This year I have started to study Philosophy in the Open University. Studying for the course is sometimes quite depressing, as I find out about the human predicament, and I often feel powerless in the light of the deeper forces in human nature that escape the control I thought to have. So I have asked myself if it would not be better to stop the course, maybe not everything needs to be uncovered, especially if it makes me feel bad. I have also been thinking whether studying philosophy overemphasises ratio, at the expense of feelings, a tendency I certainly sometimes have.
A book and a film I happen to have read and watched gave me some answers. In the book, danse danse danse by Haruki Murakami, the protagonist finally comes to terms with the reality of his existence by embracing his emotional needs. The film, Inception, is about the struggle of a dreamcatcher to extract himself from his own dreams. The film reminded me of others films with a similar theme, such as Vanilla Sky (Abre los ojos) or Matrix. What is common to all of these works of art is that the protagonists finally discover and embrace the truth, as opposed to dreams, parallel worlds and illusions.
Philosophy is concerned with the discovery of truth and it seems thus worthwhile to dedicate myself to it. Despite the occasional lows, studying is often also quite rewarding and fulfils me with deep satisfaction that comes with knowledge and understanding.
As to the over-rationality, getting up very early in the morning to study helps. Sitting by my window, studying, but at the same time seeing the clouds pass in front of the moon and feeling the wind that starts blowing in the early morning makes me happy as a human being overwhelmed by the beauty of nature.