Trepidation


Reminiscing on this moment in one year’s time, will I gaze upon the thoughts of a fool like so many times before?

We begin life confidently, yet mistaken, about everything of worth.  With each year more knowledge is gained.  We build on this, always absorbing, analyzing, and storing.  As it increases we start to feel in control – of the direction of our thoughts, perhaps.  Initially we are blind to the developing pattern.  The pattern that aides in intellectual growth, but eventually illustrates our ignorance.  We begin recalling past mistakes and we start to understand why they were made.  “It is best,” we say, “to accept these mistakes and learn from them.”  This internal discussion is repeated numerous times.

Unaware of our youthfulness, we presume all others operate similarly.  With this, the annals of one’s ignorance cunningly develops.  One learns a little more, and in parallel, one discovers how little one knows – how Socratic of us!  In reality, it’s the fool that doesn’t reflect on such things, but such a realization changes very little; for the process blithely repeats itself unhindered.  And if we are destined to ridicule our past thoughts, what lends credibility to those of the present?



Categories: Thoughts

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12 replies

  1. “Unaware of our youthfulness”… so very true.

    Good to see you back in blogville!

  2. Indeed, our situation is similar to that of Sisyphus. A sense of humor is helpful. In German they say “Humor ist wenn man trotzdem lacht” (Humor is when you laugh nonethless).
    I think our knowledge is always incomplete, partial, vague, partially wrong, partially inefficient, containing anomalies. That is the normal state of affairs. Classical epistemology defines knowledge as something that is secure and true. That is a nonsensical concept, since we can never know.for sure. Life is a hermeneutic process in wich we constantly revise our ideas. We get them from a tradition, revise them and pass them on. Maybe something will last and stand the test of time, maybe not.
    Camus writes about Sisyphus that he imagines him as a happy man. 🙂

    • I could not agree with you more, I just wish, occasionally, that is was not so. Although I enjoy uncertainty, there are situations when being certain would be nice. Plus, in my daily encounters I often find myself discussing topics with those that require certainty, and so, my inability to provide such answers is often perceived as insufficient. Moreover, those that I am referring to tend to view such things as evidence for a deficient argument. In the end, all one can do is try to explain what you have eloquently expressed above.

      Camus is an amazing author! Thank you for reminding me of that gem… it has been a long time since I picked that book up.

  3. I think the whole system of life is constructed in a beautiful manner. You never really know anything fully. New discoveries may prove old truisms to be incorrect. There is no assurance of success, whichever way you measure success. You have to try, based on what you consider knowledge, and perhaps some faith. And so on…

  4. I was having similar thoughts in a crucial part of my life. When I moved on from work in Baghdad (where I grew accustomed to loud noises, alarms, and incoming ordinance) and had to move back to the real world where things invariably meant less. I recall, every now and then, how I would reflect and realize how little I knew 3/6/9 months prior. How cocky and confident I was. The first few times I actually felt a little smug. When this process didn’t stop, I eventually realized how stupid I was. It still happens to this day, but I know now to take it in stride as I continue onto infinity, never coming close to reaching where I want to be (that is, of course, to know everything!).

    The pursuit of knowledge is no small thing. It is probably the toughest thing there is, once that whole subsistence and health nuisance is taken care of :). Philosophy can be a great help in this regard, as well as the tools of thinking. It’s matters not how much you know, but rather that you know how to think through them as they come up. What else can you ask for?

    Glad to see you’re back.

  5. This read inspired me to dream as I haven’t since my youth. Bravo! Thank you for sharing!

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