D.H. Lawrence and Insouciance

“Don’t explain your philosophy. Embody it.” – Epictetus

The night before last I re-read D.H. Lawrence’s essay titled “Insouciance.” The author describes being away on a trip, fully present and enjoying his surroundings, only to be distracted from the present moment by another guest who is mired in their “caring” about the political climate at some great distance from where they are. Lawrence points out that the other guest went to all the trouble to take a vacation to “get away” from the daily whatever of the world but that instead of being present and enjoying the beauty and the wonder of where they are, the other guest cannot shut up about politics, because she “cares” so very much and how completely useless such is. (Remember in the early days of the internet when it was fun and something of an escape?) I was immediately reminded of my own sincere disinterest in a great many subjects that I’ve nonetheless found myself drawn into discussions of and had quite a bit to say about at one time or another. So I asked myself, why is that? I realized, perhaps it is some want to issue some final statement of common sense (or at least my version of it) on whatever the subject is in the hope of settling the matter so that all those so mired in their “caring” might shut up. You know, so we can all have some peace and enjoy the scenery.
Well, good luck with that.

Meanwhile, I’m then adding to the noise and topical pollution myself, not to mention unintentionally creating the perception that I am also so mired and entangled. But then having been drawn into the frenzy and the fray, it’s easy to become distracted by all the chatter and lose track of one’s own disinterest. Here’s where I’m not going to get into trying to explain just how big the bigger picture really is. I’ve tried that before too. I’ve chased my tail around this circle before only to arrive at the same conclusion. Now I’ve figured out why. I said the other day that when I figured this all out I’d likely have no more to say about some things, this is that glorious day!

Shout out and thanks to good old D.H. Lawrence for the reminder. It’s a good essay, “Insouciance.”



“He who can truly see in the midst of general infatuation is like a man whose watch keeps good time when all the clocks in the town in which he lives are wrong. He alone knows the right time: of what use is that to him.” – Arthur Schopenhauer