Confessions of a tired mind

As time draws on my thoughts become more scattered. I find myself more and more distracted with anything other than doing real work of any kind, whether that be so called work work, writing in this blog or even doing anything else that I am responsible for or a course of action I have wanted to pursue. It is very distressing yet I can’t help myself. It has taken a whole weekend and a slew of internal excuses for me to even update this blog. I’m sick. I hurt my back on Saturday. The world is getting more and more messed up. Apparently, the internet isn’t fostering democracy and freedom as many of us geeks had hoped. Perhaps all of these excuses are a smoke screen for the one thing I’m afraid to admit to myself: I’m a fraud who doesn’t really know what he’s talking about.

Let me be blunt. I’m neither a philosopher nor a political scientist. My education was in computer engineering and I have never read any classical philosophy texts. In fact, the only exposure I’ve had to philosophy was in the reading of Sophies World, what I considered a great ‘primer’ on the evolution of philosophy. Remember though that as this is the only ‘philosophical’ text I’ve read, I have really nothing to compare it against, so take my review with a grain of salt.
You can also take a look at my religious experience. I was a christian, baptized and everything, but then my family stopped attending church when I was pretty young. I’ve never read the Bible nor the Quran. I know bits and pieces yet never having read the full texts of either I am hardly a capable voice to criticize or condemn either material. All of my thoughts on these religions are based on what I can observe from the practioners of those religions, and although my exposure to Muslims has really only been of the online variety, I feel that this is perhaps a pretty good representation of that faith. Likewise for Christians, of course. Again, do I have any right to condemn these religions based on my own, limited knowledge?
Finally in the realm of political science I am perhaps the most naive. I haven’t even read any classical political text. All I know is again from what I see, whether that be on the Internet or on the TV, again it is all non-standard. How can I even dream of new political systems if I have no tutelage or experience in classical political systems?
So here I am, yet another blogger in a sea of bloggers, an inflated sense of self importance dwindling with the dawning realization that I am no more than any other out there. The blogging power pyramid has been established, there is no more room at the top. With my dreams of glory fading, is there any reason to continue? If my voice does not reach the masses should I continue to shout? Do I even have a right, if I have no record or background to rely on?
So I wonder, I wait, I despair at my fate. I avoid work, avoid decisions, avoid life. I am weak, weaker than any person you will ever know. This is a truth. My will is low, very low. What I say and what I do are often different things. Sometimes I cannot look at myself, sometimes I am fascinated by the creature I see staring back at me in the mirror. Sometimes I wonder if I’m even human.

19 thoughts on “Confessions of a tired mind”

  1. Why don’t you simply start reading the basic, classic texts? Obviously you can read, and the texts are readily available, free from a library or in cheap paperbacks at bookstores or from Amazon. First a philosophy, then a religious one (taking Protestant, Catholic, Muslim, Hindu, etc. in turn, perhaps), then a political science, and so on? Sure, that’s a lot of reading, but life is long (I hope). How about 15 minutes a day? Many of these make great bedtime, put-you-to-sleep reading).
    How awful to write yourself off as too ignorant even to voice an opinion. But how admirable too. You’re probably typical of nearly all Americans today, but you’re the first person I’ve ever heard admit, or even realize, this sad truth. I should take my own advice; no doubt there are plenty of “great books” lists online to get us started . . .

  2. Maybe others will suggest better lists, but for starters, take a look at this Great Books of the Western World site:
    Their list of authors is divided into some of the very categories you mentioned: philosophy and religon; history, politics, economics, ethics; math and natural sciences; novels, etc. This leaves out Eastern thought, but I’m sure you can find other lists that include Eastern works.
    I’ve at least sampled a lot of these works, and often find them surprisingly apropos to our time. I.e., “Wow, Marcus Aurelius had already figured that out way back then?” Or: “So it was Francis Bacon who first said that.”

  3. My first thoughts are ‘so what?’ You are not much different than anyone else. You just haven’t found what you are looking for yet. But you are Thinking, which sets you apart from most of humanity.
    Keep thinking! One thought leads to another and sooner or later you will find something to grab onto.
    The Internet is still in its infancy, give it time.
    If I had it to do over again I would start by studying Hypnosis and Parapsychology. I haven’t dug nearly as deeply into these subjects as I would like.

  4. You are not alone. I’ve been suffering blogger block lately, feeling much of the same doubt you’ve so eloquently described. Personally I feel pretty good about not being a ‘top tier’ blogger. I’ve decided I blog for myself, my friends, co-workers and the rest of the web, in that order. It takes a lot of the pressure off.
    I totally agree with the other responders about reading. You would be amazed how much you can get through just reading a little every night. I’ve studied lots of esoteric subjects using that technique. I might not finish every book I start but every book teaches me something.

