A kernel of truth
at the end of dying thoughts
66 Capacity for visions. –Throughout the whole Middle Ages, the actual and decisive sign of the highest humanity was that one was capable of visions – that is to say, of a profound mental disturbance! And the objective of medieval prescriptions for the life of all higher natures (thereligiosi) was at bottom to make one capable of visions! It is thus no wonder that an over-estimation of the half-mad, the fantastic, the fanatical- of so-called men of genius- should have spilled over into our time; ‘they have seen things that others do not see’ – precisely! and this should make us cautious towards them, not credulous!
You wonder out there
and I can only see you
a being nothing
For the last few weeks, I have been reading books about child development and how we grow up and become the adults we are. I don’t do this without reason; I still wonder why I have such an interest in who and what we are. I know that most people have questions and, on occasion, also pursue these, but for me, it’s something I do every day. I have not done this my whole life; before philosophy, I was curious about many things, and I pried open all the toys I got to see what was inside. Later this curiosity made me look inside myself because I broke down and wanted to know why. I was born with a more than average curiosity, you might say.
Personal tragedies can often be a reason for some soul searching, but most people I know moved on once life was on the rails again and demanded their attention again. I’ve never stopped, and I think it’s because I was always curious and maybe slightly obsessive. But if it is just part of me to be this interested in philosophy and the search for what’s inside, why would I then write a book about what I learned if like-minded people are the only ones that read it?
We humans are, in essence, self-centered beings. We look at the world from a specific standpoint, uniquely ours, because of our experiences and a mostly unconscious feeling that other people are not really like us*, not really there, you could say. We mostly assume that other people are real because they do like we do, but all our experiences and hidden thoughts are only ours and are an impregnable wall between us and the other. This is the reason, I think, why it is so hard for me to imagine why other people are not as enthusiastic about philosophy as I am. I can’t penetrate their mind (Are they even real?) and can only project my experiences onto them.
I know that this is one way of looking at this problem; the fact is that most people are not interested in philosophy and asking the hard questions to one’s self. So besides my self-interest, what is the reason for me to write about my thoughts? I believe that it is important, and if more people would think twice about why they have certain opinions, the world would be a better place. I also don’t have the Illusion that what I have to say is something special or unique, I just say it slightly different than others have done it a thousand times before. I just wonder if it is possible to change people from not so curious about why we are what we are to enthusiastic questioners about why they believe and do the things they do.