Philo Sophia: A Pretentious Essay


What do you know?


Dedicated to MJC

By: Jay

It was a dark and stormy night and as I lay upon my couch, I fell into a Cartesian Meditation.  I thought about thinking out loud and thinking itself.  I thought, to think is to lose the flow of thought as thought translates into word.  And I thought about how man’s mind and his ‘nous‘ is the meeting place with God, and how God is present in the stream of thought, and how we have a stream of thought.  I thought about how a whole world can be opened by a book and how different religions participate in a different geist, and how an atheist limits himself in thinking there is only one way things can be analyzed and how under the guise of free thinking this was actually a limitation.

And I thought about an old girlfriend, and how she would have no concern for these things.  Then I thought about why I thought about an old girlfriend and how that isn’t interesting expressed out loud.  And I thought about how superstition is mistaken for religion and how people think that is a justification for rejecting religion.  I thought about a number and how a number is something mysterious, even thought it has the cloak of being purely rational in the Enlightenment sense of rational, where everything is subject to quantification and how great it was that number itself is not subject to quantification.  And I thought about how the idea of subjecting everything to quantification itself cannot be subjected to quantification and how a presupposition is a hinge upon which an entire worldview turns.  I thought about how the mind is a train that can be turned on a faulty presupposition to continue down a wrong track for one’s whole life.

And I thought about how the look of early 20th century trains were something that fascinated me as a child, but not now.  And I asked myself, “Why did I like a train as a kid, and not now?”  And I thought about time and the passage of time and how it is the rate at which we experience light in our frequency or wavelength, and how philosophers speculated about time, thinking it was a constant, but that it is not.  I thought about how people thought time was a kind of substance like “space” and how Aristotle defines substance and how even Descartes used substance and people misunderstand this, because it meant something different than it does in the modern era.  I thought about how people think it means a gooey, gelatinous, semisolid thing, when it meant essence. And I thought about how no one cares what essence is and how idiots in philosophy classes think it’s something cool to say but don’t know what they’re talking about.  I thought about how essence was something a medieval theologian thought about every day and how now no one cares what that is, or metaphysics.

And I thought about how big corporate bookstores sell metaphysics as witchcraft and Tarot and how silly it is to think that is what metaphysics is.  And I wondered what it must be like to be the person who thinks that is what metaphysics is and then I recalled my ex-girlfriend again and that she probably didn’t count as a girlfriend, and that she wouldn’t care about any of these things.

I thought about intimacy and we can only have an approximation of what the opposite sex experiences in intimacy and how that was analogical.  We speak of God analogically and that is Thomistic terminology, but that most people misunderstand this because Thomas Aquinas was wrong, yet no one cares about this nowadays.  I thought about Socrates and the Apology and the dialogues and how funny it would be to walk through my own hometown to ask artisans and politicians what “justice” and “wisdom” are, in the ideal sense, and how they would have no idea, and how the average reader of this post will take “ideal” in the colloquial sense and not the metaphysical sense.  And I thought about how everyone would say “justice” is relative to whatever they want it to be, and how it was no different in Socrates’ day.    I thought about how pretentious the philosopher is and was.  I thought about how we exist in an era of knowledge like none other, but utterly lacking in wisdom and how the Internet represents infinite knowledge, but without the form and meaning wisdom provides and how this was damaging and useless.  I thought again about how our thought process turns on a faulty or correct presupposition like a train on the tracks.

I thought it was funny that a Calvinist talked about presuppositions, but that no one would even care about this.  I thought about what it would be like to be Obama – to be the president and how it was all like 1984 and Big Brother and all about control.  I thought about thunder and lightning and man’s desire to control the weather because man wants to be God.  I thought about how foolish and irrational the ferocious desire to be God is, given that man thinks his own mind is the pinnacle of all that is.  And I thought about how this train of thought taps into universal concepts and how this is about generalities and everyone does this, showing that universals are obviously the case metaphysically, but that this is something no one in our day cares about.   And I thought about Claire Danes, Reese Witherspoon and Hollywood, and whether they have ever thought about this, and how Hollywood itself is its own, strange, Inland Empire.  I thought about the power the theater wields, just like in the days of Ancient Greece.  I pondered how the ancient theater was a liturgical presentation of the gods and how Hollywood is a liturgical presentation of our gods, and how man wastes his time and life, not caring about truth or wisdom.  And I thought about how pretentious this essay is, but that I would do it anyway.

Vanity of vanities!

