21 October, 2002

The Curse Of Epistemology

You have to stop somewhere, don't you? I mean, I totally agree with the whole "success is a journey, not a destination" idea, but to wander aimlessly is not a route to success, is it?

{Enter epistemology.}

How many times must someone say "but why?" before it gets annoying? How far can one go when analyzing a subject before the structure of that object is lost to obscurity?

I recall the story of the poet and the physicist that were walking in the park. The poet stopped to kneel in front of a beautiful rose, and dwelt in its beauty for some fifteen or so seconds. The physicist stood nearby, looking at the flower as well, analyzing it. When the poet was finished, he stood and remarked, "The difference between you and me, my friend, is that I can truly appreciate this flower for its beauty, while you may only appreciate it for its scientific knowledge." Then the poet walked away, and the physicist knelt in his place to look at the flower once more.
The physicist thought to himself, "Nay, it is I who sees the true beauty, my friend, for all you see is a flower with petals, while I see the magnificent design of so few elementary particles that make up such a wondrous sight as this flower."

Who, between the poet and the physicist, is the true poet?

Is it wrong to see not an ideal, but a law instead? Is it immoral to recognize no thought, not even my own? Sure, I like the ideal of Dominique (from The Fountainhead)as much as the next guy, but doesn't she take that ideal one step too far? Why is it so impossible for her to budge from her ideals by even one single iota? Even Roark stoops to the level of working on designs that would never be implemented...

hate Dominique... But wasn't that the point of the book? That the common man hates true ideals?

Therefore, I am a common man.

I see the ideal, and oh, how I wish I could live like that! But to take an extreme so far as to be irreverent to all else... And yet, do I not agree with that assessment? Am I not against the establishment, not because of what they represent, but just because it is an establishment? Just because the fact that an establishment constitutes a group with similar goals?

In American history, every time a third party is formed because of a decisive issue, that third party has disappeared within twenty years, because the other two dominant parties have adopted the stance of the third party, rendering it superfluous.

I suspect no one reading this has any clue as to what I talking about. I don't even understand myself sometimes. But at least I make an effort. At least I try to tell the inner truth of things here, unlike most. At least I attempt some semblence of actual thought, however rational it may be.

"Close only counts in horshoes and hand grenades."

Ooh. Wow. You can always count on my inner consciousness to tell it like it is with some semi-witty oft-used retarded saying.

"It made more sense than that BS you wrote earlier in this diary entry. You need to grow up, Eric. Get over it. Live your life and quit over-analyzing such stupid things... I mean, come on! You know it's really bad when you start analyzing the fact that you analyze."

::sigh:: I'm right, as always. You just can't argue with that ever-present logic. (By the gods, but do I hate logic...)


I had a dream the other night about my doors being left open. Not unlocked, but open. In my dream, I knew who had left them open, and for some reason it made me so mad that I punched that person, and it was in full view of multiple police officers in broad daylight.

Ordinarily, I wouldn't mention such a bizarre dream, except that I was so very mad that as I punched in the dream, I also punched in reality, and the extreme shifting of weight behind that punch made me fall onto the floor.


I wonder... was I punching me? I mean, it wasn't me in the dream that I was punching, but then again... Might it have been?

Why is it that I think, yet so few others do? I say not to offend, of course, but it seems like such a waste. If only I had been brought up to believe in religion... If only my logic were displaced by the surety of righteousness... Why, then I could have been such a good guy...

Yet here I sit, manacled by logic. Here I bemoan the fate of truth at the hands of the unrighteous disbelievers. Here, I wish for ignorance, for blind belief, for religion, for fantasy, for anything, so long as it is not logic... Anything but logic...

And yet I am shackled. If I were a christian and wished to become atheist, the transition would be so very easy. All I have to do is stop believing. But to be an atheist looking for religion... That is an entirely different matter.

But it's even worse than that, for it's not religion I want, but happiness. All I wish for is happiness, but even as I wish it, it seems to be an impossible goal. I want to hear a song like everyone else in the world does, just once. Just once! Is it so much to ask for me to hear just one song and actually hear the entirety of the song? Is it so hard for me to just hear it, without the separation of voices? Why can't I at least look at a tree and see what Robert Jordan sees? Why can't I just taste a food and think merely of the food itself?

