Negative capability is the description Keats gave to the ability to contain within the mind multiple contradictory or even mutually exclusive ideas and outright mysteries, without feeling the need to reconcile what is clearly irreconcilable or solve what is ‘wrong’. He phrased this thought beautifully: [negative capability is] “…capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries (sic), doubts without any irritable reaching after fact and reason.”
Self improvement, self-realisation or self-revelatory blogs tend to drift in a common few directions, most of which do not interest me. One of the biggest problems with many such personal blogs is that they assume that we both can and should find solutions to intractable problems, and they seek out a comforting clarification of strange or unknown categories of knowledge. Moreover, they often provide the key to such solutions in record time (immediately, within the post) and in easy-to-read packages (sub-500 word posts shaped for the time-poor consumer). That’s very nice, but it puts a strain on my ability to suspend my disbelief. In other words it’s too easy and good to be true, and I don’t buy it.
As such some of this blog will be dedicated to putting us both ‘in mysteries and uncertainties’, while resisting the temptation to an ‘irritable reaching after fact and reason’. Or perhaps it is more correct to say that the blog tacitly acknowledges that we are already firmly embedded in mysteries and uncertainties, despite our clever monkey-brained way of tinkering with things. I feel compelled to write about those things that can’t be resolved, solved, understood or ‘put to bed’ in our lifetimes. I am drawn to such things, and so despite any practical suggestions or observations I might make, expect to exercise your negative capability as you move through the site.
And life in general, for that matter.