Stress and Exhaustion As a Philosopher -- How I Refuse to Relent
Updated: 3 days ago
(For more on being a philosopher and being stressed, click here).
(For more meta-philosophical criticism, click here)
Why the Pursuit of Truth Can Be Painful
Being a philosopher can be a risky dance with truth, a pursuit that is as exciting as it is stressful. While the goal may be to find and share wisdom, the path is paved with thorns. This is because the truth, once unveiled, can be too harsh to bear. It can be scary, unsettling, and even cause psychological pain.
My own journey exemplifies this. A close friend, unable to bear the weight of insights that emerged from our philosophical explorations, eventually distanced themselves from me. The love of wisdom, it seems, can lead to uncomfortable truths that bite deep.
Those contemplating the path of philosophical inquiry must consider so with caution for truth-seeking is a sacrifice. They must understand that the treasures they seek may not be glittering jewels, but rather tarnished mirrors reflecting harsh realities, for there are very little aspects in this world that are pure. Wisdom may be desirable, but its excavation can unearth disappointment, sadness, and even grief. The allure of knowledge should not blind us to the potential sting of its acquisition.
As the quest for the truth requires not only curiosity, but courage.
A Philosopher's Confessions
Being a philosopher is a double-edged sword. It's a relentless pursuit of truth, a journey through the sunlit grasslands of understanding and the dark, twisted alleys of unsettling realizations. As such, not all wisdom is meant to delve into every ear.
Sometimes, the truths unearthed are too heavy to bear, leaving you questioning your sanity or the very notion of what is real or not real. I know this all too well, as the pursuit of wisdom has cost me dearly, as this work is very lonely, as it is lonely at the top, in general.
The world often mock the philosopher, dismissing them as pretentious or lost in their ivory towers. But this is a gross expression of the strawman's fallacy, that prioritizes stereotypical impressions over intellectual discourse.
The true philosopher is a seeker, not a self-proclaimed sage. If anything, others would likely to deem him or her a sage. We grapple with doubt, embrace the sting of controversy and rejection, and stumble through the labyrinth of arguments, all in the name of understanding.
My public role as a writer further complicates matters. I speak to a global audience, yet I have a reputation to maintain as a figure. Despite this, I simply contribute my thoughts, hoping to spark curiosity and ignite inquiry in others. I dislike heartwarming labels like "brother," for it most often then not presents the parasocial nature of society.
Formality, while seemingly archaic, serves a purpose. It fosters respect and encourages a thoughtful approach to this pursuit. We must treat philosophy and its practitioners with dignity, not because of ego, but because the questions we grapple with are deeply human, and because the practice of philosophy deserves the recognition of its contribution by philosophers who became respected.
Frustration is a constant companion on this path. The ease of protest, normalized by contemporary liberty, can quickly turn into a hell of endless, hostile debate. This is why I often find myself tired, seeking refuge from the intellectual tug-of-war of ideas that could instead be discussed, not argued.
Yet, I defy the anonymity chosen by my mentor, the professor who first opened my eyes to the beauty of philosophy. In the age of digital anonymity, the ease of bitter criticism can depress the soul. But I persist, for my words are not for the faint of heart, and logic is often heartless and uncaring when our emotions have nothing to do with the topic at hand. They are for those who, like me, hunger for wisdom and find solace in the company of fellow seekers and apprentices.
Despite the hardship and exhaustion, the true philosopher finds solace in the quest itself. The potential to enrich lives, to bridge the gap between the esoteric and the everyday, and the ability to restore the faith of people in being alive, resonates with me the most in life.
My quest for my own relevance is intertwined with the quest for making philosophy relevant in the wider world. I am merely a vessel, a preacher of the importance of inquiry and insight distribution. Even when I am tired, I remain a passionate advocate for the right to question, to explore, and to understand.
Logic is the tool, but the heart is the fuel. It is the human yearning for knowledge, the insatiable desire to escape the chains of universal ignorance, that drives us forward. We are not pretentious, we are simply human, reaching for the stars, one question at a time.
Embracing Imperfection in the Pursuit of Truth
Finally, my articles might not be correct, but mistakes are a part of learning, and thus, a part of the philosophical journey. I've no desire to cover up a mistake when I can correct it, for the next article renovation shift.
See, therefore, my articles as points for further contemplation, and not necessarily as a "Torah from Mount Sinai." You might know better than me, and vice versa. I am only an "authority" by my lifelong dedication to the craft. Use several sources and don't rely blindly on me or blindly on anyone else.
Remember this: The more we learn, the more we become aware of the size of our own ignorance. And because I seek to reduce it as much as possible, I refuse to relent as a philosopher.