Keating: "How can you always know what you want?"
Roark: "How can you not know what you want?"

To what end logic? For what purpose? If self is all that is important, then what is the value of opinion? I am tempted to answer 'none' right away, but is that wholly correct? Dominique would disagree, because she doesn't think opinions aren't valuable; rather she feels they are extremely valuable, but only in the opposite direction from what the ordinary person might feel. Whereas Roark doesn't care, Dominique cares so much that she destroys perfection, saving it from view.

Keating: "What do you have to be avenged for?"
Dominique: "I am to be avenged because I have nothing to be avenged for."

I'd rather be ignorant than think of such things, but what choice have I? One does not go from thinking to not thinking... It is not possible, is it?

Baram didn't think. Perhaps once, this might have been incorrect, but in the end, Baram did not think. I admire Baram for this, not because it was done, but because it could be done. I would have the same admiration even if Baram never did it.

So what of me?

"Think back to when you were truly happy."

Ah, yes. Thank you for that reminder.
When was I truly happy?


Was I ever truly happy? I want to say yes, but what evidence have I of this? If I were happy with it, then wouldn't it have made sense for me to preserve the moment? Obviously, I did not, so does that indicate my stupidity or does that indicate that I wasn't truly happy?

I am tempted to answer 'stupdity', but if I do, then how can I support that answer? Is there even a logical base that can support it? Or must the absence of happiness be true by default?

Perhaps it will help if I turn the question around. Have I ever truly been sad? I want to say yes, as even in the here and now I consider myself to be in a depression. Yet how do I argue that this is so?
What if how I feel is how everyone else feels when they're happy, except when I feel it I consider the feeling to be a negative one?

I know that sounds crazy, but there is a lot of physical evidence supporting that theory. All of my life, I've wished to be where I am, and now here I am. So maybe this is happiness.

Maybe this is as good as it gets.

::sigh:: I am depressing myself even further. Why can't I just quit thinking about it and just be happy?

"In order to be happy, one must first be happy."
Yeah, no duh. But how?
"Just do it."

Wow, that's so helpful.


I want to experience the feeling of desire. I want to want something. It doesn't particularly matter what it is; I just want to want it. But I don't want to want it the way other people want things... I want to want something for me. Not because I want to be viewed a certain way or because I want to be in a certain place, but because I want it.

When Keating was young, he wanted to be an artist. Later he wanted to be an architect, but that was an entirely different kind of want. I want to want like Keating wanted to be an artist. I want to want like Roark wanted to have beauty exist. I want to want like Dominique wanted beauty not to exist. I want to want like Toohey wanted people not to want.

I want to be a physicist. But why? I like physics... Don't I? Do I? How do I know? What if my desire is not my desire?

What do I want?

Keating: "How can you always know what you want?"
Roark: "How can you not know what you want?"

Why don't I know? Why aren't I certain? Why must my faith waver in anything and everything?

Keating: "How can you always know what you want?"
Roark: "How can you not know what you want?"

Roark's words haunt me, and there is nothing I can do. How can it come so easily to him yet so hard to me?

Keating: "How can you always know what you want?"
Roark: "How can you not know what you want?"

I replay the scene over and over again within my mind and nothing ever changes. Roark is so relaxed; he cares of nothing, not even himself. Keating is so upset, agonizing over a decision that he shouldn't have to think to make.

Keating: "How can you always know what you want?"
Roark: "How can you not know what you want?"

Again and again the words play through my mind and there is nothing I can do to stop it... I try singing and reciting verse but nothing helps... It just keeps going on and on and on and on and on and --

It stopped.

Why did it stop? What did I do? What made it stop so suddenly like that? Have I gone mad?

Or is this the only sane thought I've ever had?

{Exit epistemology.}

I scare myself.

A friend suggested drugs. Should I see a doctor and ask for a prescription? No, I won't. If I take drugs, it will only dull my thoughts. Even if it did not, it would still do so by my own thoughts on the matter... So no, I will not see a doctor.

God help me.


"The purpose of Memory Lapse is not to counter a spell, but to counter a turn. The purpose of Prozac is not to counter the syndrome, but to counter the syndrome's residence."

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