Objectively optional opinions.

An investigation into the meeting of minds, my minds.

Month: July, 2013

Haunted by devils… But at least I can smile.

So today I found this whilst procrastinating.

I don’t want to turn into that soap-box-corner preacher that people avert their eyes from so as not to get pulled into some weird 1-2-1 Ralph Fiennes staring contest that only ends in you feeling guilty and deflated for being middle class (let’s face it, he has mastered the withering stare)….But hear me out I beg of you.

 I find it disturbing and upsetting how much truth such a simple picture can endow.

Although yes, we seem to be heading for the big one; the TRIPLE dip recession, yes it’s hard to find jobs and yes there is a big possibility that the realistic retirement age will soon be 600+, these are no real excuses for walking about this wonderful earth with a face that reminds one of Britney Spears when she realised she’d done it again.

 This is the moment one instantly feels that an innocent smile at said stranger is perceived as a mocking tribute to their early morning commute after 2 hours sleep, a knowing laughter at their lack of successful sexual conquest or maybe a scornful smirk at the bedroom tax that suddenly looms. Who knows but they what it is that they glean from such a thoughtless kindness as this smile. Please understand that I do not mean to suggest that these problems are not problems, because indeed they are and indeed people affected by such issues have a right to be upset, unhappy and unanimous in their complaint.

 I only mean to suggest that a smile is worn easy, and that if I’d known that (large generalisation ahead) the human race were such miserable specimens, I might have saved myself the trouble in that delivery room and jumped straight back in the bloody womb.

 Peace

 

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God might be dead, but Philosophy is suffocating.

When I say Philosophy is dying, I don’t mean that it is becoming any less important, but rather that it is being strangled by the current ridiculing it receives from the general populace, it is being drained of life. If I could recall the times people have asked me whether all I do is “sit in a room and think about stuff, like existence and God” for my course…..well I’d have a bloody good memory. It’s not just insulting, it’s pure ignorance. I don’t ask of a Sports science student ‘Do you just like, sit on a football field and drink protein shake and stuff?’ because I understand that most if not all subjects studied at degree level involve some form of in depth analysis and at least a smidgen of intelligence to comprehend. But it’s not a case of suggesting that my course is any harder than the one somebody else might study (far from it), rather it feels like philosophy is a novelty now, it has become the really pissed uncle at a family wedding or choosing to ride on the Manchester tour bus even though you know the only sights you’ll see are the shit weather and horrible 1970’s architecture.

So is Philosophy important now? In my opinion yes, it is. It could be said that without philosophy there would be no mathematics, there would be no evolving moral direction and the sciences would be non-existent. I do not speak of philosophy as the subject in itself but rather the practice of philosophising, the act of questioning and theorising to discover truth and truth alone. So why has it become this decrepit pink elephant in the room. People vomit such vacuous crap as ‘What kind of a job will you get with that degree?’ or ‘Only old people do philosophy’. Who are these people that they know nothing of the true value in such subjects as the humanities? They are the people that laughed at the madman in Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra, they are the people who ridiculed Galileo when he suggested that the Earth was not the centre of our solar system.

I know these accusations might sound rather exaggerated but when you think about it, what is so different? The philosopher tries to encourage contemplation and questioning, and these degradations do naught but discourage ‘deep’ thought that goes beyond the next game of Call of Duty.

So please, I beg of you, next time you encounter somebody who is studying philosophy, don’t roll your eyes at them and ask whether the chair still exists when nobody can see it, instead accept their vocation as a life choice and a passion….a serious vocation that should be respected, just like I respect your choice to do events management or sports nutrition, okay?

A man by the second name Alfred Whitehead said that ‘All Philosophy is a footnote to Plato’ so I’ll leave you with a thought from dear old Plato:

Strange times are these in which we live when old and young are taught falsehoods in school. And the person that dares to tell the truth is called at once a lunatic and fool.” (c.427 – 347 BC)

Peace.

(I must apologise for the angry tone of this post; It is something that has irked me for some time now.)

Prometheus Bound.

ImageImage

 

A poem I wrote tonight, apologies for the lack of thought and editing but I prefer it in its original state.

Peace

When you’re in bed, you’re dead.

My friend gave me a book recently.

The whole book is incredible, but the one thing that sticks in my mind still is the aphorism ‘When you’re in bed, you’re dead’. I spend an inordinate amount of time in my bed, and it irks me. Maybe it’s Manchester’s beautiful weather….or maybe I’m a lazy ass student, or maybe studying Nietzsche’s crisis of nihilism has left me with naught but bed and facebook and cigarettes to cling to. Whichever reason it is, if any, the book aforementioned has jolted me from this apathetic pit of screen glare.

The book is titled ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’ and I would recommend it to every single person whether you’re in bed and not quite dead or an active machine of social frenzy. It is the true story of a man called Morrie, a former lecturer struck with the disease called ALS (Amyotrophic  lateral sclerosis or motor neurone disease) and how he spends his last months on earth up until the moment of his death and beyond. The disease is a horrific one, slowly causing the loss of all movement and bodily function, until you have to be carried like a child, fed like a child and use the toilet like a child. One might think that in the face of all this, there could be no joy, but Morrie found it.

I know it sounds pretty grim, but I cannot express the feelings of joy and hope and so on and so forth, that filled me by the time I had turned the last page. Morrie didn’t fear dying, because he was satisfied; Satisfied with the friends he had made, the people he had loved and the experiences that he had experienced. He refused to be in bed, because to him that was surrender and death.

But I take it to mean not just being in bed literally, but making your life into one big apathetic bed, in which you wallow, you stagnate and refuse to change or grow or learn, in which comfort and routine is paramount regardless of  the cost both spiritually and mentally. Morrie refused this offer of comfort and material lust and he was happy when he died, he had said goodbye to all the people he wished, he had said all he needed to say, taught all of the lessons he could. He was happy.

But anyway yeah, just read it. If I haven’t convinced you, then just know I cried, a lot.

“So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.” – Morrie Schwartz 

Also thank you Paul,

Peace.