Had you been reading my attempted dialogue with the World Wide Web of late, you may have sensed a tone of confusion permeating my diatribes. You may even have been thinking that I've lost touch with reality.
Please don't worry about me - I just don't care; or as one of my friends said - "Care Factor Zero."
I think Arthur Schopenhauer may have been similarly disturbed by his envirionment when he said - "The world is my idea of it".......... now that makes me feel comfortable as I deal with my angst.
Sometimes I just expect a simple answer to my quest before I leave this mortal coil, but I am relieved that greater men than me have also grappled with the illusion that we are all on the wrong track to discover our purpose in life.
The sad thing is, that most of them died trying to resolve the paradox and the remainder went insane trying to reconcile the oddities of our existence over the last 3000 years. So, in an attempt to prove that we have all taken the wrong path to enlightenment, I wish to summarise (from my knowledge of history) the complexities of their views on existence presented in alphabetical order by name. I do this in sequence because it seems to be the only orderly, factual way to present the evidence that will highlight this insanity we call 'living'.
Anaximenes believed the world is air.
Arendt belived that the philoshopher is an expert in thinking but not in judging.
Berkeley (Archbishop) said the world is just God's thought of it and would go away if God blinked.
Camus wrote "There is but one truly serious philosophical problem and that is suicide."
Debord killed himself in order to end the suffering caused to his nerves by excessive drinking.
Deleuze wrote "It is organisms that die, not life".
Democritus said that the world is made of infinetly many atoms that move in a sea of void.
Descartes believed the world is both mind and matter - the human brain's pineal gland connects the two.
Einstein tried to prove that the world is a great store of energy and that matter or mass converts to energy or vice versa.
Emerson (Ralph Waldo) grieved that grief could teach him nothing. "Nothing is left us now but death. We look to that with a grim satisfaction, saying, There at least is reality that will not dodge us".
Foucalt was interested in the care of the self as a practice of freedom, as something formed and developed: a legitimate strangeness. He said : "Given that I am who I am, whom can I fuck."
Heidegger believed that the Self can only become what it truly is through the confrontation with death.
Heraclitus said the world is fire. He said : "Souls have a sense of smell in Hades".
Kaluza added a fith dimension that included gravity fluid and electromagnetic fluid.
Kant decided that the world is the senseless goo that excites our senses but that we look at the goo through glasses coloured with the abstact notions of time and space, cause and effect.
Leibniz said the world is an infinite set of smart but small mathematical points (monads).
Meno casts the world as a compressible flowing fluid made of tiny spinning gyroscopes (gyrons) that give electricity when accelerated and magnetism when rotated.
Montaigne said : "He who has learned to die has unlearned to be a slave".
Michell showed in 1784 that a big enough star could act as dark star and attract back it's own light.
Maxwell decided the world as an electromagnetic fluid.
Nietzsche (full of parody) wrote : "One pays dearly for being immortal, one has to die several times while alive".......and....... "Some men are born posthumously".
Novalis espoused 'magic idealism' with the premise that "the world is animated by me".
Parmenides was the first to say that the earth is a sphere - it is a big stable ball of matter.
Pythagoras proposed that the world was math. Even numbers were female and odd numbers were male.
Santayana once said : "I don't know whether to get married or buy a dog".
Schopenhauer agreed with Kant's goo but said that the world is will - each of us get one special peek at the naked goo itself. "We begin in the madness of carnal desire and the transport of voluptuousness, we end in the dissolution of all our parts and the musty stench of corpses".
Schroedinger showed that how matter waves move in time depends on how matter concentrates in space.
Socrates insisted that "True philosophers make dying their profession".
Spinoza belived the world is the pure substance - God.
Thales of Greece said that the world is made of water (he also founded modern finance by buying a forward contract that gave him control of the following year's olive presses).
Wheeler believed that the universe rewards the biggest stars and space objects by turning them into black holes.
........ *now, the one thing I've learnt from my history lesson is that I've learnt two things about my concept of identity. Which of course leaves me in a quandary as to my true position in Self.
So if I am going to wrestle with the relevance of whether my existence is necessary or important, I should learn a lesson from all those greater minds who preceeded mine. They also struggled to find solace but fought the battle all their life. I think the only way anyone found the answer was to die - but life is too precious, and the answer still needs to be found.
So how do I find my inner peace ? How do you find yours ? I think humour and validation help. My two favourite philosophers from this list who taught me would have to be Focault espousing validation and Santayana embracing humour.
But, the real thing that keeps me fighting to stay here as a living, participating, suffering individual - maybe, just like the rest of you; is something that Democritus said :
"By convention sweet and by convention bitter, by convention hot, by convention cold, by convention colour: in reality there are only atoms and void".
*(I would like to thank Simon Critchley, author of "The Book of Dead Philosophers", and Bart Kosko, author of "Fuzzy Future" for providing some of the facts presented in this article).