the only easy day was yesterday

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Everything is Dubitable

There are two very important things on my mind. One; the want to set more firmly, via writing, my position on my own ethical outlook - im more comfortable with things when ive versed myself in every aspect and consequence of their reason. And two; doubt...

Doubt is annoying. Very much so. My concern is not doubt itself, which I actually hold to be the only indubitable thing there is (that is, that we, as humans, will always doubt), but what we must do to live a sane life in the shadow of doubt. There's a reason they say that all philosophy is, foremost, still struggling with descartes, and furthermore, socrates - because there's no way to get around what they said, and there's infinite ways we can try, but only so many very smart people every generation who can give those tries their 15 minutes of fame. Descartes, in a more modern way (so i shall use him instead of sox), says that there is nothing which we cannot doubt, besides, of course, the self. Actually, you can doubt the self in time using the same method of skepticism employed by Descartes (that is, the only self you can believe that you are indeed, is the self at any individual moment; your feeling of having existed may have been put there), but it's sort of useless, so we wont bother.

The point is, that its in our nature to doubt, and its very strongly in mine. Reason leads to doubt, which leads to clever ways to get around doubt, which also results in clever ways to manipulate other things, which ends in lovely things like laptop computers and the internet. But for those who are stuck in doubt (all of us), we are always, sooner or later, going to doubt everything we do and have done and the worth of anything and everything. It is for the reason of doubt that i can no longer continue to lead as intellectual a life as i had previously aspired to; it is my nature to doubt, and the life of academia leads to doubts which are too overwhelming for my own mental health.

But I must live, and doubt overwhelms all that I do. And when I doubt, I revert to the instinct of bodily comforts. I know my goal requires me to wake up early, but when I wake I find some half asleep reason to doubt what I know to be a better life for me than just keeping my body comfortable. The greatest comfort I can know is that which comes after hard work and overwhelming loads of work, etc. I've been to the place where i read and eat and sleep and wonder, and I can't do it, it drives me insane. 

So we all, not only me, must in some respects delude ourselves in order to reach what we want in a sane fashion, because the non-deluded life is the life of doubting everything there is to doubt. So the question is: how do we dispell the doubt? What is the best way to trick the mind into believing that the goal we've set is the right goal? How do i keep my mind from reverting back to it's instinctual state? Is it a matter of habit? Do we simply need to keep stubornly believing our own shit until it becomes 'second nature'?

1 comment:

The W said...

how do we dispell the doubt?

we cant, but you can get yourself really really busy in subjects that supply you with pleasure so as doubt is not always foremost.

...i think an essay on passion will be in the works soon...