Hithering And Thithering in Search of Yonder… Enter Harmonious Dithering

“All of humanities problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”  A statement uttered and recorded in 1654, by a French scientist, philosopher and physicist, Blaise Pascal.  An interesting statement for interesting times, whot? You might ask why Pascal thought this. Might it not be simply that it is true?  Perhaps human restlessness is a foundational cause or at the very least a contributing factor to some of the foundational problems that afflict humanity.

An edifying translation of his thoughts behind his quote: “Sometimes, when I set to thinking about the various activities of men, the dangers and troubles which they face at Court, or in war, giving rise to so many quarrels and passions, daring and wicked enterprises and so on, I have often said that the sole cause of man’s unhappiness is that he does not know how to stay quietly in his room. A man wealthy enough for man’s needs would never leave home to go to sea or besiege some fortress if he knew how to stay at home and enjoy it. Men would never spend so much on a commission in the army if they could bear living in town all their lives, and they only seek after the company and diversion of gambling because they do not enjoy staying at home.’ Pascal, Pensées, tr. A.J. Krailsheimer, London: Penguin, rev. 1995: 37.

Enter… searching for Yonder.  Just where is it, and why continually pursue it?  And… as you may well be sitting someplace in self isolation, are you harboring an inner wanderlust to be where you are not?  Yonder perhaps?  We’re not talking about the valley on the other side of the ridge or the glaciers of the Olympic Mountains that I can see from the salon where Great Northern is berthed.  Those would be too far.  Yonder is someplace close.  A place you can see from where you are.  A place you can point your chin at.  A place you can get to.  Normally…

Is it possible for you to just sit there, with the insolent and probing vibrations of wanderlust moving up and down your spine all but commanding you to jump up out of your chair and get there… over to yonder, and satisfy that yearning need?  Will you flit hither and thither over the landscape, viral particles scattering in your wake across the countryside… or can you practice harmonious dithering?

What the?  Wha’s that?  Choosing to dither instead of taking a forthright immediate action?  Yes.  Dither.  Quell the inner processes controlling your need to take ambulatory action.  Take a few slow deep breaths and close your eyes.  Feel the desire to move.  Think about Yonder… and move Yonder where it belongs… inside you.  Focus on that for a bit.  Bring dither into harmony with your inner exploration.  That’s right.  Just sit there.  Relax.  Breathe.  The outer Yonder is still there, but the inner Yonder is more interesting to contemplate, especially while sitting alone in a room.

Baby steps…

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