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Contemplating Logic

When I play with my grandson, we suspend the logic of reality. Toy dump trucks fly, giraffes talk with polar bears, gravity is a joke, a paper airplane zigzags twenty feet and has circumnavigated the Earth, an 18″ high wobbly block tower is the Empire State Building. Mortality is a hiccup. Such is the logic of play, of silliness.

The logic of imagination can suspend reality – be, in fact, a suspension bridge between reality and utter delight. Saying something makes it so. Of course, this last sentence suggests the logic of politics which also often depends on suspension of reality and making something so by saying it.

Which makes me think about the various logics in our lives, how contradictory they frequently are and occasionally how dangerous. A logic implies a cause-and-effect relationship; one idea insists on the next, a succession of births. But many of our essential logical progressions are not thought out; one species of logic is used to give birth to another species. They seem consistent, invulnerable and inevitable, but they lead to the opposite of what we intend.

Here are some logics that come to mind and seem to me worth exploring. I suggest them more as places to begin discussion rather than conclusions, even though, as I thought about them, they took the form of aphorisms.

The logic of secrecy cancels the logic of democracy.

The logic of secrecy insists on the logic of lies, which constructs the logic of hierarchy, of patronizing power, manipulation and finally, inevitably, the logic of brutality.

And, its corollary: the logic of security may manacle the logic of freedom.

The logic of exceptionalism has contempt for the logic of equality.

The logic of ever-expanding markets and increasing profits rejects the laws of nature. Nature extracts and puts back in equal measure. Nature could not contemplate the logic of living beyond its means.

A corollary: the logic of denying nature’s laws is the logic of suicide.

And the logics of capitalism and democracy are inconsistent.

The logic of money is utility, but the logic of greed is money for power, prestige, and appetite.

The logic of community is the logic of survival.

The logic of a corporate-owned press cancels the logic of a free press, cancels the possibility of democracy.

This is the logic that purposely breaks a person’s glasses and then says, I will tell you what you see.

The logic of materialism is the logic of moral obesity.

The logic of profit from war is the logic of the self-fulfilling prophecy.

The logic of sunlight is the logic of miracle.

Perhaps the point of miracle, though, is that it is beyond logic.

Sunlight baffles me.

The logic of dirt is the logic of the common good.

The logic of story is the logic of identity.

The logic of celebrating historical practice for its own sake is the logic of passing the tipping point. What I mean is when we make both sacrosanct and profitable the continuity of a lifestyle or habit – as in creating cheap energy by burning oil – and deny its long-term ecological damage, we find that we pass the tipping point of irreversible damage because we’re still married to our nemesis.

Ignoring mass extinctions pits the logic of human supremacy against the logic of the web of life.

The logic of restorative justice cultures the logic of listening, of redemption, of love.

The logic of law is justice, but the logic of power is its own law.

The logic of historical ignorance promotes the logic of repetition.

The logic of repetition feeds the logic of power.

The logic of power exploits the logic of fear.

Courage, though, may override fear and confront power.

The logic of courage enables the logic of resistance.

The logic of courage is the logic of dignity.

It takes courage to authenticate the logic of compassion.

The logic of violence demands the logic of submission.
Courage cancels submission.

The logic of laughter implies the logic of humility.

The logic of justice is the logic of spirituality and is the logic of peace.

I think of William Sloane Coffin saying, “The highest form of spirituality is justice.” And Ralph Nader, “. . . the pursuit of justice is the condition for the pursuit of happiness.”

The logic of happiness is the logic of peace.

The logic of apathy masks the logic of complicity.

The logic of evolution seems to be the logic of wit. A giraffe? A leaf hopper that looks like a thorn? A fish that spits? A spider that lives behind a trap door? An Adelie penguin?

You kidding me?

The logic of martyrdom is the logic of desperation.

The logic of desperation becomes operative when political process offers no redress for grievances.

The logic of collateral damage is the logic of making other people martyrs for your beliefs, not theirs.

The logic of collateral damage is the logic of euphemism.

The logic of collateral damage is murder.

The logic of the drone is murder.

The logic of empire becomes the logic of ruthlessness.

The logic of the seed germinates as the logic of hope.

A giraffe, logically, will ask a polar bear to describe ice. The polar bear’s logical answer is salvation.

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