Well, today is the seventh of October. I did not want a week of October to pass by without a post, so it seems I am logically compelled to post today. As you may have noticed, I failed to keep to my MWF updates, even after F became "weekend." So, I am setting a less strenuous schedule for myself this month. In short, I shall update at least once every seven days, about a topic of my choosing. I have quite a few posts about the education system and education in general running around in my head, in embarrassingly unpolished format unfortunately, so that may become this month's impromptu subject. This is fitting, as many of the people I imagine read my blog are educators.
Since just updating you upon my plans for updating this blog in October seems like a terrible cop out on my part, I am also going to post something that I wrote elsewhere, about my experiences walking home today.
I finished the book I was reading, Sophie's World, today, which I think warrants a celebration. In what I read today, the existentialists were covered, and the author talked about Sartre's notion that as beings that exist, we owe it to ourselves to do SOMETHING with our existence. Oddly enough, both of the books I have read this school year have inspired this thought in me, as it has been nagging me since I finished Deadline, by Chris Crutcher. I imagine that I was previously aware of Sartre's thought on the subject, because we talked a bit about existentialism in a Feminist Philosophy course when I was an undergrad.
Anyway, as I was walking home under the darkened sky, I almost began crying at the thought of how much I would never understand. Then, as I almost was home, it occurred to me that my dissatisfaction may be because I have lost my faith in mathematics. I remember being quite upset in high school when I realized that there were open problems in mathematics, that is, statements that we are fairly sure are either true or false, but we cannot prove certainly to be one or the other. However, I stuck with mathematics, as it seemed the best method to make sense out of the chaos by which we are surrounded.
Now though, I inch out along a slender branch, toward the tips of a tree of mathematical knowledge, seeking the budding areas where soon new growth will occur. My problem is no longer that these areas of uncertainty exist, but that in reaching them, I have lost sight of the ground from which I began my climb. In an attempt to gain an advantageous viewpoint of my surroundings, I have instead become so myopically focused on the tree I am climbing that I have lost track of my surroundings entirely.
The natural follow up question I asked myself is, would studying philosophy become a remedy to this myopia, or merely a repetition of the mistake that I have already made once? I suppose that since philosophy often concerns itself with the larger picture of what is and what should, it may be more conducive to keeping the vastness and wonder of existence in focus. However, I do believe that more than a few great philosophers have found themselves staring into philosophy and discovering an ever hungry void of uncertainty that has scarred them to the soul.
Anyway, since I have no dependents, nor partner, nor expectation or inclination for this to change in the immediate future, I have great freedom, what Sartre might describe as terrifying freedom, to shape my life at this point. It seems only fitting that I take some time to reflect on what I owe it to myself to do with that freedom. Of course, if you have any suggestions, fill free to leave them, I obviously am not making too much progress upon my own.