The difference between foolish and wise is the application of knowledge. In an effort to overcome my previous foolishness, I seek to gain and apply knowledge. To that point:
I've been reading Muad'Dib and Fedaykin's book (which is wonderful - you all would benefit from reading it, I testify with full faith; go buy a copy ASAP). My Grandma picked it up while she was staying at my parent's house and also began to read it. At first she just opened it up and started reading. It didn't put her to sleep (good sign), and so she decided to start at the beginning.
She struggled with the first chapter so I tried to talk her through.
"Grandma, as long as you accept and acknowledge that this," I motion to the world around us, "is reality and we are really here, then basically, you've got the Chapter 1. But you have to accept that before you can 'get' the rest of the book."
She looked at me like I was crazy, "What else would I think?" she asked.
"Well, there are some people who don't believe we're really here," I explain, "so they argue that there aren't true consequences, our choices don't really matter, there is no truth and no real right and wrong."
"Who would think that?" she questioned in sarcastic disbelief.
"More people than you'd think."
Grandma was incredulous, which I found fascinating, because I had met more and more of these people in recent years. I knew they were real. "People know this is reality," she said dismissively.
"Do they?" I ask her, becoming giddy with the chance to debate a point.
"Yes, of course they do. How could they think differently," she asked, laughing at their stupidity. "Why would they want to?!"
"They believe that way because they prefer it," I say, and then - without really thinking it through - "Take me for example - "
"You know this is reality," she interjects.
"Do I? It sure looks like I think eating cake and cookies and candy and 3 servings per meal will make me thin and healthy," I say, motioning to my ample form, "Or at least it shows that I believe such behavior will somehow emotionaly protect or endear me to others when in fact it is doing the exact opposite."
Her face becomes thoughtful, though the smirk is still there behind her eyes.
"I have chosen to live in a world where I hope that the natural laws of the universe don't apply,"I confess. "A place where I will in no way - not physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually - be held accoutable for my actions,"
"And why would you do that?" she asks, almost all humor gone from her tone.
"Because it was what I wanted to do," I answer quietly. I feel the pain of living contrary to natural laws of this very real existence. "But there is right and wrong, isn't there Grandma?"
"And how can I know that my fantasy world of sweets and consuming more than I burn isn't reality?"
Her eyes meet mine with that steely Michaelson power, "Because you're fat."
I smile. "Yep. The proof is in the pudding." I realize I don't know exactly what that cliche means....but it seems apt nonetheless. "If my ideas that I could eat like a bear and look like a dancer were true, it would be so." She nodded. "Chapter 1 is all about accepting observable, objective facts; identifying and then accepting the laws of nature. Because if you don't, then even when you learn the truth, you won't apply it."
"Oh," she says softly. She turns the book over in her hands, "This is a pretty good book then," she says.
"It has been for me," I say.
She turns her sage and penetrating gaze on me again, "So I see." Then her tone lightens a little, "So if I accept that...." she struggles for the right words, which I offer to her:
"Existence exists, as they say."
"Yes, if I know that Existence exists....then I can go on to Chapter 2?"
I smile, "Sure Grandma."
There you have it: if I, Sayyadina, accept that existence exists and that this world functions on natural laws (laws which, in my faith I recognize as being set in place and followed by my very loving Heavenly Father), then I can move on to the proverbial "Chapter 2." And what is Chapter 2?
Well, in the book Chapter 2 is owning that "the number of people in your species does nothing to diminish the value of your life." and that "You exist to be happy." Chapter 2 teaches me the formula for achieving my values, for being happy. It says that what I accepted in Chapter 1, gives me the freedom and thereby the responsibility to identify that which will make me happy and then do that.
Emotionally, today I'm still on Chapter 1. I get that this is real. I know that my choices have led me here....and....wow. That's all I can handle today.