Gaping

The wise man seeks to understand Nature, not gape at it like a fool.
Baruch Spinoza

I admire Spinoza, but I’m a foolish gaper myself. With regard to Nature, my foolish gaping far exceeds my understanding.

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I don’t claim to be a wise man, but aspiring to be one seems a worthy goal. So I will seek understanding, but in the meantime, I shall not lay off gaping like a fool.

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29 comments on “Gaping

  1. Me too. 🙂 –Curt

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  2. shoreacres says:

    “There are more things in heaven and earth, [Baruch], than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

    Liked by 2 people

  3. avwalters says:

    You can understand it and still gape. Indeed, it’s all the more wondrous if you understand it. How could you not gape?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bill says:

      I’m sure he meant that a wise man seeks to understand Nature, not merely gape at it like a fool. I intend to go on seeking understanding (a daunting task given Spinoza’s definition of Nature), but in the meantime I’ll go on gaping like a fool as well. 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Just today, I gaped and gaped at a huge Monarch butterfly – the first one I’ve seen in two years – that seemed to be following me wherever I went in the garden. It was really remarkable. So did I gape? You bet. I’m with you, Bill. We are Nature-gapers.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m a gaper, he’s a gaper, she’s a gaper, we’re a gaper – wouldn’t you like to be a gaper too?

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Ah, this post sounds like a Wendell Berry poem…. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bill says:

      I can’t think of a higher compliment that could be paid to a post of mine. 🙂 So I thank you, even though such a compliment is undeserved in this case.

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  7. Dearest Bill,
    Every evening when we both bike and admire the fields and its crops and the amazement of what a little rain does, we are literally gaping… A little longer for inhaling the scents of fresh hay and the birds singing.
    Hugs,
    Mariette

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    • Bill says:

      That sounds like a wonderful evening routine Mariette. We go for a walk every evening after supper. We’ve just come in now, in fact. Our walks provide plenty of opportunities for gaping.

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  8. NebraskaDave says:

    Bill, the intricacy of nature is indeed a wonder. How it all works in balance is a marvel. The deeper one goes into the science of nature the more fascinating it becomes. Every thing is so meticulously put together from the molecular level to the galaxy expanse. When life is in the mix, it’s even more amazing. Every thing has a place and a purpose …. well, except for bind weed. I’m not sure what it’s purpose is. Maybe just to build a gardener’s character and patience. I’ve found that the leaves of bind weed are edible so perhaps I should try eating my garden enemy. Nah, maybe not. 🙂

    Have a great gaping day in the garden.

    Liked by 1 person

      • NebraskaDave says:

        Deb, one of the things about the written word is that it’s only a small percentage of communication. So, I don’t know if you sent me a link about bind weed with a smile on your face or if you were very serious. Either way there’s a lot of good information in the link. So, if the world falls apart in the near future, I definitely wouldn’t go hungry. It’s always good to read a comment from you, Deb.

        Have a great bind weed day. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks Dave! We’ve been under a severe drought this year – and I don’t want to jinx it, but rain has come twice this week – and, while most “garden” plants are either failing to germinate or bolting straight to reproduction, the edible weeds are fairly THRIVING! “Eating Local” has taken on a whole new meaning this year; )
        Btw, I was taught that a weed can be any plant growing out of place; )
        More often than not we’ve just forgotten what their uses are: )

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, and about the smile on my face? Almost always (and with a wink as well; )

        Liked by 1 person

    • Bill says:

      Most of the most common weeds in our gardens are edible. We ate lots of them last year, but wild edibles are more Cherie’s thing than mine and with her new job she hasn’t had the time for foraging this year.

      I’m astounded when I ponder the interrelatedness of all things. We do live in an amazing world.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Hmm, I have a similar reaction to “Small things amuse small minds”…
    Tell that to those who’ve sought and discovered bacterium, the atom and DNA; not to mention soil microbiota and the 60% of our composition that isn’t even us… So gape away Bill; I know I’ll be right alongside; )

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bill says:

      Excellent point. The smallest things are amazing; beyond the comprehension of a small mind. At that level the line between science and philosophy is blurred.

      As for gaping, I enjoy the company of my fellow gapers. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Excellent! Foolish gaping is close to the top of the four stages of competence, somewhere between unconscious and conscious competence. Here’s more on that.
    https://lauragraceweldon.com/2013/07/03/how-to-walk-your-talk/

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    • Bill says:

      Very good way of thinking about it. I’m where you are I hope. How interesting that we chose similar images for our posts! I borrowed heavily from one of your past posts today, as you’ll see. 🙂

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  11. Joanna says:

    I think most of the Psalms were written after some gaping. Gape away!

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  12. Laurie Graves says:

    Yes, keep on gaping!

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