Written on 15th September 2006, when everything seemed so simple and fresh, and messages came unbidden out of a clear sky: “All we ever need to know is what to do“, as concluded in the post below. These days I find it the hardest challenge of all. I ask myself whether I actually know anything at all of what’s really important, but it was easy to be confident then, as in this, paraphrased from a post I’d written three days earlier:
Jim says “Some things I just ‘know’ and believe in as fact without any proof”…I don’t have any problem with a personal view, like Jim’s, for it stands on the rock of his own experience… When it is your own knowledge, you stand strong in it. So I say that the closest we can get to knowledge is our own experience and how we interpret it.
Letter in hand, I set out for the Post Office. It’s hot and humid now, but earlier I went out in raincoat and floppy hat against the chilly drizzle, as if in a different latitude or season. Such is the variability of English weather.
I pass a dozen engineering workshops on the way. What is head-in-the-clouds philosophy, compared with the real work that these men do, skilful, absorbed, trusty members of a team? Now a young African woman of striking appearance precedes me on the pavement, lanky and graceful, clad in black. She keeps turning her head but it’s not me she’s interested in. She’s hoping the bus won’t come before she reaches the next stop.
As I stroll, I ponder a question posed in my last post: “How do we know what we know?” There is certainly more to be said on that. But suddenly I no longer care about how.
I see that the real question is what. “What do we need to know?”
Indoor philosophy’s not my bag. Descartes relates that his epiphanic moment of “Cogito ergo sum” arrived whilst holed up in a stove-heated room. My moments, such as they are, always arrive in the open air. Jimi Hendrix not René Descartes is my style model: “’Scuse me while I kiss the sky”. Not “this guy”; though he often made a joke of the misheard lyric and embraced the nearest musician on stage.
It was today, whilst kissing the sky, that the answer came to me. “All we ever need to know is what to do.”
Your knowing is not my knowing. And tomorrow our knowing has to start anew.