I’ve had a strange connection percolating through my subconscious over an extremely busy couple of weeks. I keep thinking back to this line from one of Rilke’s letters which captures my fascination with the moral psychology of rushing, a peculiarly adverbial state which entirely changes the character of our activity:
We lead our lives so poorly because we arrive in the present always unprepared, incapable, and too distracted for everything.
There’s a connection here to what Nicos Mouzelis describes as the apophatic dimension of reflexivity: “removing obstacles (mainly thinking, decision-making processes) which prevent the spontaneous emergence of open-ended self-self and self-other relationships”. My hunch is that arriving in the present unprepared, incapable and distracted creates obstacles to the relational possibilities latent within the situation. But so too does arriving in the present over-prepared, consciously capable and intensely focused because it projects anticipated outcomes onto a situation which necessarily exceeds our expectations 🤔
I’m not sure where I’m going with this but it feels (personally and intellectually) important to me. I’m saving it here to come back to later.