As much as I am determined to tell you everything, I am at a loss as to where to begin. All seems to be meshed up with everything else. But there has to be some entry point, so I choose it to be me. At least that is a familiar place and must be part of the net, because otherwise I would not know of it.
I am an aware mind, willing to learn and to forget, whichever is required. And at times I am ready to come forward with an explanation. You had better prepare questions though. One can only for a while persevere without being asked questions to feed you (back). Also it is confusing enough as it is. “Tell me everything you know!” is much like “Take all the sand of even just the one shore you are walking and keep it in your hands without loosing any!” – It is impossible. It will run through your fingers and the surge will change it perpetually by adding some and taking away some.
You are still listening? Well, then it must be of interest truly. And therefore I shall be delighted to carry on by telling you that I am a philosopher. Not one of the famous ones. Not one with a degree of some university either. But that does not make me less of a one. Has any of the famous Greek ones ever attended a university? No. There has not been any in their times. But that is not really the point. We do have universities because those philosophers have been so prolific in their times. So it is rather the philosopher feeding the universities, than the universities feeding the philosophers. Or that is how it used to be. Things have changed a lot. So much, indeed, that one may say that there are institutions that make use of buildings of old and also of the names of old, but they are something else entirely. Just as I may have the same family name as, for instance, my grandfather, I may even live in the same house, which I do not; but everything else is as different as could possibly be. So what, you may ask, really is being a philosopher? In short terms: It is a philosophy being a philosopher.
Trying to think what all philosophers have in common, I find that it has to do with their insatiable desire for understanding rather than just knowing, and coming forward with explanations where there are none as yet, or at least none of the satisfying kind. So this is really what I want to do: I want to come forward with explanations. However, there has to be understanding fist and knowledge before that and a lot of learning to feed the knowledge. The paradox about learning is, though, that it best works when you already have the knowledge you are wanting to acquire. It is much like walking into the void, hoping that the bridge will follow that should support each of your steps. So it is in essence something like boldly going where none has gone before, only so in a metaphorical sense. And that is what makes it very much less tangible. Which is why philosophers tend to cough up a lot of similes, to illustrate the aforementioned void, to shed light on things otherwise lurking in the darkness. People might occasionally fall over things in the darkness, but that does not necessarily make them understand as to just what it was they have been falling over or grasp or get a glimpse of it. That is where philosophers step in. That is where they want to help. Though it is not necessarily the philosophers that run around hoping to fall over things. They would rather be the ones watching others running around in the dark, if that were possible. In an indirect way it is. They keep listening to those running around and shouting out their impressions, such as: “Oh! What is this? I just bumped into something. Let me describe it for you. It feels like a lot of strings all held together by just as many knots. I would like to find out where it begins, but there seems to be no edge to it. It simply runs on and on and on.”
Does this last simile ring a bell? Well, it is just the situation I find myself in, as I endeavoured to explain to begin with; so I shall not be of much help in a teleological sense. I may, however, tackle the problem in an ontological sense. Or I might just as well trick myself into the midst things by declaring me the starting point. And that is what I am actually doing here. So let me proceed with you by telling you that I also find pleasure in writing poems. Poems – or good ones at least – are not only imparting ideas, but also inspiring beyond what the author might have thought of himself. They are thus transcending their creator, which is what every piece of art should amount to. Creating something transcending your own limited self, however, is like extending the confines of your existence both in time and space. And if your art even makes others to also work art, you have virtually spawned siblings, which adds a lot of meaning to your life.
Because I love to read unconventional fiction, I strongly desire to produce some of my own. I wish to become a sibling of those authors I so admire, to stay in the picture. The problem there not being my lack of ideas, I fear, but the lack of endurance to pull through. If only I already had an editor who would read my manuscripts and help me keeping up my initial motivation, I might already have some finished work to justify me. Of course no finished work makes it easier to do the next. But it helps fending off those peppering you with doubt, even it it were your own inner evil twin brother only to deal with.
And finally I wish to sustain the livelihood of my wife and myself, which necessitates that I get something done in a commercially acceptable fashion. What may be so, however, at any given moment, is hardly predictable nor helpful. Just as the knowledge of running out of time to sleep has ever made it any easier to actually fall asleep, so the idea of what might be successful will ever make it any easier to produce it. In the end you will have to cook up what you may find in your pantry or else end up borrowing from your neighbours' dinner. The latter, however, may not feed just as many hungry souls. And what is more, it is not growing your estate but theirs. Let your neighbours whet your appetite, but cook up your own dinner!
I shall now muse about the prerequisite for a dodge as the above indicated to be successful. I trust that philosophy is a very good one. Philosophy – among other things – is like writing books in your head. All you have to do is – as it were – externalizing these in an orderly fashion. But then again: Where to begin, if you have something like a couple of bookshelves already in your head?
One way of communicating might be unravelling the content much like a river finding its way from its source to its estuary into another river or into the sea. Or at any point along the way jump into it and allow its currents carry away the narrative as it were. But in any case it must be the content determining all else. Having an imaginary listener to virtually talk to that would be frowning or rejoicing upon the twists and turns of the narrative sure helps to keep the proceedings comprehensible. On the other hand: Does it not significantly increase the literary value, when a reader has to contribute some intellectual work in reconstructing the body of content being conveyed? Hence it must be a tightrope walk between too easy and too difficult to read. Who can tell what is too easy and what is too difficult? Your imaginary listener? Would the imaginary reader not be biased from having sprung from your imagination and thus sharing exactly your world knowledge?
Is my world knowledge defined by all I know or rather by all I do not know? How do I know?