A Brief Introduction To A Blog Meant For These Strange Times

I have made many choices in life that most respectable people would consider idiotic, irresponsible, or just plain silly.  These choices have gotten me absolutely nowhere from a worldly point of view.  But from a different point of view, one I could call my own, they have given me many incredible experiences, and a chance to encounter many interesting people, some of whom I call loved ones and friends till this day.  It is also these experiences and these people that have given me the inspiration to become a writer, an aspiring one at least.

I was quite disillusioned as a teenager, which wasn’t a rare occurrence for millennials coming of age in the wake of 9/11.  I remember thinking that  almost everything anyone told me didn’t quite seem to make sense.  Maybe it wasn’t what they were saying, but how they said it.  They said it from a position of authority and this meant that they must be right.  This seemed to work well enough for most people, but I was a little bastard.

When I was sixteen, I figured it was a good idea to go on a year long drug binge.  It was a time of excitement, desperate misery, utter jubilation and, to borrow a phrase from one of my favorite writers, of “fear and loathing “.  In my mind, I was trying to discover the limits of freedom, both personal and practical, in a society that claimed to be the freest on earth.  Conventional wisdom would hold that if any person took as many illicit substances as my friends and I did, we would certainly die, but none of us did.  So I learned that the man or woman speaking at the podium, the one who claimed to know everything, the one who demanded to be obeyed, was fallible.

By the time I was seventeen, going on eighteen, my disillusionment had reached a fevered pitch and I could no longer stand waking up each morning and going to school, so I dropped out.  I cut out the drugs though.  Very free people have the ability to continue with the hard stuff and not end up worthless junkies.  The last thing I wanted was to be was a junky.

I wondered to myself, if all these people out here in the suburbs didn’t have the answers, well then who the hell did.  I became obsessed with learning, wondering if there was an answer.  I digested huge tomes about philosophy and religion, science, and the arts.  If you would have came in my room when I was nineteen, you would have thought me a crazy person, with books and papers scattered across my floor, desk, bed, and nightstand.  It was exhilarating, like a drug unto itself.  I would become obsessed with a particular philosophy, then disregard it for another.  In retrospect, I was a bit nuts.

For a few years, I became a Christian and decided to study religion and philosophy at a local private university, after receiving an associate degree in liberal arts at a community college.  By the time I graduated in 2012, I had become completely disillusioned with Catholicism as with most philosophies.  Put more simply, I just didn’t believe a single one of them to be completely, even mostly, true.

That may all sound pretty depressing considering my passion for philosophy.  Believe me, at the time it was very depressing.  But then I realized, and I’m certainly not the first one, that maybe it is a fallacy to think one system of thought is completely true.  Maybe the human experience, and the possibility of something greater than ourselves, is far too vast, yet far too detailed, to every be explained in a series of propositions.  Maybe the beginning of true thought is at the end of Ideology.

 

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28 comments

  1. Charlotte E. Wilde · January 29, 2015

    I think we all wonder if we’re going a bit insane at times and I find that philosophy tends to complicate just as much as it clarifies. You should check out Zizek’s “A Perverts Guide to Ideology” if you haven’t already seen it. Strange times indeed.

    Like

    • jayfel354 · January 29, 2015

      I agree. I love philosophy, but as with most things, you shouldn’t take it too seriously. I’ve noticed it on Netflix before. I’ll definitely have to check it out.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Charlotte E. Wilde · January 30, 2015

        It’s very strange, hysterically strange, actually…still, the message is interesting.

        Liked by 1 person

      • theboronheist · January 30, 2015

        Zizek is a must read. Lacanian psychoanalysis meet Hegelian dialectic reinterpreted through two hundred years of political and social history and theory makes for one hell of a show. And quite possibly, the closest thing to truth to hit philosophy since the negative assertions of Heidegger and Derrida.

        Like

      • jayfel354 · January 30, 2015

        You’ve peaked my curiosity to the utter most limits. What would you say is his principle work?

        Like

      • theboronheist · January 30, 2015

        Definitely The Sublime Object of Ideology. but his works are nearly impenetrable from the outset, so papers like “Melancholy and the Act” or “The supposed subjects of ideology” are good starting points.

        Like

  2. arcade1775 · January 30, 2015

    I LOVED reading this. Looking forward to hearing more of yourself!

    Like

  3. nicolerigets · January 30, 2015

    Reading about your life experience was enriched with your sense of humour. I felt your final sentence was a Strike; a Winner, and Brilliant. 🙂

    Like

    • jayfel354 · January 30, 2015

      Thanks, I don’t know how I could go on without a little (ok, probably a lot) sense of humor

      Like

  4. sgrobins81 · January 30, 2015

    Your last sentence is truly insightful. You’ve learned a great deal during your adventures and studies.
    I agree with your statement. Could it all just come down to the Golden Rule as the only true philosophy?

