A barer of life
broke at the end of summer
gathering some rain.
Taking away the mystery of understanding.
David Hume wrote in his famous book “an enquiry concerning human understanding” that the things we think about are made of the things we have seen earlier. Like the golden mountain we can imagine, it’s made of the gold and a mountain we have seen before. The book goes mush deeper than this and is recognized as an important book in the world of philosophy. I don’t do it justice by highlighting this particular idea and taking it out of its context, but still I do.
Have you ever thought about where your thoughts come from? Do they just appear? Does something in you make those thoughts out of nothing? Where were your thought that you have now when you were 5 years old? Do we collect the parts of our thoughts over time? Are we just combining bits and pieces, things we gathered, into our thoughts?
I think it is difficult to be an original thinker. No matter what we do we have to use the things we learned to form our own thoughts and only the exceptional person can combine the things he or she has learned into something truly original. It is not for nothing that thinkers like Plato or Aristoteles are still studied. They had drawn such profound conclusions from their experiences that hardly anybody since has come close to them.
If I look around in the bookstore or at social media, it seems that everybody has an opinion and often put it on the same level as …someone that has made it its life work. Climate chance springs to mind as an obvious example where so many people seem to now the answer where even the experts struggle and work hard to understand it and find an answer. As if they, the opinionated modern man, know the answer without the experience necessary.
We can not imagine a golden mountain without seeing a mountain and gold beforehand, the opinionated modern man can dismiss climate change without ever study biogeochemical cycles, ecological and agroecological systems, human-environment interactions. Do does people question there dentist or car mechanic with the same certainty?
Its humility we need, I don’t know anything about climate change so I trust the people that do just like I listen to my doctor or trust Hume more than myself if he talks about our mind.
What a peculiar privilege has this little agitation of the brain which we call ‘thought’.