One Thousand and One Words of Writer’s Block
Note: The following is the result of an attempt to defeat writer’s block by simply putting into words what ever popped into my head. Its consumption is not meant to ultimately be of any use to the reader, though it does demonstrate my first (and probably last) foray into “stream of consciousness” writing.
When one’s mind is blank, it is excessively difficult to form a persuasive composition. It is not necessarily, as may be easily assumed, hard to word any specific idea, or an argument pursuant. Rather, it is perhaps more realistic to find grace and art in piano recital performed by a horde of proboscis monkeys than to find an idea worth talking about. One’s morals, passions, and convictions remain intact, yet they no longer appear interesting or worth communicating.
The mind wanders from one subject to another, but in a manner that more describes distraction than avid and broad interests. But is it possible for a mind to be distracted from a subject it has not yet discovered? No, on the surface it appears that this would be an impossible situation. The mind must first be intent on a subject only to be tempted away from it by the siren calls of other matters less pressing yet infinitely more interesting.
What defines interesting? It is the quality that certain things have that compel minds to dwell on them. Therefore, something that is interesting must somehow make the beholder want to consider it for a length of time, to dispel all other thoughts until for some arbitrary reason the mind has subconsciously determined that it is finished with the subject. Yet to be fully finished with any subject requires a study that goes far, far beyond simply cursory examination. A true exploration means acknowledgement and discovery of each and every facet of an idea.
Perhaps then, our priorities determine what is interesting to us. For example, if a man is a scientist, he will devote much of his mental time to figuring out and plotting the molecular make-up of the physical world. Another man, a businessman, will depend on the physical world also, but he will only devote mental capacity to that which enables his corporation to further exploit it. The philosopher goes beyond the physical, though being bound by a body he depends on it as much as anyone else. He decides that what is truly important are the metaphysical implications of phenomena that we observe that only happen because the physical world exists.
Yet he considers himself far above the physical. Why is this so? Why is philosophy considered so oblique in the context of physical accomplishments and significance when it inhabits precisely the same space that all other professions occupy. Perhaps it is because the philosopher has the audacious understanding that the purely physical does not exist. All that can be sensed must point towards a higher reality. If this is not true, then life quickly loses meaning for most people. Thus, men, while saying that philosophy does not matter, are so enraptured with its own implications that they become suicidal if faced with a world without meaning.
Meaning, then, is paramount to anyone’s interest in life itself. But most people make rational choices with only an educated appreciation for the purely physical, which their own instincts deny actually exists. Thus the vast majority of men fail to possess a truly informative knowledge of practical epistemology and (ironically) know it, yet are perfectly happy without it. Why does life’s search for meaning bear so much criticism? Because the acknowledgement of meaning forces us to reconcile our actions with some sort of code, an objective delineation of an ethical system.
Doing so, that is, acknowledging the existence of an ethical system, would then force man to act as if what if he already knew to be true actually was true. Men naturally want to act as if their decisions don’t matter, but whenever they consciously accept this thought, existence loses its merit. Meaning implies morality. Morality implies justice. Justice implies judgment. Judgment implies a judge. A judge implies power. Power implies application. Application of power implies punishment. Punishment implies something so terrible, we would rather not think about it. Man feels life has meaning, yet man denies meaning so to deny any standard for his actions. Thus man would rather go on with this eternal double think than come to grips with true reality.
This principle would then explain the popularity of fantasy literature and motivational speaking. We want confirmation, no matter how deeply and objectively absurd, that it is preferable to live a life that denies its own reality. Isn’t that odd? We praise scientists for being leaders in rational thought. We try to base all of our actions upon empirical physical evidence. Yet we, as a race, have the mass stupidity to deny the meaning of it all.
This makes narcissism and materialism that much more disturbing. The narcissist is wont to consider himself the center of the universe. He knows that there have been billions of humans that existed before him, and more than likely billions more to come, that have just as much claim on their own overall significance. But he decides that he his the archetype of human existence and seeks to live accordingly. He denies his own natural understanding that life has a judge, and that he will be made to submit to that judge’s will. He spits in the face of objective reality in favor of one that he creates for himself with no bearing in any kind of fact. His life is a lie, and he is proud of it.
The materialist is not narcissistic. He at least has enough understanding to know that he is not the epitome of human existence. But that does not negate his other deficits and failings. He, like the scientist, dwells on the material. But, unlike the scientist, he sees no significance in anything that points towards a deeper meaning. He constructs the order of his life in such a way that it allows him to sleep at night denying the importance of tomorrow. Materialism seeks to find meaning by denying it. This criminally insane. In the end, meaning is found by manipulation of the material for purposes that extend beyond the secular. All else is foolishness.