    Thanks for liking WowPow. I’d love it if you’d leave a comment!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Toad · January 30, 2015

    Well said. I will read more.

    Like

  6. lilyionamackenzie · January 30, 2015

    The image that you’ve used here is perfect. And I enjoyed discovering how you’ve come to writing. Thanks for taking time away from it to visit my blog!

    Like

  7. kauaiartist · January 30, 2015

    Thank you so much for liking my poem The Kid on WordMusic. I hope it fits in with your philosophical journey in a good way.

    Brent Kincaid.

    Like

  8. K. D. Dowdall · January 30, 2015

    A very well written argument and well thought out. You are a very good, maybe even a great writer and thinker. Yes, we, as sentient beings have developed a plethora of ideologies to explain why we are here, how to live being here, and what to do about it. Fear of the unknown is a jealous thing and thus we try to cover that fear up with fanciful theological and philosophical beliefs. Some of these fanciful ideologies have helped us and others, not so much. The Golden Rule is a humanistic belief (as humanism is known today – but not in the late middle ages – very different thought then, think of the Catholic gentlemen, Thomas More). When all else falls away, the Golden Rule is a pretty good way of living ones life and then add to it your personal beliefs. Beliefs are just faith and faith in yourself goes along way to live with the unknowable. Your insight at such a young age says a great deal about who you are and what you will become. Amazing.

    Like

    • jayfel354 · January 31, 2015

      K.D. Dowdall,

      Very wise words and thanks for the support!

      I think there is a lot to be said for the idea that morality is essentially empathy. Empathy, put more poetically, is just the golden rule.
      If this is the case, humans are simultaneously selfish and selfless creatures, which makes us interesting indeed.

      Like

  9. Dharmasar Thero · February 1, 2015

    Maybe the beginning of true knowledge is the end of thought.

    Like

  10. Ellar Wise · February 3, 2015

    Ok, You’re reached base 1. That’s a giant step already but the easiest one. Now difficulties will start because human being is a gregarious species and very few human societies allow freedom of thoughts and few, very few, philosophers are free of ideology, quite the contrary. So what do you do next? Believe me, it’s hard to stand your ground against idiots, if only because freedom is also freedom to be an idiot.

    Like

  11. jayfel354 · February 3, 2015

    That’s probably the best question of all, “what’s next. Whenever people criticize something, others expect them to instantly have a solution. But I think that one must say no before they can figure out when to say yes. I’m glad that idiots are also free. It gives thinking people good incentive to keep thinking.

    Like

  12. maxclry · February 4, 2015

    I think many of the millennial are disillusioned with the world. They were promised that they would be special, the next great generation. But the bubble burst along with the dream. Maybe the next generation will do better.

    Like

  13. Susan Marg · February 4, 2015

    Wouldn’t that be nice – the end of ideology? Look back. Plan ahead.

    Like

  14. narble · February 4, 2015

    You dilemmas read very similar to the ones I faced in the Sixties, which is when I came of age. Yeah, I was a hippie. I still am in lots of ways, but am currently in disguise. 🙂 I think your generation has it much harder than than mine did. I talk about all of it with my son, who is also a Millennial (whatever the hell that is). I really try hard not to judge anybody, other than to detect threats. But sometimes, I can’t help it. I’m human. I like your blog concept. I’m not much of a follower, but will check in from time to time.

    Like

    • jayfel354 · February 4, 2015

      Thanks for sharing. I have a ton of respect for your generation and the way they have shaped the culture. One of these ways is just what you said, try not to judge others. The hippies didn’t invent this concept, but they have made it more popular.

      Like

  15. Opher · February 4, 2015

    Believe nothing. Think everything. Live as much as you can.
    Thanks for the like on Opher’s World Blog where I try to tell it how it is without the bullshit.
    I like your blog. Keep it up.
    Best wishes
    opher

    Like

  16. thefitnesswizards · February 9, 2015

    Do you ever get the feeling that the answers are ridiculously simple, we are trying too hard and we are just not connecting with whatever energy will lead us to wherever it is we are heading. Where is that exactly?

    Like

    • jayfel354 · February 9, 2015

      Thanks for commenting.
      I’m not to sure, but I suspect that the answer is much simpler than we assume.

      Like

  17. williambean2014 · February 20, 2015

    Thank you for reading my post and giving it a like. I will tell you a truth. Everyone has an ideology, no exceptions. An ideology is that investment we make in emotions, feelings, and occasionally an idea or two. You are young and you will change the shape and flavor of your ideology many times over. The question will always be, who is the master?

    Like

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