20 May 1958
Called Mary Anderson with 2 questions in mind.
1) Has history maligned Pontius Pilate? – Was he only living up to the letter of the Roman law of the day?
2) How outspoken should one allow oneself to be in one’s speech.
In answer to (1):
She does not take biblical history as unquestioned truth, any more than she takes any other history to be the truth. Truth has many sides, says she. Also, she would have to reread the Bible to recall the exact situation, as recorded historically 300 years after the event. It seemed to her pilot had a choice as to who we can set free and he freed Barabbas. Thus he, being a politician, was submitting to the mob because he wanted to be reelected. (Best source would be to read the biblical passages on the episode.)
In answer to question (2):
One has to be careful when speaking out not to a) insult anybody intentionally and b) also with many people one is talking over their heads, and they do not understand one.
After I talked with her, here are some personal conclusions. (Oh! She also bawled me out for not letting her know I was ill. She lectured me on “tension”. If I didn’t let my mind race a mile a minute like I do, perhaps I would not have had to have this operation – no fee for the advice.)
Mary is right about speaking out to people. I told her I often clarify my thoughts during a discussion.
It is true, just as stated about investments in “The Richest Man in Babylon,” people often do not understand what one is talking about.
For instance, Blanche has told me she likes my company because I understand and am interested in investments. Talking to a moron about what fascinates her, would actually be a hopeless experience, just as in the Babylon story going to a bricklayer about advice on diamonds is a waste of time.
In other words, one needs to gear one’s conversation to the comprehension, or understanding of the end of individual one is conversing with.
Kurt says: “You Preach”!
I begin to see how this is not too good – even when I’m right. Many people are happy in their limited world and I am a disturbing element in a way. I exhort them to stretch their minds frequently. This is as trying to many people as it would be for a husband resting on the davenport, to be nagged by his wife to cut the grass.
As I see it at the moment, I’m easily involved in curiosities, or mental challenges, conversations with people rouse mental process in me very easily. I want to explore these questions – the majority of people don’t!! This I have not generally understood. Frequently I have pushed and shoved people into such conversations in the past. A few people have admired my questioning mind. I imagine some people have said, “Who does she think she is – she thinks she’s so smart!”
Well I’ve been kind of lonely person. I assume people would be interested in the ideas I found fascinating. I guess I wanted it that way, so I could have someone to talk to about what interested me. And my interests are so many, anything, any subject can set me off. Some ideas are very interesting to me. Some are will-of-the-wisp interests.
Okay, so? What can I do?
As much as I regret accepting the facts of life, that my enthusiasms are not commonplace, every day, interests and enthusiasms, I must sift out of conversations those ideas which catch my attention in person to person or group discussions.
Then! I better get me a nice big batch of notebooks. After that, I should sift out real interests, from will-o-the-wisp interests. On a lot of subjects, I talk but I am only theorizing – not well or thoroughly informed about (something like Helen Little, ugh!!).
Then if a subject really interests me I should, as the books or writing indicate, find out all I can about the subject. This is a way I can really pursue an interesting, very highly personal kind of hobby.
It is just possible, if I follow such a course of action, I can channel some of this chaotic jumble of many-sided interests into something worthwhile and get it out of my system, because I’m like that – and who knows, I may become a sort of writer yet, instead of soap-boxing oratory directed willy-nilly at person’s about me who either would rather gossip about the neighbors or talk about their new chintz slipcover, and who would love me dearly if I would just let them chatter, instead of befuddling and irritating them with my, as Noree says, “lofty ideas”.
This way, I’ll do my friends (?) a favor and will also do myself a favor, by organizing my thinking, recognizing my personality habits, and trying to divert myself into a more orderly, happier way of life for myself, too.
I’m glad I called Mary Anderson with these two questions this morning.
The idea that “ignorance of the law is no excuse” is one of the most frustrating notions to me. It assumes people are rational, reasoning, intelligent human beings – and they are most frequently not. Humans are usually, just a mass of irrational impulses, emotionally charged pieces of flesh and bone, filled with bundles of acquired prejudices, false superstitions, silly personalization’s, and petty vanities. Yet, the law expects them to be what they are not.
People sure are a generally funny mess!!! A sloppy sparrow’s nest made up of bits of this and bits of that come, untidily put together.
We are constantly being told about the Wonders of Modern Mechanization – but how often are we told of the wonders of anesthetics, painkillers? See Plain Dealer, May 12, Globetrotters article, front page. How little recognition is given to helpful anesthetics and treatments, pain relieving pills, drugs, new surgical categories and methods (other than for spectacular money raising drive stories – heart operations etc.) in the run-of-the-mill daily operations and wondrous things being done. Also, the dangers of letting body warning signals go.
My three drops of blood saved me from cancer, etc.