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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

A Work in Progress

A few days ago I managed to puzzle out how to create a sort of thematic archive, off to the right, here. Not too many themes, are there. Islamism and illegal immigration. America and God. Bits and pieces. I have other interests, but for various reasons don't write about them here. Cosmology and quantum mechanics - really cool stuff. Health and fitness is a big deal to me - not a jock (do they still say "jock"?), not a food faddist, but I have to live in this body, so I'd like it to operate optimally (no, the word is not optimumally). And honestly, almost everything you think you know about nutrition is useless, wrong, or dangerous. But I won't get into it. And there are a few other interests that I'm keeping private.

So this is what I write about, here.

Lots of useless stuff, that I don't write about and couldn't care less about. Philosophy. You need to know it, just to be an informed member of society. But in itself, really useless - despite what the Greek said. It's what some guy imagines the world is like. In other words, fiction. I read fiction, because it's a story. Philosophy is fiction without a story. Ideas just for the fun it are fun - I do it myself - say, Whom the Lord Loves. You make a point, maybe have a little influence, maybe change a mind. That's good. If you're right. But almost all philosophers are wrong. I have no interest in hearing all the numbers that two plus two don't add up to. Tell me what's true, and give valid evidence. Opinion-havers may go to the back of the line.

Politics. Useless. Fortunetelling about who's gonna win next year? Um, does the word "stupid" apply here? When shall we three meet again? By night on FOX or CNN. And who's polls are up, who's are down - yeah, that's meaningful. Some scandal - ooh! - see! I told you so!!! They're all so corrupt and such liars!!!!! Those repubicrats are really awful!!!!!! There are themes that interest me, but gossip ain't no theme. During election season, it's my sport - I want my team to win. But Bush shifting around his staff? A tactic, that matters the way the 1892 election matters. Yeah, I suppose it matters. Tell me why. The Revolting Generals? I should care about the names of the Six Dwarfs? Well, there was Dopey and Lefty, and Kerry, and Treachery and Cravenly and Seditiously.

Professional ball sports. God, spare me. Millionaires running back and forth attempting to manipulate the position of a ball. Yes, physical excellence - wasted. Consummate skill - about nothing that matters. Holds no fascination for me. Too much said already. Losing will ... to think ... must ... move ... on ...

Music. I grew up with it. You might even say I was a professional musician. Beautiful and moving. But I hardly listen to it at all. Sort of a distraction. Takes up a lot of time. You either listen to it, submerge into it, or it's background noise. Don't have patience for noise, and don't have a lot of time to listen as deeply as good music requires. And, too, it bypasses the brain and gets right to the heart. It's a shortcut to the soul. And I'm trying to protect my soul, nowadays. I weep over commercials - not that I watch TV. So I live, as much as I'm able, in my brain. Got a problem with that?

I don't really have any friends, to just gab with. No - to be honest, I should say I don't have any friends. And I don't feel compelled to just share my opinions about anything with everyone. The days when I loved to argue are over. But the universe inside this nutshell would have communion. Such is the nature of personality - to be known. So I write, here, on a limited number of topics. A sort of sharing. Messages in a bottle.

Fellowship is necessary for mental health. We are a gregarious species, a flocking species, and the rogue elephants among us are not healthy. Companionship is the sweet wine that mellows our harsh moods and brings out the savor of the day. But I don't drink wine. So there it is: health is important to me, but I generally lack one of its essential nutrients. I wrap myself in ideas and present myself as a series of words. I know what is needed, but remain alone. No hypocrisy, here.

Neglected children may rock incessantly in a corner. Autistic kids perform repetitive ritualistic actions, and might continue doing so endlessly. It's a form of self-comfort. I'm here. I exist. I experience known things. Are they stuck? Of course. Am I? Yes.

My point? Well, solitude is necessary too, sometimes. And the world needs philosophers, for all their uselessness, because sometimes they get something right. There is a price for it, though. The artist does not need to suffer. They often suffer, but their art isn't the effect of their suffering; they'd produce other works, given other moods. They're just maladjusted. The two seem to by highly correlated - creativity and unhappiness. So my philosophy is that whatever suffering I've known has shaped the way I see the world. It has modulated my voice, chosen the key of my music. Without it, I would sing brighter songs.

Whatever there is that one might find worthwhile here, in my own compositions - well, those tunes came only from me, and my experience. It seems to me too high a price to pay: these essays, and indeed the output and effect of my life as it now stands, hardly seem worth the sadness that sometimes grips my soul. And I don't imagine I've had much impact. Certainly not here. But the man I am is worthwhile. Whether the road ends in just a bit, or much farther along - we have so little control over such things. We have control over our character, though, if not the forces that have shaped it. And if we embrace what we are, then we must accept those necessities that made us so.

There is an inevitability to it all. We make our peace with what we cannot change, or else we add to our torment, needlessly. And so I come full circle. For there are, you see, things that are useless.


J

2 comments:

Brent said...

A lone hand raises from the back of the line.

"Excuse me, sir," said the opinionated hillbilly from the vast abyss called fly-over country, "How did you come to know Jesus?" "and"

"May I call you Thomas?"


Do I not hear faith penciled in between the lines of your composition? You closet optimist. I'm telling.

Oh, You express your opinion of not liking opinions? I've got one for you: 2+2=JH You, my friend, are the work in progress! What impact you have on the world won't fully be seen in your lifetime. Though, even this is secondary for the glory you bring the Father just by living and growing and being. My opinion is that everything has purpose for Him. And you are the evidence of this whether you agree or accept it.

Jack H said...

Yes ... the youngster in the back ... your question or comment?

...

Ah. Well, again, that's funny. But this time in a wierd way. I was gonna call this one "...but some doubted." It just went in a different direction. What, you think I *plan* these things?

I allude to your first question in "Young Isaac." With me, what else but apologetics. But of course there's a longer answer, awknowledged in "Confessions."

I can't say what Scandinavians are now, but when my people came over, they must have been a brooding lot. So dark a fair people, remembered in me. "Optimist"? Perhaps optimumist.

My opinions are called facts. Hahahahahahaha!!!! But I find your arithmetic faulty. Even though I agree with it. Do I contradict myself? I am vast. Bounded by no nutshell. I shall ascend to the mountain of the Most High! I shall...

Ah forget it. He's just a boy - a very strange, enchanted boy...

Urgh ... doing it ... again....

Anyway, what can we do, but do what we do. Keep on keeping on.

Best,

J