I thought about Baudrillard and a synthetic society, and how this essay is only an approximation of a real thought process and in part synthetic and how the inner man is mysterious and how ridiculous it was that the atheists and materialists think the mind is purely gray matter determined by naturalistic process.  And I thought about how people think whatever they do is genius and whatever they make is art and how Ayn Rand beautifully critiqued that notion in the Romantic Manifesto and how as soon as I mentioned Ayn Rand people will read this and think I endorse all of Ayn Rand and they won’t be thinking of the quote of Aristotle that an intelligent man is able to entertain a thought without accepting it.  And I thought about how hardly anyone does that and how objectively is hard work and not a dry, rational process, but something closer to revelation and initiation.  I thought about how honesty is something that has to be had with ones own self first, and how I tried to convey this in my essay on the Serpentine Mirror and narcissism, and how people would take this to be narcissistic, when it is anything but.   I thought about man’s fall and the devil and how man’s worst enemy is man because man lies to himself about man.

And I thought about my friends and different circles of friends and true and false enlightenment.  I thought about the light and life God gives and how the thought process of people is so different.  I thought about entitlement, and how people think that their existence alone means they are great members of a pantheon.  I thought about existentialism and masks and how existentialism itself is another mask, the part played by the phony revolutionary philosopher.  I thought about how the idea that we all wear masks is both true and false, and that saying something was true and false sounds Hegelian, and how it’s very difficult to talk about a good point Hegel makes without being mistaken for a Hegelian, and I thought again about what I had said about Ayn Rand.  I thought about how people sell themselves short, but not because life is an armchair philosophical speculative exercise but that with proper grounding in a classical education, humans could do so much more, but that this had been suppressed by design. I thought about how the educated academic class thinks they are wise, but they are fools.  I thought about how academia is narcissistic and how they buy into their own delusions and how this springs from fear.  I thought about how all men are captive to fear to some degree, but that most men are captive to the maximum degree.

I thought about MaxiPads and how ridiculous they were and how I bought them once for my almost girlfriend and how she would think this was crazy, but that I would make up a funny word like “crazycakes,” and she would laugh.   And I thought about how someone will read this and think it’s about a girl, when it’s really just about thoughts on a dark and stormy night.  I thought about how thoughts on a dark and stormy night is cheesy and cliche but that that is what would make it fun.  And I thought about Baudrillard again and how our synthetic society is full of contradictions, such that we live in the midst of wonders, yet we are fixated on whatever is fake.  I thought about how people don’t see wonders as wonders, but as the viscous like Sartre said, something that makes them want to vomit and negate all of existence.  I thought about how absurd they were and how self-destruction is irrational, but that at the same time people are easily programmed and allow themselves to self-destruct out of fear of reality.

And I thought about being “condemned to be free,” so to speak, and how “freedom” is not something that exists in a vacuum outside of some linguistic and worldview context.  I thought about the idea of “freedom,” as if it were some goddess like “reason,” and that liberty was an extension of the French Revolution and how it was engineered by the money power, and how most revolutionaries are too stupid to know that.  I thought about Oswald Spengler and how books open your mind to whole new worlds and how cheesy that sounds and how people sell themselves short by not reading and seeking wisdom.  I thought about how it was still storming, and eternal return as a ridiculous idea, and that if classical Darwinian thought were true, it would go hand in hand with eternal return and all change would be illusory and we would be back at the conundrums of the Pre-Socratics.   If all existence is an illusion, then the coming to the knowledge of all existence is illusory and I thought about how foolish the people were that thought this was some great sagely insight, when it is  laughably stupid.

I thought about how many people wouldn’t care about this and how enlightenment is something everyone thinks they have.  I thought about how complex it would be to explain to a fool how one can learn from a fool, like Solomon says.  Everyone’s life is unique and therefore their perspective is unique to them, though it’s still the case they are a fool.  I thought about how people don’t understand the difference between the “is” of identity and the “is” of predication, and how whole religions had sprung up over odd mistakes like this, by attributing real, ontological existence to evil.  I thought about how the Cappadocians had accurately explained evil as not a substance or essence, but as a move of the will away from the good and how Augustine was close on the matter, as well.  I thought about how non-being is not itself an evil and how this is misunderstood, because if non-being itself were evil, then God would be evil, which is absurd.  So evil is not non-being, with the is of predication, and I thought about how gnosticism and Zoroastrianism said this.   I thought about how eastern religions tried to find a way out of this, but that they fell back into monism and dualism still, and how you can logically show that monism collapses into dualism and vice versa.  And I thought about how Dr. Douglas Hofstadter was wrong.

