Wittgenstein explores the notions of anti-metaphysics. The whole notion of meta cognition is identification of purpose through self discovery and self expansion in the name of purpose. We are given names, we choose to give purpose to them. Names have no underlying, certain, god-given, natural, or predetermined path for its patron. We are cogs in a machine, thinking we are the machine. We are frogs in a well; the sky is a circle. We are inmates in a cave; the world is a shadow.
Daunting. Horrifying. Meaningless.
So for my Phil’s Day Off I decided to go out to Yoga with my friend, that I refer to as Mick Jagger in my blog posts. While Mick had never gone, I had been quite a few times. Yoga’s an activity I like to treat myself to now and then. My mother always says “treat yourself like a princess.” Personally, I’ve never seen myself as a princess. In our society if I were to play a role, I’d like to be shoelaces. All the shoelaces, that have ever existed, will exist, and currently exist. I play a crucial yet misunderstood role in our society. Yes, technically society can continue without the shoelace, but so can society without a princess. However, society has built a role, a shoe culture around the shoelace. Like booze or cigarettes, theoretically unnecessary for human development and progression, I provide a somehow background meaning to our society. I hold the boots of soldiers fighting for freedom. I grip the dreams of athletes. I am the shoelace.
So Yoga. It was fine. I don’t have any pictures. You’re not really allowed or able to. A supposedly meaningful practice, in which one binds one’s natural bond of mind, body, and soul. Individuality. For me it’s just an opportunity to take an hour and stretch and really do nothing at all. Aryabhata, an Indian mathematician, in the year 498 AD began implementing the idea of 0, nothing. This idea of nothing, absolute absoluteness has shaped much of the Indian culture. The concept of nothing is powerful in itself and can lead to absolute enlightenment in which one can escape from their personal, petty strife and live in total objectivity, knowledge, spirituality, and… whatnot. So, reason for doing Yoga, doing nothing, is not cheapening the process. Which is my own personal delusion.
Anyways, afterwards, I went where the wind blew me. Mick Jagger detests impulsiveness… to say the very least. With my disgruntled and weary rocker, I did the following.
- Ate sushi
- Ate gelato
- Took the bus home
- Followed Mick Jagger home so I could watch him do math
- Watched Mick Jagger do math
- Reluctantly played a racing Mortal Kombat game
- And lost
- Reluctantly played Mortal Kombat
- And won victoriously where the heavens parted and crowned me king
Then I went home.
When I got home I watched a couple Woody Allen films, and a BBC documentary on Matisse.
Really what I gained from my day is nothing. My day meant nothing. My life, life means nothing. It’s uncertain, horrifying, daunting… yet freeing. Once you’re able to accept meaningless, uncertainty, and nothingness, you’re able to realize possibility, potential, and progress. We are not who we are, but what we do. People are like colors and chords. We can’t define hues or notes by what they are, their identities, but their capabilities. Red inflicts passion. B flat reminds stability. Mick Jagger invokes liveliness.
Through Wittgenstein’s metaphysical lens, metaphysics is useless. We have no real preset, predetermined purpose. We have potential; as we dwell on identity, potential diminishes. Existing is hard; it’s oh so very hard. If you look at the amount of things that don’t exist in comparison with the amount of things that do exist, things that exist are scarce. Why don’t we focus on something that we can do, and do something.
Sure. Who we are means something, but it doesn’t mean anything at all.
And that’s what I got from Phil’s Day Off, Wittgenstein, and Metaphysics.