Can you suspend worry?

Today’s philosopher left us nearly nothing of his philosophy. He never wrote a thing and the transcriptions of his disciple were lost. Still the essence of his thoughts survived throughout centuries.

The main principle of Pyrrho's thought is expressed by the word acatalepsia, which connotes the ability to withhold assent from doctrines regarding the truth of things in their own nature; against every statement its contradiction may be advanced with equal justification. Secondly, it is necessary in view of this fact to preserve an attitude of intellectual suspense, or, as Timon expressed it, no assertion can be known to be better than another. Thirdly, Pyrrho applied these results to life in general, concluding that, since nothing can be known, the only proper attitude is ataraxia, "freedom from worry". ("By suspending judgment, by confining oneself to phenomena or objects as they appear, and by asserting nothing definite as to how they really are, one can escape the perplexities of life and attain an imperturbable peace of mind.")

Does it make sense? That if things are indeterminate, then, there is no place for worry? If one accepts the uncertainty related to the very "nature of nature" (as Paul Klee would put it), then worry vanishes:

The proper course of the sage, said Pyrrho, is to ask himself three questions. Firstly we must ask what things are and how they are constituted. Secondly, we ask how we are related to these things. Thirdly, we ask what ought to be our attitude towards them. Pyrrho's answer was that things are indistinguishable, unmeasurable, undecidable, and no more this than that, or both this and that and neither this nor that. He concluded that human senses neither transmit truths nor lie. Humanity cannot know the inner substance of things, only how things appear.

This echoes the four buddhist equations - careful, this article causes headaches ;). It also echoes Daniel Dennett’s qualias. If we cannot understand, measure or agree on a common objective quality then that quality does not have grounds for existence. Logically speaking. It doesn’t mean there is no reality beyond the one we perceive but it’s perfectly useless to account for it in our thinking. It is a skyhook.

The impossibility of knowledge, even in regard to our own ignorance or doubt, should induce the wise person to withdraw into himself, avoiding the stress and emotion which belong to the contest of vain imaginings. This theory of the impossibility of knowledge is the first and the most thorough exposition of noncognitivism in the history of Western thought. Its ethical implications may be compared with the ideal tranquility of the Stoics and the Epicureans.

Question time!

Is this magical thinking? Have you experienced it? As a kid I used to think worry is the "salt of life", it is why we wake up and stay awake! Can a life without worry exist?