Irrelevant Matters is a place where we:
- promote general curiosity and self-inquiry
- explore various ideas and approaches to life
- break stereotypes
- challenge cultural or social keys
- correct popularized misunderstandings
- question current trends
- promote philosophy, spirituality (not religion), and science
Why? We don't want to live in a world where curiosity, not even mention a deeper self-inquiry, is seen as a weakness - a waste of time, whereas getting involved in life, following a given cultural key, and living in a bubble of bliss full of prejudice, ignorance, and extremes is common and acceptable, not even questioned - "ignorance is bliss," as people say.
And with the world being what it is, the least we can do is to create our own little space where we can connect the curious minds of writers and readers, which eventually can impact the world in some positive way.
We also understand that the world can be a difficult place and many people simply have not had the chance to slow down and rethink their approach to life. Not even mention how much various systems, especially radical ones, care to keep people in survival mode, so they won't have time, energy, or resources to question anything.
Therefore it's so important for places like this to exist, promoting curiosity, general knowledge, showing different perspectives and approaches to life to snap people out of their bubbles and enrich their life experiences.
We believe that people have all the answers they need within themselves, they just need to be a little curious to reach for them. Thus, we don't have any dogma. We don't want to play coaches, gurus, or teachers. We don't want to convert readers to any culture or religion. Instead, we follow the realization of the father of philosophy, Socrates, and just promote natural curiosity - he said:
“I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think."
A word from the editor
For as long as I can remember, I have heard: "Stop thinking so much, don't philosophize, just live" and I couldn't understand what's wrong with my approach - isn't it rational to question the reality before getting so involved in it?
Well, curiosity is both a blessing and a curse - it opens us to all the beauty of life, but causes many problems when confronted with the social aspect of life, with which we are inextricably linked, as Aristotle wrote:
“Man is by nature a social animal; an individual who is unsocial naturally and not accidentally is either beneath our notice or more than human. Society is something that precedes the individual."
The problem with society is that apart from children barely anyone asks any questions - and even feels the need to, but everyone gets involved in life, guided by the idea of life that a given culture presented to them.
People go to school, sit and learn about everything and everyone - not a single thing about themselves, for several years to finally join a given society as individuals. And there is a vast pressure on children to listen carefully and be competitive as they've been told that their further well-being depends on this.
Therefore they start to race in the rat race and asking questions, especially fundamental ones, seems like a waste of time time, an unnecessary slowdown - it's in opposition to the cultural key they should just accept. What's worse it's seen as a threat to all the other adults who already accepted a given idea of reality, social life, or even their nature and they don't want some kid to question that.
In this way, the child who just follows the presented idea of life is a promising child who can later play an important role in society, and the other is a problematic child - and in later adult life, almost a public enemy.
“Those who are able to see beyond the shadows and lies of their culture will never be understood, let alone believed, by the masses.” ― Plato
Not being understood or accepted is hard to bear for most humans - not only on a basic psychological level. After all, humans are by nature social animals that have millions of years of evolutionary memory embedded in their bodies. And despite living in our modern 21-century people are still driven by basic survival mechanics led by the need for belonging and security - we always needed others to survive, so from a rational standpoint not fitting in is a big problem we should avoid.
And that correlates with another problem with humans and their evolutionary compulsiveness - we dominated this planet a long time ago, but then entire countries started competing with each other for domination of the planet. In this way, if the nation wants to survive it has to promote involvement, and its values to stay more productive than others - there is no room, no time for detachment and curiosity. And it's a never-ending cycle.
From a conventional standpoint, it's quite rational - a peaceful nation full of philosophers and monks will not survive a month in our competitive world. But essentially we are not human animals or creatures, but human beings - there is so much more in us than just being animals competing over resources or modern nonsense like fame, money, or status symbols. But until we break free from the compulsions of our animal nature on a large scale, the cycle will continue.
The wonderful thing is that humans, in contrast to animals, can break free from these compulsions - be conscious, not compulsive. And to be conscious is to be present - be a human being, not human having, doing, becoming, achieving, or any other nonsense. This is a phenomenal possibility we should cherish.
And the ultimate way to break from all the compulsions is self-inquiry, which starts with general curiosity of any kind - all the greatest teachers, scientists, philosophers, gurus, and other great minds eventually land on the same exact truth that lies within all of us.
Curiosity is a remedy for most human nonsense - every act of curiosity lowers our guard and brings us closer to each other and the whole world, which can ultimately lead to understanding our nature. And once we understand our nature and get free of the conditioning of mind and body on a larger scale, we will flourish as beings.
I'm not a naive idealist, but since I haven't lost my childish curiosity and still have a spark, some resources and skills as an adult I decided to create Irrelevant Matters to accumulate the energy of curious minds and push it out into the world.