What is an Existentialist-Mathematician's favorite Adage?by Posted Author on 08/27/12
By G. F. Smith
(Original Publish Date:
"Whaaat?" You say! Yeah, I know...odd question, but, there's a simple, however multi-faceted answer. Read the following excerpt from my third book, SUBJECTED: the Predicate:
How did it come to this?
What could he do?
What could he change in history to steer the world away from the genocide that was about to sweep the Earth?
Nothing, nothing, he could think of nothing.
He was too old to even try any more.
Too old, and tired, and although his spirit, at least in part, was still willing, his flesh was weak, weaker than it had ever been before. He suddenly felt like a child, an ignorant, feeble, lost and frightened child.
Then, his thoughts were interrupted by a familiar voice.
"What is an Existentialist-Mathematician's favorite adage?"
The voice was soft, its tone textured with comedic nuance, followed by an ever-so-slight nasal snicker.
Daniel's thoughts, having been momentarily hushed by the sudden intrusive resonance, quickly recognized, not only the voice, but the peculiarity of the verbiage, along with its terse, and familiar delivery.
Daniel turned to look, although he knew what he would see before his eyes settled from their abrupt motion. As his aged eyes focused, his intuitive assumptions proved him correct. Before him, in one of the winged, high-backed guest chairs facing his desk, sat Professor Timorous Vector.
As Daniel's eyes locked on his, the man's eyebrows twitched inquisitively as if to ask the question again. He had that look of childish innocence on his face. An overexcitement coupled with impatience and potentially-explosive giddiness, revealed through his smiling eyes and his nervous fingers as they tapped each other in front of his chin.
The sight molded Daniel's reaction and his demeanor into the very opposite of what he was, only seconds before, feeling. He smiled, not only at the question, but at the ridiculousness of the behavior. He couldn't help it.
"Hello, Professor. It's been awhile..." Daniel said. After a short pause, he voiced the same question in the form of his own question: "'what is an...Existentialist-Mathematician's favorite adage?'"
The diminutive man smiled largely. Holding up the index finger on his right hand as he gave the answer:
"It's the thought...that counts!"
He then broke out into raucous flightiness, slapping his hands on his knees and twitching his legs around like a school boy who had to pee.
Daniel smiled again.
He got it, he concluded. At least he had the notion he did.
Thought...Existentialist, Count...Mathematician. Then for some reason he remembered what he'd thought just a few days earlier, the words of the wise man: As a man thinketh...so is he! Then, his mind looked at it from another perspective. And then another came to him, and then yet another.
"Several ways of thinking about it, isn't there?" the Professor said. "A gift may not mean much materially, but the intent of the heart may mean volumes." His eyes fell on the books on the shelf beside Daniel. "Or, it's our thoughts that measure--weigh, determine, add things up for us, even...create things for us...through our thoughts. Or, that we are only...our thoughts."
As a man thinketh...so is he.
What we decide in our minds and determine with our thoughts often-times becomes our reality, especially if we think about it hard enough and long enough. That goes for the accurate and the inaccurate, the right or wrong, the good...and the bad.
The hard part is determining which end of the spectrum to lean towards. I guess that's one of the basic definitions of Existentialism:
ex.is.ten.tial.ism \'eg-zis-"ten-ch-'li-zm\ n : a philosophy centered on individual existence and personal responsibility for acts of free will in the absence of certain knowledge of what is right or wrong --ex.is.ten.tial.ist \-list\adj or n
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"What!" Yeah, again...I know, odd. In essence, what it means is that we can choose the meaning, as an individual. It's as we choose to think about it, whatever it is.
But, then again, the philosophy can get us into real trouble.
A lot of people think that they can do, act, and behave however they want, simply because they choose to, because they choose to think that way. And, they do so with little or no moral or ethical acknowledgement, repudiating even the thoughts of right or wrong, because they say that they are justified because there is no right or wrong, that the models of right or wrong are only concepts that are man-made, completely subjective.
Granted, there is some truth to that, but...
There has always been a line drawn. That's what the countless wars of history have been fought over. Why people have sacrificed their lives to stand up for those absolutes according to how they have thought, or presently choose to think about something.
That's the hallmark of humanity. That we not only choose to think about something--a certain way--but that we stand up and fight for that cause, whatever that cause may be.
Is right and wrong really so subjective?
I suppose in a lot of ways...it is. There are, as I've mentioned in some of my other Blog Posts, a lot of gray areas:
Evolution or Creation... War on drugs or Legalization...
Pro-life or Pro-choice... Global warming or Cooling...
Pacifism or Extremism... Conservatism or Liberalism...
Consumerism or Environmentalism... Nationalism or One World-ism...
War or Peace... Life or Death...
I'm sure we all wish it was a lot easier, more cut-and-dry. But, it appears it isn't. And we're all facing a future that in many ways is unparalleled in history. I don't even need to mention the many challenges facing the up and coming generations...my kids and my grandkids...yours.
It is they who will inherit the World we'll leave them...the world we've collectively thought up.
So, I ask. Help me out here when you get a minute, and...think about it! Thanks...
G. F. Smith