Go Darke

Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it

Erratic Erudition, Stoicism

Carnival conjurers

Recently I was asked why, especially given the vast array of choice, I choose to champion stoicism over other philosophies. Without really thinking I said, ‘If I was into Kierkegaard, Schopenhauer or Nietzsche… I probably would have taken a toaster into the bathtub by now’.

I end up paraphrasing HP Lovecrafts seminal work so as to underscore my cleverness. And also to add flavor and flex my nerd-cred. (I copy and paste the original and not my butchered version from memory)

The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far.

They look at me sideways in a way that might suggest they are about to correct my pronunciation of ‘Kierkegaard’… which, it suddenly dawned on me, I have never had to say out loud before. But then we end up talking about Noam Chomsky instead (which is, as far as I know, a different progression path entirely)

Didn’t he say that we should round up all the un-vaccinated peeps and put them in cages? I say, which turns out to be exactly the wrong thing to mouth off if you want to ingratiate yourself to people you’ve only just met.

Wait maybe he didn’t say cages. They should have “the decency to remove themselves from the community” and that obtaining food was “their problem.”(I’m not really a Chomsky fan).

In any event, as regards Existentialism, I feel that once you venture off the path and into the woods… well… you might not come back. And if you do come back you might be really messed up. Lovecraft was obviously referencing his pretend deities… but I know there is real madness in contemplating the void for too long. And so I choose not to wander very far anymore.

That’s not to say I don’t like the gloomy virgins… okay, Søren Kierkegaards ‘style’ I find very difficult… but Schopenhauer and Nietzsche have some really good quotable stuff that can be added to memes, motivational posters and even blog-posts. (which then by association makes you seem smarter than you really are)

Which is actually the REAL reason I tend to avoid existentialist writers… lets just say they’re prone to magniloquence. And once you start using language more complicated than Lego instructions my brain tends to seize up and make that uncomfortable metal on metal sound. Also I have the re-call of a goldfish… so reading lots of complicated stuff is just an exercise in futility for me.

It’s a lot like when I listen to my wife doing her top-tier finance speak in a Teams meeting… in very broad strokes I know what’s being said… but if you asked me to explain what just happened in that meeting post event and what was discussed… I would just embarrass myself. (despite me having a degree in finance).

Stoicism on the other hand when subjected to long-division only really has one rule… which is easy enough to remember. A philosophy well suited to the brain damaged.

In any event, one of my New Years resolutions is to read more (How clichéd) and write more (eh… again). Masturbate less, exercise more. Eat better. I would say drink less, but I’m only one notch above being considered a teetotaler anyway. All the usual suspects.

The book I started off my year with quotes Arthur Schopenhauer (from Studies in Pessimism, I seem to remember) at one point…

‘He who lives to see two or three generations is like a man who sits some time in the conjurers booth at a fair, and witnesses the performance twice or thrice in succession. The tricks were meant to be seen only once; and when they are no longer a novelty and cease to deceive, their effect is gone’.

… and I thought damn, life really is like that! It’s the same lame tricks over and over again. And so I wanted to record the line in my blog for posterity. (after a eight hundred words of preamble and waffle)

Ha! Anyways, read and write more. Which might mean a return to my quantity over quality approach. (someone in the gallery starts laughing, and snickers of ‘quality’ can be heard throughout the audience)

Which might be a fair criticism I muse. Ha ha. I am conceited enough not to really care though. Although maybe I’ll just end up burning down the theater. (it could go either way)… which for some reason reminds me of one of the few Søren Kierkegaard… eh, anecdotes I can remember (because its one of the more famous ones, I think)

“A fire broke out backstage in a theater. The clown came out to warn the public; they thought it was a joke and applauded. He repeated it; the acclaim was even greater. I think that’s just how the world will come to an end: to general applause from wits who believe it’s a joke.”

Police would later suspect arson.

Sometimes I wonder (or maybe worry) if I am one of ‘those’ peeps who would like very much to ‘fix’ the world (because its broken right?) and then when they realize they can’t actually make the difference they want to, pivot and want to burn it all down instead.

… a proclivity, Stoicism is (theoretically) supposed to moderate. After all you should only be tackling contrivances under the purview of your control (and ignoring everything else). The mania of the extremes has a quite a sexy appeal though… in its own weird way.

Which what I should have said right near the beginning. And that’s why I’m into it. ‘Because it keeps me sane and out of trouble’. Probably a conversation killer. MUCH better to endear yourself by kicking sand at their beloved cultural icon.

Oh well.

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STOICISM

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