A Quick Thought…

If everyone simply sat back for one moment each day & contemplated life, their Individual place in it & where we would like to be going – if we really took the time to contemplate such important matters – perhaps the world would be in a better place right now.

So take a moment to yourself today & think about existence & your place in it. Think about where you would like to be in a year, five years, ten years, twenty five years & fifty years from now. What is your life going to look like then? Hold those images in your mind & think of them everytime you are faced with a decision.

Reflections On The Limits Of Human Knowledge…

Dead_crow_4 - JPEGDown the hill from my home, I came across a dead crow lying in the road.  I was driving on my way out of town and there it lay – peacefully & undisturbed in its post-mortal slumber.  The image is burned into my mind.

I have always felt a special affinity for ravens & crows.  The myths & archetypes of my ethnic & cultural backgrounds have always placed these birds in a special category amongst animals.  They are intelligent & this prompted my ancestors to associate them with knowledge & wisdom.  Indeed, they are symbols of the very quality I seek.

To see one dead, lying upon the concrete roadway of a modern human town, the symbolism & the archetypes spin through my thoughts.  One could see this as a representation of our modern life – how humanity has set aside the pursuit for wisdom (the crow) for the pursuit of material & economic progress (the roadway).  We find the bird dead upon the concrete, a victim of the very technology our human knowledge has created.

On the other hand, we could dig a little deeper & think about the limits of human Knowledge.  At times, the dead bird reminds me of how little we do Know & understand about the world, our place in it & the reason for existence itself.  Its passing from this world makes me think of how much there is beyond the mere physical that our collective & our individual Knowledge has yet to discover.

Maybe our modern pursuit of progress can be turned into something worthwhile for all of humanity.  Maybe we could pour our collective creativity, wonder & urge to explain things into figuring out what is truly important.  Maybe we can concentrate more on what makes us happy & what makes our lives feel fulfilled & concentrate a little less on material wants & all those things society tells us we need.

I know this is very idealistic.  Yet, when we think about how little we know about ourselves, about the world & about this universe we inhabit – it seems abundantly apparent (to me at least) that our priorities as Individuals need to be re-examined so that we do not become like the crow: a missed opportunity for knowledge found dead on a road.

Let me know what you think.  What sorts of thoughts fill you from this musing of mine?  What archetypes & symbols do you identify with & what do they make you think & feel?  Let me know in the comment section below & thank you for reading my musings.

Sensing Descartes…

philosophyposters5 - JPEG

Yet Monty Python said that he: “…was a drunken old fart”  Still, he had a lot of good ideas & is considered the father of modern philosophy.

So, do you completely trust your senses & the information they relay to you every single moment of your waking life?  Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.  Tell me any of your experiences when your senses have deceived you.

An Ancient Allegory About Enlightenment…

Over 2000 years ago, Plato described reality in terms of an Allegory.  He was keenly aware of how much of what we Believe is simply illusions we Choose to accept.  This wonderful animation perfectly presents his Allegory Of The Cave.

Are there any other Allegories or Parables that have helped you understand life?  If so, I want to hear about them.  Tell me what stories inspired you to look at the world differently.

The Top 5 Philosophy Books That Influenced Me

 

5. The Republic – Plato

As one of the Father’s of Western Philosophy, Plato has had a massive influence
on our civilization and the way people think. The Republic is probably his best
known work. In the dialectic style, Plato attempts to describe a perfect society
while addressing many of the issues any society would face. The sociology &
politics aside, the part that sticks out the most in my mind is The Allegory Of The
Cave
which begins on line 514a of the text. If you are able to see the material
world for what it truly is, it might bear a striking resemblance to Plato’s Cave.
What you can learn from this observation might shock & free you at the same
time.

 

4 Être Et Le Néant (Being & Nothingness) – Jean Paul Satre

Perhaps the greatest existential atheist to have ever lived, Jean Paul Satre was a
man who evoked strong reactions from his readers & from the world as a whole.
His ideas regarding the nature reality and the power of the Individual turned
philosophy on its head. For me, the most important thing I learnt from Satre is
that we are beings who are Free except that we are only constrained by Choice.
It is the understanding of the Power of Choice that will Truly set you Free.

 

3. Meditations – René Descartes

Whenever I think of Descartes, I can’t help but get Monty Python’s The
Philosopher’s Song
stuck in my head. You know the one: “René Descartes was a
drunken old fart//’I drink therefor I am’” But I digress… My own epistemology &
understanding of knowledge starts with Descartes. His famous Cogito (mocked
so well by Python & many others) is for me, the foundation of all Epistemology.
This a priori (or self-evident) Truth proves that at the very least, I exist. And from
there, anything is Truly possible

 

2. The Celestine Prophecy – James Redfield

Though not a Philosophical work, strictly speaking, the life’s philosophy
contained in The Celestine Prophecy will put you on the path of connectedness &
help you reach your goals. The idea of the Celestine is that every day
synchronistic coincidences happen to Individuals. These coincidences are
messages from the universe that, if heeded, will help Individuals along their life’s
path. The trick is, staying connected & following these coincidences to their
ultimate end. This is an endeavour I am still struggling to master.

 

1 Thus Spoke Zarathustra – Friedrich Nietzsche

The great german Nihilist. The often misunderstood philosophical genius &
madman. Nietzsche’s masterpiece is superbly written & complex to its core. The
ideas it presents demand that the reader take up the hammer and strike down
everything – & then run through the forest dancing & singing, living life to its
fullest. It warns of the dangers of the Mob & forces the Individual to reach for
the higher goals in life. As Zarathustra himself says many times: “Man is but a
bridge to the overman.”

 

What are some of the books that have influenced you? Leave me a comment & let me
know. Maybe we can share our Knowledge & help each other cross Zarathustra’s
bridge faster.