Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Feeling philosophical

 As I sit in front of my computer connected to the world wide web I can't help but think. All the world's accumulated knowledge is at my fingertips. All I need is type in a query and there it is. In fact, a list of answers will appear and I need to decide which one holds the most validity. Many texts are available online in their unaltered versions for my reading pleasure. And is that I am thinking about. What do I do with this vast library at my disposal ? This superhighway of knowledge is used more for just taking a joyride than anything else. More often than not, it is just an amusement. That speaks to the nature of man and the message isn't a good one. Personally I am guilty of spending hours on Facebook, a social media platform. I enjoy reading the posts of others and undeniably posting my own. I sometimes wonder why I enjoy that so much. Am I seeking acceptance ? I'm sure a head doctor would have a lot to say about that. Whatever the case may be, I am not alone.
 I am a person with many interests. There are times when I think that is a fault. I can't seem to remain focused in a single area of study. At least not in an area that would provide any monetary gain. I have found, in my later years, I enjoy philosophy. Philosophers don't get paid and few people pay attention to them. All the best ones are dead, centuries ago. Plato, Socrates and Marcus Aurelius all come to mind. I find few people that wish to discuss things of a philosophical nature. Maybe that is why all the great philosophers just taught. Students are there to listen. The feedback the teacher receives either validates his observations or alters them. Teacher to student should be a conversation.
 I do think that philosophy and the practice of it does not require a great deal of formal education. Philosophy is the presenting of ideas. In the modern day we expect our philosophers to be able to tell about the treatises of those that came before. Most will adopt the general idea of one of the ancient or not so ancient philosophers. Descartes and Kant come to mind as more current ones. But why should that be ? Man is constantly evolving so shouldn't his philosophy as well ? We formulate ideas based on our own experiences. Certainly we can empathize with others but that isn't truly experiencing what others are feeling. It is an imagination of that feeling. That is what philosophy is all about as well, an imagining. By reading and studying the philosophy of others we become convinced their imaginings are truth. That is the usual result. When that happens does it not then taint our personal philosophy ? It seems inevitable to me. What then is the best course of action for a modern day philosopher to take ? I think philosophy is a product of common sense and intuition. There are those with an abundance of both and those that lack either. It makes little difference however, as all create their own philosophy of life and how to live it. It is just that some of us have a penchant for explaining that philosophy. Perhaps it because the philosopher seeks validation. Are all philosophers basically insecure people ? Or is it the opposite ? It could be either.
 Only academics read philosophy. That is the perception. I expect it is true. As evidenced by having this whole library of information before me and I usually do what ? Amuse myself with self interest. It is also true that if I spent my time exclusively studying philosophy and writing treatises on that subject I would be considered a bit eccentric ! That only because I am not a college professor or other academic but rather the common man. I feel more common sense and intuition can be found in the common man than the one that devotes his time to study. And with that I justify my lack of study. I can return to Facebook.
 In the final analysis we all do what we feel is important. Is it more important to satisfy your needs or the needs and expectations of others ? From where does your happiness come ? It is happiness that we all seek. It is the final measure of success or failure. So we do need to determine just what makes us happy. That requirement changes over time and as we age. When we learn to dismiss the unimportant things we call that maturity. The real problem lies in that we cannot easily dismiss our own happiness. When we have learned to accomplish that we will have reached our goal as mankind. We will have returned to the original intent of the creator. A creator that gave his only begotten son for our salvation. Do you think he was happy about that ? It is that unselfishness of spirit that man should be trying to obtain. A philosophy of one, mankind. We need to do the things that make us happy and balance that against the happiness of others. The scale should tip towards the others however. Not an easy philosophy to follow.