A companion blog, The Metacognition Project, has been created to focus specifically on metacognition and related consciousness processes. Newest essay on TMP: Goals and Problems, part two

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Comment on Hopelessness

The previous essay needs some explanation.  I know; it is a bit like having to tell why a joke is funny, but this is a serious matter and worth getting right. 

Hopelessness is not helplessness.  Hope, however, if it is required for meaningful action, can lead to passivity.  When real hope is not supported by reality, yet is considered necessary, then false hope, fantasy, is often attempted only to end up poisoning the human capacity to understand and act.  The virtue of hopelessness is not so much in the possible recognition of Reality, this may or may not be the case, but with the direct connection of the need to act with the action regardless of the possibility of success. 

One method of controlling people is to try to make them helpless through hopelessness.  But it is possible, actually natural to the human mind, to use hopelessness as a source of strength.  It is my argument that we are in a hopeless time; the crumbs of hope are all illusions.  People grasp at them and are made even more impotent.  It is time to embrace our hopelessness and make it the source of our resolve.

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