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Curiosity

New Page -- 6 August 2003

Curiosity is an eager desire to know, inquisitiveness.  It is also strangeness, a rare and/or interesting object.  But it is in the first sense that it underlies the fundamentals of acquiring Wisdom.  Curiosity precedes wisdom. (11/1/05) On the other side of the coin curiosity tends to preclude faith and static religion. It's also totally missing in certain politicians, television commentators, and selected brain dead individuals.

Note that being curious is not equivalent to being interested.  Interest all too often implies a follow up of judgment.  If a parent is interested in what a teenager did last night, one can pretty well bet that such interest is less curiosity and more a gathering of evidence -- evidence which may and probably will be used against the teenager in a family court of parental law.

Curiosity, on the other hand, carries no vested interest in the outcome; nor does it imply a hidden agenda on the part of the curious.  There are exceptions, of course -- as in "I'm curious; why in the world would you want to do something so incredibly stupid?"

But when one asks a question out of genuine curiosity, it's more of an invitation for that person to examine the situation or the events of their life, to consider the longer range consequences of their actions, thoughts, or intentions, and to put everything into a perspective which makes sense to that individual.  The fact that such perspective might represent a possible fringe benefit to others as well, is merely icing on the pie.

[I like icing on my pie as well as my cake.  Let them eat pie, I always say.]

A curious fact is that being curious involves a "u", whereas curiosity does not.  That's just plain strange, and one of the reasons that learning the English language has its own very curious challenges.  [Like why is "W" pronounced double "U" when in fact it's a double "V"?  Or as Douglas Adams has pointed out, it's easier to say, "world wide web," than it is to properly say "W, W, W." -- syllable wise by a factor of three.]

As to why you can be curious, but are not a curiosity... that's probably a good thing.  Unless, of course, you're really into being strange, rare, and/or an interesting object.  After all, Uniqueness Implies Value!

With the assumption everyone seeks significance within their environment... curiosity is simply the first step of five in what Paul Holdeman calls his famous "CLURT Theory" of interpersonal communications.  When the intent of communications is solely to acquire information -- as opposed to gathering evidence, justification for one's rage, or tidbits which will eventually be thrown back in the person's face -- CLURT reigns!

Following Curiosity in the CLURT Theory,  are: Limitations, Unexpected (information, news, revelations, etceteras), Response (something short of an axe about the neck), and Tone (of voice).  Limitation is essentially an inevitable limit on the power to change or influence another's thinking, while the Unexpected is always to be expected.  More importantly is the idea that discovering an unexpected fact does not shift gears and turn curiosity into judgmental interest, i.e. precipitate a Response of something equivalent to, "Off with their heads!"

Meanwhile, throughout the process is the tone of voice.  Most arguments derive not from the words uttered but the tone of voice transmitting them.  In fact, some arguments begin with, "And just what did you mean by that tone of voice?"  About the only response to the latter question is:  "I'm curious.  How is my tone of voice relevant to the issue at hand?"  [If nothing else, the issue at hand will probably never again be addressed.  Which may or may not be a good thing.]

What was it that Saint Paul said (not that Holdeman fellow)?  Something like, "All things are lawful, but all things are not expedient."

Curiously, one can use Discrimination to investigate the meaning of this statement, and thereby aim in the direction of Wisdom.  Even if one misses the mark (i.e. commits a "sin" -- as in archery), there is great advantage to committing the act of being curious. 

Curiosity leads to such intriguing worlds. *

 

Abraham           Wisdom         Synthesis

Emotional Wisdom

Philosophers on Wheels

Or forward to:

Symptoms of Inner Peace         Gnostics         The Fool's Journey

*Not recommended for Cats.

               

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