Thinking Too Much And Too Deep

Colin Wilson in his book The Outsider talks through a critique of literature about a clan of individuals, referred by him as ‘the outsiders’. He states that one of their primary problems is that they “think too much and too deep“. That premise and a beautiful exposition of’aesthetics’ by Joyce in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, which I am reading now, led me to this train of thought :

Human being, the species (for convenience referred to as ‘man’ hereafter), consists of two parts – commonly referred to as ‘body’ and ‘spirit’. Since thousands of meanings have been attributed to these two words, for the sake of clarity, I propose to use a different terminology (which I believe is more exact in definition). Thus, let me say that man consists of the ‘touchable’ and the ‘untouchable’ parts (‘touch’ here referring to the physical sensory perception).

The touchable part, by its very nature, is more susceptible to violence and subjection. The untouchable part, though potentially susceptible to both, is not only less so but also protected by its very nature – intangibility.

However, for an outsider, the untouchable part becomes, unconciously, more vulnerable than the touchable. The culprit being the fact that they “think too much and too deep”. Another reason probably is that they tend to employ too often, in their scheme of logical analysis, a useful but dangerously double-edged tool – induction.

Therefore, most of their formative years (which, by the way, has nothing to do with their age) is spent in a psychological incomprehension of the effect of such violence on their untouchable part – more often than not, they being unaware of its cause. Consequently, their untouchable part becomes subjected to either of these notions – that life is worthless or that he is.

It is only when the outsider becomes aware of his strange situation, i.e abnormal vulnerability of his untouchable part, that he becomes free.Then he finally figures out that life is not only ‘not wothless’ but also constantly enjoyable. By one act of consciousness, the very disease of thinking “too much and too deep” becomes an immunity.

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6 responses to “Thinking Too Much And Too Deep

  1. booksandmusings

    Well, I agree with everything you say. However, I would like to go one step further and say that the strength of the
    intangible is in the vulnerability as is its weakness. It is this acknowledgment of vulnerability that makes the intangible
    so sacrosanct and offers a dynamic reality to the being (man). I agree with everything you say. The possibility of not being
    responsible for your own actions – attributing to something, other than yourselves the power to make you a failure is that
    vulnerability and people who think too much and too deep get caught in that. I agree with you completely.

  2. I liked the other look better…

  3. I think this one is easier to read. If two people say this is not easier to read, I will change the theme.

  4. Pingback: Caligula by Camus - Absurdity's Illogical End « Book Crazy

  5. Y’all just sound like some crazy fucks

  6. I love how you summed this up so succinctly and so accurately.
    Nietzsche said that in the mountains, the shortest route is from peak to peak but for that one must have long legs.

    I wish I could manage to keep myself in the awareness of my strange situation, but I’ve only ever managed to reach it a handful of times and never for long enough to sustain me through the other times. So it goes…

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