Whatever it is you are looking for

You will not find it here. Since there is nothing here, you will not find anything here. And if you had hoped to discover something about me, you will find nothing also, because there is nothing to discover about me.

In morning, I found that I did not do so well for a test, and I got upset. In the afternoon, I found remarked at the end of my assignment the phrase ‘very good’, and the upset went away. Then after class, I went to have lunch with some friends, and we chatted and laughed at the table, and I felt slightly happy. But I don’t think I’ll ever feel completely happy, or at least not in the imaginable future; true happiness is a distant dream.

Someone in class asked the professor what the point of studying moral theories is; which might as well have been a question about the entirety of philosophy as a subject; why do we study philosophy at all if its findings are so frustratingly capricious, and if it only gives us more insurmountable questions to think about? The professor chuckled and said something like studying moral theories would give us a sense of how to act in certain situations. But obviously, everyone knew that wasn’t true; and I think the professor himself knew it too. We only act in accordance to our passions and to our reason; beyond that, all propositions claiming to be a universal morality is farce.

I helped someone in the morning, did I tell you that? There was a mad scramble at the front of the lecture theater after class; everyone was rummaging through the stacks of papers to find their own ones. And then I happened to see the name of that person on a paper, and immediately, I fished it out. I handed it to her and she thanked me. Later, in class, she thanked me again.”What a mad scramble it was,” she said.

Yesterday, I picked up an essay which I thought I would do fairly well for. Turned out I didn’t. So I went to ask the professor about it. It was lunchtime, and she let me in to her office. I asked her what was missing from my essay, and what more it took to reach the higher grade. As she was reading through it once more, I looked around her office and saw framed pictures of her and her children; the father was never in any of those pictures. Then, I thought how she always appeared tired and distracted – and I imagined that maybe something had happened between them and the problem was always on her mind, weighing her down. Finally, she looked up and said that my essay was good, but only that many other people had writer about quite the same thing as I did. There were however, some exceptionally creative pieces, and those received the higher grade.

Supposing our suffering here, as the Theologian claims, are never without good cause; it is only that we fail to comprehend how it is necessary for a greater, unseen good. This is like the case of a dog receiving an vaccine for worms; the needle stings, and the dog doesn’t know why, but it is for its good. So supposing all this, will it not be possible to also claim that our joys are present only insofar as they act as a precondition for pain and suffering and boredom? To say that we ought to believe a proposition because its reasons are beyond us is to leave the practice of philosophy altogether.


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