Sunday, 3 August 2014

Earnestly Believing.

OK, here’s why I get so irked by earnestness:

Earnestness is almost invariably associated with belief, and I can’t find anything to believe in. In fact, I think I’d go further and say that I no longer believe in belief. It strikes me as a redundant notion, pandering as it usually does to some unnecessary psychological need. I have opinions, I theorise, and I give credence to the possibility – or even the likelihood – that certain things are. But that isn’t the same thing as belief. You either know something or you don’t, and I don’t claim to know very much these days.

I’ve spent quite some time over the past week or so constructing rationales for two propositions. (My dear friend Ms Wong likes propositions.)

1. That all material existence is a constant flow of non-being and therefore illusory.

2. That the only thing which truly exists is consciousness, and that the ultimate purpose of consciousness is to experience the abstract.

I don’t believe in either of them, but I give them both a substantial amount of credence. They make sense to me, but I can’t know that they’re right. If you know something, you don’t need to believe in it. If you don’t know something, why feel the need to believe?

All of which has an interesting side effect: I don’t even believe in myself.

And so it is that I see people with closed eyes and vacuous smiles turning their heads to the heavens, convinced that they’ve found the truth and belief has set them free. It must be nice, but I don’t envy them and I can’t join them.

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