We fall back again and again into our old bad habits because of our weakness on all levels: the flesh, the heart, the will, and the intellect. Our minds are dark, our wills are weak, our hearts are foul. How do we know this? By honest self-examination and a refusal to evade the truth.
The will is not strong enough to tame the animal in us and control its natural tendencies; but it is strong enough to suborn the intellect and persuade it to rationalize the free will's wrong decisions.
A will too weak to tame the flesh is yet strong enough to suborn the intellect.
Because we cannot significantly improve ourselves by our own efforts, we must seek help elsewhere, but obviously not from those who are as wretched as we are, which is to say, from fellow human beings.
We are grateful for this quotidian bread, Lord, but it is not for it that we pray. Grant us the panem supersubstantialis, the bread supersubstantial, that nourishes the mind and heart. It is for this bread that we must beg, unable as we are to secure it by our own powers. The daily bread that nourishes the flesh we can gain for ourselves.
It teaches humility in point of knowledge and belief. It lays bare the infirmity of reason. It prompts us to seek other sources of insight, including mystical intuition and divine revelation, while supplying us with the tools for their evaluation and critique. Its problems, though insoluble, can serve as koans.
Good philosophy debunks bad philosophy, pseudo-philosophy, scientism, epistemic pretense, bad religion, and bad politics. It is a mighty curb on fanaticism of all sorts, that of the religionists as well as that of the anti-religionists. It keeps Jerusalem in check even while it is itself fed and enlivened by Hierosolymic themes and tropes. While serving as prophylaxis on excess and overreach, it yet makes possible a reasoned faith and a reasoned mysticism.
And it does all of this critically and skeptically in the best sense of the term: in the spirit of rational inquiry. It is an enemy of the dogmatism of the religionists and that of politically correct leftist anti-religionists.
So philosophy, while in some ways miserable, is in many ways magnificent.
In any case it is necessary for the good life and worthy of spirited defense, with blood and iron if need be, against the anti-civilizational forces of leftism and radical Islam which work in synergy, whether wittingly or unwittingly.
One goes round and round on the dialectical merry-go-round. Thoughts lead to thoughts which lead to more thoughts, including inconclusive thoughts, semantically indeterminate thoughts, mutually contradictory thoughts. Words beget words unto endlessness. On the side of the subject one never penetrates to the source of thoughts. And on the side of the object one never arrives at the root of the real.
I would understand subjectivity and existence. But I am stymied by the infirmity of reason.
Philosophy is endless because inconclusive. But how is knotting one's thread with a dogma better than going on endlessly? After all, what we want is knowledge of truth, not the mere fixation of belief.