich Nietzsche once said “You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star.”  Conceptual chaos is confusion, disorder and disruption. If the definitive has been disrupted its order is removed and confusion exists. Chaos has given birth to ambiguity. Ambiguity is the doorless door in the tomb of brick walls. This opening within the tomb presents an opportunity to leave certain death behind and venture towards the dancing star that awaits.  

Two people are sitting in a field. One person really likes bananas but hates apples. The other person really likes apples but hates bananas. They detest each other's favorite choice to the point that no consideration is given to each other's preference beyond the value of their own ideology. They are now sitting in brick tombs, in a field.  They agree that they respect each other's choice. However, respect is nothing more than an acknowledgment that something exists. Not respecting, is denying its existence. Both are equally contributing towards negative and complacent stimulus. Respect is a word that carries social weight, but in reality, it is a tactic to avoid the unknown, similar to not respecting. Wanting to understand, regardless of the chaos it may have upon one’s ideology, is accepting ambiguity. It is impossible for the mind to develop a coherent understanding without exploring the chaotic. Without coherence, our thought process is inconsistent. Not in the sense of ambiguous exploration, but through negative and complacent exploration of a singular thought as fact or truth.  An individual can still find progressive stimulus in an apple without liking the apple, but only if they fully understand it. The same applies to the banana.

If something is presented into the world as facts or truths, without the foundations of ambiguous exploration or the openness towards an ambiguous dialogue or action; then we are presented with nonsensical and tyrannical dogma and the illusion of intellectual development. Once something has become routine, regardless of what it is, it presents itself as normality. It presents itself as fact or truth. Therefore, anything beyond the established convention is untrue or incorrect. Ambiguity does not care for convention. It disrupts the moment. It is unsettling. It gives you doubt but presents thought. Accepting ambiguity as a necessity removes the nonsensical dogma and introduces the absurd.  While nonsensical and absurd can be loosely used or referred to as the same meaning, nonsensical is playing with the idea of something not making sense. A disregard for whatever is being classified as nonsensical. If something is nonsensical, it is throwaway. However, absurd presents itself as something ungraspable while offering an ambiguous playground for uncertain possibilities. 

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