The simple answer is “keep it simple.” The shortest true philosophy is “don’t worry, be happy.” After all, we get up every morning, eat, go about our business, experience joy, fear, hope, achievement. And we mostly just make it through the day.
Our problem is leisure. One rarely encounters a peasant or slave philosophy, except how to endure or escape. When we have free time and energy, we tend to spend a lot of it on what we ought to do and why.
The simple answers are true, but unsatisfactory. And they rarely serve as adequate guides to conduct. It is all very well to be happy , But how does one go about achieving that in a world often full of strife and sorrow? How do we balance now with the future? The short answers are empty. Even “carpe diem” has immense flaws _ how exactly should we seize the day, and to what end?
Then it all comes apart. The closer we look, the less we know. The future, being largely unknown, is largely irrational. And philosophy thinks of itself as logic incarnate. Yet philosophy is also considered a tool with which to handle the present to prepare for the future.
And so we are stuck. Dreamlike, we envision a crystal-clear simple guide to living. but find it disintegrating into smoke every time we try to use it.