Every great thinker, which is to say, every person engaged in the prolonged activity of self reflection (reflexivity) and its, the act’s, relationship with previously handed down, traditional, or written forms and meanings of the reflective activities of other thinkers, tends to invent his or her own language—his or her own means of talking categorically to himself or herself, responding to the writers he or she has read, and finally, making moves towards communicating these insights to local peers, friends, family, and persons in his or her immediate community. The work of language is the work of coming to know, in greater detail, the structure, complexity, generation, and disintegration of the lived world in which I presently occupy (it is worth observing that the reader may take on the identification of the above “I” in the activity of further coming into contact with being, reality, as it immediately, presently, presents).
In writing an autobiography, one that tries to capture the extent of the complexity of the activities and processes of self, I must also write about my experienced social circumstances, the people I know, who instilled fundamental moral axioms in my self understanding; my own coming to understand the nature, process, and activity of my cognition, and hownall this interrelates to my motivational-will-system: my instilled, acquired, and created desires, and my actions as they have come about and impacted the world system in which I live. The work of autobiography is constant, and in the immediacy of the work, the work itself invariably ends up becoming an influential part of my larger life course—the work of reflection, instituted by the autobiographical drive, becomes a further precipitory origin of potential alternative actions on my part, now and later, at this very moment and tonight when I go to work.
In all manner of scientific discourse, which is always the conversation among the community of persons engaged in the careful development of accurate understanding of entities available to meaning, the ultimate objective is to arrive at Truth. Truth, though, as observed by the continuing humanistic debate, as to Truth’s proper meaning, continues to be a contentious area of discourse. In the refinement and minutiae of personal lives experience, some theories, or structuring insights of interpretation of being, are adopted or discarded in light of changed circumstances, a seeming falsification of the theory’s function, and a newly discovered value of application in lived encounters. Phrased differently, theories become conceptual tools, whether we possess them consciously or not, in the perception and appropriation (through practical means) of lived experience.
Theory is closer to human action. Philosophy ends up being at one further remove, but this realization is hardly ever temporal—philosophy operates at greater detachment from lived experience, while theory, properly so called, is a mid-point between general abstraction and concrete practice. It is interesting how the term “philosophy” has maintained its meaning despite the incredible current state of its sophistication and abstruseness: may one speak of love when one is considering remarkably abstract, cognitive generalities?
Love, then, is the basis of living. What I mean by this is the insight I’ve had since one of my earliest bouts of depression: despite the fact that I have not wanted to go on living, I have nevertheless survived. This is to say that even though personal perception of being in general may be cast several shades darker (i.e., feeling of self loathing, disappointment, ruinance, guilt, shame, frustration, a general unwillingness to want to go on living, to understand the point of living) my person, which consists of my body, continues to live, exist. Further, sorrow, loss, whether it be from personal failure in projects, or disappointment of invested hope in the actions of others, myself as person continues on inspite of my feelings towards living. In at least one sense, this is an origin of love: when even I am repulsed at my acts and their consequences, I go on living. This is a love: a willingness for the good of another, towards myself.