Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Nothing is beautiful except the abnormal; and nothing is abnormal until we have grasped the norm.
C.S. Lewis

This is such a powerful quote. It is almost recursive in nature. We must grasp the norm to know the beauty of abnormal; but we must know what is beautiful and abnormal before we know the norm. How do we know what is beautiful? It illuminates; it shines; we are moved at levels that cannot be explained. That's a start.

Normal – That was the subject of my ponderings today, and I had plenty of pondering time. I drove more than 600 miles from Socorro, New Mexico to Sherman, Texas and honestly was not paying attention to the time. Time doesn't matter in this journey, and I hope I learn from that.
The definition of 'normal' from is this: (1. conforming to the standard or the common type; usual; not abnormal; regular; natural. (2. serving to establish a standard.

In my opinion, that definition is pretty much useless and circular. 'Not abnormal.' What is that? The logical NOT of normal. The entire first definition is completely subjective! What if 'normal' was NOT conforming to the common standard? There are many people who live within this context and are considered 'normal' within their group but perhaps bohemian or even disgusting or unacceptable to others. Given that, 'normal' is a subjective term and must be.

The second definition is equally subjective. “serving to establish a standard” means what? Who's standard? Mine? Yours? Some unknown, faceless mob of people?

According to Aristotle (or Francois Rabelas – French monk, depending on what source you believe), “Nature abhors a vacuum.” Nature also abhors normalcy. Those subscribing to the Theory of Evolution should recognize that for any species to survive, it must evolve; change; NOT be normal. Those subscribing to creationism should recognize that the most important people in Christianity were not considered 'normal' by most. Joan of Arc was a woman commanding an army! What about Noah? The list of Catholic Saints is full of people who were not considered 'normal.'

'Normal' is a tool of the intellectually weak. 'Normal' is a crutch of those with closed minds. 'Normal' is not for me.

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