— Rollo May, existential psychologist
The phrase “plucking my heart-strings” never used to make much sense to me. I understood the general concept, but I did not fathom its truth.
It recently made perfect sense in a moment of clarity when exploring the musicality of the metaphor: most people might brush their open palms over a guitar, or try to strum awkwardly with their fingers bunched up together, but it is only those who know how to carefully pluck using their fingers or pick and fret deliberately that truly make the instrument sing.
In matters of emotions, people might not even actually KNOW that they are doing this to another person - the most important parameter there is whether the one who is “played” has allowed them in, and what “techniques” he or she has afforded the “musician”.
It really is astounding how the smallest thing can resonate deeply and wildly in one’s psyche. It makes one think.
— Friedrich Nietzsche
Sorrow and depression make everything complicated, serious and heavy. Contentment and joy make things simple, amusing and light. While philosophy can lead towards both ends, it is only by (doing our best to emulate) living in the moment that we can experience the latter. I think I’m starting to learn how to do just that. Time to live the way I want, regardless of the circumstances. Here’s to now.
Pendulous leg -
foot barely touching ground.
Say toes are severed
say bone is broken clean;
say death is close ahead:
Say nothing happens -
I shudder to think.
The pull is overwhelming.
If only these futures would show.
Sometimes I do not wish to see.
Sometimes I simply wish to know.
I know now
that the stronger I get
the softer I become.
The wind feels different on my skin by the day.
Way up on high mountaintops
I see the blinding sun;
I see the blinding sum
of peaks I’ve yet to conquer.
The pain will just dissolve within
when I have learned to sway
to the rhythm of the leaves
to my undiscovered song -
the metronome that will never stray.
Two words. Very simple.
Which part of it exactly is it that people do not understand?
On a social/political/discursive/philosophical level, being offended means absolutely nothing. It bears no significance, and it most certainly has no value whatsoever. The only time when someone being offended is important is in a personal relationship, where the feelings of the other person matter and respecting them actually serves the purpose of the relationship becoming healthier and more intimate.
More than any other manifestation of free speech, comedy is the one that can (and must) talk about anything it damn well pleases, and it is also a medium that goes dark places. It shines light into the dark, and it makes hard things soft. It distances us from the absurdity of the world’s tragedies, and it allows us to draw both wisdom and entertainment out of them.
Rape jokes are OK. Jokes about death are OK. Jokes about racism are OK. Jokes about murder are OK. Jokes about anything disgusting, vile, visceral, dark, depraved and taboo are -you guessed it!- O-FUCKING-K.
Nobody cares if you don’t like that or if you can’t wrap your tiny head around this matter. Read some of this (especially the last few paragraphs) and maybe you’ll start getting it.
— Horace Walpole
This post deals with personal experience and subjective thought, although it revolves around philosophical musings and life in general. I figured this is fair warning since the readers of this blog will have noticed it is not personal in nature.
The hopeless idealist and the philosopher are tormented by exactly the same set of questions. The only difference is that the latter has managed to establish some sort of pragmatic detachment from the emotional turmoil that these questions cause, through the use of reason and -more often than not- the publishing of articles and books.
The older I grow, the more I move towards the philosophical end of the spectrum. I become increasingly apathetic, which I don’t think is necessarily a bad thing. By allowing myself to be emotionally detached from life’s disappointments and imperfections, I am able to maintain better psychological health. The problem is that I keep falling back to the root of it all, the big “why”, and that’s where the particulars of philosophy come into play.