Dear Mudge: A Narrow Scope

Dear ‘Mudge,

How have you been? I hear you’ve got new digital digs. How’s Jessie? You still holding out for November to apply for a Vet-Tech job?

Covid, for me, has changed nothing. I used to work from home (for more than a decade) and then did the office thing for like, 18 months before, back at home again, doing my coding thing.

Our conversations here have been on my mind, of late. Namely the one where we discussed the Existential Crisis that is living at the outermost shell of a philosophical understanding of this Absurd Universe. Namely, you can’t. You can’t live in that nearly Nihilistic shadowland. Either you pull back or you pull the trigger.

What got me thinking about this (am I ever not thinking about this?) is this concept of context.

One of the critical thinking skills I’m pretty good at is analyzing and solving problems. This is pretty much my job, as jobs go. I happen to use computer code, (or no code, sometimes no action is the right action), to get things done. This, I realize, represents a narrowly defined scope of human understanding. Within such a narrow context, I can define and enact purpose.

That’s the crux of this post.

You and I had examined diversions (TomBeingTom’s recent post got me thinking of this) and diversions are one of the useful means to avoid dwelling in that outermost Absurd U abstraction layer. But diversions result in a shallow, unfulfilling gut-feel, one that invites wandering back into that N’th shell.

Contextual scoping, however, once formalized, may provide for the needed gap-fill. Work is one context. Writing is another (itself its own snarly wad of problems). There must be others I can create, contexts that are not quite diversionary, not quite problem spaces, but areas in need of a little of both.

Your recent Vet-Tech training must have been just such a constrained context that forced you to limit your wayward existential tendencies, no?

Perhaps life, “a” life at least, could be lived bouncing from context to context, never letting the Demonic N’th Level of Hell catch you unawares.

Your thoughts?


[Forgot the customary image…


An artichoke gone to flower.]

3 thoughts on “Dear Mudge: A Narrow Scope

  1. You’re definitely onto something with your idea of “context.” When I studied philosophy (in the days when I had comprehension), I think my favorite approach was always comparing and contrasting worldviews, how a particular philosopher’s worldview shaped his view of, uhh, the world. I didn’t care about economic theories or the nature of rationality or even the study of ethics. I was focused on the meaning of life, why do we exist, who had the view that made the most sense to me for my life. (I am self-centered, remember?) Only once we nail that down can we answer the other questions.

    At some point we just have to decide. I can’t tell if you really truly feel this way, but that understanding of the world, for those who espouse it, seems to lead to the contemplation of a question about another, more truly existential, decision.

    It seems inevitable to think about it unless you aren’t serious about the issue, unless you really put on that worldview glasses.

    I think you know your answer.

    In that case, if I were sitting where you are, I’d have no choice but to pull back. I think for those who pull the trigger, it’s the tragic end of an untreated, terminal mental illness. It’s an unbearable, inexorable pull forward, not an intellectual consideration of the question.

    So if that’s not it for you, you’ve got to answer, for yourself, if you’re secretly enjoying this. If you are, that’s your worldview, to examine the context of this question.

    Those are the only two options as you correctly put it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “…secretly enjoying this…” For those of us with the luxury of arm-length analysis, that seems like the ultimate key.
      When the time comes, when the pain of existence exceeds that secret level of pleasure, either through external reasons, internal analysis or, in youth, through a narrowly defined options set, then we seek the pulling of the trigger. Until then, I’ll have to admit, I am secretly enjoying this.

      Liked by 1 person

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