A Thinking Fear
Critique of Practical Reason
Today a paralyzing fear gripped me in the afternoon. While I wish it was due to not updating my blog for a week, the reason for the sudden tang of this fienish fear had to do with my reticient acknowledgement that I would soon leave my current residence and return to my home country. It was an ineffable feeling, I was overwhelmed with irate anger, rage, sadness, melancholy and especially hatred that I must return to a place that I could no longer bear living in. I sought for the reasons for why this is so, controlling my querulous disposition to vituperate SP21, and to search for the verity of my reluctance. As I sat down to write vociferously about my intense fear, I then realised that a recent seminar accosted the tension within me. It was a seminar on "What is thinking for?", featuring two philosophy authors in conversation, Alain de Botten and John Armstrong.
1) Thinking helps refine our self-knowledge. Unlike hunger, our self-beliefs and values are not as precise and immediate. They can't be detected as readily unlike when we experience a hunger pang, where we know what we want to eat. Thinking focuses on our internal dialogue, and reaffirms our priorities and values in life.
2) Thinking helps identify ourself within our social environment, peers, family and external world. We are bombarded with a plethora of conflicting excessive information from our external surroundings, that to encounter and wade through this sensory overload is a daunting vexing task. Thinking is our cognitive tool to abscond from the torrent of assaulting information, and to position ourself in this revolving stormy world.
3) Thinking reduces our fear. We hear the common phrase, "you got nothing to fear but fear itself" which we should deconstruct. Fear is the representation of our emotion in reacting to uncertain, inconsistant or an unknown stimuli. We fear for our "future" because we can't predict the future, and we fear our "own selves" sometimes because we aren't sure of what we want or need. Thinking resolves and ameliorates our morose disposition to the portentous events of our life, it reduces doubts and constructs confidence in its place.
4) Thinking alleviates loneliness. The normality of life can be threatening to our internal states, while we no doubt desire for our own seclusion from the obfuscating world, we also panick over the ostentatious soundness of a routine lifestyle. We may be said to have a proclivity for vivaciousness, and thinking, as an antecedent, creates a congruous reception to other people's thoughts which align with ours. Thinking is a cure to the disease of "loneliness", as it reconnects our social needs with the discursive thoughts of others.
I was afraid that my return to SP21, in a word, would obliterate my freedom to think and express my thoughts. It is like a decree to stop "thinking". Thinking would be abysmal, it would only breed ignorance and regurgitate orthodox "truths". I was afraid that my adventure in thinking, not just by myself but with others who cherish the gifts of catholic thinking and rejection of parochial mindsets, would end, rendering a cessation in an utmost prudential task of human well-being. It is only with an incontrovertible tenacity to overcome social barriers that I must continue my quest.