LEAD Scholarly Intelligence Corner

By the Chameleon

Expect the Unexpected? Always expect the unexpected. That’s what we’re always told. But if logic is applied to this statement, then it is revealed that it is an oxymoron. The famed statement is reduced to a mere contradiction. A piece of false advice only to be given by the adviser who intends to deceive the advised. If we always expect the unexpected, than that which is unexpected becomes expected, and that which is expected takes the role of the unexpected. Now, the unexpected is expected, and expected is unexpected. This, in the mind of the adviser, seems a good piece of advice to advise, and proceeds to give it. However, if the advised now expects the unexpected, he is now neglecting the expected. If he is constantly expecting the unexpected, then the expected turned unexpected will surely happen, and thus the unexpected will happen whichever way the advised chooses to take the advisers advice. The unexpected is expected, and the expected, unexpected, defeating the whole purpose. A combination may ensue, blending the unexpect-ed with the expected, which is now very unexpected. If this situation, now expected, rises, we can expect the unexpecting person to fall into the snare of always expecting the expected, and now completely ignoring the unexpected. In summary, the unexpecting person will take the unexpected adviser’s advised (actually unadvised) advice to expect the unexpected and thus expect all that which is meant to be unexpected, neglecting the expected. The unexpecting person can be expected to fall prey to unexpected situations and unexpected results are a result, but were expected in the first place, but now turned unexpected in the mind of the un-expecting now expecting un-expecting, unexpected person or persons.

A submission from yesterday posed an intriguing query. The anonymous writer wrote: “If I am a man dreaming I am a butterfly, and then I wake up, how do I know that I am not a butterfly dreaming I am a man?” First, we must acknowledge how this hypothetical question beings. It begins with ‘if.’ If a question begins with ‘if,’ how can we can not immediately deduce that the writer is, himself, unsure of the circum-stances under which his writing is being written? Aside from this, if he wakes after dreaming such a dream as the one previously mentioned, then he can assume that he is simply not fully awakened from his dream. If, however, he is fully awakened from his seemingly conscious yet un-conscious state, and he still is unsure if he is in a dream or not, then he is living in the past. If one lives in the past, he is often accused of living in a dream, for that which is passed is now as distant as a dream and cannot be fully recovered just as a dream cannot be fully recovered. Apply all of the ‘if’ logic in this reply, and your question will be answered. If it seems challenging, consider this: if you had such a thought (a daydream) as to think about dreaming a thought filled dream, then surely you will enable yourself to think higher thoughts of the same thought provoking thinking style. For further thought: it is an entirely different ordeal if it is a woman dreaming she is a butterfly…