Michael Battalio

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The big question

I find when I contemplate life and seriously think about life, I tend
to just get depressed. When I live life and not contemplate my
existence, I find I'm happier, so the question is , which would I
rather be: A self examined, depressed human being or an ignorant,
content fool. I will admit that's a bit of a false dichotomy, but is
it so much of a stretch?
For example, as I'm sure everyone knows, I wasn't in the best of
moods last semester, but then I was thinking a lot about everything.
Now, I am fantastically happy, but I haven't been thinking about
anything except school. It could have something to do with the fact
I'm so busy and have no time to think. And I seriously have to
consider, do I want to think about the universe and risk unhappiness,
or do I prefer the way I am now and can live with the risk of denying
the beauty of my ability to be self-aware? To reduce it to another
dichotomy: do I want to be a person or a trained monkey? Some
people might get a chuckle out of that, but I am really torn about
this. I want to examine my life, (Is the unexamined life worth
living?) but on the other hand I would like to enjoy life at the same
time. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that the examined life is
an unhappy one. I am saying that to me, right now, it is. At the
moment though, I'm leaning towards enjoying life and thinking later.
I should enjoy college. Twenty years from now I'm not going to
remember the epiphany (unless it's a really good one) I had while I
was sitting in my room reading Aristotle, but I will remember going
out and enjoying myself. However, I can't help but feel a sense of
loss if I don't explore my existence continuously.
Another good question is why am I this way? The biggest question
some people face is which bar they are going to get drunk in
tonight. I have to decide whether or not I want to be happy. To
finish this entry I will have to point out that in examining this
question right now, I'm effectively choosing to examine my life, and
it really isn't so bad if I force myself to see the utter bliss life
has to offer. Even the hopeless vastness of the human mind will have
a hard time pulling me down then.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You know, Mikie, I've wondered occasionally about the same thing. Often the school year gets so busy for me that I don't have time to sit down and ponder everything that's going on, and I sort of feel like I should. But then when I finally do get around to thinking things through, I find that if I weren't so busy all the time, I might not have as much to think about. So if you're asking for advice, and maybe you aren't, go throw yourself into your classes and your activities and enjoy them and then stop to think about them when you're in a good mood. Just because you spend time having fun doesn't mean you can't ponder your existance at all, it just means that you won't spend every hour of your day doing it, which is probably better for you in the long run.
College has changed me a lot, as it should. Last year I took a class called Classics of Social and Political Thought, and we read tons of great works by political philosophers and stuff. It was rather painful for me because I don't tend to be very good at that sort of thing, but it was definitely worth it. It taught me how to think critically about what I was reading or doing while I was reading or doing it. And it showed me how to really think about and question everything, not just what we were reading for class. So now I think it's possible to go out and do things and enjoy them and also think about them and understand their implications while you're doing them.
On that note, I hereby refuse to proofreda this post, just to pop your bubble.


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