I’ve been thinking about a quote from Plato a lot recently. Well, Plato by way of Socrates, but we’ll just say Plato of the sake of being succinct.
Perhaps quoting Plato can be seen as pretentious. Perhaps, given my level of education, you think I have no business quoting Plato.
But it’s my blog and you don’t have to read the damned thing.
Plato supposed that “An unexamined life is not worth living” and I believe there is a lot of merit in that. He’s shown to be an immutable force in the world of philosophy and an oft studied and idealized historical figure. So there’s our jumping off point.
Examine your life.
When do I stop?
Is constant examination a good thing? Could too much examination be unhealthy?
It’s a scientific law that the very act of observation changes that which is being observed.
What if those changes are to your detriment?
Let’s say you can’t laugh at a joke without wondering if those around you are questioning whether you actually find it funny or if you’re just laughing to prove to the group that you’re intelligent enough to understand the base level of humor being displayed. Then, in an compulsory extrapolation of that train of thought, you extend that curiosity outward and second guess the laughter of the group.
Who here is not on the level?
You can’t fully immerse yourself in a romantic relationship without wondering what psychic scar tissue you’re currently wading through and how it came to be.
You stare at the other person and wonder what you represent to there unconscious psyche. And when they get mad, you’re curious what dormant childhood trauma you've evoked.
Beyond that you find yourself falling into halfcocked and quasi-educated dissections of people as base animals. Walking piles of meat who have unanalyzed emotional reactions to just about everything and cling to bizarre and antiquated superstitions and desperately try to make sense of the imminent nothingness of death as we continue in those constant steps towards it.
You play host to myriad demanding thoughts that are as relentless as the passing of time and you can’t see the irony of your own inability to stop the reactionary thinking because you have allowed yourself to accept the delusional assertion that you (and only you) somehow recognize the worlds maladaptive thought process and have risen above it, and that, that is the reason you’re depressed.
It’s not you. It’s the world.
You heard that Plato quote remember?
Although you didn’t read the book, the know the quote and it’s given you the intellectual upper hand.
You got it all figured out. That’s why you’re almost 30 and still baffled by yourself and you spend your free time sitting in your boxers, drinking too much coffee, and writing in vain attempts to make sense out of a few thoughts in that overrunning river of questions that makes up your mind.
And by putting ink to paper (so to speak) you find you can quell a few internal storms and you have the faint glimmer of hope that maybe, just maybe some day you could make a living out of writing things down. And maybe that’s more delusional than that aforementioned thought of inferred clarity.
If an unexamined life in not worth living, perhaps an over examined life is an exercise in neurosis.