The futility of knowledge
I’ve very well internalized the fact that things can only make you happy once. Then fade into drudgery. An addiction to material purchases and consumption is one for fools. No, I shall hook into a better addiction. One that can actually drive me to live a better, more fulfilled life.
The consumption of information.
The search for truth, meaning, and origin. Surely, with speed of light access to the world’s top source of information, I shall unencumber myself from these earthly chains, and ascend to scholarly, other-worldly status. I shall glide through life with buttery ease, and use the wisdom of others, as described in their publications, to cheat through life and surpass others who may not be aware of the same information.
But..it’s a fool’s run.
Information is a product just the same. Seemingly, it can only make you happy once. Before it fades into dullness. I keep thinking the next theory of life shall surely free me from the obligation to be human. From pain and chores. Surely, all it would take for me to outplay my pain and suffering is to understand it. So that I may rise above it.
And so I’ve been collecting these theories of life. These theories as to why I act the way I do. Why you act the way you do. And contrary to my expectations, they’ve only contributed to making me worse off. A less whole state of being.
I’m starting to think there is nothing outside the mind that can truly thoroughly entertain the mind. I thought because ideas and theories and the pursuit of knowledge were grand and abstract — because they were noble and thorough — that they had the true potential to change my life. But it turns out to be no different than a new iPhone.
Entertains you for a week. Then you find new things to lust after.
And so while I have for years renounced (but probably still very thoroughly contributed to) thing based consumerism, I’m inclined to throw theory-generation and fact-seeking into the same futility bucket. You can entertain yourself with a new theory of life for no more than a few days, before your brain begins to churn in a new direction.
Of course, this itself is a new theory of life. So, I don’t expect much.
It’s only amusing to me that things, objects, ideas, and theories — to the brain, they are one and the same. They are just inputs. And the brain always wants new, different inputs, no matter how novel the previous was. Better not to play the brain’s game at all. Give it nothing, it seems, and you’ll start it back from level 1. A level of wants and needs no less, but trivial to sustain.
Of course, that can get to be a little boring. The whole “mindfulness” thing. Meditation, clearing your mind, clearing your wants, simplifying your desires. Profoundly powerful, no doubt, but thoroughly incompatible with modern day consumerism, capitalism, and city life. Which is probably why I’ve found it hard to upkeep a desire-free lifestyle in the past.
As for today, and tomorrow, and what’s next — I have no idea. I’m only thinking out-loud. Simple seems to be a good business model. Why not also a model for life? Less features, less bugs. Sounds like an excellent..theory of life.
Originally published at listed.standardnotes.org.