Daily Philosophizing

The other day, I was riding on the metro and on a tight schedule to get to my destination. The train slowed to a crawl between two stops, and I remarked sarcastically to my friend, “God, doesn’t this guy I know I have somewhere to be?” to which my friend replied equally sarcastically, “Life happens, it doesn’t happen to you.”

Now, obviously the point of this statement is to advocate the adoption of a less self-centered version of the events taking place around you. This is all well and good as an aphorism, but it’s fundamentally at odds with the basic metaphysic facts of existence. In specific, life as an independent actor in the world is simultaneously predicated on both life happening, and life happening to you.

In the former, a model were life merely “happens”, your existence is relegated merely to the subjective realm. That is, you only have the ability to perceive because action requires an object, which through the reflexivity of action, therefore necessitates your ability to be similarly acted upon. In the latter case of forfeiting your subjectivity, your existence would become contingent and therefore theoretically in flux, alive only as the passive object of other things in the world. More importantly for our purposes however, both examples would require either a complete lack of physical form or lack of neuro-cognitive apparatus (in the former to avoid being acted upon, and in the latter to avoid acting upon), thus either defying the laws of physics as we currently understand them in the first or simply being dead in the second. Quod erat demonstrandum, existence as we know it is fully contingent on both life happening and happening to you (at least in a traditional Western dichotomy of subject and object; if we go Buddhist it fucks everything up).

As such, I reserve my right to bitch needlessly about Metro delays being a personal inconvenience.

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4 Responses to “Daily Philosophizing”

  1. Amy Says:

    I read about half way through this and got a headache.

  2. keurig Says:

    I always assumed most people just skip these entirely. So that’s flattering I guess.

  3. Adam Says:

    I skipped to the end hoping you’d close with a joke. Low and behold, I was not disappointed.

  4. Prolix Says:

    I don’t know what’s worse: the fact that you invoked QED or the fact that you spelled it out.


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