Friday, 4 November 2011

Sad Philosophers!


Two young students are sitting in a room. One of them has slight excess of blubber and the other one is emaciated. Both of them are bespectacled. Both of them have a contemplative disposition but one of them is more philosophical than the other.  



Wag Bobby Clinker: I have often wondered if everyone gets such questions every now and then as I do.



A Shrug Jinni: What sort of questions?



Wag Bobby Clinker: Existential sort of. I mean, you might be in a hypnagogic state or you might be out of dreams but yet in sleep—the state when you are about to leave your bed-and the questions hit you hard with a force. Questions like—what is the purpose of life?



A Shrug Jinni: I do not get such questions. You get such questions only when you are idle and alone and usually I am too busy to get such questions.



Wag Bobby Clinker: That seems like a realization to me! Hitherto I had a conviction that everyone gets such questions but only because of their negligent disposition they overlook and carry themselves to other less ponderous things than to reflect through these questions.



A Shrug Jinni: It seems that introversion and extraversion has to do with such contemplations. Introversion, whether inborn (because of the structure of brain) or reinforced (because of social conditions) is more like to cause such inquiry.



Wag Bobby Clinker: I think suffering has something to do with reinforcement of such attitude and aptitude. I do not think that I can afford to explain that thoroughly but Philosophers seem to be those who have been most sensitive and hence suffered more than others.



A Shrug Jinni: There is no way to quantify it but there seems to be an element of truth in your conjecture, for sure.



Wag Bobby Clinker: What I have observed all these years is: Suffering is not necessarily dependent on external events happening to one (similar to happiness). The same set of events may cause a great radical life changing experience for an individual, whereas, the other agent might remain totally unaffected.



A Shrug Jinni: I reckon that to be true. I think, in order to explicate this you might have to take some outlier examples as suggested by Nicholas Naseem Taleb in ‘The Black Swan’. I say so, because, two candidates who are going for a grad school might go for Mathematics or Philosophy and you cannot say that one of them is more sensitive than the other.



Wag Bobby Clinker: I concur. I have one such concrete example in mind. Buddha the Gautama was born in a royal family and he had such a luxuriant and posh life that none of the worldly minds can ever believe that he ended up as a mendicant. I think, it was his inborn sensitivity much heightened than most towards the pain that reinforced in him a most earnest urge to know the reality which would end pain for once and for all and for one and for all.



A Shrug Jinni: Very well, you have hit the nail on the best nook of the wall.



Wag Bobby Clinker: This might suggest that some people are born more sensitive than the others. If you take into the account the theory of metempsychosis or reincarnation as you know it; it might help you explain this conjecture in minute details. Otherwise, you may simply say that some people are born more sensitive than the others and end up being Philosophers.



A Shrug Jinni: Your premise has a flaw.



Wag Bobby Clinker: Please say!



A Shrug Jinni: There are philosophers. There are mystics. Then there are those who end up in loony bins. Don’t you think that sensitivity to pain might also make one lunatic?


Wag Bobby Clinker: It certainly does. There has to be something extra-an invisible vital force which makes a sensitive seeker of truth an accomplished master as well and helps him hold himself when acute pain is driving him mad. Will it be safe to say that such persons are born with higher levels of élan vital or something?



A Shrug Jinni: I do not have a clue. I think it’s worth discussion but we have to catch a bus. We shall continue this discussion.



Wag Bobby Clinker: Sure!