the lost man chronicles
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the one-eyed giant

I suggested one employ "basic sense."

She reacted reflexively with a squint of one eye, "You mean 'common sense'?"

No. I mean basic sense. Common sense is both a great misnomer and an oxymoron.

For if it were so common, or rather, prevalent, than it would not be extolled so often and disparagingly in times of need. Furthermore, what is wise for the masses is not necessary the wisest and most meaningful to the individual.

Perhaps, it is the most prudent choice in social circles, one which promises to appease others and ensure a complacent existence for the respective and respectful person, but it does not equally make it a decision that likewise contributes to personal growth. In fact, if anything, it might stunt it.

Common sense is a time-ridden value that maintains a culturally-centric status quo. Sometimes, and maybe even most often, it does align with basic sense, but that momentary judgment should always be reserved for the astute individual.

Basic sense is simply what is most natural. It is what our instinct and intuition compel us to think, express and do, which together may not necessarily align with the contrived needs of a copasetic society.

Like common sense, basic sense begs us to consider the safety of the self, but one extracted from the social constructs and institutions which we are often involuntarily tethered to; it protects us not only corporally, but more importantly, psychologically.

And should it counter what is the most endemic practice or widely touted philosophy, its merit for someone standing alone at a certain point and place in time, should not be discounted. No, for basic sense is both what feels right and is what is conjured to be cognitively correct for any single person attempting to maintain an original and invigorating life, sometimes at the expense of widely-held beliefs and pre-judged values.

Thus, basic sense is also malleable—it changes with time and space and is not detrimentally stalwart; it adapts and adopts, bends and often mends what has been broken by obstinacy. It sees through artificial barriers and artfully extracts what is most human, humane, and more often, basic to our bond with nature—a link we usually try hard to deny by distinguishing ourselves amongst animals through errors, sin, morals, justifications, vanity, so-called virtue and much redeeming folly—all artificially construed limits to perception and reality, which do not exist outside the imagination of the lowly and lonely homo sapien.

The easiest way to understand basic sense is to think of it as the decision-making function of our sixth sense, that which listens through the channels of our somatic senses and all our noetic faculties combined, and subsequently draws out a discriminate answer.

"The one-eyed giant had science without wisdom, and he broke in upon ancient civilizations which had wisdom without science: wisdom which transcends and unites, wisdom which dwells in body and soul together and which, more by means of myth, of rite, of contemplation, than by scientific experiment, opens the door to a life in which the individual is not lost in the cosmos and in society but found in them. Wisdom which made all life sacred and meaningful... " ~ Thomas Merton

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