Trust is funny.
That’s not exactly an exciting or ground-breaking revelation as it could mean dozen things depending on your definition of ‘funny’. In this case I mean it’s funny in both the weird sense or rather subversion of expected reality as well as funny (usually in hindsight after it’s broken).
Personally, in general, I don’t really trust people. Which as a novice stoic probably a counter intuitive state of being. I love to trust people, I try to trust people but time and again, that trust is broken. Just today, for example, I confused co-workers with friends and ended up having a sizeable chunk of my ass bitten off. Now that was my fault of course, for sharing information with people I thought were trusted friends when in fact they were and are untrustworthy colleagues. A lesson learned – in fact, several but who’s counting.
Yet even though I don’t generally trust people, I trust the universe, Providence, God , etc. To an atheist stoic like Massimo Pigliucci this may seem like acceptance of truth with extra steps with the truth being: it’s going to be ok in the end. We all start our lives in the same way and we all end up in the same state. It’s like an RPG game where we can take twists and turns but the ending is just the same (maybe with a few fun differences). Unlike Mass Effect or Skyrim or D&D, it’s less clear. The same narrative elements exists in the theoretical sense but it’s far more fluid. I, a human person, who would describe myself as having a reasonable disposition would rather trust in an unseen truth than the truth presented by other human persons.
There are people I do trust, don’t get me wrong. What well adjusted person can exist in 2021 without confidants? It’s a healthy facet of life to have, we are communal creatures. Prof Pigliucci wrote in his book How to be a Stoic about that being a difference between a cynic and a stoic: the embracing of each other. Or at least I think he did? I could be entirely missing the fucking point (who knows?). In the spiritual way of thinking, the one I subscribe to, human beings are in their nature expressions of the universe. So by not trusting other people, my own trust in universe, Providence, God, etc. is ultimately flawed.
It’s something I’ve got to work on and on the positive I trust myself to try.
But maybe it’s far simpler and naval gazing solves nothing. Do as Yoda does: trust or do not (there is no kind-of trusting). If I’m the only person who finds this amusing so be it. From my own experience today I have this cold knot in my gut which can most likely be described as anxiety. In my head I fully am aware that the feeling of anxiety is from the underline fearfulness of what the impact of this event will be. I accept the unknown and I know worrying about it doesn’t change anything. Yet this seems to be undermined by this inescapable feeling in my abdomen. Head says trust, gut says panic, universe shrugs, in between I’m laughing myself silly. Just like that, while I’m busy in hysterics I find acceptance and trust with a tipsy hug.
P.S. I recommend Prof Pigluicci’s blog for notes from the man who helped start my journey: