Duty of humanity

Doubt and curiosity, these precious elixirs of youth

With a friend, passionate like me about inner explorations, convinced that we contain immensities, we had fun one day looking for the age at which the great thinkers of human history died.
To our great surprise, we discovered that most philosophers died very old. Plato, 81 years old. Socrates: 71 years old, Thales: 68, Pythagoras: 80, Confucius: 72, The Buddha: 80, Averoes: 72, Voltaire: 84, Kant: 80, Engels: 75, Leibnitz: 70… With rare exceptions, all are died after 65 years, which was already a fairly rare longevity in the times in which they lived…
At the same time, and with a connection that seems rather strong to me, I see around me intelligences dying out long before their time. In the French senior civil service, the level of diplomas is undoubtedly what is best. But in this same population, we note with some concern that intellectual liveliness – curiosity, imagination, capacity to produce new ideas, to choose one's field of reflection other than within the professional sphere alone, spirituality, instinct, elevation above emotions, distance from the ego, etc. – is greatly diminished from the age of 40, 45.
As much as these beautiful mechanisms of intelligence were rapid upon entering the prestigious schools they attended, twenty years later the picture is reminiscent of a spectacle of cerebral ruins.
What did the old philosophers have that the embittered graduates had that they didn't? They possessed doubt, this magnificent instrument of youth! Doubt, which summons those who experience it to an inner search, which awakens each sense, “trains” the mind at all times to its own agility… Not the withdrawn, anesthetizing, castrating doubt, but the dynamic, interrogating doubt, curious.
Cultivated with an eye towards others, curiosity is the perfect homonym for doubt. Doubt, practiced as a virtue, becomes the instrument of humility which allows us to always put certainty back on the work in order not to let it grow old: nothing is more deadly, for the intellect, than a certainty that we let it take root.
We can have principles that last, immortal loves, but it is because they will have been tested by our beautiful tool that is doubt that they will have earned their “passport to eternity”. And it is because the man of principle or love knows that everything will have to be done again the next day that he is solid on these same values ​​subject again and always to the test of his own doubt.
Conversely, building a fortress around certainties is condemning them to dissolution: it is only a matter of time until the building only stands on its beams, and the stone becomes diaphanous, empty. …
So, good people, if you want to live to be old and remain in full possession of your neurons, love, doubt, philosophize, remove preconceived ideas and others from doubt, repaint any spectacle with curiosity – and preferably those that you already have. seen, or too often.
There are many techniques: meditation, love, philosophy, generosity, etc.

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