“If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid.”
Enough of improving Epictetus. It seems like everything in Stoicism is about improving, about making yourself better, all the time. But that’s now the only thing I care about.
The concept of insight is superbly interesting, alluring. Just like the concept of hidden knowledge, something buried deep and forgotten by everyone except for a chosen (by themselves) few. Insight, the capacity to see something that has always been there but that you didn’t possess the needed understanding to see it, but now that you do, you’re not blind anymore and you’ve gained insight.
Who’d like to walk blind? Who isn’t interested or curious about existence? Who doesn’t want to search for the philosopher’s stone (maybe hidden in the depths of your mind?)
When I was a kid, I used to ponder over the concept of being sad because I would not be able to invent anything new, or worse, discover anything new. Everything in the world, at least in my eyes, was already discovered or invented. Now I know better, I’ve acquired insight with the years and the world doesn’t do anything than getting more and more interesting. The world is simple and vain for the vain and simple eyes, but complex and alluring to the eyes of these same qualities. The determinant of experience is the observer.
We’re always walking in the dark, voluntarily so, always crying about things that don’t deserve our tears, afraid of bunnies disguised as monsters. We are walking blindfolded. And unless we put some effort into unfolding our eyes and gain insight, we will die without knowing too much about the true ways of the world.
I want to make the case for philosophy and wonder, for curiosity. A professor of mine once told me that as long as I were curious I would not die, metaphorically speaking (while I was physically alive). Curiosity fills our need for meaning and it creates a sense of adventure. It will also give you insight, the power to see what is hidden. Who knows what you’ll find?
You’re too old to believe in magic, are you? But just as a person from the middle ages would freak out if he saw the light of Satan coming off of your iPhone would call you a sorcerer, so do you would freak out about something from the future. Orwell couldn’t even begin to imagine the ways we are being surveilled right now.
Magic exists, it’s the degree of insight that you have that makes it possible or not, that makes it magic and sorcery or just pure, exquisite understanding.
I want you to question yourself and wonder if what you think you know for a fact to be true, is really true, or if it is just a belief of the truth.
Wonder, ask questions, gain insight. Look for that hidden knowledge.
Merlin is waiting.
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