Starting out
Clearing the mind

Every (philosophical) journey begins with a single misstep.

Ultimately there is no starting point,
and no subsequent journey.
But pay this no mind for now.

Ignore my initial comments. They are like the canned generalizations of a tour-guide, without much coffee, on a cold overcast morning. I have not seen the whole city and must cover just a few things.

You visit the cathedral of course, but do you visit the apartment house near the cathedral? Do you look in the drawers? In the closet? Do you find the hidden compartment in the closet containing an intimate diary the writer has forgotten about? Do you read the diary?

Philosophies consist of considerations in the metaphorical landscapes of our minds. Think about this, and this, and don't forget this, so we should say that. We don't just visit the landscpae, we create the landscape, like we create a garden from a piece of land.

In one metaphor, it is like knowing one's way around a city. There is no starting point for learning one's way around, and one comes to the same place in various ways from other places around town. One learns one's way around by seeing the connections.

Already we are speaking in what we metaphorically call metaphors. Like all conceptual metaphors, and our thinkings are loaded with them, these metaphors both lead and mislead our thinkings.

We are also mislead by allusions to other philosophers who have gone before us (Skeptiks, Cartesian doubt). Instead of thinking about the issues of consideration, we begin thinking about the thinkings of other philosophers, and, as philosophers, we know a multitude of paths about other philosophers that we can pleasantly indulge. And thinking that others have though the same things before,

(Nor must we become lost in a clever opening.)

Truth is a metaphor, I will begin with mildly inscrutable sentences, which would be false if they were intended to be simply true.

We walk about clothes in protective coats of understandings. The first step in clearing the mind is an awareness and salutary understanding of our ignorance.

Of this the most important is conceptual ignorance. Our thinking has become muddied because we think with mud.

The book is an exercise in scepticism. We cannot know what we cannot know, and we cannot know what we cannot know This goes hand in hand with a suspicion of what presents itself as truth.

No one can do this for you. Which makes this a personal quest, not an achievement done for you once and for all. Each person, each generation, must learn to avoid the quicksands of illicit thinking.

What follows next is the adventure into the unknowable unknown, though our ignorance is all we have

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