The logic of the illogical: Why not everything needs a meaning

As paradoxical as it may seem, it is not illogical that not everything has to follow a logic. But this is exactly what seems to be so difficult to grasp. In this blog article, I would like to go into a little more detail about why it is good that not everything is logical.

In our western society, which is characterized by science, we try to look for a cause or a reason for every event. However, if we then fail in the task of finding this cause, we can quickly despair. But even though the world can be wonderfully explained by science, this does not mean that the world acts scientifically. What I mean by this is that there are also events without real cause. Alan Watts once said that we don't know where our thoughts originate and that they tend to occur like the hiccups of a hiccup.

In modern psychoanalysis, one tries to find out the origin of certain behavior patterns, but there is not a single specific reason for every behavior. So one can also say how came about that our earth or our galaxy has formed. What is left out here, however, is that it had done this without a reason. In other words, it simply happened out of itself.

If we now try to become smarter from the behavior of other people, we must consider that just as our thoughts arise spontaneously and without reason in our head, this also happens in all other heads. Hereby I do not want to say that one must accept any acting, each person, simply in such a way. I am more concerned with the fact that all the time we spend brooding over the actions of others, we would be better off using our energy to deal with the actions, possibly learn something from them, or use them where it seems best to us.

To return to Alan Watts, who took many of his philosophical approaches from the Far East and thus used the image of a natural, rather than a mechanical universe, that is, a universe that simply emerged from itself and not one to follow any logic. In one of his speeches he explained that there are three basic types of worldview.

  • The first he called the creationist universe. This idea was dominant in the Western world for a long time. It assumes that there is a God who created the world according to his will.
  • The second was the mechanical universe. According to this idea, the universe follows some logic which, through constant evolution over the course of eons, formed the universe as we observe it today.
  • The third form he called the organic universe. Here it is similar to the mechanical universe, however, here there is no logic or reason why something happens but something simply happens. Just as one does not go to a place in space when dancing, but simply dances to dance.

Another very nice illustration of the banality of omnipresent logic was an example of Watts comparing different looking butterflies. He said in this example that one of the butterflies had green wings in order to camouflage itself better and not to be found so easily by predators. Another butterfly had colorful flashy wings to better find mates and thus reproduce faster. This would be at least the view of a biologist. However, if we could ask the butterfly itself, it would not have a more profound logic for the color of its wings that it could describe to us.

So the next time you find yourself trying to understand everything and everyone around you with logic, remember that not everything has to follow logic. Some actions are not due to malice, but to incompetence, and others are simply due to chance.

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