Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Faint light still barely visible in the great northern void

Whether a man has a free will or not is a great topic of debate in philosophy and science.

No matter what kind of position one takes, it is clear that it is the multitude of miscellaneous things that drives each of us. When we make a choice, many different things in our neural circuit compete for influence and dominance, and the result might surprise even the agent himself.

Life is thus like surfing waves. The surge of the unknown from the unconscious is not unknown for all of us. Living is full of surprises, as previously unknown motifs and motives suddenly drive us to pathways of living hitherto undreamed of.

When we think of the variety of influences that form us, the goal that one pursues throughout life is like a dim light seen in the distance. It is not something that dominates your whole system. Your existence is rather swayed to and fro in an unpredictable manner, you keep surfing the waves of the multitude, and from time to time, you look up at the dark sky and see the faint light still barely visible in the great northern void.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh how I wish to find even a faint trace of light in the distance which can guide the way for me. Everyday is more or less a continuous repetition of what I do everyday and while I do need to make the day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month, year-to-year decisions the days generally flow by without any clear indications of where they will eventually lead to. While life would not be as exciting if the ultimate destination and passages were known upfront ala GPS navigation style, I would feel much more comfortable if I had a clearer sense of whether I am "right" to be where I am today and whether I am "right" to be heading where I am heading tomorrow. But then again, what can be "right" and what can be "wrong"? Will I be the final judge, or perhaps my children?
SK

Anonymous said...

I have sometimes the scene with regret.I have been feeling that I might be taking the wrong behaviour at the time.
For example I had some hesitation and missed a rare chance to talk with him.
It seems that my behaviour was brought to another place from to my hope by the surfing waves on my unconscious surge.

nekochama said...

That's quite a lovely metaphor to express the mix of will and chance (and my one of my favorite sensations, serendipity) that creates our life path. Do you surf too? You surely have the right idea about it.

Thanks so much, Ken, for keeping this blog going.

砂山鉄夫(Tetsu Sunayama) said...

Poetic and powerful!

Surfing the waves is difficult, but come to think of it, it is more interesting than walking along the level road.

I'd like to be a clumsy surfer than a domineering walker.

Big wave comes...

Anonymous said...

me too Mr/Ms Anonymous,
"It seems that my behaviour was brought to another place by the surfing waves on my unconscious surge."

My hope were too big ... then I missed a rare chance to talk with him because my brain became blank. :)

apple407 said...

“Your existence is rather swayed to and fro in an unpredictable manner, you keep surfing the waves of the multitude, and from time to time, you look up at the dark sky and see the faint light still barely visible in the great northern void.”

What imagery this writing evokes — one is at once both solitary, yet, engaged; gregarious, yet, aloof; lost in the multitude, yet, with an access to the faint star, in the great northern void.
Life — Dream — Metaphor — Pathways — one is almost led to a conclusion that there is a Design. But, that, perhaps is a bit premature.

JAR said...

It is striking how separate we think we are, but in actuality we are all feeling the same thing. I view and treat my life like stacking blocks, the first block was started during my adolescence and as I pass a milestone in my life I stack another block. Each block I stack is more decadent than the previous. And before I stack a block, I feel the wear and coarse repetition of the endeavor that I committed myself to finish. I envision my far off goal in the distance to be some luminous shape, I hope to stack enough blocks to get there someday. But for now I gaze up at the stars every night, to remind myself of the blocks that need stacking. And, SK in my opinion the final judge is yourself...no one else.

Anonymous said...

great essay Mr/Ms JAR. I am happy to find it, very much impressed.

"I feel the wear and coarse repetition of the endeavor that
I committed myself to finish." Sometimes I have a similar feeling.

Your 'stacking blocks' metaphor reminds me of MacIntyre’s practice. He wrote:

"any coherent, complex form of socially established cooperative human activity where goods internal to that activity are realized in trying to achieve those standers of excellence appropriate to that form of activity, with the result that human powers to achieve excellence and human conceptions of the ends and goods involved are systematically extended.
Bricklaying is not a practice, but architecture."

and, it seems to me that your life like 'stacking blocks' you mentioned is a practice in this sense of the term. I am sorry my comment might be so stupid.

Anonymous said...

Ms/Mr JAR's review of her/his metaphysical world in English is very difficult but romantic.
I would like to try my best to obtain the embedded meaning. Would you mind giving me some sort of a clue ? .. I do not why but I have imagined that the first block was stacked for Ms/Mr JAR’s marriage ….

JAR said...

Hello Anonymous 1 & 2,

Thank you for taking the time to read my ideas and for commenting on them. Anonymous 1 your comment is definitely not stupid, I like it a lot. It reminds of how our ideas and perceptions of the world are so similar. And Anonymous 2 I was comparing the trials and tribulations of life to the act of staking boxes. The end goal is the light, so in order to reach the end goal one must overcome adversity along the way (each stacked block represents an accomplishment).

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much JAR.
"The end goal is the light, so in order to reach the end goal one must overcome adversity along the way (each stacked block represents an accomplishment)."

I would like to continue the trials and tribulations of my life also.