I have a friend who likes to talk philosophy, and I do too like to partake in a little contemplative discussion.
Today, a young girl that lives in his household, grade 6 I believe, was listening to us speak and asked, “why do you guys talk about this stuff?”. There were a few different answers, ‘the same reason you use Tick Tock’ and ‘Because it’s fun’, but the last one was the most interesting. Someone said, ‘because that is what people are meant to do’. I’m not exactly sure what he meant, but I think he was referring to the search for meaning, for understanding.
I agree with that in many ways, but I also see an end to philosophy. One of the main areas we are at odds, and there are a few, is regarding a place beyond reason/logic. We have a hard time determining objective truth, but my willingness to surrender reason to powers that cannot be rationally analyzed causes great contention.
I hold to the idea that there is an area of thought beyond philosophy, beyond reason, where the experience of life, and nature cannot be encapsulated by the human vocabulary. There are things that I accept without proof, and I do not need proof or to convince anybody else of the positions validity in order to live my life by it. And I see how that is a dangerous way to live, not caring about consensus. But I trust enough in my experience to live according to laws that are not rationally sound.
I wish I had a solid example for you. But some of these ideas exist more as physical experience that intellectual ideas. It becomes very hard to talk about love, but I know what it feels like.
As long as I am not hurting anybody, I think it is okay for me to accept things that I cannot prove to you. Although I like to be able to prove things, this philosopher can talk me into a corner where it is quite impossible to say that anything exists.
I am a lot more pragmatic. I am happy to say that things like the planet, a tree, a country, and a person exist. For the sake of conversation and every day living I am okay to accept these things.
What is very difficult to communicate is the way one feels. It is a wonderful ability to be able to articulate your feelings, but even the best fall short.
The world that I exist in may be fictitious. It may be a subjective reality that exists only within my mind. But I believe it so much, that I don’t even care if no body else sees it the way I do. That being said, I remember the delight when I started to read about, and meet, people that had similar thoughts. That is nice. But that doesn’t make my position any more valid. In theory, it must stand based solely on that it is enough for me.
I celebrate the quest for truth just like this philosopher. Our paths just lead to different places. When I discovered Buddha I moved away from philosophy. I embraced the idea that no thought could contain the whole of reality and chose to dive deeper into my sensory experience than my mental interpretation of it.
I still value the mind greatly, like the senses, but the mind is a tool which becomes docile in service of a more sensational experience. I am not thinking as much about reality as I am experiencing it.
Obviously I still think quite deeply. The mind is a wonderful tool. But there are moments where I do believe we are best served by letting the mind rest as the body engages more.
There is, and I speak with faith here, a physical reality. Trees, soil, the ocean, the sun. There is animal and plant life. Also, minerals and insects and fungus, and I’m sure countless other things I’ll likely never be able to name. There is biological life, and we as humans sit in a beautifully interesting place. In between the astral and the atomic we see how similar patterns move inward and out. We acknowledge the propagation of the seed, and as complex and abstract as it is, we can glimpse the eternal and the infinite.
We observe life and recognize patterns. The best of us, in my opinion, experience peace and joy. We understand the cycles of nature. The function of the wave. There is a magnificent puzzle that the mind puts together. That is why we talk, to shed light on the mystery. And while there is a point of over talking, there is much to be learned in stories and the much drier, bland discourse.
It is good, if even just as my simple subjective truth, to consider the metaphysical reality too. It helps me determine my values, my reason for being.