I wonder first if I have a discipline.
In theory, my main thesis for life is an uncertainty. Instability is my watchword. A firm disbelief in any truth above another. We explore a world subjectively, and everything we see is guesswork. Nothing at all is proveable. Everything is as true as everything else. It’s all just stories we tell ourselves to tie things we don’t understand together.
If anything, my discipline is questions.
And the false god there is answers.
There aren’t any. That’s part of the absurdity of this whole project. And partly how I manage to continue. With no answers, everything I can write is in some way valid. Explorations of experience count just as much as factual responses or rock hard logics.
Does it make the whole process useless?
Never. In the same way that life, while completely lacking in viable reality, is not meaningless. Quite the opposite.
Exploring possibilities, threading narratives and creating pathways is what gives our lives shape. It’s what makes one moment into the next moment. The story we tell ourself. It’s what gives our life anything.
It’s possible that those stories are the false gods of living, but in this circumstance, those are the only gods we’ve got. (I first typed that out as ‘the only gods we’ve god’. I think there may be something in that).
God is a story. The word was with God, and the word was God, remember?
There’s a lot of false stories out there. I believe God to be one of them, but that’s just me. The thing is, that false stories, like false gods, have something to show us. Everything does.
This is what I mean when I say everything is true.
There’s something to learn from every viewpoint, attitude and story ever told. Those somethings are the layers of truth that what we see is made out of us.
It’s worth bearing in mind that they are only truths in so far as we see them. There’s not anything underneath.
The false god in the search for truth is the notion that you’ll come to a stop some day.
There’s not a fundamental truth under it all, just different layers of truths, all the way down.
It’s odd. I tend to prefer practical answers to philosophical questions, but the bedrock of my worldview in the unknowability of anything and everything.
And I’m happy with turtles all the way down.
It’s a hard way to live. People tell me that the logical conclusion is a complete amorality, but I don’t find that, somehow. I’m stuck here with a sense of hope for the future, and a desire to make the world better, without an end point in sight, or even imaginable, or even desirable. Endings are false gods. They imply this world is going somewhere directed.
I think my one strength is that I don’t trust gods, but I still listen to them.
There’s truths in all things. But none of them are the end.
Illustration by Emma.