I love to learn. I wish I knew more. I’m endlessly curious about life and people and how we express ourselves.
But at the same time, I take issue with the very nature of classifying the human experience, breaking it down and labeling it according to data reviewed and assimilated based on a theoretical model or viewpoint. By extracting the principle, we lose all the intricacies, exceptions, and delicacies that make life interesting, vibrant and arresting.
Maybe I’m oversimplifying. We need to classify and categorize the things in our world. We have names for everything; book, apple, car, and labels for concepts like emotion; happy, sad, mad, afraid. (We do need a universal way to communicate.)
Philosophy-Greek, literally “love of wisdom” the study of general and fundamental problems concerning matters such as existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind and language.
How many different ways are there to think about and interpret the way we perceive and understand each other and the world? Take a minute and visit Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy and peruse the extensive alphabetical list of learned men and woman who have spent lifetimes writing and recording on paper (and parchment) their detailed analysis of our very existence.
Sometimes I think these brilliant men and woman are in thrall to an intoxicating theoretical model that can never truly be understood but only expands into an infinity of thought like our universe expands into an infinity of space.
(How do we determine which theory is most relevant, if it can fall out of favor when challenged by the next more plausible argument?)
Philosophy demands critical thinking and constant questioning. The end result of which has established the big picture of our world. It has led us to define and clarify concepts such as ethics and morals, and implement a justice system and its applicable laws. It has created an entire framework for a civilized world to operate in.
As a writer, I’ve learned that everyone has a viewpoint about how the world works based on their life experiences and that no two are the same. While philosophers search for the universal in all of us, writers celebrate the uniqueness in each of us. We write in the moment.
Because the truth is, we live and breathe in worlds defined by what is close, immediate and relevant to us…we live in the heart.
Don’t believe me?
Think about kids playing baseball. Now think about your son or daughter playing baseball and how hard they practiced fielding grounders, sliding, and learning the proper way to bat. (Feel free to substitute any sport or activity.) Think about all the times you held your breath when they were batting, and all the silent prayers you made hoping for that hit. Remember the deflated feeling when they stuck out but you smiled and clapped and yelled “good try”.
You wanted it for them as badly as they wanted it for themselves.
You were emotionally invested in the outcome even though nothing was at stake for you.
We live in the heart.
Maybe that’s my point. ( You never know where a pondering will take you.) Philosophy has painted the bigger picture for us, but the human experience needs to be engaged and explored on a small immediate level, one that we need to feel in order for it to resonate.
I like that.