Isn’t this sad? – “Time Clipping Cupid’s Wings”(1694), oil on canvas by Pierre Mignard
Socrates might have been taking into account the ability of those closest to us to hurt us the most, as well as love us the best, when he formulated his symmetric ethic: you have a capacity to do a certain amount of good, which is always accompanied by the ability to do a similar amount of evil. “I only wish it were so, Crito, that the many could do the greatest evil; for then they would also be able to do the greatest good—and what a fine thing this would be!”-Socrates If you came to see me, I might discuss Kierkegaard’s thoughts on coping with death, Ayn Rand’s ideas on the virtue of selfishness, or Aristotle’s advice to pursue reason and moderation in all things. We might look into decision theory, the I Ching (Book of Changes), or Kant’s theory of obligation. Some people like the authoritative approach of Hobbes, for example, while others respond to a more intuitive approach, like Lao Tzu’s. We might explore their philosophies in depth…We are especially vulnerable when we are low on faith, knowledge or confidence, as so many of us are who feel we can’t find all the answers in religion or in science. Throughout this century, a widening abyss has opened beneath us as, religion has retreated, science has advanced, and meaning has expired. Most of us don’t see the abyss until we haven in into. Things change. And friends leave. Life doesn’t stop for anybody, only that, some infinities are bigger than other infinities.
“People’s dreams should be either crazy or unreal. Otherwise, these are nothing but plans for tomorrow!”
(Today, I heard this philosophy about life. Wonderful isn’t it?) ❤️
“Nothing contributes so much to tranquilize the mind as a steady purpose—a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye.” —MARY WOLLSTONECRAFT A great philosophical plague of the twentieth century, sure to tail us into the millennium, is widespread feelings of personal pointlessness. So many people are without a firm sense of purpose or meaning in their lives that the lack has come to seem normal. But few live happily that way. We’re generally not satisfied with the idea that our lives and our world are completely accidental and without rhyme or reason. The further we look in that direction without finding any other explanation, the harder it is to bear. The existentialists are only partly to blame. They were so cool— hanging out on the Left Bank, smoking cigarettes, thinking deep thoughts, scribbling philosophy and poetry on napkins and tablecloths. The existentialists truly excelled at making it look romantic to kill off God and step into the abyss. A lot of people dip into existentialism, conclude that life is pointless, and wonder why, if that is so, they should bother with anything. Here’s my favorite argument to stop that slide into existential depression: If life as we know it is indeed a fantastically unlikely accident, all the more reason to appreciate it. If we come from nothingness and will return to nothingness, I say let’s spend the time we have celebrating the very some-thingness of life. Our time here is precious—literally irreplaceable. So: live authentically! The catch there is that you have to figure out what living authentically means to you, but one thing it surely implies is engagement with—not withdrawal from—life itself. Use your free will to choose renewed appreciation of every moment rather than despair.
” In a world where time cannot be measured, there are no clocks, no calendars, no definite appointments. Events are triggered by other events, not by time. A house is begun when stone and lumber arrive at the building site. The stone quarry delivers stone when the quarryman needs money.Trains leave the station when the cars are filled with passengers.” (Einstein’s Dreams, by Alan Lightman) Things in nature happen not because they have schedules to follow or appointments to visit, but because they choose to. People can also choose to do things when they believe it is time for these things to be done. The Earth would not stop revolving if you ate lunch at three rather than at two or if you went to sleep at eleven rather than ten or even if you were late to an appointment by a few minutes. We do what the clock tells us and not what our body does. Scheduling and organization has become so important that when we think of time we usually see two things – a clock on a wall and a calendar or a planner. The Piraha Tribe which is located in the Amazon rainforest is the only culture in the world that does not have a creation myth. They have no numbers or a written language for that matter wither. They do not have past tense. Everything exists in the present. If it is not here, right now, then it does not exist. The language of the Piraha tribe is very limited, consisting of humming and whistling. They do not write and do not memorize things. These people don’t tell stories of their ancestors and very few can remember their grandparents’ names. Since they have no way of talking about the past, it ceases to exist. This, they have no stories of where they came from or how the world was created. All they say is “The world is made.”Time is a quantity beyond their grasp. They rely purely on nature and their instincts, with which they are greatly intact. There are no numbers to give time value to. The only word they have for a quantity is hoi, or small, little in amount, close to one. They don’t see a need to define time, and have been able to survive for centuries without this notion. The Piraha refer only to the immediate personal experiences. They are not interested in the past nor the future. They live here and now. Everything is anchored in the present. They do not try to control nature nor organize forces beyond their grasp like the modern societies do. They are content with today’s day and live without a tomorrow in mind. A world without time…
(Im)personal experience… Experiences define us … when we put them in words, sentences, and coherent phrases, of course. I build a story that becomes part of the history of the self (the autobiographical self). Don’t you want an elaborate story with a wealth of meanings? Yeah, :)… it’s like I’m hearing you. Well, then, the expression is first. What we have experienced, let’s say on a recent vacation, is part of my history and defines me by assuming assumption. Start with the first person: “I have lived …”, “I believe …”, “I think …”, “I dream or dreamed …”, “I learned from that …”. Experiences, perceptions, emotions, and desires are about our own person. They don’t belong to another, to a fictitious “You.” Don’t talk about your experiences as if you were not there! They are yours. Please accept them. That’s how acceptance begins.