This week I am publishing a series of blogs simply entitled "Commentary" which is a selection of thoughts on life in general and other thoughts as they occur to me. The format is somewhat open and how these thoughts might be relevant or link one to another, or to other subjects, is left open for the reader to decide. It is hoped that these thoughts of mine may lead to thinking of your own.
The stream of consciousness. Isn’t everyone an accident? Isn’t everything? Isn’t the idea of causal relations just another mirage? As Nietzsche showed, it’s a concentrating on some things and not others.
They say that time heals all wounds. Is it not rather that it just causes you to forget, to lose the detail and be left with a vaguer outline?
What’s the difference between willed ignorance and willed innocence? And what are their relative merits? Fine margins.
See comment 31 (Commentary, Part 2).
The problem, as I see it, is many-fold but, at bottom, arrives at a basic lack of the necessary tools and insights to be able to account for our Being, for meaning in an empty Universe, for giving any thoroughgoing purpose to anything. “Change and transitoriness” is all around after the metanarratives and metaphysics die, after all the false gods of knowledge, reason and rationality are exposed as insubstantial, after the crisis of (lack of) meaning has become apparent. We are nihilists in a world of nihilism.
The caveat to this is that this is not wholly true. There is still your situation, culture, society, options, opportunities, personality and motivations - even at bare minimum. Nihilism is the non-existence of universals and not the non-existence of anything at all. You are, in that sense, fated to the perilous path of freedom and creation. Seek only not after universals.
As a result it is not clear to me immediately why the response to Nihilism should be despair - although it often is. Might it not be seen as an opportunity, a place for creation and re-creation, a place where you can cut your cloth accordingly? This is not to say that the life of our lived experience is a playground where anything goes. Anything that can be made to go, goes (as Stanley Fish said). But if things can be made then they can be re-made.
I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a beguiling enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth. That, in retrospect, is probably the fatal mistake, to think there is a truth, reason, rationality or a necessary amount of knowledge to find. We need to stop up our ears to the siren songs.
Life is the process whereby infinity constantly slips through our fingers.
Life is a fate you can escape. Living is the price you pay for it.
Can it be doubted that people are their own worst enemies? If you were creating a species you wouldn’t create a human being. What mixtures of wonder and madness we are!
It’s been hell ever since.
It’s not that I am frustrated and defeated; it’s that my own thinking, choices and actions are what must bring it about. The world is so (dis)ordered and (dis)arranged that every good turns out to be a seed of destruction. Here are perfect grounds for becoming an absurdist - for all is absurd.
The stealing of innocence is the saddest thing of all. I’m always brought to tears when I see examples of it.
Memories to me are often like wounds. Pain is so close to pleasure.
The effort required in life is often more than I am prepared to give. The lazy die as surely as the motivated. In all things there is an internal cost/benefit analysis.
Silence. It cleanses the soul.
Your story is the story of your imperfections. Imperfection has the benefit of authenticity and authenticity, it turns out, is more valuable than an unattainable perfection could ever be.
It is good that lived experience is a constraint and limiting. It is foolish and deliberate misunderstanding from those who would have us believe that anything goes. The very idea makes no sense. There is a world and it impinges upon us. It is good that we don’t control it. Many times the world has brushed up against me, often harshly, but it has made me think and examine. We should welcome such occasions, though they be painful, as aids to our progress along the way.
I have no doubt that every single human being maintains themselves by use of illusions with which they are wont to delude themselves. Not every statement or thought need be perspicuous to some imagined reality. It would be an illusion to think it did need to be.
In a world become mechanism, we are all aliens.
In the practice of understanding your illusions you emancipate yourself from yourself. That is, rightly done, you engage in a constant practice of surmounting your own limitations. And it must certainly be assumed from the very beginning that you are a mass of limitations.
All those who would try to codify and, formally and logically, delineate the world need to remember one thing: the Universe abhors predictability but it loves the unexpected. It might also help to have an entirely appropriate humility. Do we ever really KNOW what’s coming next?
Mine has been an often solitary walk down the path of life. I’m not sorry for that and, reflecting, I don’t have any real feeling that I would want to change it. In any life there will be pluses and minuses for there is no perfect way to live and mistakes will always be part of the game.
People who learn habits of self-reliance (learn to) need other people less. But they should continue to remember the benefits of another point of view, something they will never be able to supply for themselves.
Innocence is something I value so very highly. I wonder now about it’s relationship to naivety, speaking as a man who has written music titled “I’m Naive” about himself.
Sometimes I wonder if I have not just been numb since I was pulled, screaming, into this world. I lie at night and worry that I will be pulled, screaming, out of it too.
Can people be blamed for who they are? It would seem an oversimplification.
I once knew someone who felt beguiled by going astray. I actually am astray and the thought terrified her. Maybe it should terrify me too but I just think “What’s the worst that can happen?”
Why don’t more people revolt from their lives of minimum-waged servitude? Is a diet of X Factor and Premier League really that worthwhile?
The end is not always known from the beginning. Warning for fools.