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How Truth-Seeking Is Sacrifice

Updated: Feb 23

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There is a lot of comfort in being optimistic, isn't there? To focus on the good things and ignore all the rest. Unfortunately, for those who seek the truth beyond the cover of this bias, optimism can be more of a threat than a virtue, even though it is often seen as such by countless people.

Optimism, while an important approach to life, can bias our thinking when it makes us overestimate or underestimate reality and its implications in the name of positivity. That is when positivity can work out against you, should you choose it above realism.

Why do we seek to be optimistic, after all, if not to feel good? To feel this pleasant, comforting array of feelings we associate with goodness? That, in itself, has no fault. But when it is used to distract oneself from the truth, that is when it becomes an obstacle; an obstacle in the quest for knowledge, insight, and wisdom.

We see propaganda, especially by totalitarian regimes, as immoral, misleading, and untrue. But do you know the bitter truth? That seeking "good vibes" through distraction is one of the functions such propaganda fills for its populace. All the music, all the cheering, and pride—what is it, if not a way to escape from the fact that one is starving, ill, cold, or might be beaten up by the dictator's henchmen for something that is otherwise legitimate in a democracy?

When you decide to become a philosopher, AKA, a truth-seeker, you need to know that you are making a sacrifice that could also entail your very own mental health. Those who distract themselves from certain truths, while calling themselves truth-seekers, are, technically, hypocrites. The truth, by its very essence, if not rewarding, is one that hurts, and once contemplated over and over again, can slowly damage your mentality if you are not careful.

It would be wise for any philosopher to understand what they are getting themselves into. Because philosophizing can be difficult not only intellectually but emotionally. You are taking an important mantle in the name of extracting insights for humanity. That is your altruistic sacrifice, should you philosophize for others, and not just for your own sake.

This is why not all people like philosophers. The reason is not just because of their complex sentences and hard-to-understand texts (I wrote a guide that can help you). It is also because many people are afraid of being uncomfortable for long periods of time. You cannot expect to be a philosopher if you are a yes-man who wants everyone to be happy and peaceful. The philosopher isn't necessarily a people pleaser.

To anyone considering adopting philosophy as a way of life, I urge you to see a psychologist or psychiatrist every once in a while. This is not to say that you are "crazy" or "insane." You need to take care of your mental health while doing something that could damage it over time. This is why I am not ashamed to admit that I take psychiatric medication—I cannot philosophize without them. If I didn't, I would be driven mad. And who are psychologists if not those who are not only there to help you, but to actually listen to you, even if what you have to say is uncomfortable?

The point of that sacrifice is to make this world a better place by revealing the truth of which you study. These truths can be used to improve the world by helping people with their problems. One of the things it does is to increase the philosopher's problem solving abilities. In addition, it helps you think more clearly and logically. These cognitive skills can help not only you but the world around you. It can make people want to become your students and deem your words relevant due to their practical potential. It is a sacrifice that can even allow you to build a powerbase, making you more relevant than otherwise. Making you know that you are needed and appreciated.

It is a sacrifice that can, at the same time, be regarded as a win-win situation, even if some resources are being spent and invested. AKA, the sacrifice of your mentality, as you venture into the harsh reality beyond your day-to-day life.

Every day, as a philosopher, you are like carrying an egg with you. That egg is your psyche. Those who prefer the shadows to the sun, keep their eggs in the comfort of the dark. But once you take your egg out into the world, you need to make sure that it doesn't crack, or else its contents will spill out, leading to a state of no return—a state of permanent insanity.

As such, consider not delving too deep into nihilism if your mentality is too weak to bear it. Like the Joker, it can make you quite mad.

Your only salvation in the struggle for truth is a truth that opposes it in the name of equity. It's also known as impartiality. It's about a truth strong enough to resist the impact of the former. Unlike others, you no longer have the privilege of distracting positivity, but you may still need it occasionally to avoid negative bias.

When the propaganda tells you that the nation is at its financial peak, while it is in fact in poverty, all the cheering and the parades will not keep you from the truth. It's the truth that you live in an incompetent, totalitarian regime. Of course, this is just an allegory. There are its first-world, hedonistic counterparts nonetheless.

I made a mistake when I chose this path; not a mistake in the path itself, but in my initial premise on the matter. I thought I was going to enjoy this a lot, to discover new insights, share them with the world, and receive constant gratitude.

In reality, many truths I found have scarred my mind. I don't see these mental scars as something negative, necessarily. They are ultimately proof of the burden that is my philosophership. They're proof that I tried doing something that not many people would dare trying, as the positive distraction is at times too comforting a thing to desire its abandonment.

Those who fear the sharpness of criticism, may quickly struggle with philosophy, and struggle among philosophers themselves. We do it naturally. And some of us may do it for a living.

It is like the scars of an army veteran and their implications, and indeed it could be claimed that the seasoned truth-seeker can be a very scarred man or woman. They are one who sacrificed the good feelings in exchange of knowing more about existence. Those who fear the ills of contemplation, and prefer instead to distract their minds in pursuits that do not require much depth, are very bad philosopher-material.

But I guess that, in the end, nothing is truly eternal but the void. All our efforts will be equal to none once our species are to be extinct by whatever means likely. Even with the eternity fallacy being at presence (which I devised myself), do you think humanity will last forever? Without the sun, which is a mortal object, we're all toast. Not only us, but anything that we have ever created and lies within the solar system. Do you think a meteor can't hit Earth? Why not? Given that planets explode left and right, technically at least one meteor can hit us at any moment, regardless of size.

And all of my Philosocom empire... Do you think it will outlast the sun? It probably won't, as any other human-made legacy. As American singer Tom Waits sung, "It's all over." Why is it all over? It's not that it's over right now; it is all over from the very beginning. For life itself is, technically, a lost cause, for all there is, is mortal tourism that can end even without our own will.

What we can learn from this negativity can actually be positive: To utilize our time alive as much as we can, and avoid wasting it on petty pursuits.

As such I avoid committing suicide. The eternity fallacy contradicts the conclusion that we should just end it. By giving birth... well, you give them death. But yes, you also give them potential, even if that potential, as promising as it is, is temporary. Remember these words, and then consider, whether life's worth it — worth more than mere fun and entertainment.

Because the pain of work, even if less fun, can often be worth it. Hence why I have no regrets not living to have fun or to be happy. I deem success to be more important by comparison. As it deserves, not for me, but for the world. For you.

That's the sacrifice I'm making. Hopefully it will be worthwhile, more and more.

Thanks for reading.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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