Towards a philosophy of empty-mindedness

Towards a philosophy of empty-mindedness.  A thought comes but it goes as quickly and as easily as it comes–with no thought of us, poor thinkers!  And what are we supposed to do when our thoughts run away, no matter how noble they were when we saw them fully dressed and they shared our company: chase them squinting with arm outstretched, asking for their return?  Is the philosopher supposed to be a desperate bird-catcher like this?  Or is she, somehow, to tread another zone altogether, that zone between thoughts, whether we call it exhaustion or enlightenment or rest or empty-mindedness, somehow get into that zone, think with and in that zone, think, that is, between thoughts, whether they are the highest or the lowest?  Philosophy of exhaustion!  Philosophy of enlightenment!  Philosophy of rest, of empty-mindedness!  What a thought: an unthinking philosophy!  The last thing such a philosophy would desire would be–to build a system!  To think a thought to its end, when the thoughts are pressing in on us with their plurality and their respective demands, when there are so many of them, when there is that great space above them, below them–away from them!  Oh, how even the most rigorous thought seems only to want, above all–to get away from itself!  To taste for once that place of the unthought, and to reside there!  Permanently to reside there!  Oh, what liberation it would be, to give up–so courageously!–what seemed to be our last worthy vocation, to take a vacation from it for good!  Or for ill!  What a thought!  Of all the thoughts thought has, this one, the thought of the in-between of thought, seems to be the most promising after a long career and even longer planetary sojourn, the most luxurious!  But no sooner does the thought visit us, even this thoughtless thought of residing nowhere in particular, of looking out to the hubbub of the world without any designs of cogitation, than it–is gone!  Than it leaves us, thinking again, with our incurable curiosity!  Than we are back in business as–so-called–responsible thinkers, responsible philosophers committed to a responsible philosophy!

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