Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Big Search

This is the 1,737th edition of Vagabond Journeys. You might think I'm making that up, but I'm not.

Nothing gives rest but the sincere search for truth.

Blaise Pascal
Hello Jon
I don't read philosophy to discover truth. I read it to discover the ideas of some great thinkers who are also looking for it. I don't know what Pascal finds so restful about it. My search generally puts me in a mental turmoil. The universe of ideas is full of unanswered questions and some of them are vital.

The is the "Merry Month of May" and I am very sad today, not just because it's gray and gloomy, but also because, as one recent commenter wrote: someone stole something from me more valuable than money, and also because there are too many unanswered questions.

Normally facing the ironies and ambiguities of life gives me a chuckle. I haven't chuckled or had a good laugh in many days, make that months. I look forward to some joy in my life. Sophocles writes that there will come a time when we will never know joy again. I summarily reject that idea with a swift and sturdy kick in the ass. I believe we need to eliminate those things that rob us of our joy, and if it has to be done with a scalpel, a bull dozer or a moving van so be it.

The search for truth should be a vigorous activity. It involves, observation, study, investigation and reason, both inductive and deductive, and it's not for the squeamish.

I've heard it said that if you could understand a great work of art, a Michelangelo statue or a Dostoyevski novel, so thoroughly that you knew it better than the artist did, the experience would lead you to truth, because you would be getting in touch with the universal spirit of inspiration.

Another way is to assume there is a total, universal truth and then start looking for ways in which it expresses itself.

Neither of those ways sound restful to me. But maybe there's a third way Pascal knows about, which can be done sitting in a recliner, on the front porch, at the beach. I must read on.

As for that something someone stole from me that's more valuable than money? Money can be replaced, and so can that something. Joy is another thing that deserves a sincere search. I believe it.

Remember, there is nothing that can stop, block, obstruct, delay, deflate or divert the blessing that is yours today.

DB - Vagabond Journeys
Never Give Up


Geo. said...

DB., this post hit close enough to home for me to presume adding something --even tho I've probably misremembered it:"Be very sure truth is what you want, because once you have found it, it will not leave you alone, not ever." It comes not from any philosopher but from Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot. Still, I have accepted it as an axiom. Excellent post.

Rubye Jack said...

Have you read Spinoza's "Ethics"?

Arlene (AJ) said...

Congrats on your 1737th post DB. Allow yourself to have a day of peace in your heart.

Ken Riches said...

I think you can find joy no matter where you are, but it has to come from the inside, not from others externally.