If this blog post reads like a diary entry, so be it.
I still remember my first year at the university, back in 2010. Specifically, I remember half-sitting in a seminar room and full-debating Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus with a professor. We were arguing about the nature of causality and the value or disvalue of philosophy. But the philosophical content is unimportant here, for what I remember the most is the emotional content of our debate—the pleasure of analytical power, the joy of rational strength.
It wasn’t primarily intellectual pride that I felt, because, if I remember correctly, my professor had better arguments than I. Yet sensing the power of that man’s intellect was such a profound enjoyment! To this day, I deem hearing someone intelligent speak a tremendous delight; better even than what I get from great books. (These days, for example, I experience the pleasure of rationality when I listen to Sam Harris on his podcast Waking Up or when I attend a scientific conference.)
Still, I left academia for good reasons, and I do not regret my choice. I had to do my True Will. Also, I have a feeling that when I live true to my Will, I will experience the largest spectrum of possible pleasures: the pleasures of sex and faith and violence as well as the pleasures of thought and reason and intellect.
Conversely, I mistrust every man who looks down upon either end of the spectrum, disregarding crucial aspects of what it means to be human. For he who does not warmly and gratefully embrace the full spectrum of the human experience must have a pride that’s untrue. And behind every pride that’s not true, there’s a little resentment hiding—a little hideous grudge.
Then again, aren’t false pride and ugly resentment a part of the human experience, too? I guess so, but so are trust and distrust, judging and non-judging.