Wednesday, 9 May 2012

The expansion of thought

Today, I'm going to take some time to think about thinking (how very meta). Or rather, the way my own thought processes have evolved over time, leading me towards, and then away from an academic path in life.

As a child, I was pretty typical. Didn't think too hard and long about the state of the world. I liked what I liked, I didn't like what I didn't like, I loved my family, and that was about the end of it. However, as I began to grow older, I found the realm of thought more and more enticing. Philosophy, politics, anything I could learn about, debate about, form my own (often very strong) opinions on was like crack to me. I decided I would go to university. I would pursue an academic career where I kept doing what I did so well.

Back then, the world was mine to intellectually dissect. A true and solid meaning to life could be found if I only looked hard enough. The power to transcend society, transcend all of the falseness, all of the blindness of everyday human life was within my grasp . . .!

And then, I grew up.

Now, my thought process seems to have come full circle. I no longer believe in some bizarre unlimited intellectual capacity that I possess which would allow me to achieve a higher understanding. All the understanding I need, and all the understanding anyone needs, I had back when I was wee, before I started thinking. I like what I like. I don't like what I don't like. I know who is important to me and I make sure I always show them affection. The world doesn't need to be dissected, it is more fun when it is full of mysteries. It is what it is. Enforcing rigid intellectual structures on things that exist independent of ourselves does nothing but make us close-minded.

In short, I have come to fully understand that there is a difference between being "smart" and being "wise". A child can have a sort of wisdom in simplicity, that a philosopher, for all of his big words and deep thoughts, is utterly incapable of.

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