Omg it’s the new year! Hahahaha
And though this is my first entry of the year, I kinda want to talk about some philosophical ideas that are dancing in the squishy ballroom that is my brain, as opposed to a more grounded journaling approach on recounting how the last hours of 2023 were spent… I’m sure I’ll get to that at some point (or not).
But look, what I’m wanting to 'think out loud' about is the topic of “transparency”...
By “transparency” I mean what Martin Heidegger referred to as “ready-to-hand”. The exploration of the most ‘obvious’ — or perhaps obvious isn’t the word — I guess it’s more along the lines of “that which is so ‘close’ to one, that one does not notice it”… like that of the fact of “Being”. I feel philosophy becomes exciting and refreshing to me every time I get a glimpse of these blindspots that make me appreciate the mundane anew. We usually go on sort of ‘auto-pilot’, reacting to the world through pre-conditioned behaviors. Things 'make sense', we can walk across the room without being dumbfounded. Yet, there are moments when this veil of sensibility/mundanity gets pierced, where there’s a sort of ontological disruption (present-at-hand) that brings our attention to the actual oddity of existence. When the fish becomes aware of the water, as it were… which then hints at the ocean.
I’m not sure why this topic has become salient to me at the moment, but I feel it has to do with a sort of reminder of why I enjoy philosophy so much in the first place… and every time I come across a new system that helps language these ideas, it makes me happy hahaha. Which is why I find it useful to study/read philosophy, cognitive science, psychology, etc — and then, of course, dive into the poetic realms. But anyway, I think this glimpsing past the veil of normalcy is what originally got me hooked, and what continues to arouse my curiosity, every time I get to peek under the long, furling skirt of the universe. Because, when we stop to observe the multitude of systems operating simultaneously, at the combinatorially explosive amount of information and multi-aspectuality of the world, both externally and internally (psychodynamics), it’s difficult not to feel a sense of vertigo… there is just a incomprehensible amount “at work”. It makes it more apparent than ever just how little I understand — how little (if anything) I know… and thus, it also sheds light on the amount of hubris that plagues all of humanity on a daily basis… it makes sense, of course, why we ‘make sense’ on a daily — we’d be plunged in deep chaos otherwise, if one were to gawk at the ceiling with an irreconcilable sense of wonder at the sheer mystery of it all.
Anyway, I find this stuff not only fascinating and fun, but highly relevant and valuable to my journey of personal growth and wisdom. All these questions sound so inconsequential and sort of highfalutin, but they are deeply relevant to the project of growth, wisdom and, consequently, living a life of greater equanimity. It’s a wonderful project, imo. And one that is most pressing, given humanity’s perilous situation (which is, in a very real sense, the same as it’s always been, just with more dangerous toys)...
Can you recall the last time the oddity of everyday existence jumped out from the ontological ocean and winked at you?
Happy New Year :)