Saturday, April 28, 2007

There are more things than are dreamt of in your philosophy

I think that title, incidentally, comes from Shakespeare somewhere. Anyhow, what I mean to say is that, "Everything is exactly as it's supposed to be, and it could not be any other way." This is kind of my personal philosophy. That thought came to me one day many years ago, and instantly it seemed to me to be absolutely true. Philosophy majors, and others I guess, think about such things, sometimes with great consternation, and I too had struggled with the great metaphysical ideas; who are we, why are we here, what is our purpose, do we have free-will, and so forth. Wittgenstein largely cured me of those non-question questions, though. This thought may have come from something I had read at one time, as surely I am not the first to have thought of such an idea, but as I remember it, the idea seemed to have more fallen upon me straight out of the blue sky one day. That's what seemed to lend credibility to it, a truth that I had not invented, but which made an unexpected appearance to my mind one day, for no particular reason. I've been reading some Kurt Vonnegut lately, and he expresses much the same idea; things happen as they do, because the moment was structured in such a way. It seems so fatalistic and deterministic to think in such a way, and philosophers as well as most others have recoiled from such an idea, with its implications of a mechanistic existence in which we all go through the pre-proscribed motions. It all seems to justify such things as evil, and terrible events, as just, inevitable.

I don't think so though. For every evil which exists, you have people in resistance to that evil. That also, is exactly how it's supposed to be, and it could not be any other way. Every tragedy has its response, good or bad, or indifferent, which when it occurs, could not have occurred any other way. Therefore, it's useless to fret over the past; if only I had done this instead of that, made this choice instead of that one. You made the only choice you could have, because the moment was structured that way, and anyhow, as Jesus himself said with regard to the future or tomorrow, it is pointless to worry about that, because the worries of the present moment are sufficient to the day thereof.

This probably isn't an, "everything happens for a reason" notion, though. Because I think that many things happen for no reason, they just happen. They happen because the moment was structured that way, which may have been without any reason to it. This also seems to indicate though, that we do have the power to shape the future, in the present. Some people will believe that, and follow through on it. Others will think that this is futile, and refuse to believe they can create the future. And all of it, is exactly how it's supposed to be, and it could not be any other way but so. Kurt Vonnegut summarizes these thoughts nicely on page 209 of "Slaughterhouse Five", in a well-known and time honored aphorism, which goes:

God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change
Courage to change the things I can
And Wisdom always
To tell the difference

And I wrote this, because it could not have been any other way. The moment was simply just structured that way.


Blogger willowtree said...

Who is the moment structured by? God, Man, Oprah?
Does it matter?
Probably not.
Ive notice Oprah on this...Im a co-creator with God kick, and so now there are tons of people who feel they to are Godly co-creators. If you are a co-creator with God, why would you need a God? I mean seriously the God I know- even the ones Ive heard of and studied...dont need help, and if they do, why the heck would you consider that a God, He/She/It/They would be as strong or as powerful as you are.
Enough of a tangent for you? hehe
How's Life? Just about done with school now right? Maybe even finished?

2:35 PM  
Blogger Frank said...

Hey Willowtree - I know what you mean; that "I'm a co-creator with God" kick, is kind of popular these days, with Oprah promoting the book "The Secret, and all that. It's all nonsense, to me. Just another self-serving way of self-justification for one's ways. These "gods" are really just the Ego, in disguise.

Defining God to me seems to be impossible though. I only try, in thinking of "God" as "something greater than myself". Now, as to exactly what that is; I don't know, I just kind of "sense" it, somehow.I think what prompted this post in part is the idea of time-travel; of the possibility of moving back and forth in time someday (Kurt Vonnegut type-stuff). I'm beginning to think that "time" is really just this illusion we live through, as a neccessity of being a human being. If that is so, then regret for what might have been is just a misconception, regarding something that could only have happened as it did, because it did (once manifested into our "reality" - it is done, and nothing can change it "back").Even with all of us operating with our "free-will" (not something that does/doesn't exist - but rather something that really lacks any real meaning or significant content - per Wittgenstein (and me), a misunderstanding, a delusion even.

Much of this comes out of my inspiration and study of Buddhism, where the Eternal "Now" is what matters, not illusions of past or future. Moments, I'm inclined to think, are what matter most.

As for school, well, I'm in a moment where classes are completed, but comps and thesis are still yet to come. And I'm just hanging in the middle right now, and to tell you the truth, kind of enjoying it! I needed some time away.

9:50 PM  

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