On Thought; On Thinking

September 10, 2008, 10:00 am; posted by
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“If I have a book to serve me as my understanding, a pastor to serve as my conscience, a physician to determine my diet for me, and so on, I need not exert myself at all.”

Because, frankly, who wants to exert themselves?

I am at that point in life where we\’re supposed to take our beliefs and make them our own. We all have this sense of independent thought, this underlying ethos of self-determined path. I. I. Just the assertion of such bespeaks incredible audacity. I am saying this. It has come from me, and, further, I am worth listening to. I live and breathe and participate in life. I have a voice.

“The unexamined life is not worth living.” Is this true? It has to be. Who could deny it? Rational, thoughtful consideration of what we\’re doing and why we\’re doing it. Intentionality ”” purposefulness. Are we thinking? Am I thinking? Are you my responsibility? Spinoza said that his happiness was contingent on persuading others to think as he did. If I attempt a thoughtful life, and find it even marginally satisfying, isn\’t encouraging the same in you the least I could do?

Mental exertion. Laborious. So hard to ascend the mountain. Why do it? Why do anything? I mean, really now. Why expend so much energy to rise up out of sensual, physical comfort? Why get out of bed in the morning? Why rip off the cozy comforter and spring up into the spare clear air bare and awake?

Why not?

That\’s the thing about thinking. You begin thinking that thinking is a waste of time; unproductive, nothing to show for it in the end, that sort of thing. But you do it long enough and you realize that without it, nothing else has worth. I got out of bed this morning. I went surfing this morning. I am going to be late to my Intro to Philosophy class if I don\’t finish this soon. I am going to rip off my unexamined blanket of beliefs and plunge into the cold clear water, inky grey-green obsidian glass, and paddle.


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