gooollysandra

Thoughts on thoughts and images of beautiful things

Tag Archives: thought

The only one

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Being an only child, I am very absorbed with myself. Not in a selfish way, but in a contemplative, reserved way. I think this is  a trait that is probably pretty common among only children because growing up we spend so much time alone and we are our parents’ only concern, so we inherently receive a lot of attention and support. Therefore, only children tend to think about themselves a lot because that is how they are brought up. This tendency can result in a negative self-absorption and selfishness where one only thinks about oneself at the cost of others. But it can also result in a very contemplative and almost nervous concern for one’s life and future, i.e. what do I want to do in life, am I doing the right thing/making the right decision, what kind of people do I want in my life, what kind of person do I want to be, etc. This is not to say that people who have siblings do not have the same concerns, but there is something about only children and the time they spend alone and the way they are brought up, that I think fosters this kind of thought.

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“To sustain ardor, one must be in love not only with the thing itself, but also with the idea of the thing itself.”

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“Moral: To sustain ardor, one must be in love not only with the thing itself, but also with the idea of the thing itself.”

I recently read this quote by Stephen Dankner in a newspaper article in The Advocate, which is based in New England, and I read it at just the perfect moment as I am trying to decide what I want to do with my future; more precisely, what I want to pursue graduate studies in and this quote sums it all up. So what do I love in essence and in thought? At the moment I am trying to make up my mind between Art History and Film. Submitting applications for both is a bit confusing and it’s hard to imagine which I would enjoy more. But reading this quote brought up a very basic, fundamental notion that I hadn’t thought of but makes all the sense in the world. Do most people have the luxury of loving what they do as well as the idea of it? Probably not. I think it’s a hard to achieve because it’s hard to even figure out what you love in essence AND in thought.

Alone

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When you live alone, you’re not accountable to anyone or anything, allowing you to slip away or slip by without doing anything particularly productive. When you live alone, it’s easy to become inactive because there’s no one pushing you to do anything. This is not necessarily a good thing, even though it may seem like an easy way to live. Doing the smallest of things requires so much effort and it is hard to motivate oneself to be productive when there’s no one around watching you. But living alone also has its perks. It gives you time to think without the influence of others; being alone with one’s thoughts can be a very scary place to be, but liberating as well. When you’re left to your own defenses your mind wanders to places you don’t want it to wander. And as much as you don’t want to go to those places in your mind, you have to if you want to explore and discover yourself. As scary and unwelcome as it may be it’s a necessary process that real people must go through. Those who choose not to go through it will pay for it, resulting in superficiality. Living alone one can become very lonely and loneliness is the worst sentiment to feel in abundance. Or, on the other hand, you can take advantage of time alone to do things that you’ve always wanted to do but have never had time for; not only that, you can do things that you find comfort in, which you’re prevented from doing if constantly surrounded by others. It’s called self-indulgence and pampering. So, being alone…although it can be scary/lonely/sad at times, has a lot of advantages to it too. We are, after all, fundamentally alone in the world. Regardless of family, friends and loves ones, at the end of the way it’s just us. The only one we have to respond to is ourself.

The life of a philosopher is a life of luxury

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The life of a philosopher is a life of luxury…to just be able to sit around and think. The possibilities of thought and what one might gain insight to through thought are phenomenal. All the questions that could be answered by one very simple, fundamental thing that we take for granted, THOUGHT, are endless. And that is the beauty of thought – it is never finished, done. You can always think and think and think more…and perhaps come to more and more conclusions about things that you always wanted answers to. And those answers certainly don’t need to be final. In fact, they probably won’t be final, because as you accumulate more thoughts over time, you will probably change your mind about things and reach a different conclusion. This is the kind of life a philosopher has the luxury of leading…thinking all of the time. But after some time, the luxury may begin to fade and turn into despair as one realizes all that there is to think about and the limits of time and possible answers. Furthermore, after all is thought, what does it amount to? Does it lead to any kind of change or progress in one’s life or in the world? Perhaps sometimes yes and sometimes no. This is the despair of the life of a philosopher.