I want to continue tackling the issue of self. Yesterday I wrote a little about truth and what it means to me. While I didn’t come to a conclusive answer, I think there is enough of a basis to continue on. I’m wary of becoming stuck in the infinite, I think the best way forward is to make reasonable leaps of faith, and revisit them in the future.
“For the self is a synthesis in which the finite is the limiting factor, and the infinite the expanding factor.”
Søren Kierkegaard, The Sickness Unto Death
A goal is to find a balance between the two. However, now that I’ve opened this philosophical can of worms I think that I will never get there. I mean, what is this balance? How can I measure it? Honestly, I don’t think this disturbs me.
An exciting part of life is continuing to find out who you really are. I used to think this being was related to my hobbies, profession, interests. I don’t think that is who I am. Who I am is my reaction to events, my internal and moral values. It is my thoughts, my imagination. It is the things you can’t remove. If who I was was not these things, then if an evil scientist removed my brain and placed it in a machine capable of sustaining it’s full function, would I cease to exist?
I’ve begun this journey of finding out who I am. Probably I will end it when I’m dead. Kierkegaard says that to get to choice you’ve to walk down the steps, past anxiety, discomfort, despair. What comes after is presumably tranquillity? I don’t know. As with the previous post, I’m still taking steps towards who I am, why I am and where I am. The infinity of choice is scary. Maybe I’ll find out what tranquillity feels like. So far I’m jumping up and down the first few steps of a StairMaster(tm) like I’m an insta influencer training them glutes for Coachella next week.
I believe that this will get easier with time. Just like muscles get sore after stomping up to the top of the Burj Khalifa, so do your emotions and mind when thinking about this. But do it a few hundred times and eventually you never use the elevator again. I lie, everyone gets out of breath after one flight of stairs, and if anyone says otherwise they’re a god-damned liar.
Addendum: I am using this as a journal of sorts, not just to think on philosophical topics but also process what I’ve felt that day. I think it’s important for me to note how I felt today. I was having a lazy afternoon, tuning the guitar and practising the A, D and E chords. This led me to listen to some music I was obsessing over when I was a teenager, Buried Alive by A7X, Tears Don’t Fall by Bullet for my Valentine, etc. Emo stuff. I felt such a change in how I felt. I was radiant, pure joy. Following the music, the skill of the guitar players, accuracy of the drums. Sitting on the soft couch, clean air, full stomach, warm sun on my closed eyelids. And I was so happy that my teenage self managed to carry on back then, listening to those exact songs with the exact opposite feelings and view of the world.