The Maverick Philosopher, aka Dr. William Vallicella, is a cranky old curmudgeon who lives out in Arizona and gets to be wise for a living. Nice work if you can get it. Dr. Vallicella handles the task with aplomb. If you don’t read his blog, you probably should. Feel free to skip the technical posts. I do.
Though he’s occasionally a touch mean-spirited for my taste, he more than makes up for it with gems like this:
What is the seeker after? He doesn’t quite know, and that is part of his being a romantic. He experiences his present ‘reality’ as flat, stale, jejune, oppressive, substandard. He feels there must be more to life than work-a-day routines and social objectifications, the piling up of loot, getting ahead. He wants intensity of experience, abundance of life, even while being unclear as to what these are. He casts a negative eye on the status quo, the older generation, his parents and family, and their quiet desperation. He scorns security and its living death.
Christopher J. McCandless was a good example, he whose story was skillfully recounted by Jon Krakauer in Into the Wild. In McCandless’ case, the scorn for security, his fleeing a living death, led to a dying death. In an excess of self-reliance he crossed the Teklanika, not realizing it was his Rubicon and that its crossing would deposit him on the Far Shore. Be bold, muchachos, be bold; be not too bold.
Preach on, Brother Vallicella.
That first paragraph: it’s how I’ve felt most of my life. Nonetheless, the realities of contemporary American life close in, and since I’m in no position to pull a Chris McCandless, even if I wanted to, which I don’t, hard choices have to be made, most of them not much conducive to the continuing of the search. No sense in complaining about it. (Maybe it’s okay to lament a little.) As another wise man said, So it goes.