Think on Higher Things


Full disclosure: I haven’t been sleeping much. Started a job on night shift. You’ll probably figure out why I told you this as you keep reading. 

I didn’t explain my skepticism…or eye-rolling…regarding the outline of the static identity.

Not that it’s incorrect. To echo the Buddhists, the self is the source of all suffering. My skepticism lies in any methodology of undoing the self. It’s not as easy as returning to a state of pre-modernization…a time before we ever had to confront an identity. I only identified a problem, I gave no solution.

Truthfully, the best I can deliver is to quote Socrates: “The unexamined life is not worth living.” You’d think that after two millennia of hearing this shit, someone…somewhere…would have thought of something better. Alas, I throw in the towel: despite all of the undertakings of philosophy throughout the centuries, no one did it better than Plato and Aristotle….the whole of Western Philosophy begins and ends with them.

Mind you, I’ve challenged Socrates on this before. A close examination of my own philosophy would indicate that it’s the PROCESS of examining life that led to the development of “the static identity”. “Ignorance is bliss” might’ve been true for humans once upon a time. But the fruit of knowledge has been eaten. There is no turning back the clock. We possess an identity and if examination is what got us here, then perhaps examination could get us out.

To achieve bliss, to climb out of the “happiness deficit”, we must become philosophers.

All words that have been said before, but there you have it.

And perhaps what I’m about to discuss has nothing to do with what I just said. But thinking about this is what led me to think about the first section of this post. I’m lazy and tired, so I don’t really feel like figuring out a way to link the two thoughts.

But an argument that keeps appearing in the gun control debate is that the “2nd Amendment is more important than the 1st Amendment because 2nd protects the 1st”. Which is sort of like saying that the most important part of a candy bar is the wrapper. But this argument is emblematic of the American psyche….appearances are more important than the content.

It’s this condition of thinking that has probably led to America’s “happiness deficit”.

It’s a defeatist attitude, but we all know guns aren’t going anywhere. Even I know that they are firmly embedded into American culture. To ban them today, it’s entirely possible that it would be as successful as Prohibition was to alcohol. The only way to successfully rid them in American culture is to have them deemed socially unacceptable…which might be happening faster than what gun-enthusiasts are comfortable with admitting.

Now we can explore familiar arguments for 2nd Amendment rights…the right to protection, to balance out the power of government, because safety in a free society cannot and SHOULD not be guaranteed at the cost of liberty, etc….but to evoke the 2nd Amendment (and even the aforementioned arguments) to defend possessing a gun seems like a cop-out….As if the Founding Fathers inadvertently bailed you out.

What is it about a gun that makes one want to own it? To me, that’s the heart of the argument that no one, on either side, wants to address. A gun is designed to do one thing: to kill or cause injury.

Is there a transcendent component to owning a gun? Or is it simply a method of balancing out power in a world where one feels powerless?

I don’t know if I’m making any fucking sense.

But if we are to become philosophers, to seek knowledge or action as a method of overpowering others is not seeking “higher things”. We must transcend our worst natures if we are to find peaceful existence within this societal matrix.

Okay, I’m off to bed.

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