Thursday, June 15, 2006


In relation to Meredith's blog entry the other day, I have another question to sort of add to it.

If, as she says, the search for relief from your suffering is ultimately what relieves it, and not, so to speak, a specific cure, can the same thing be said for wisdom? If there is no cure for your suffering and hopelessness, except to search for the cure, then is it also the ultimate in wisdom to finally admit that you know nothing? Can it be that the older you get, and supposedly the smarter you get, that ultimately you have to face up to the fact that you're a complete idiot? That you know nothing? That the black & white rules you lived by in your youth are now completely meaningless to you?

Is wisdom actually the subtraction of knowledge? Or pseudo-knowledge? The young think they know it all. They think they've got it all figured out. Maybe no one over the age of 22 should be allowed to be put into any position of importance whatsoever. Maybe the older we get, if we're truly honest with ourselves, the less we actually know. But we can only admit this because we know it to be true, which is its own sort of wisdom. So really, the accumulation of wisdom through age is really just an acknowledgement that life and people are just too complex and confounding to comprehend or decipher in any meaningful way.

We impart meaning to things because we have to. It is simply too painful to admit that maybe, just maybe, that relationship you were in that lasted for a year, or 2 years, or 8 years, and ultimately ended, in the end, meant absolutely nothing. For example. We can sit back and say, "Well, I certainly learned a lot from that," but what if what you learned isn't helpful? What if what you learned about yourself, or about the other person, or about people in general (is an "understanding" of collective behavior wisdom, or just a smoke-screen to keep from having to admit that people are just idiots and cowards?), is just terrifying and hopeless? What if what you learned is that when you fall in love you hate the person that you become? Does that mean your heart should close up shop because it's hopeless, or does it mean that you just fall for the wrong people, or does it mean you just haven't discovered exactly what it is yet that's compatible with that whiny, clingy, insecure, subserviant but demanding and terrified child inside of you?

Great. So you have to suffer through tortorous relationship after tortorous relationship just to figure that out, and the person who will supposedly fit with those pieces of you eventually (or not) comes along, and that person then renders all previous relationships totally meaningless. Yes? No?

If the giving up of hope is what leads to contentment, is the giving up on any kind of true wisdom what also leads to enlightenment? Is the giving up of any expectations what brings you happiness? What the hell is happiness? Beats the shit out of me. Does it just mean you don't want things to change? Does it mean you don't feel like throwing yourself in front of a bus every day? Does it mean that you feel ecstatic joy every minute of the day? I guess Happiness, like Love, is too abstract to have a satisfiable definition. Do you just know it when you feel it?

I feel like once I finally decided to stop trying to figure it all out is when I achieved some sort of peace. When I finally decided to throw up my hands and say, "To hell with it, I'm done, I can no longer analyze, critique, or take apart this or that or whatever," is when I finally could let it go. Which came first? The letting go or the resignation?

I just drank about six glasses of incredibly cheap vodka in my friend Greg's room with him and Princeton. We listened to Harry Nilson and a bunch of other shit. I put on a Mexican wrestling mask and took off my shirt and ran around the room growling and howling while Greg took pictures. It was pretty funny.

I need to study but instead I'm going to sleep.

1 comment:

Stacy_Storie said...

I don't think happiness is anything more complicated than being able to enjoy a moment, then the next and sometimes a whole string of them. Being attached to an outcome, thinking you know how a thing will turn out or leading yourself into something safe when you want something daring and terrifying... all that is about thinking and analyzing when you can be there in that moment and it's enough.

Happiness is trusting that you are never forsaken and there are many more moments coming your way...

I don't know what wisdom is, I think it's akin to remaining slightly unsure and open though, and less about knowing everything.

Who was it that said that the more I know the less I realize I know? Something like that...though I do believe there is a simple common wisdom in trusting oneself: be it instinct, intuition or just a feeling in the pit of your body when you just know something to be true.

so...what about those astros?