If I had more time I would have written a shorter article; I would have had the time to edit it; to trim and cutout the fat. But I don’t have time; I’m a busy man in a very busy world. Allan Watts would say, “We are living in a culture entirely hypnotized by the illusion of time, in which the so-called present moment is felt as nothing but a thin hairline between an all-powerfully causative past and an absorbingly important future. We have no present. Our consciousness is almost completely preoccupied with memory and expectation. We do not realize that there never was, is, nor will be any other experience than the present experience. We are therefore out of touch with reality,” however, Allan Watts doesn’t pay my bills or even buy me beers, so I still I have no time. Let me quickly shake my brain and see what falls.

Heidegger describes language as the ‘house of Being’, which is to say that language is the primary way we dwell in Being. In other words, we don’t speak a language, it is the language that speaks us. The phrases and words we use tell a story about us. Wait, this will take longer, I don’t have time to finish that thought. Let me stick to the previous.

I’d like to explain how the culture has shifted from content to packaging. It’s become more important how a thing/a person looks than what they really are. The cover of a book more valued despite the pages inside. The avatar on the socials intrigues us more than the pursuit of our knowledge of self. Everyone wants to have a billion shillings, but no one wants to become a billionaire. Read that again. Heidegger would describe it as “the they” or “the they-self.” In his philosophy, the term “they” represents a kind of conformity that obscures authentic individual existence. When societal pressures have pushed us to a generic way of being pre-set by the norms of the culture.

If the truth can kill them, let them die,” Emmanuel Kant. I love Kant so here’s some truth; everyone you’ve ever met, every stranger out there, including yourself, is in a self defeating journey. We are all assured, 100%, to lose everything and everyone we love in this world someday, it’s the one truth that binds us all. Nothing can last. Nothing was meant to last. It’s all for a moment. Yet, most of us don’t even know who we are anymore; we want what others want, we want to be like others. The conformist culture has robed us of our individuality and replaced it with the anonymous collective. Which reminds me, guys, before you unexpectedly die, make sure you buy your favorite author some beers, don’t be telling me on your death bed, ati oohh, I wish I had more time, mara ohhh, kosokoso. I will not accept that regret, your soul will rest on doubt (R.O.T).

Quick question, do you know which phase the moon is on right now? Whether it’s new moon, crescent, gibbous or full moon? Most of us don’t because no one tells you to focus on that, but that should be something important to know, don’t you think? Try focus your attention on the things that no one is directing your attention to. Like your thoughts, or the phases of the moon or buying the good author some beers, don’t be Allan Watts. Be more deliberate on who and what you give your attention to, it determines what the world is to you.

Consider how context-dependent your sense of your own personality is… what I mean is, who you are depends on the environment and the people around you at any moment. In a way, you are reduced to an extension of the external. But to what degree should we permit this? Even as we blend and socialize, how much of ourselves must we keep alive? There’s a huge battle for our attention going on; billboards, phone calls, traffic noises, social media, it’s everywhere. All the time trying to teach you what to like and not like. What is cool and what is shit, the list is long (Kumbuka I said I have no time). If you can, take a moment each day to ask yourself, who are you really? Try focus your attention back to yourself, I promise you, it will change your life. And if it doesn’t, there’s more to life bana, just buy me beer na tusonge.

The great physicist, Richard Feynman, in describing his approach to knowledge, confessed that what made him see things differently from others is in the name of things. You see, earlier on in Feynman’s life his father taught him never to learn the names of things rather be more interested in the nature of the thing itself. Because a name doesn’t really tell you much about anything. You could know many names of something but still not know anything about the thing. Take from that what you can, pia mimi nimechoka.

This is the concluding paragraph, meaning; preaching imeisha, ni time ya sadaka. I love sharing knowledge. I’m wiser when drunk. Add two by two. Book me early, niko na demand. I wish you contentment in 2024.

About the author

Ken Juma

Thinker of thoughts, lover of life.. and death too.


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By Ken Juma

Ken Juma

Thinker of thoughts, lover of life.. and death too.

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