The Notion of the Conceptualist

The fragile ground threatens to crumble beneath me as I gently place another foot forward...

The fragile ground threatens to crumble beneath me as I gently place another foot forward. I have learned that the careful transfer of weight is imperative on all such fields. The imprints I leave behind tell the story of a soul far from home. However, this story could hardly be called my own. Any wanderer of these lands would naturally be expected to take the same twists and turns through its complex trails. This landscape, so similar to all others, guides its travelers with a basic intuition that even the most disparate souls carry through life in the same form. An angel observing my journey from a cloud would strain her eyes in a feeble attempt to distinguish my footsteps from those of the many that walked before me. Yet, should she leave her perch to inspect these trails closer, she would plainly witness the individuality persisting throughout them. An individuality imperceptible from heaven.

Reading my surroundings, I am reminded that my journey through this domain is a journey alone. I no longer grow anxious from such indications of the timelessness of the world and the quick expirations of the souls that tread upon it. Yet, musings of encounters with other wandering souls continue to tantalize my mind. I dream of collisions with others in space and time, but I doubt the likelihood of such an event. The proximity of space is no match for the isolating power of time. For when two souls perchance find themselves in the same place, they are most often not found in the same time. Hence, time exercises its unique ability to keep things apart which in every other regard belong together.

I place another gentle step forward and ponder the souls of other places and the decisions that led them elsewhere. Some never choose to walk the path that I walk. Some turn around only a fraction of the way through, perhaps fearing all that lies ahead and all being left behind. Perhaps some await my arrival upon the trail ahead with open arms, but I again doubt such a meeting; the human soul is too strongly inclined to keep moving. Thus, unless fate so determines to refute my assumptions as it has many times before, the other souls that walk where I walk remain of another time, for I walk alone.

The gentleness of my steps divulge a lesson that experience has taught many wanderers of this place: In the land of ideas, there are many ways in which a soul can lose its footing. Some ideas unsettle the fragile mind, appearing to only exist for its nervous destruction. Other ideas cast the mind into a dizzying cycle of egotism and certainty, dismantling its perception of external things and its orientation within reality. Yet, perhaps the most treacherous of ideas are not those that destroy or disorient, but those that extinguish. For the greatest tragedy of all lies in a strong mind that has endured the first and circumvented the second only to have its fire of passion extinguished by the third.

Despite these perils, I continue my journey. I have determined that every soul has this duty. I regret that this duty of the mind is frequently overlooked by those that equate sacrifice with sacrifice of the body. Sacrifice of the mind is an act that I deem no less honorable. Just as the soldier placed in foreign lands faces the possibility of never returning home, the wandering mind strays in the land of ideas uncertain whether it will find the tether guiding it back home was torn along the way. We are indebted to the souls on the frontiers of these lands that make such sacrifices.

Thus, duty urges me forward one careful step, and the purpose of exploring the unexplored urges me forward another in this complex landscape of ideas. With each step, I wade into a world of concepts untouched and leave upon them the mark of human spirit. This is the journey inevitably made by the soul that regards the concept as the fundamental unit of nature; the soul that conceives of the world as the interaction of ideas. This is the journey of the conceptualist.