I have been absent with posting anything new the past few days. Fortunately for me, our good friend and occasional contributor Oliver sent me a new blog entry to post. Enjoy!
Anxiety has replaced happiness as the hallmark sensation, now that community is absent.We no longer trust our instincts. Maintaining a vast distance from the rhythms of nature and primary experiences of the senses in their intimate concreteness, the leading “thinkers” so often consecrate or uphold this unhappy, disembodied state.
But what is abstract about happiness? Its states are complete at each moment, each embodied moment. Each happiness comes for the first time. Each one has lived without yesterday or tomorrow, in the eternal present. That is precisely the definition of happiness.
Postmodern irony and detachment, with their bedrock of embracing the techno-sphere, constitute one more means of wresting us from the present moment.
A basic human urge is the feeling of belonging to something in order to experience a union with something other than oneself. Lost is in it all is being in tune with the universe and satisfied feelings as though we can be in touch–in communication–with man’s past and connected with his future.
The aim of life is to live it strongly, to be fully awake. This aim collides with a new malaise of civilization, an “End of Time” sense of everything, a “post”you-name-it cultural landscape. A sense of helplessness has been promoted in no small part by the postmodern doctrine of ambiguity and ambivalence.
In our own lives, we are so lucky to have a sense of being blessed, to have some gladness, to have a sense of worth or to have a certain astonishment of being here at all. For ourselves, meaning and happiness are always interwoven. Happiness is grounded in meaningfulness; a life of meaning is the meaning of life. The same applies as to truth and happiness: one does not have it, but is in it.
Philosophy exists in order to redeem what you see in the look of an animal, to meet myself face to face, to realize ourselves in our distinctly human capacities within what is possible (i.e. not to blame ourselves for the limits imposed on us). And to find the strength to speak the unsaid.
Unhappiness is not the result of understanding the real depth of our predicament; in fact, this understanding can be liberating, strengthening. It may lead to something that could hardly be more momentous: the quest for directness and immediacy in the real world. It is the project of confronting the very nature of our domesticated, civilized, technology-ridden unhappiness.