About For Sure and Photosynthesis
Where did the ideas of surety and certitude come from? There’s the saying about death and taxes—conceding that, what else can we really put our stake on? Let’s keep it human. Because there’s always going to be that guy that brings up the sunrise. Then I can bring up three billion years from now when the sun expands out to the frigging moons of Jupiter or whatever. I know. Sad. It’s the first thing I remember crying at as a kid. Frigging sun. You and your life-giving, photosynthesis-allowing, Krebs Cycle inducing… can’t you just be happy with what you have?
Sorry. Sometimes—the drugs…
People walk their own walks being sure about this that and the other. Not my place to judge. If it isn’t already clear, I’m more in the Socrates camp than the Sophists. That is, I try to get to the definitions more than the answers. Frustrating, but by my limited thinking, more important. Because my thinking is so limited.
I think the human brain in part came up with certainty so that we can have really good drama. In life, yes, and in drama. There’s nothing that tragic about a main protagonist who is done in, ripped apart and sent to the furies—when through the whole story he was like, “you know, I totally think I might be ripped apart and sent to the furies, but, I don’t know, not really sure. Either way, can’t be too certain these days…”
Besides sounding like an a-hole, whatever happens to that character isn’t dramatic or tragic or anything. He lacked certainty. When the sure character is defeated or stymied, that hurts. We feel it. We knew something was coming, but in a way, his certainty was contagious. We caught a bit of his cold, even if in the back of our minds we knew the whole thing was make believe.
Stories are make believe and then, they’re not. The fact that something didn’t actually happen doesn’t mean it didn’t actually happen. Yes, I meant to write that. This is a philosophical rabbit hole that I’ll be burrowing into in the not so distant future. For now, let’s just stay with certainty.
I find it really interesting when you see self-helpers telling you of all the things they’re sure of. They’re not. Don’t let yourself think it. Not all are total assholes, but they’re so presumptive, yeah, they are. Treat all those people that just know for sure the way you would anybody else. So, when they turn out to be wrong, it won’t be so dramatic.
Cynical? Yeah, I might be. But are you sure? See you after.