Perhaps by dint of my age or station, or perhaps by neglect or a concerted outpouring of will, I have arrived at a life philosophy. I think about certain things during the day, sleep mostly dreamless nights, and live an unarguably comfortable existence, at a safe distance from my fellow man.
My philosophy is this: you could be wrong. It is like a mantra. “Om nava shiva ya”, “Nam yo renge kyo”, it has the same hollow resonance as more famous incantations of self-contemplation.
you could be wrong.
I have often found myself wrong about important aspects of life. Sometimes I treat a friend in a way that at the time I consider to be most proper; days, weeks, months or years later I will be forced to reconsider my position. Decisions I made when I was 15 still make me wince as I lie down before sleep. Perhaps this is just a relic of immaturity; I imagine that most people reconcile themselves to their choices, file a few away as ‘mistakes’ and then get on with their lives. For whatever reason, this kind of self-consolation doesn’t seem to work. The only thing that comforts me is that my discomfort at past improprieties is itself based on faulty reasoning.
But then the real question comes up. If I treat each decision as if it is no better or worse than any other decision (as any decision is based on the best but still fallible reasons), then the logical question is why anything happens the way it does. Am I just some sort of existentially-bored non-entity who goes with the flow? That doesn’t seem to be the case. Even if it were, I could be wrong and would therefore be forced to examine my assumptions. Likewise, positive belief in something only yields so much peace of mind. If I were to think that I were fully in control of my decisions, let alone making them based on correct belief, then the same question pops up, whether my beliefs are really my own, or just a positive aspect of something even greater.
And yet, things did turn out a certain way. Here I am: I am not dead, but in several contingent worlds, I could well be.
The only alternative is to contemplate the idea that there is a man up above (definitely not down below) calling all the shots. What are the odds, though?