Now, what I’ve begun to realize (apart from any sad sentimentality felt towards the progressive loss of leisurely intellectual pursuits and other such octogenarian concerns) is that (aside from my clear penchant and enjoyment of such material) any ideas that one enjoys (which can be myriad and many or homogeneous and few) deserve more time.
Granted, it is easy to argue that such things like philosophy, psychology, science fiction, religion, and theology certainly require more time than other ideas, but what I’m saying is that this principle of spending more time can and ought to be applied to any interest, with great result. Of course, now I read this myself and I feel that I sound like some kind of idiot, reiterating what simple universal truths the world already knows back at itself, like some kind of crazy broken tape player in a room full of broken microphones. But it’s true. And it’s the truth of it that’s worth hearing, again and again, until we really truly believe in it.
The same way that listening to the same song over and over doesn’t simply make us feel the same emotions over and over again (although it may), spending time with an idea does the same. It’s startling really, when at times I find myself listening to a song I listened to only a week ago, and hearing parts that I had not heard before. They range from minor things such as a single note, to entire sequences of drums, woodwinds, and even vocal inflections. Even stranger is how I can hear a song I haven’t heard in years and yet be struck by the same exact emotions I had when I first listened to it, all those years ago. I know that it’s easier to listen to a song for 4 or 5 minutes than to spend 45 minutes or an hour to read a book or an essay, but the principle stands. And what I really think of now, having gone over this idea, this truthful idea, is how spending time with these things makes me want to produce something as true and as emotional and as great as those things that dawned upon me in the first place.
The cycle of truth. It’s what Hegel meant when he described the Dialectic, the Zeitgeist. It’s what Maslow believed everybody was longing for and striving for when he developed his illustration for the hierarchy of needs. It’s what Ghandi and The Dalai Lama want everybody to unite under and experience so as to end the animosity and frustration that people have for each other. And it’s what Jesus was trying to make us understand whenever he talked about forgiving each other and living lives with harmony and not dissonance. That’s what I’m talking about when I write whatever this is that I’ve written.