Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Reflections on My Birthday

Well, I have spent a rather quite birthday today mostly in my own company.  I want to say that I consider myself very fortunate to have been allowed devote a great deal of my time on this earth to personal (and impersonal) reflection.  I always look back at my life and wonder whether the eighteen year old Stephan Huller would have been happy with how he turned out.

I was never a materialistic person.  Hedonistic maybe but even then I was always aware that things don't last in this world.  That made the enjoyment of the passions impossible.  Withdrawing into the inner world of contemplation followed quite naturally, I guess.

I can't say I turned out to be a successful person.  I did a few things, some of which turned out well.  I have a few works in progress, none of which will likely be understood by most people.  I find the loss of the passion of my youth has fortunately resulted in a more rational nature generally.

Nietzsche once formulated a 'test' as it were for life affirmation which I have always used to evaluate my personal happiness:

What if a demon were to creep after you one day or night, in your loneliest loneness, and say: "This life which you live and have lived, must be lived again by you, and innumerable times more. And mere will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and every sigh— everything unspeakably small and great in your life—must come again to you, and in the same sequence and series__" Would you not throw your self down and curse the demon who spoke to you thus? Or have you once experienced a tremendous moment, in which you would answer him: "Thou art a god, and never have I heard anything more divine!" [The Gay Science (1882), p. 341 (passage translated in Danto 1965, p. 210).]

Schopenhauer said much the same thing. I don't know if I would declare that the demon who said these words was a god today but I never found the egoism necessary to shake the understanding that this was the life I was destined for. There was no other me that would ever be created to replace this Stephan Huller.

Whether or not I end up being liked or hated, I have to chug along. My feet is my only carriage as the song says.

I always thought that fighting on the side of truth gave me a leg up on the competition. Of course, some would argue that EVERYTHING thinks they are on the side of truth.

Not so.

For whatever reason I believed from birth that I had a special understanding of people's inner workings or perhaps the 'psychological make up' of humanity. I know its crazy but I inherited it from my mother and her ancestors - forgive me!

Very few people have a clear conscience. They only pretend to fight on the side of truth. I am naive and inexperienced enough in the realm of academia to still believe there is such a thing as truth. That is my secret weapon.


Anyway hope everyone out there has a wonderful birthday when their turn comes to blow out the candles on the cake.

Stay true, everyone ...

Email with comments or questions.

Stephan Huller's Observations by Stephan Huller
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