Ok, where was I?
Oh yes. My previous post was delayed by an unanticipated need to go the the hospital where one of Joy’s relatives is ill. I had been talking about dragonfruit and the fact that I may have been mistaken about the random, untethered distribution of the tiny abandoned kiwi-like seeds. I may have cast some aspersions and characterized the dragonfruit as reptilian in nature, using ‘reptilian’ in a negative sense (i.e., the anthropomorphization of reptilian behavior toward their young as uncaring and cold – even though they are in fact cold blooded). But listen, whatever behavior reptiles have today, evolved over millions of years and… reptiles are still here! So despite the fact that the human view of supposed attitudes of reptilian moms and dads may be a tad negative, the reptilian branch of the phylogenetic tree is very successful, thank you very much.
But I digress…
My point is, I should have been more observant. The day after I split the dragonfruit open, I noticed that the whitish part is made up of tiny whitish fibers. It seems that the dragonfruit seeds, slightly tear shaped, may individually attached to such a fiber. At the very least, the fibrous matting that makes up inside of the dragonfruit appears to be lovingly embracing each seed. Wait, I didn’t mean to anthropomorphize again.
Here’s the thing…
Many people jump to conclusions, it is a natural thing to do. It is a short cut to fully observing one’s environment. No doubt, it can be helpful. For instance, if one notices an odd behavior in an individual walking down a city block, one can assume a guarded attitude. There have been volumes written about prejudgement of behaviors and appearances. As we know, the word prejudice comes from the concept of prejudging something.
Many months ago I wrote the post, Presupposition and Prejudice, which addressed the topic of prejudgement from a slightly different perspective. A quotation from Karl Jaspers bears repeating:
“Prejudices (that are false) [emphasis in original] are rigid, circumscribed presuppositions which are wrongly taken as absolutes. They are hardly realized by those who hold them; they do not reach consciousness and when clarified can be dissolved. Presuppositions (that are true) [emphasis in original] are rooted in the investigator himself and are the ground of his ability to see and understand. Once elucidated, they will be well and truly grasped.” (Jaspers, K. General Psychopathology (Volume 1) Johns Hopkins University Press (1997) pg. 21)
While prejudging may be part of the human condition, correcting one’s self can also be a human urge. Jaspers’s suggests that prejudices of which one is not conscious, must be clarified by someone else. Of course, it’s a tautology since, by definition, if one is not conscious of holding a false notion, one cannot self correct.
However, what if a person challenges his or her own beliefs through observation? For example, if one sees someone behaving oddly, or responding in an odd manner and deems it to be non-threatening, instead of a pre-judgement, what about a pre-supposition. It might be fruitful to challenge one’s supposition through further observation.
In a week, it will be autism awareness day. I’ve learned so much from my older autistic brother. The general public has learned a lot about autism than they knew when I was young, so I’m encouraged about the prospect of more progress.
For those interested in seeing how it came out, here is my completed watercolor from yesterday: the (non-reptilian) dragonfruit.