  5. Pete’s got the right idea, Chef. First of all, so many of the questions you’re addressing are questions on which no one has any more authority than anyone else. Reading other perspectives helps, and even at my age I’ve made sure to take time for some of the more classic ones, but it’s not as if understanding Aristotle’s feelings on the matter makes you more correct. It makes dialogue easier when common ground can be reached with certain texts as context, but not having read them doesn’t make you a fraud.
    Furthermore, you do have a readership, and we do learn from you. You’re not blogging to no one. If not for the connectivity offered by this medium, I never would have encountered you, and I never would have learned from you. I can only hope that the benefit has been mutual. You of anyone I know, electronically or physically, understand the value of a relationship from which we can learn and grow, and while many of the millions that learn and grow from the plutocrats of the blogosphere may not learn from either of us, some of them do, and we, unlike those plutocrats, have the time to get to know at least some of them individually through the personal exchange of knowledge.
    Don’t give up, Chef. I’m not, and you read what I wrote.

  6. Hey! This post reads like a few of mine over the past months…….remember David’s (Ripples) on the “BEAL”?
    And you don’t have time to read—-I have all the time in the world–yes, I read the news…but I not sure (at 64)
    WHAT THE LAST BOOK I READ—It might be as far back
    as a Cooper novel in middle school!
    If in high school thru some college, I rarely read the text books–I just absorbed in class which was enough to get by (B & C’s at both levels).
    If you have a free thinking creative mind (which you do)
    I think excessive reading clutters the mind with”stuff”–
    some good some bad.
    Like I said, I do read a dozen papers across the world
    everyday and articles there give me enough data on the world to think and/or write about ‘the stuff’ with some degree of accuracy then I let MY THOUGHTS do the rest.
    IE: Do I have to read the history of perhaps why, current books on the subject, etc. about the Iraqi War to spew out an intelligent opinion on the Iraq War? Hell no! I just have
    an utter distaste for WAR….I don’t need to know the particulars to be against the/a WAR.
    I guess simply stated: You write what your ‘gut’ tells you to write and what better place to do it than on a blog–a hell of lot better than writing on a crumpled legal pad, covered
    with dust, sitting on your night stand (Ooops, I have one there but it is strictly for “middle of the night ‘brain farts’!)
    as your sole source to document your thoughts!
    Hang in there, old bud(dy) and find some ‘bud’ and clear out the beals!

  7. Yeah.. I think I’m going to take my time on my next post. I understand my limitations but at the same time I’m not going to let them stop me from doing what I do best – talking out of my ass. 😉

  8. I have a reading habit, I read when I eat, I read when I sit on the pot, I sometimes read while I play guitar or watch TV I even read shampoo bottles while I shower…
    However, too much emphasis is given to “original texts” when much of that thinking has been absorbed into contemporary texts, AND improved in many cases.
    There is one source that you can rely on, and that is your own set of experiences, your unique perspective on life. You might not offer up any grand new philosophical theories that revolutionize modern thinking but if you make one observation that affects another person’s way of thinking that might in turn spread to places you’ll never imagine. Now with the internet these little germs of ideas can spread around much easier and I know I have been affected by what I have read here and on other blogs.
    As long as you write honestly about what you see and feel I will visit to see if I can pick up another little kernal of some bigger truth.

  9. Hi,
    I dropped by because a nagging voice in my head told me to do so after reading your comments at my place.
    I just wanted to say that I did respond over there and I hope it offers a different perspective on the whole blogging thing.
    Stop back by!
    Good luck finding the balance again between work and play and blogging. You do what you can, when you can you know? Every little be we all do as individuals does do something, if nothing else it may help to inspire greatness in somebody else…it could happen…

  10. So then conversely the ability to recognize faults and limitations in oneself may lead to deflated self assessments. Of course I’m drawing my own conclusions here, but hey, that’s what I do.

  11. The ability to recognize faults and limitations can be used as a stepping stone for motivation and self-improvement.
    Motivation seems to be the wind (or lack thereof) across your sea of apathy.
    Figure out what you love. (Forget the classical texts unless they really turn you on.)
    And don’t tell me that you don’t love anything.
    Find your passions. Follow them. Action brings happiness.
    A body in motion tends to stay emotional.
    A body at rest tends to stay depressed.

  12. Hello and thank you for leaving your mark at my blog… brought me clickin’ on by here, which affirms my trust in coincidence… and my belief that those of us so compelled to communicate can only find relief when we finally do so, irregardless of the intellectual chatter that attempts to bind us to self.

  13. Alas, another depressed blogger. Time is infinite but simultaneously finite. Psychache breeds within most of us and escape seems impossible. 100 hundred years from now, it won’t matter. WE have joined some of the greatest minds to have lived, for many politicians, writers and those who have enormous accomplishments fell into the deep well of some form of unhappiness. So we share good company. We are not more important than the person next to us. The person next to us is no more important than we.
    Life is life. How you live your life is your choice.

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