An old saying of mine is:
“Seek you the condition of self-evidence.”
I have always considered this a great ‘truth’ in life. Self-evidence is the condition of how things are simply at their ‘face value’. That is to say, before you reflect on it, dwell on it, and give it meaning.
Ask yourself: “what is self-evident?”
Most of the time we have elaborated so much stuff onto things that we lose track of what it was to begin with. This means that the condition of self-evidence is things at its most simplist, as if before any thought or put into any philosophical framework. In other words, its our ‘base’ reaction to something before we elaborate all these other things and meanings upon it. It’s like saying “what is really actually there?” before giving it any meaning and value. Oftentimes, you find that what you think is there really isn’t. Many social situations, in particular, tend to be of this nature I’ve found. We make out all these intentions, meanings, etc. in things that, really, are not there. In effect, we delude ourselves. When we look at self-evidence this becomes apparent.
But another thing is discovered: we deliberately delude ourselves. The ironic thing is that if we didn’t, really, life would be boring and dull. Taking the self evident and giving it all this other meanings makes life interesting and helps to give value to things. Most certainly, it gives a depth to life. It makes things relevent and have a place. It shows that life “as is” is sort of a nothing. We need to give the “as is” some ‘color’, so to speak, by adding things to it.
But, by adding too much ‘color’ and doing it blindly, we can lose a sense of whats really going on. Very often, we get too ‘wound up’ with our ‘colorings’ that we can no longer see whats behind it all. This, I think, has become a more prevalent problem as we have become too ‘cranial’, so to speak, as we think too much, see too much, hear too much, and observe too much nowadays because of all the mass media, schooling, consumerism, and such that is so prevalent. In a sense, we are in an epidemic of an “over coloring of life”. In so doing, we tend to become detached and alienated from life, oftentimes losing a sense of life and what it is. What this means is that a lot of what we think is going on really isn’t. We become victims, in a sense, of our own minds and our own delusions.
This shows that life, really, is a balance between deluding ourselves and in knowing what’s real, that is, self-evident. In other words, there is a NEED to delude ourselves, to a point, and live in something like a ‘fantasy world’ amongst the monotony and “boring” nature of “real” life. It is not good, in my opinion, to get ‘too real’ or ‘too fantasy’ in life. They are just extremes . . . both are bad. What we need, it seems, is to find a medium. In a sense, a good healthy standpoint is nothing but finding a medium between these two. In fact, I tend to feel that any form of “health”, really, is nothing but finding a medium between opposites. Another way to look at it is that “health” is nothing but achieving a balance in life. It’s generally not a question of whether this or that is good or bad for you but more a question if there is too much or too little. This, I think, applies to a mental and physical health together.
My statement above, of seeking the condition of self evidence, is really in response to how we tend to ‘over color’ things nowadays. It’s like saying “since we over color things so much and get lost in it, we should try to ‘uncolor’ things to achieve a balance”. It’s interesting that much of ‘modern advice’ is to basically achieve this same quality. In fact, there are many ‘self help movements’ which are geared to basically ‘uncolor’ things, to ‘slow down’, to ‘not get wrapped up in things’, to ‘calm down’, to ‘get in tune with ones inner self’, etc. The fact that there is so much of this shows how prevalent the ‘over coloring’ is. Not only that, it shows that people are aware of it and its effects.