I am charmed beyond anything I expected. This is going to be pure pleasure. For those who don't know, it merges the history of philosophy with a coming of age story of a young girl.
When I came across the quote below, I simply burst out laughing. This guy Gaarder managed to depict exactly how I feel, with all the quirkiness and everything.
He was talking about the sense of wonder as the starting point for philosophy. I know precisely what he meant since I feel this in some form everyday of my life. Usually the feeling is innocent like a child and intense like a first lover. It's been that way ever since I returned from the death of addiction. I treasure this feeling more than anything else I own and it's a sad day when it only comes a little.
This is sappy to the point of goody-goody-two-shoes, I know, but that's the way it is.
I think I'm a hambone protopanpsychic dork at heart, despite flirting with the conceit of a pseudo-epiphenomenalistic hard-nose on his high horse.
Gaarder also talked about how we lose this sense of wonder as we grow older and get settled into our routines. He expanded on this with a metaphor about how life, or even existence on a large ball spinning through the universe, can appear to us like a magician's rabbit and some other stuff that I found very clever and spot on, but I merely mention this to provide context for the quote.
The part that produced my guffaw is the following:
Only philosophers embark on this perilous expedition to the outermost reaches of language and existence. Some of them fall off, but others cling on desperately and yell at the people nestling deep in the snug softness, stuffing themselves with delicious food and drink.
"Ladies and gentlemen," they yell, "we are floating in space!" But none of the people down there care.
"What a bunch of troublemakers!" they say. And they keep on chatting: Would you pass the butter, please? How much have our stocks risen today? What is the price of tomatoes?
If you don't resonate with this, that's OK.
It's one of those things where you have to see the world from the same cockeyed angle I do.
But if you do, it's funny as all get-out.
If it didn't perfectly depict the loneliness I sometimes feel, it would even be funnier.