👋 Hey friends,
Today's newsletter argues in a rather cheerless but realistic, normal and ubiquitous manner because I want to discuss with you the way personal philosophical thoughts in the scheme of general overthinking and grief teach us in life and living.
On grief and common sense
Grief personal disclosure and missing honesty with oneself is a typical human reaction to mistrust from loved ones. We ask ourselves whether we make the right choices in life, live in the right social circle and whether or not we can actually deal with and comprehend our own thoughts and feelings about the world we live in and about the personal closer we build up with the ones we trust.
It mostly strikes hard and overloads us with pain if we get left behind by someone we trusted as a human. The reason why we feel grief and pain is because of their power to portray us a new way of thinking and redefining the values we were trusting society with. This behaviour is super general and well understood because its roots lie far before the industrial age. We, as a human species, are creatures always fighting and working together in groups. I mean it's easier to reproduce by fighting for protection against nature together instead of being out alone.
We tend to forget the importance of social closure since there is no general need for social tendencies anymore. We don't need to slay down a Mammoth in order to have food but we can just go and buy groceries in the shop next door. And this activity doesn't need any support but fighting a Mammoth alone could be a rather dangerous task.
The roots of our simple way of thinking, our need for social contacts and sexual closeness all lie, when we look at it very simplified, in the need for protection in order to survive and live on as a species. This is the most simplistic formulation of Darwin's theory of evolution. The genes of those who live on are passed on and we can only live on by surviving and the act of survival was far easier in a group of pupils of the same species as oneself.
The need for social closure is therefore hammered into our basic humanity and is generated through millions of years of evolution. Thus the impact of mistrust of one closest social connections strikes with grief because our mind, our common sense wants to live on. Grief therefore gives us the chance to rethink and redefine our social values.
On overthinking and the sense of life
Rethinking the trust we have established is therefore a normal and human act of common sense and cannot be rethought or simply deleted. The act of overthinking such a task however is something different.
In the moment of major mistrust or disbelieving in your own values, you have the upper hand and the control over your mind to decide how you want to deal with the problematic manner. It isn't in your power to act on things you cannot change. It wouldn't help you solve your own problems because of the missing reflection of oneself which helps you to understand your own values. As one of the most famous stoics, Epictetus wrote in his Enchiridion:
"Some things are in our control, while others are not. We control our opinions, choices, desires, aversion, and, in a word, everything of our own doing. We don't control our body, property, reputation, position, and, in a word, everything not of our own doing. Even more, the things in our control are by nature free, unhindered, and unobstructed, while those not in our control are weak, slavish, can be hindered, and are not our own."
-EPICTETUS, ENCHIRIDION, 1.1-2
It shows that there is no need for rethinking and overthinking the parts of your life that aren't in your control because it rips you from the energy you need in order to solve the problems that are actually inside of the circle of your control.
This doesn't change the importance of the focused problem but it trains you to control your mind and helps you to strengthen your emotional stability. If for example, you think about the sense of life, overthinking in such a manner costs you valuable energy which could be used to find the things you actually enjoy which will help you come closer to such unanswerable questions.
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Thanks again and I'll see you soon.
✍️ Quote of the week
"A podium and a prison is each a place, one high and the other low, but in either place your freedom of choice can be maintained if you so wish."
-EPICTETUS, DISCOURSES, 2.6.25
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