Jan 16

Aux apprentis philosophes

Aux apprentis philosophes – Ainsi désires-tu être sage ? Tu aimerais gonfler toi-même ta propre bouée qui te permettra de nager au milieu de cette marée noire d’idées. Un océan pèse sur ton esprit, et tu réalises soudainement combien tu ne sais pas respirer sous cette eau trouble et amère, salée et visqueuse. Vas-y ! Gonfle ta bouée ! Construis ton radeau ! Mais avec quel oxygène pourras-tu tenter ta remontée à la surface ? Où trouveras-tu le bois nécessaire pour combattre ta noyade ? Nous autres, les sages et les promoteurs de la morale, nous ne sommes que des épaves coulées au fond de ces ténèbres humides. La plupart d’entre nous ne sont devenus que des ancres coincées sous la surface. Nous voyons ces eaux toxiques et ne faisons que les ressentir au plus profond de nous-même. Il nous arrive parfois de ralentir ce courant ravageur, sans pour autant l’exterminer. Peut-être finiras-tu aussi par t’effondrer sous ces vagues avec tous ces autres condamnés. Il ne te restera plus alors qu’un maigre espoir qu’un jour nous feront barrage à ces eaux sombres et que de nos corps affalés émanera cette clarté dont nous avons tant voulu en saisir l’éclat à la hauteur des vagues. Peut-être réussiras-tu à te faire repêcher par des marins inconnus et imperceptibles depuis ces bas-fonds et si tel est le cas, je t’en prie, ne retombe pas à la mer au risque de noyer avec ton cadavre ta découverte mystérieuse.

2 Commentaires

  1. Perry Perdue dit :

    Good prose and poetry makes excellent use of the way we feel towards and interpret the elements of our natural world. Often the creations of the human being, anchored to the earth and its history, are swallowed up and lost under the inconceivable vastness and destructive power of the endless waters that surround and encroach upon what is sometimes called civilization. I would argue, though it may not seem as such, that the mind is most certainly a product of earth, weighed down by and seeking the comfort of its home in history and resisting the vastness of where it can go. As consolation I offer you two pieces of what I would consider truth that have kept me from finding myself feeling forlorn on the endless sea of ideas, drowning upon the leaky faux-craft of academia who boasted its ability to navigate the immaterial waters.

    The first is this. Our faculty at Concordia, and therefore the students it produces, is by-and-large a faculty of gravediggers, mere interpreters of someone else’s philosophy that came before them. These philologists dig through the history of philosophy in the hopes of presenting someone else’s thought as clearly and cleanly as possible, while simultaneously avoiding any effort to find a way to navigate their own personal assumptions lest they find themselves adrift in their own existential swamp. This has been presented to us as the key to entering the paid universe of professional academia.

    The second is more important. These worshipers of corpses and dust will seek you out wherever they find you building your own vessel and will warn you not to venture out into the treacherous elements lest you find yourself too far away from land to reach them. They will tell you this is no way to make money, that this is no way to express thought, that there is no passion to be found out there or anywhere else.

    I keep these two “truths” in mind when I deal with the academic. If you do too, it will help you to see those who would role in the dirt until they have found a trinket to share with other “philosophers” so that you can instead pursue the great adventurer of the mind who seeks to brave the irresolute potential of thought. More importantly, and I say this without decoration so I can be heard as clearly as possible, no matter what you are passionate about other people will constantly tell you “No” every chance they get. If you want to find yourself in new and uncharted realms, you must say “No” back.

    1. Thank you very much for your comment Perry. I don’t have much to say since I agree with you on all you have said.

      It seems to me that academic philosophy drifted away from the original purposes of (traditional) philosophy towards the kind of field that requests technicality and performance from its actors. It is no longer a search for wisdom but more of a search for the justifications of not only our own society but also the rest of the world (by, for instance, looking for the last drop to drink from the previous philosophers as you said). From what I’ve seen so far it feels as if ethical matters are being computed or processed in an impersonal way. Is this good or bad? Is it what philosophy should thrive towards? I don’t know but to me it seems that this field goes along with our current world. It’s not delayed or out of tracks; instead it seems to me that it fits the current context of the West.

      It has however some advantages. I came to the philosophy department because I wanted to be a part-time gravedigger myself. The only thing that hasn’t changed during the history of philosophy is the way it is taught: a teacher teaching students. Understanding one’s ideas is what inspires another one to create new ones. I wanted to study philosophy in order to sharpen my mind so it can deal in depth and with precision and exactitude all sorts of issues from life. Even though I know it might not be the only way to do so, I believe that’s done through learning the previous trains of thoughts that were there before me. I can tell you from my personal experience that the improvement and the quality of thinking is much greater once you move from self-learning to academia.

      Regarding your second point, I guess it explains (partly) why I have this website ah ha. Seeking wisdom is a personal activity and going out to try and express one’s findings has to be done in the right place. Perhaps it’s unfortunate, but it doesn’t fit the context of academic philosophy anymore (for the reasons you and I listed).

      Yes, there are myriads of confrontations out there, especially in philosophy. I agree with you that people can tear your convictions or your work apart and it is almost certainly sure that anyone will always find an opposite view to their ideas. Sometimes I think it’s as if we are fed from intellectual disagreements. I hate disagreements and oppositions. I’m still working on a way to deal with them, but so far my solution is to take them and work along with them, and only then I will hopefully have something that can put disagreements together and turn them into agreements.

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