Afternoon Musings

Quarter of one. My mind is crowded with memories, all competing for attention. Mostly I wish to confess being a utilitarian, whether that’s good or bad. Everybody wants to be happy, I reckon. My sister would disagree, saying that what’s important is not our happiness but God’s plan for us. Well, not everyone has God on their side. I don’t know if I am saved or a lost soul, and it makes no difference if I reject the religious terms and use my own. I suppose I’m not alone in my epicurean beliefs. I regret that some of my friends are altruists to the hilt, for I don’t share their motives. It’s okay to derive pleasure from life, and even better to spread happiness around. Relieving the suffering of others is always a good thing; everyone understands pleasure and pain: that’s why utility makes excellent sense. But all my defense aside, at the kernel of my being is an egoistic impulse, and nothing can change it. People argue that egoism is childish and immature, and something to outgrow. Still I can’t envision me putting myself in the front line in some war I don’t believe in. And the more sober and conscious I am, the more convinced I am of my position… Hey look— Heidi is here!

Life of the Mind

The hub of my whole issue is the thing called duty, or the sense of should or ought. Everyone does what they have to do rather than want. They act from duty and not from pleasure. But I do the contrary, or so it seems. I don’t understand where the ought to message comes from; who’s the authority that ordains it? Who must do this or that and why must they? Perhaps nobody really must do anything, and if they are smart they will dodge the bullet. Evade Capping by the Tripods and escape to the White Mountains where they will remain free. The human mind has a great need for freedom, or anyway that’s how I feel. If you don’t have time to think for yourself then life is not worth living. Is the above escape what I actually did? Have I been smart enough to avoid mental servitude? Maybe I picked up the wrong message from school. Thinking is a pleasure in itself, one that my family hasn’t experienced. It is the highest form of Epicureanism, deriving pleasure from the intellect. I do it all the time, like mental masturbation. Ideas are a kind of sensation to an epicurean. They feel good. Jeff hates the suggestion of thinking for pleasure. He likes drinking and eating and womanizing for fun, but the life of the mind to him is unnatural and perhaps blasphemous. My whole family is anti intellectual, and sees it as a sin. I’m just different from them. Intellectualism isn’t wrong or evil; it’s just another way of living. I love the feeling of an idea, the delight it provides. Philosophy is a lot of fun, almost like a high on a drug. It is another foretaste of heaven, one that suits me and always has.