I was thinking back to my school days recently. Doll school was really a lot less about acquiring information than it was about seeking truth and the nature of doll existence. We spent a lot of time contemplating the big questions, you know, like, does the universe have a purpose, What can we know for sure, Why is there something instead of nothing, does evolution explain human nature, does the free market erode moral character?
One day we got to talking about Plato’s belief that universal, Ideal forms underlay all our observable phenomena; that the things we see around us as well as we, ourselves, are imperfect representations of these transcendent perfect Ideals. So that, the apple there on the table is a manifestation of the Ideas of redness, roundness, hardness and if we were to bite into it sweetness or tartness-it is an imperfect representation of the Idea of Appleness.
Our professor, Leonard D., then got us thinking about what universal ideals were existent in each of us; imperfect as we know we are, he asked, what are some of the ideal forms each of us exhibit?
My immediate thoughts were to my physical appearance which I am fully aware are far from ideal, at least in terms of Beauty although that does seem to be a bit relative to the times. But certainly there is more to me than that. There’s my personality and intellect: I think I’m reasonably intelligent, pretty compassionate, somewhat humble and unassuming and mostly friendly. And then there’s my sense of responsibility and social participation: I pretty well keep things clean and orderly and I usually do my best to be a functional member of our doll community.
So, when I tried to envision Ideal universal DeiDei-ness, I supposed she might be more beautiful, smarter, more caring, friendlier and altogether more god-like, which got me wondering what it meant to think of myself in terms of god. Should I be humbled by the realization of my obvious inadequacies or do I think of my relative god-likeness as an ego boost?
Well, that was all quite some time ago but I still think about the dilemma occasionally and how my behavior might reflect one position or the other. I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion there are places and times for both behaviors.