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Posts Tagged ‘Voltiare’

I have been thinking a lot about why I am an artist. On some days the idea of being an artist seems so abstract and ridiculous while on others it feels concrete and purposeful. Both have me asking why. I wish I had a simple answer as to the why of what I do but it never seems to show itself fully. Here’s a post from several years back that offers one possibility. It was written before the current state of affairs here in this country and the uncertainty I refer to is not the same as the chaos our current government is offering. Their chaos is based on their certainty and, as Voltaire says, that is an absurd condition.

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GC Myers- Twilight Wanderer

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Doubt is not a pleasant condition but certainty is an absurd one.

–Voltaire

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Much of my work has a journey or a quest as its central theme and the odd thing is that I don’t have a solid idea of what the object is that I am seeking in this work. I have thought it was many things over the years, things like wisdom and knowledge and inner peace and so on. But it comes down to a more fundamental level or at least I think so this morning. It may change by this afternoon. I think the search is for an end to doubt or at least coming to an acceptance of my own lack of answers for the questions that have often hung over us all.

I would say the search is for certainty but as Voltaire points out above, certainty is an absurd condition. That has been my view for some time as well. Whenever I feel certainty coming on in me in anything I am filled with an overriding  anxiety. I do not trust certainty. I look at it as fool’s gold and when I see someone speak of anything with absolute certainty–particularly politicians and televangelists– I react with a certain degree of mistrust, probably because I see this absolutism leading to an extremism that has been the basis for many of the worst misdeeds throughout history. Wars and holocausts, slavery and genocide, they all arose from some the beliefs held by one party in absolute certainty.

So maybe the real quest is for a time and place where uncertainty is the order of the day, where certainty is vanquished. A place where no person can say with any authority that they are above anyone else, that anyone else can be subjugated to their certainty.

To say that we might be better off in a time with no certainty sounds absurd but perhaps to live in a time of certainty is even more so.

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