Philosophy as immaturity

I am learning to take the long-view on certain aspects of my development.  I am developing reading and writing goals that stretch out over a number of years (subject to change of course).  I am becoming less anxious over having to read or address something in the moment being at relative peace that there may or may not be time for that in future.  And as of late I am beginning to see potential shifts in the basic genres of my reading.  I am currently quite fixated on philosophy.  This is, I think, a partial reaction to a latent desire from high school that was never given an institutional framework to express itself.  So I am making up for all my thwarted young adulthood that was wasted on way too much (though not exclusively) bad theology, or worse, unnecessarily pious devotional material.  So now I cut to the chase and read the dense works that I can’t understand.  But there is a sense that I will turn eventually to an immersion or baptism of literature (again not that it is entirely absent now) and perhaps even ultimately a rapture of poetry.  But I sense that I am still too immature for that (whatever that might mean).  I feel like I still need to cultivate skills in ‘grammar school’ (which I am not complaining about).  Or to use the metaphor that is foreign to myself but seemingly so common elsewhere; I need to practice the scales in preparation for jazz performance.

I could be entirely mistaken about all of this but what I value now is the sense of purposeful toil in a vineyard that may not even bear fruit in my lifetime and that is okay.

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4 comments on “Philosophy as immaturity

  1. Kampen says:

    A prof of mine one remarked: If we only read what we understood, none of us would read the Bible.

  2. Dan says:

    I’ve been moving in a similar direction in my reading. I read a lot less books in a year than I used to, and what I can read, I read a lot slower (think it took me about ten months to get through “Being and Time” and it’ll probably take me most of this year to get through “Being and Nothingness”). Plenty that I don’t understand in both.

  3. Do you find ‘Being and Nothingness’ more accessible than B&T? I find that I get what Heidegger is doing in broad strokes though many of his moves seem so arbitrary but I guess when you are doing fundamental existential ontology that are not many frameworks for ‘accountability’.

    • Dan says:

      I’m pretty early on with Sartre but he does seem somewhat more accessible so far. As for Heidegger, yeah, some of his moves did seem really arbitrary, especially in the first half… but then in the second half of the book he calls himself out for being arbitrary and tries to say why that’s not the cause… so I would really need to read it again to see how much he exonerates himself (actually, I feel like it’s one of those books I’ll have to read more than once, if I’m gonna come close to understanding it).

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