31 August 2005

Pyrrho’s Three Questions

via Tim Boucher
This is so relevant to me in my little Occult Design world that I need to save myself the trouble of typing by copy-and-pasting this directly from Tim's site. He is a brilliant and beautiful fellow, that Tim:—
I wrote about philosophical skepticism elsewhere, but I just noticed this great summation of it’s founder Pyrrho’s basic approach to thinking:
The proper course of the sage, said Pyrrho, is to ask himself three questions. Firstly we must ask what things are and how they are constituted. Secondly, we ask how we are related to these things. Thirdly, we ask what ought to be our attitude towards them. As to what things are, we can only answer that we know nothing. We only know how things appear to us, but of their inner substance we are ignorant. The same thing appears differently to different people, and therefore it is impossible to know which opinion is right. The diversity of opinion among the wise, as well as among the vulgar, proves this. To every assertion the contradictory assertion can be opposed with equally good grounds, and whatever my opinion, the contrary opinion is believed by somebody else who is quite as clever and competent to judge as I am. Opinion we may have, but certainty and knowledge are impossible. Hence our attitude to things (the third question), ought to be complete suspense of judgment. We can be certain of nothing, not even of the most trivial assertions.

A lot of people probably quail before the idea that we can’t ever really know anything. But the way I read Pyrrho’s philosophy is that either we can or can’t know anything for certain. But that’s not important. What is important is that it doesn’t matter. Once we stop worrying about who’s right and who’s wrong, and stop living life through an exclusively intellectual lens, we’ll experience a sense of peace and freedom.

ps — In a short while, I will be conducting an interview of Tim Boucher for the pleasure of me, myself, and I, as well as the mad legions of fans and devout worshipers he's developed online. I am mostly interested in his personal life, but he said no-no to that, so instead we'll be talking over some… stuff. I like stuff.


tim boucher said...

well i guess it really depends on how personal and in what direction. i've gotten to the point where i just need to draw boundaries, because i give so much time and energy to this as it is. that said, i dont want to head anything off at the pass, so ask the questions you want to ask, and if nothing else, i'll tell you the answers privately and decide if i want it to be a matter of public record or not.

Fell said...

Hehe, no worries… I was just kidding. We'll see where it goes. I am excited, though, as I believe the most exciting stories are of matters that affect us all, but have that personal spin. To me, the story (myth) is what is most important, not so much the content.