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I am not Phaedrus

The pursuit of truth need not make one insane.

But I cannot prove this, I just hope it. Personally, I really do believe there is a theory of everything, a master solution to the universe - highly complex, nuanced. Yet still elegant. Simple at a glance.

I don't expect to solve the problem in my lifetime, but I hope to make headway, no matter how small the step. At the least, I want to find out how to determine which solutions out there are bunk, and which hold a shimmer of truth.

Perhaps staying resigned to failure will prevent the insanity common to those who understand the deeper truths. So few have ever lived normally, and so I quickly question the norm; I think you should too - but not in the clichèd sense propagated by the trite media. You should also doubt the extreme, and your doubts.

This of course narrows out most of everything. I think that this is the point of flexibility of mind that many have referenced as the key to deeper understanding. I also think this is the point at which one is most vulnerable to the insanity resultant of excessive distance to philosophical anchor points. Stray too far from these anchor points, and we get lost, become adrift on a sea of infinities - endless questions with no possible answers, since there is no more reference point, and comparisons become meaningless. We need these reference points, these anchors or axioms, to compare and connect, slowly mapping out the apparently endless and featureless sea of thought. As we question and explore, the lines on our map will narrow out lanes of thought, and thus show us where we haven't been. Through these explorations, we find small islands, revelations by those who came before us, and small map pieces that they left behind on the pockets of land, which show where they went. On rare occasions, we find a light house, the legacy of someone who ran aground, but provided the means to see much more, as well as a warning to proceed with caution. Sometimes we shore onto volcanoes, ideas that are great enough to see other ideas, but in themselves are dead ends. Many find a small oasis, and happily stay there, content with what they have found - that they have drifted long enough.

These are the ones who "would rather be happy than right any day," and once find it stop. Those who would rather be right than happy generally aren't, and suffer quietly inside or ultimately lose touch with reality - having pulled up their buoys and in a fit of desperation frantically head off toward the horizon, never to make sense again.

The moral here is to enjoy the exploration and the boat ride. Always search, but be happy during the trip. Maybe someday you'll be happy and right.

Comments

I really have only two philosophical anchor points and I find myself attempting to fit new realizations around these two things. They are belief in the soul and the philosophy that as long as you're good to people, then you'll be okay. The latter has never given me fits. Before my infinite spiral problem, the former hadn't either. But how do you reconcile belief in the soul with disbelief in a higher power?

Not that I recommend this. . .

Since I do believe in higher power.

First think about the physical aspect of the soul. Come on, it's got to have one, let's not be all silly about immaterial things. So. Now consider the manner in which some believe the soul is cycled through history - the concept of past lives, while a crude approximation of this, is a fitting analogy. Or consider how some believe that all souls go to one ultimate point, a point that is sort of a singularity of soul - not a higher being, just a focused conglomeration of soul (I think this is the nirvana, but I'm not sure.)

Personally, my view of the soul is that it is the life force of a person, but is not actually imprinted with our personal specifics - it IS life, not us; our bodies are us, and we die when our bodies die (though there are some subtle and profound exceptions to this. . . it makes sense given the time to understand the system.)

And remember - infinities are rarely an elegant solution, and beliefs can be wrong. Never feel your anchors are set for good, they can be pulled up and moved - just do so carefully and methodically. Always belief in something, lest you forget how.