The Best Lack All Conviction
Quick post tonight. The following Twitter post caught my attention:
The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity. #OWS
— Bruce McFarling (@BruceMcF) October 10, 2011
I harbor no illusions of being the best in anything, but I constantly struggle for certitude in my views on any important matter. In contrast, those whose views seem least plausible from my perspective, seem so cocksure as to be promoting absolute truths. Therein lies the crux for me. If you’re willing to question your assumptions, beliefs and convictions, you do. You’ll probably even figure out the idea which, if proven, would reverse your conviction. If you’re not willing to question them, it’s possible that you’re right. It’s also possible that you’ve hardened your views in defense of ideas that are dangerously wrong. Regardless of your current position, my respect goes out to those who are willing to question.
The Second Coming – W.B. Yeats
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?