WordPress changed its editor! Its pretty, effective? That I should find out by the end of this post. Anywho, getting back to what this is about. Well look at the title. The first time someone said to me :
It’s too meta…
was rather recently. It was one of my professors addressing the awkward silence which followed some poignant questions about human psychology. He had taken to the periodic dive in the clouds and we had responded with our usual expressions of abandon. That is when he enunciated this phrase which too me sounded unique. It symbolized everything I was experiencing in my first swig at an American education. It acknowledged the appropriate mood of the situation while proudly reflecting the brevity which dominates discourse in this part of the world. It wasn’t formal, almost colloquial and had the whiff of coolness about it which surfaces as soon you realize that we are talking about metaphysics.
One would presume that in an environment crawling with academics there shall be a lot of talk of philosophy and life in general. These are the men and women with time on their hands and the intent to partake in the dissection of something as commonplace as existence. One would thus also presume that the injection of oneself into such an environment would lead to access to many a conversationalists on these rather fleeting topics. But what one’s presumption shall not be accounting for, would be the lack of time to indulge in such unbounded areas of cognition. It wouldn’t factor in the demands of structure and productivity even on those who by definition are expected to be dreamy and of the thinking disposition. So in a teeming oasis of thought, learning, knowledge and wisdom there can be moments of cerebral despair. The want of the reflective bar fly or pensive coffee drinker at the other side of one’s table; is perhaps not an unreasonable want (If an unusual one).
These people and the conversations you have with them are essential. They color in the big picture, they provide inspiration and of course bouts of mental relief. Undiluted debates, discussions about society and ultimately meaning to the life of those who profess to think. Often, in the pursuit of relevance and articulated success, meaning is lost. Like filling blanks in one’s life, we move onto the next project, the next paper. Where is the meaning that ties it all together? Is it to be discovered at the end of one’s career as an act of reflection? Or could it be brought with that seemingly inconsequential talk with your barber? With your neighbour perhaps? The lives of the greats are written in the anecdotes filled with such encounters. Perhaps it is for human interest, perhaps to paint them in a shade of normalcy. Those who think, need to talk.