Philosophy class should be as terrifying to people as clowns.
It can royally mess with your head. Because before you walk in to the class, you think: things are good. Pretty static. When you fall, you call down, not sideways. Life’s good!
And then you learn about Philosophy, and your head explodes. Anything that is a fact is actually something that someone created/imagined up, and the details of the fact could change at any moment. You may turn green. It’s possible!!
Ugh. Anyway, so philosophy is hard for some of us to handle. Ben reads philosophy like a duck on water: they just belong together. I take to philosophy like a labrador on lsd. It’s not pretty, and people get hurt.
Fortunately, I healed after a while and I forgot about the big parts of the class upon which I wigged out. There was one example, though, which the professor was trying to get us to think bigger…and it just messed me up. It’s not a big thing, so hold on:
He dropped the eraser once. And it fell. He picked it up and dropped it again. And it fell again. He picked it up and asked us if it would fall again? The answer was no.
Why was it no? It was no because it didn’t have to fall. It wasn’t destined to fall. Gravity caused it to fall…and that was a causation principle…but it didn’t “have to” fall.
That messed me up for purely independent reasons. I was dealing withpartial simple epilepsy seizures at the time, and I hadn’t yet been diagnosed. I didn’t even know at the time that they *were* seizures; I just knew that sometimes my mind went **poof** like dandelion seeds. So this idea that reality doesn’t “have to” be constant was terrifying. After I got control over the seizures, the fear that bridges would suddenly disappear under me subsided. (whew…it wasn’t that bad, it was just weird. For the record.)
However, the idea that reality could change always stuck with me. I don’t have to be here. I could be somewhere else. I don’t have to vote Republican. I could not vote at all. I don’t have to watch TV, I don’t have to listen to the radio, I don’t have to read popular literature, I don’t have to go to dive bars, I don’t have to buy into the system…..I don’t have to do anything.
Which is an interesting concept, if you think about it: I don’t have to do anything.
So, if you start living with this idea, that you don’t have to do anything, where do you start doing something? What motivates you do do something at all? Things, actions, relationships become much more deliberate with this force behind you. I don’t have to listen to junk. I can listen to interesting things and people. I don’t have to read drivel. I can read mind inspiring ideas. I don’t have to go to groups. I can participate in intimate relationships with individuals, instead.
I can homeschool my kids, instead of having to send them to a school with which I don’t agree. I can have a solid relationship with my husband, instead of relying on other people to fulfill my emotional needs. I can raise chickens in the city, instead of believing that I can’t.
I remember when I was preparing to go to Beijing with Ben and the fam, there was a woman I was talking with at a fountain while our kids played in the water. She was nervous about moving somewhere, and it came up that we were on our way to Beijing soon. I will never forget what she said: “You can’t do that. You can’t go to China with your kids. You can’t go!”
I can 🙂 I can go, we can take our kids, and we can build a new future for our family. And not only did we, but we LOVED it. It was by far one of the most amazing things we have ever done!
Reality isn’t fixed. We can change our situations, we can raise our kids better, we can have loving relationships with our spouses, we can support our huge family on one income, we can travel long distances with little kids, we can grow our own food, we can teach our own kids….we can be successful in life. And anyone who says differently isn’t looking through the windows of opportunity life has built into the walls which frame our lives.
I am telling you, you can. And it has probably been done before…so it can’t be that hard!