I am filth

Yesterday was a very relaxing day at my new place in Baildon. I live on Shipley Glen in a small town in the West Yorkshire region. In the morning I went out for an easy 10 mile run and got to meet some of the local livestock.

I then did some work from home, met with Steve Wolstenholme at The Old Glen House Pub (about 150 meters from my house) for a pint, went grocery shopping with Gill and later toured around some maps of the countryside with William (the youngest lad in the family here).

NOTE: I’m going to start putting up songs that I feel go along with the post. I’ll insert it where I think you should start playing the song. If you’re inclined, press play and let it run as you read the rest of the post…

Before retiring, I opened one of the 4 books that I brought on this trip: Culture and Value .

Culture and Value is a collection of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s notes, which were compiled into a short book for our enjoyment.

There is no real continuity between each of the 1-20 sentence thoughts, except that they were Wittgenstein’s reflections on various topics of culture and value, which means they are worth reading.

I sometimes read one or two before bed. This can, however, turn dangerous as these thoughts tend to want to stay up late and wrestle with me.

Last night I read:

Nobody can truthfully say of himself that he is filth. Because if I do say it, though it can be true in a sense, this is not a truth by which I myself can be penetrated: otherwise I should either have to go mad or change myself.”
-Ludwig Wittgenstein (Culture and Value 32e)

Read it over a few more times.

Nobody can truthfully say of himself that he is filth. Because if I do say it, though it can be true in a sense, this is not a truth by which I myself can be penetrated: otherwise I should either have to go mad or change myself.”

“…otherwise I should either have to go mad or change myself.”

After reading this a few times, I closed the book and just sat back in my bed.

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I tell myself that I should not have done certain things because I know those actions and thoughts aren’t part of the person I want to be. But if I do these things repeatedly and if I do these things regularly, then that is exactly who I am.

There is no “Ideal Michael” floating in the cosmos.

I am what I do.

A personal or verbal confession is nothing short of a directional change that occurs in someone’s life.

If I say, “I am filth” but don’t change the actions that are causing me to think that, then I don’t actually think that I am filth at all. Unless, of course, I am mad

I’d be interested to hear your own thoughts and/or comments…

Categories: bleak and beautiful, Existential Ideas

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One Comment on “I am filth”

  1. Eric
    September 7, 2010 at 12:23 pm #

    I am what I do.
    On the one hand:
    Matt 15:18-20″But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. These are the things which defile the man….”
    On the other:
    Romans 7:20-21 “But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good.”
    The Gospel passage seems to affirm what you’re saying, yet Paul allows for one’s identity in Christ to define them even if the behaviour is contrary to that identity.
    Eric

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