Monday, June 9, 2014

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Another school principal borrows from DFW’s commencement speech Now with a penalty.

comments: 3

JuliaR said...

Well, thanks for pointing me toward DFW and his speech! Interesting. Tragic that he died so young. I agree with him when he says we could all be a little critically aware of ourselves and our certainties.

When he wrote about being the centre of our own universe, he was so right. I have been thinking more about that lately, in terms of "it's all about ME" and how everyone ELSE thinks that same thing! If everyone is thinking, "it's all about ME" how can we ever help each other?

But this sort of thinking is human nature. Kant pointed it out (albeit not very simply) over 200 years ago. Julian Jaynes simplified it for me 30 years ago in his great book "The Origin of Consciousness", that no one reads because they think he was wrong about WHEN consciousness arose. Who cares!? He's still right about other things!

Anyway, thanks. :)

JuliaR said...

Well, I just got to the end of his speech. He is talking about Zen or any of its manifestations. I have said for years that the single answer to all the problems of life is: "pay attention." This IS water. I AM breathing. This is my life. And he's right - it's a lot of work to be and stay conscious. But it's worth it.

Again, too bad he had an illness that hindered him from attaining the calm that comes with moment-to-moment awareness. He could see it but he could not stay there. So sad.

Michael Leddy said...

Yes, that speech sounds different after his death, especially the references to suicide, something Wallace had attempted long before 2005.