"I think; therefore I imagine."
Imagine if Descartes had the knowledge to speak this instead of reducing life to a single tense of “I am.” To think is to think, and not just be. One word without limits might have replaced a word that confines the self; if Descartes wrote differently, how would we understand the individual?
It seems to me the most important thing for you, my happily married lawyer friend, is to embrace (admit to) and release (kick the ass of) your "inner individual." But you cannot, because little kiddies get hungry and frightened. How much do your own responsibilities affect your view of a society's responsibilities? It's possible that if you were completely free to do as you pleased, to waste endless time in pointless examination of self and surroundings, you might see the constructs of society as an emancipation of your desires and ambitions, rather than a restriction of all desires and ambitions, right? You could then abuse the system for your own good, and every thief uses a smile as his best weapon; you would make sure to pay lip service to the traffic lights, even if you do not pay taxes, as I do, and you would buy a camera on a credit card you do not intend to pay if that camera was used at least partly for the "social" good. It seems to me that academic depth retards the link between one's responsibility to self with one's responsibility to society. And by "retards", I don't mean limit or prohibit as much as I mean "influence". So the handicapped thinker still wanders society and conducts business freely, often with other handicapped thinkers who congratulate the wanderer for his taste and business, as long as these are similar to their own.
-- from a long-term dialogue with the brilliant Mark W., laid out in a PDF/iPad ditty titled "The Wax," to which his replies and contemplations will be published as "The Wane." Here's a link to my full piece as it appears on Facebook (!) accompanied with a photo of mine: