15/07/2017 What's my age again? 選択と年齢

私が哲学者になることを決めたのは25歳の時である。高校生の時に心理学者になると決めていたのだが、大学院で学んだ心理学に失望し、就活をして、「なんかこいつ面白そう」と思ってくれた会社から内定をもらった。その入社一年目で私は哲学者になることに決め、退職したのである。翻意に次ぐ翻意。周りから見ればそう見えたかもしれない。哲学を専門とすることの難しさはなんとなくは知っていた。哲学者として世に出ることの難しさもなんとなく知っていた。これほど実用的でない学問もあるまい。心理学の方がよっぽどよい。しかし私は心理学に失望していた。その失望について考えることを私に許す学問はどうやら哲学だけだったのである。私には哲学をする必要性が見えていた。しかしこの年齢で専攻を変えることに幾許かの不安も感じていた。加えて、私にはADHDの傾向がある。自他ともに認める傾向だ。落ち着いて本なんか読んでいられない。集中力は20分と持たない。哲学はじっくり本を読む学問だ。できるのだろうか。

私の背中を押したのは二人の芸術家のエピソードである。一人は岡本太郎だ。彼がある決意をして、彼にしか創れない芸術を創りはじめたのは25歳の時だった。私はこの時の彼の決意は生きながらにして自分を殺してやろうという決意だったのだと思う。同じようなことを『自分の中に毒を持て』の中で言っている。二人目はジョアン・ミロである。彼は芸術学校に通い始めた時、色彩のセンスは抜群だったのだが、描く対象の形を捉えるのはかなり下手であった。直線と曲線の違いもわからないほどであったという。しかし彼は絵描きを志した。理由は人一倍努力しないといけないから。こんなに素敵な決意はないのではないか。私は岡本太郎と同じ25歳の時に自分の人生を決めた。それは自分にとってはとても難しい分野の専門家になるという決意であった。困難に自分の身を投じることは怖かったが、それに意味を見出した二人の芸術家が私の前にはいたのである。彼らに私は勇気をもらった気がする。

選択と年齢というのはとても興味深いテーマであった。SK-IIの下の動画を見て、「期限なんてない」というフレーズを聞いて、なんだかジーンとしてしまう自分がいた。決意をした時に人生に意味が生まれるというようなことを言ったのはサルトルだったか。彼なら、人生にまず意味があり、その意味を実現するような形で我々は決断するという考えを否定するのであろう。ということは私の人生に意味が生まれたのは私がこの決意をした時である。となると、私はいま何歳なのだろうか。どうでもよいことか。

 

拙訳

It was when I was 25 that I made up my mind to become a philosopher. As a high school student, I had intended to be a psychologist, but the education I received at graduate school was a disappointment to me. So I got employed by a venture firm after the graduation. The CEO of that firm appeared to have been interested in me during the interview. But I quit in the first year of employment with the determination to be a philosopher. How many times does he have to "make up" his mind? People around me could have wondered. I implicitly knew how difficult it would be to major in philosophy. I also implicitly knew how awkward it would be to establish myself as a philosopher. No other discipline could be less practical than this. Psychology was way better. But I was disappointed at it. Philosophy appeared to be the only academic field that would permit me to think about this disappointment. There was no reason to stay away from it. But at the same time, I felt anxious about changing the major at that age. Moreover, I have an ADHD disposition, which is confirmed by friends majoring in clinical psychology. I cannot remain seated to read a book. It is impossible for me to concentrate even for twenty minutes. But philosophy requires you to study books and papers closely. How was I going to make it?

I was encouraged by two artists. One is Okamoto Taro. He also made a decision at 25 which led him to create what no one else could.  His book Have venom in yourself convinced me that his determination was to kill himself and still live on. The other artist was Joan Miro. It is said that when he entered an art school he was second to none in terms of the composition of color, but he was hopelessly poor at grasping the form of an object. So much so that he couldn't tell a straight line from a curve. Nevertheless, he decided to be an artist, because it would be challenging and require much more effort of him. I have never heard of so inspiring a resolution as this. It was at the age of 25 that I, as well as Okamoto Taro, made a decision as to how I would live. The decision was to be a specialist in what I am not cut out for. The two artists seemed to have provided me with enough courage to go on in spite of the difficulty I would be confronted with. They had made their life meaningful with much the same kind of resolution.

The theme "my choice and my age" interested me. I found myself impressed by the video by SK-II, though it is concerned about women, and the saying "There is no deadline in life."  If my memory is right, Sartre said that it is when you have made a choice that your life bears meaning. He would have disapproved of the idea that there is meaning in life in the first place and according to that meaning, we make a choice. If so, my life became meaningful when I made the choice. Then, what is my age now?  Age is meaningless when life is meaningful.