A Calm that You Possess

One has the opportunity, regularly, to prove that what one believes about oneself is actually true. The way to understand what that means would be not to prove that what one thought about oneself is true or not true, but to be aware that what one thinks about oneself may not be true. Sartre talks about good and bad faith in this way, writing that there is a more valuable manner of living in good faith where one knows that one does not know about oneself. That is one way to take Sartre, but the portly one with the snub nose and the poverty inherent in his interests said something intimately related so many centuries before him. He did not talk about bad faith, nor good, nor did he have the psychology of the twentieth century to inform him. Rather, one must know about oneself that what is there purportedly may be there, but it also is not. One must know that they do not know, since language and knowledge occupy the same ontology that all else does. What one is is ephemeral and negated by its very presence. It is not what it is and it is what it is not, something existing in time. Is that not correct Jean-Paul?

You, my friend, you have no worries about any such thing at all. If you had the ability, I would suggest that you rejoice in the knowledge that you need not constrain yourself with human concerns. They are not always petty and they are not always harmful, but they are of great necessity, and you will continue long after everything human has been wiped into oblivion.

There is a calm that you possess.