Art, Literature, Philosophy

The Thing Itself

img_8649…it is a constant idea of mine; that behind the cotton wool is hidden a pattern; that we — I mean all human beings — are connected with this; that the whole world is a work of art; that we are parts of the work of art. Hamlet or a Beethoven quartet is the truth about this vast mass that we call the world. But there is no Shakespeare, there is no Beethoven; certainly and emphatically there is no God; we are the words; we are the music; we are the thing itself.” Virginia Woolf

Socrates said the unexamined life is not worth living.  The converse, of course, is that the examined life is worth living.   Sometimes, though, something triggers a deep examination and life can go full HD to an uncomfortable degree, and we see the thing itself like never before.  In a world ready to medicate and therapute  itself out of every sadness and every brittle thought,  a world full of platitudinous feel good memes,  painted in the broad brushstrokes of ridiculous certainty – right and wrong, good and bad, left and right, beautiful and ugly – the sudden clarity of the deeply examined life can be startling, upsetting and even frightening.

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