Monday, October 27, 2014

Quote of the Day ~ Kant

I like to think that the tears that welled up in my eyes when I submitted my first college application today was some sort of bodily disorder, but five hours on and I'm still alive. 
I think I cried of relief when I clicked that submit button. 
Oh well, one done; six to go...

Anyway, I should probably introduce this quote before I go start a pity party haha. I was going to do a Cheshire Cat themed Halloween post (I appreciate Hollywood's latest depiction of that cat; now he's just creepy enough to be a Halloween costume!), but then Immanuel Kant came along, and I now have a Cheshire Cat meets Kant quote analysis..


I was a bit shocked when I first read this quote. That’s the kind of blatant pessimism no one really wants to hear. That happiness is impossible in our world unless we imagine it is probably the rudest thing anyone could say about it. Right?



Then I realized that Kant wasn’t saying that the world is so deprived of happiness that people have to imagine what being happy feels like; he was arguing that the world today is happy not because it is mechanical and mathematically perfect (it’s not), but because people have the ability to dream, picture, and imagine.

Dreaming, hoping, and waiting for tomorrow: these are all signature characteristics of humans. We’re all so obsessed with the future that we often have to be reminded to live life rather than dream of living. You might think that it wouldn’t be so in today’s world of success and ambition, but ambition is just another form of dreaming- a really legitimate form, but a form all the same.

We, as a society, are living for the future, and none of us can deny it. We walk lining the barrier to tomorrow, eyeing the new technological conveniences there. We are a society striving towards improvement and achievement. “To create a more perfect union”

Everything about living is gearing towards success, improving. Riches, fame, and just happiness- they’re all goals of the future that we’re running towards. They’re the finish lines that I fear we will never reach. We’re a society that will pursue forever.

But is that really imagination, dreaming? Do dreamers set their eyes on great heights, clawing their way to those continuously moving targets? Is pursuing, but never reaching, really the fun part?
                   Dreaming keeps us happy. As long as we’re moving, we have that feeling of accomplishment, that feeling of doing something. So maybe it is the pursuit, the dreaming and the hoping that keeps us going. Not the reaching, or the knowing.