Anything could happen

I’m not a Sartre fan but his pranksterish youth, his “thus pissed Zarathustra” and a Lindbergh hoax are perversely endearing and humanizing.  And his typical overstatement nonetheless conveys one of the central truths of philosophy, that we ignore life’s vast (though not quite infinite) range of possibility to our detriment. “I suppose it is out of laziness that the world is the same day after day. Today it seemed to want to change. And then, anything, anything could happen.” A juvenile delinquent could even win and refuse a Nobel prize, and be lauded at his death as a secular saint.

Did you see that rare solstice moon last night? A once-in-a-lifetime astronomical event, apparently, for those whose lifetimes are still constrained by time.

The constraint of time, and the administrative compulsion of my insurer, sent me for my annual physical screening yesterday. The doc had a probative question about American philosophy, at the exam’s most dreaded and probing moment. It wasn’t easy to concentrate on my reply but I was grateful for the distraction.

And, I’m grateful for the online publication of my little testimonial essay on John Lachs yesterday at the Berlin Practical Philosophy International Forum. Its concluding questions imply an echo, perhaps disturbing but also potentially invigorating, of Sartre’s “anything could happen.” More important, they imply the possibility that we can make something happen.

6 am/5:32, 77/91/73, 8:06

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