One of the problems with being an academic/vegetarian/feminist is that your analytical skills don’t turn themselves off ever. Or at least mine do not. Being so sensitive to the unfairnesses and cruelty of the world can be painful, so the following passages resonated with me as something worth striving for.
“’I have perceived that in all cases man must eventually lower, or at least shift, his conceit of attainable felicity; not placing it anywhere in the intellect or the fancy; but in the wife, the heart, the bed, the table, the saddle, the fire-side, the country.’”
“The ability to live at the surface, to take the events of daily life with the meanings they present rather than to seek their hidden purpose, to find happiness and joy in what there already is, finds its easiest expression in a pre-Christian age. Indeed, not just a pre-Christian age, but a pre-Buddhist, pre-Platonic, pre-Hinduist, and pre-Confucian one as well.”
(Both passages are quotes in order from All Things Shining by Hubert Dreyfus and Sean Dorrance Kelly, but the first passage is from Moby Dick. Bold added by me.)
Maybe it’s okay to seek the surface as a way of protecting ourselves against daily frustration. Then again, maybe I’m too far gone to ever skate so lightly over the surface of things.