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Train of Life

Watching him standing on the platform he looked distant with blank eyes and a distance that did not seem to convey anything. But even at the start of the day and the week and with 8 hours of travelling to come, there was an enthusiasm for the trip. Tiredness showed but in terms of thinking this improved the level of depth and opportunities for understanding. Unlike many others on the platform, he’s learnt to embrace the journey on the train as it gave him the opportunity to both read and write but most importantly the chance to think.

Finding a seat that is empty is his first job, but finding one where the neighbouring seat will also remain empty for the duration of the journey is more challenging. You find a seat and whilst its empty now, it has also been empty, might be empty in the future, or full. Thinking about the seat and its current state is something you think about and about the thinking bit, according to Descartes is the only thing you can be certain about. “I think therefore I am”. Thinking about the seat and if its empty is the only thing you can be certain about, as your senses might be playing a trick on you and the seat might not even be there, let alone empty. Kierkegaard challenges this assumption in that the immediacy, or more important lack of it, means that all though has some level of doubt (or doubleness) alluding to its state. The seat might be full or empty, it might be empty in the future or its been empty in the past. Any change of state may happen immediately before or after a thought has taken place, therefore leading to a question about not only what you are seeing but also what you are currently thinking.

You can also discern that the world is in a constant state of flux that it is changing and there is no single moment which can be described as a snapshot of thought.

The other challenge that he has is not only understanding the current state of the his seat but also the seat next to him, but with the need to influence the state of the chair without occupying it.

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