I thought about how fleeing reality was foolish and embracing contradictions was silly, but that most people would not care.  I thought about how people say, “Why does this matter?” and hoe frustrating it is that someone cannot see how this matters and how pretentious this sounds and how although it’s not my intention, it would still be read that way.  I thought about aesthetic value and wondered why philosophers don’t meditate in a Cartesian fashion anymore, and how philosophy is such a weird thing.  I thought about how I was glad that philosophy is becoming popular again in pop culture and how pretentious the philosopher is.  I thought about how Nietzschean that is and how many people read Nietzsche and think they are wise, when they are fools and how Nietzsche would agree his readers are fools.  I thought about how this all sounds Nietzschean, but that it also wasn’t, since arguing for metaphysics and objective truth is the very thing Nietzsche castigates the philosopher for doing.

I thought about how arrogant it is to call oneself a “philosopher,” and how this had little to no meaning, yet was something to take pride in.  I thought about Plato and how he must’ve been arrogant and idealistic.  And I thought about how scant few people see philosophy as respectful, and how I liked that.  I thought about how wisdom was hidden like metaphysics and how Solomon knew this.  I thought about the Sermon on the Mount and revolutionaries and how stupid revolutionaries create a Jesus in their own image quite different than the Jesus of the historic churches with Apostolic Succession.  I thought about the nihilistic spirit of modern art and how everyone unskilled in the trade of art, still takes upon themselves the title of “artist” and how the masters of art would be sickened by them.

I thought about how aesthetics cannot be formless, but that obviously there is symmetry, form and order that ground aesthetics and how Milla Jovovich is beautiful.  I thought about how beautiful women demonstrate objective beauty, and how women secretly know this, and how revolutionary this common sense truth is.  I thought about how even beauty is rational and coherent and ordered.  I thought about the madness of men, and that madness is a manifestation of man’s war with himself, and how Foucault explained this in regard to panopticism and discipline.  I thought about how demons were a norm in the Middle Ages and Nicholas Remi had an elaborate demonology and how modern man scoffs at the devil, yet nihilistic modern man has no basis to scoff at the devil, since the existence or non-existence of one thing is no more rational or irrational than anything else for him.   And I thought about how it’s the same for the existence of God for modern man and how stupid that is.

I thought about proofs and revelation and how men assume they know what they don’t and how humility is an attribute that allows you to progress, not something that holds you back.  Humility is a presupposition for the acquisition of truth, and how men assume humility is a vice, an effeminate, pansy attitude of not knowing anything, when it is the opposite.  This holds them back because they think they can create their own reality.  I thought about Jean Paul Sartre again and a girl who had given me a book about reason and the age of enlightenment and how easily men were sold on advertising and propaganda with something like existentialism itself, and how Sarte said our condemnation to be free is both true and false, but that if I said that, I’d be pegged as an existentialist again.  I thought about Aristotle saying a wise man can entertain an opinion without accepting it.

I thought about theory and literature and rhetorical flair and flowery prose and how no one cares.  And I thought about how secret wisdom can be had and how God speaks apophatically, and not in the wind and fire, and yet God does speak in the wind and fire.  And I thought about cigarettes and how people second guess themselves and how that is a manifestation of fear and how most people’s humility is a false humility.  False humility is a weak countenance, a weak disposition, and how when someone asks a girl about something objective, they talk about how it made them “feel” and how much truth was revealed in this.   I thought about how we self censor ourselves and how that is good in some cases, but bad in others, and in most cases people do it when they shouldn’t, out of fear.    I thought about the frogs croaking outside in the storm and how that is a mating call.  And I thought about how all human words and sounds are mating calls, whether for a union of the opposite sex, or in the sense of final union with God teleologically, like Cupid and Eros in Plato.  And I thought about how some people would find that reference was clever and others would think it silly, and that made me laugh.

Vanity of vanities!



12 thoughts on “Philo Sophia: A Pretentious Essay

  1. Pingback: Philo Sophia: A Pretentious Essay — State of Globe

  2. As someone struggling with the puzzle of whether other people exist, your essay argues well for your existence. God does address us directly in subtle and beautiful ways. The burning bush is the one you slept under as a child, that you have been reminiscing over — precisely at that moment you turn and find it smoldering.

  3. I see you’ve given the issue some thought – I’ll take a look … many appear willing to entertain the concept of a Matrix-type simulated reality (or Gnostic prison) when it includes us all. However, when the concept of a simulated reality imprisoning one consciousness is floated, invariably everyone else rebels at the notion. Invariably it is rejected. Solipsism is a fool’s errand.

    How would a simulated reality imprisoning a single psyche be programmed to react to the prisoner correctly identifying the nature of his prison?

    • “However, when the concept of a simulated reality imprisoning one consciousness is floated, invariably everyone else rebels at the notion.”

      Not really: the traditionalists (and by extension the Neoplatonists, Advaita Vedantists, Buddhists, and Sufis) affirm the idea quite readily.

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