Tuesday, December 8, 2009

productive night

I dreamt last night about some sort of sea monster/subterranean machine - not sure which it was. Perhaps it kept changing. Perhaps it was both. It seemed that I - and one other person - were trying to sufficiently disable the monster/machine so that it wouldn't do damage to anyone, but we didn't know how to do this. It was clear, however, that if the machine was unleashed, it would have a cataclysmic effect.

At one point you left to go above ground. You had people with you, as did I. It wasn't clear whether you left to try to disable the machine from above, or whether you simply escaped.

I tried to get in contact with you when it became evident that I could not stop the machine myself. I needed help and you were the only one who knew as much about it as I did. You didn't respond to my message - you sent it back: it came back unopened and rejected. I was so stunned by your rejection of my call that I didn't move away from the machine in time and was wounded. I kept trying to disable the machine but it continued to gain strength while I weakened. Finally I lost consciousness and woke up.

I still don't know what happened to the machine.

The dream was so vivid and this is a poor representation of it. It woke me up around 3am and I thought to write down what I remembered.

For someone who finds suspense-filled thriller-type movies very stressful, I do have the strangest dreams. Afterwards, however, I found myself thinking about my dissertation (when reflecting on your dissertation is soothing, you know the dream was stressful). I wrote those notes down as well.

My dissertation will take ethics for its topic, and one of the facets of ethical reflection on which I want to focus is the willingness to frame a situation as dilemmatic. This seems to be a crucial, fundamental ethical attitude which does not receive sufficient or thorough discussion. There isn't a situation for ethics until the situation is seen as dilemmatic and requires ethical response. If this is the case, how is it that some situations are seen as requiring ethical response by some people and not by others? I feared for a few minutes at about 3:30 this morning that I was still going to have to revert to a discussion of ethics as the development of procedures that can enforce for others the framing of a situation as dilemmatic.

I hope - but am not yet sure - and left my notes on this problem and on my dream at home (I am writing from my memory now) - that part of the solution (if solution will be the right word) will be found in a willingness for commitment and relationship. A situation becomes an ethical one for me because I have made it mine, because I have attached myself to it and because I have committed to it - become responsible to and for it. From that initial attachment, I can seek out means for criticism in order to develop an evaluative appreciation for the situation that can avoid narcissistic subjectivism.

Becoming an excellent person, ethically speaking, will involve seeking out more and ever more situations to which to attach oneself, becoming increasingly committed, taking on more responsibilities, seeking out new, more, deeper opportunities for response.

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