02 April 2009

An Open Letter to My Audience

So much for complaining about only posting here once per month; seems I've gone and missed March entirely. For those loyal few who rely on my wit and wisdom to get them through the dull repetition of month after month turning into year -- either I'm sorry, or you really need a new hobby. I'm not that great an entertainer.

I have, at various points in my life, been told I should write a book. I've even toyed with the idea, thought about some concepts, and drew up a basic plot for a novel when I was in High School; of course, it was the kind of cardboard plot a high schooler came up with, so the idea died quickly even in my own mind, but that's really a diversion from the point. I've only ever seriously considered a nonfiction book, a treatise of sorts on life, the universe, and trite repetitions of phrases from better authors than myself (oh, and everything) -- that is, a philosophical examination of my own worldview, and an exposition from that launching point that would, in essence, seek to capture the depths of my own unique perspective, that which makes my worldview my own.

"So," you might find yourself wondering if you're the sort of person that reads the kinds of things that I write (and I know you are!), "Why haven't you written this book?" Well, dear readers, the answer to that one is simple -- it'd be self-defeating.

See, the most crucial element to my philosophy -- if you can call it that -- is one of personal reflection and revelation; that is, that each person should be permitted the opportunity to realize their own wordlview based on a series of experiences they have on their own time. Now, while the world at large seeks to manipulate the worldview of all those within it through religion, cults, political doctrines, social engineering, all of that can still collide into a very interesting and unique personal experience that is free of the limitations of each of those influences, capable of existing in a way that others who share common traits to any given slice of the pie of one's mind would find wholly incongruous and incapable of being (see the case of Ann Holmes Redding, my newest hero). So, the pull of these multitude of forces finds itself limited by the ingenuity of mankind, and we find new ways to adapt even the most ancient of credoes, further exploring and embracing a singularity that exists within each individual mind -- reflected, though it may be, through the lens of the experience and ideas of others.

So, then, I take this optimism, and it leads me here, to my small corner of the internet; to a place where I can leave my imprint, spread my message, provoke thoughts that I feel are worth thinking. This, though, treads close to breaching my own professed tenet; that I should permit those around me to think for themselves -- and that's why I don't write a book. Here, in cyberspace, I can talk about things abstractly; I can frame my phrases in the form of a question, and I can encourage exactly the kind of thought that I'm wishing would be more prevalent in our society. Within the context of a book, though, the ideas become something concrete, some evidence that carries beyond the text itself -- and it solidifies, it becomes something not fluid or changing, and it is in this loss of adaptability that something can transform; the ideas are no longer mine, as they are outside of my own control, and at this point the shift from "loyal readers" to "obsessive fans" can take control of something, twist it, turn it into something that would destroy the purpose of my writing a book in the first place; after all, there is always a point at which "provoking thought" can turn to "replacing thought" and the last thing I need to see in this world is a large group of people who think like I do.

So, in short, I don't write a book because I'm afraid it would get popular -- or, even worse, that its popularity would not strike until after my death, when I am sure to have no recourse for preventing the perversion of its texts. It's probably insanely pretentious to think that the eventuality of such is even possible, but if there's anything that I've learned through my time in fancying myself a freelance philosopher, it's that people will buy into anything if they're given the proper opportunity, and we can never predict the potency of large groups of stupid people being easily manipulated or fed manufactured lines devised from a source that never intended to bestow such gravity on the minds of its participants. I can't, for even a moment, think that my own view of the world is so pure and wonderful that any other should hold it -- rather the opposite, in fact! -- but the simplest way to consider it is that whether or not it should be considered such, it could be.

So, then, why this rambling rant on why I don't pen my philosophy? Because I'm resolved. I'm resolved to write more here, more than once a month (or, uh, none-ce?), and that means I'm going to have to get into subject matter that's normally reserved for my own innermind, the place where I consider with depth the things that I observe in the world around me, my interpretations thereof -- it is where I melt the sand that becomes the glass to forge the lens through which everything I see is distorted. And so this post is a warning, a promise, a request; I will do what I can to continue to provide content which makes people think. What I ask in return is simply that you do me the honour of thinking.

On that note, one last bit of advice: If ever you find yourself agreeing with everything I say, then please, change your mind.


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