Seeing Is Not Seeing
(This poem is based on the Irish philosopher George Berkeley (1685 - 1753), also known as Bishop Berkeley. He denied the existence of material things. Instead he contended that familiar objects like tables and chairs are only ideas in the mind of perceivers and, as a result, cannot exist without being perceived. My intent is to poke a little fun at his expense and leave the “truth” of his assertions to the reader.)
Cautious intellectuals, weaned
on Berkelyean psychology, seem
to have little to say that might
be construed as positive or right;
in fact, are wary, if not skeptical,
of any perception non-intellectual,
of wishy-washy public opinion
based solely on “normal” vision,
admitting only that the conclusion
of what appears is in fact a delusion.
So that it’s safer to be skeptical,
because all appearances are doubtful.
This unreliable rule well applies,
they claim, to over-zealous eyes,
and alleged miraculous spectacles,
as well as “pseudo” miracles.
Rushing to untested conclusions,
they say, only worsens perceptions.
A well known law they quote states
the obvious is often subject to mistakes.
And one’s senses are least of all
not enough to know what’s credible.
The fundamental question is:
in touchy matters such a this
is a rational explanation possible
to explain the impossible?
Example: does the Eiffel Tower exist
as it is seen and allegedly is?
To answer that question infallibly
may take years, or exceed a century!
In the meantime, speculations
prevail, along with guesstimations.
And while there’s no harm in this,
they advise it is better to desist
from an attempt to climb the tower
by elevator or by one’s foot power,
since why fall tragically through air
from a tower supposedly not there?
Copyright © Maurice Rigoler | Year Posted 2021
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