I am not an intellectual.
I am by no means spiritual.
I am no saint or demon.
I am nothing that I ever may have claimed to be.
And perhaps that is the key: “I am nothing.”
Today I had to write a paper that coincidentally turned out to mesh well with how I’ve been feeling lately.
If you’re ever bored, here is the paper: Effective Occupation
Not my best in the slightest, but eh. If you read it, you will likely get the gist of the material. To package it nicely, the essay discusses the notion behind this quote from the Gospel of Thomas:
“You read the face of the sky and earth, but… you do not know how to read this moment” (Thomas 92).
The depth and brevity of one’s knowledge amounts to nothing without an awareness of the self, or one’s subjectivity.
In “The Varieties of Religious Experience,” William James phrases it thusly:
“To describe the world with all the various feelings of the individual pinch of destiny… left out from the description… would be like offering a printed bill of fare as the equivalent for a solid meal. Religion makes no such blunder. The individual’s religion may be egotistic… but at any rate it always remains infinitely less hollow and abstract… than a science, which prides itself on taking no account of anything private at all” (James 500).
Your beliefs are your feelings. Perception (knowledge), feelings, and activity together allow one to lead a full life.
“Knowledge about life is one thing; effective occupation of a place in life, with its dynamic currents passing through your being, is another (James 489).”
This all probably seems horribly muddled, but it makes sense to me.
“A conscious field plus its object as felt or thought plus an attitude towards the object plus the sense of a self to whom the attitude belongs – such a concrete bit of personal experience may be a small bit but it is a solid bit, as long as it lasts; not hollow, not a mere abstract element of experience, such as the ‘object’ is when taken all alone. It is a full fact, even though it be an insignificant fact; it is of the kind to which all realities whatsoever must belong; the motor currents of the world run through the like of it; it is on the line connecting real events with real events” (James 499).
I strive for these “full facts.” Up until recently, my efforts have mostly been inward. A growing understanding of myself has been gnawing my insides for months now. This awareness is empowering in that it has shown me all of my strengths and my weaknesses; thus giving me the necessary arsenal to make some real changes.
Now more than ever, I realize the true amount of control I have over my well-being. There is no point in negativity, in bogging myself down with complaints or the hollow-mindedness of others. I don’t need any of it, and I sure as hell don’t want any of it.
It seems that the time has come for me to finally take action with my new found sense of self at the helm. It’s a heavy process, and I still feel some inner resistance, but I truly believe I am on the right track.
First and foremost, I want to make the most of what I have, especially after taking stock of it all. It would help if I could find some like-minded individuals.
Hello, out there!