It is often said that history repeats itself. As well as the notion that there is nothing new (technology). It is with an acceptance that I kind of agree with these clichés. It is in most of daily life I have come realize this.
I am not certain if it is a sign of age, trickled down book wisdom or just being observant.
Our daily politics, our life on what is good, what is true, what beautiful always arise. There’s a constant debate between between people – all kinds of people who want to get their say in. Arguments of everyday existence often permeated throughout the ages. It’s hard to see us changing our typical pondering of everyday life.
When history does not change. I begin to question the natural disposition of humanity. I begin to question must it be this way? To learn lessons over and over again so to speak. It is not a huge spectrum of time considering how many back to back generations of possible dissemination of knowledge there truly is in life. But what about it.
What of it? More conflict anyhow.
When the river passes by in seasons, to different lands, the sun remains the same sun that’s touched the wisest men of history. I think the torch of knowledge and wisdom should be relayed. We can’t fumble what has been graciously bestowed to us by great minds.
Obviously, most people want to carry on with there life, fumbling about, with as little care in their mind and attention to anything. Not everyone has the time, diligence, creativity and patience to dissect and cultivate new ideas.
I think studying the Ancient classics is like dipping your head into a well of gold. Philosophers are naturally autodidacts, if people can’t study on their own when the doors of classroom and school have left their days, there is not much that can be done. They have wracked their brains enough.
The Greats have used their tools for critical thought, assessment, rationale to decipher life and all it’s potential implications. People ask me “Why Do You Like Philosophy?” I say the simple idea that someone’s brain and thoughts will be processed and assimilated and swim in your mind and be repeated on your tongue and lips is special.
We are all born a blank slate but it is our influences that make us. Animals are born and easily adapt to their environment. We must put in the work through study and training. Exhaust our mental resources in order make ourselves.
The more layers of clay you lay on top of one another, you will have sculpted a distinguishable human being, noble in one’s own right. That is the thing about philosophy it’s good to it’s own ends – for it’s own sake.
It probably also breaks down to what can be assessed about this situation or that.
What of politics? Is democracy really the best? Really? With just enough questioning you can dismantle anything. That’s what I find amusing.
The Socratic method of questioning can send a meteor of doubt and wonder in the assessment of daily life. It would be brutal to the average common man.
What of Education? What good is education, if all education think linearly and one political framework? What is the highest concern of the educator? When does the educated become the educator?
What is the virtuous man? How should one live their life?
Whenever I have these ideas I feel I’m hitching on a road in the street and by adopting classical philosophical texts I enter an entire new highway of thought. New angles. New perceptions.
All your previous conceptions may get washed out – some people don’t like that feeling – I find it liberating.
The more you do this, you will find yourself exclaiming
“ What have I been missing!”
“I now have a better understanding.”
How fortunate we are to be able to distinguish classical texts but also having scholars and modern historians and figures that have digested the great materials, to provide their input for us.
In my youth, I was always very observant. Observing every detail. Since going to school in first years, I was typically bored by the daily typical routine of school life. Methods of education felt meager and lackadaisical. I believe more would have been achieved if I was left to my own devices. Instead of being reticent and blindly accepting the commonly accepted norm of study and schooling.
My thoughts always had a philosophical bent to it. I always enjoyed thinking while looking at the clouds/starry nights. I’ve always enjoyed abstract rational, philosophical thinking. It’s an incredible tool and shouldn’t be neglected today.
Socrates had been known to “corrupt the youth” with his philosophical queries.
I asked myself what was meant and needs to be done to corrupt the youth?
These are some thoughts.
Vladimir Lenin — ‘Give me just one generation of youth, and I’ll transform the whole world.’
Why would Lenin say that? Well, it must be because kids are young and impressionable. You take a child, you tell him anything he is likely to believe it. He may question you, but they would probably put up the least amount of resistance when provided with a couple of ideas.
If you have a generation of youth, you easily have say – 20 years implied. 20 years of age is generally around the time that the youth becomes student in university and schooling. You are pummeling corrupt ideas in the minds of the youth – that’s when you want to do it.
If your ideas were really poignant and distorted, one generation would suffice if you had control of educational institution. Their thoughts would multiply. You can make all sorts of propaganda – in the case of Lenin. You would not even need a valid talking point. Whether it’s for the good or bad the youth or more likely to be deceived.
The youth that are disobedient and highly intelligent are perhaps best suited to inculcate. Get the little rebel in them and start the fire! Yahoo!
Authority would include teachers, parents, political or any institutional entity.
You beat the youth over the head with the idea that institutions have loose ends, nothing their parents told was always ever certain, that teachers had taught you very little about anything.
When they realize authorities don’t allow them to question and undermine their very own everyday ideas they will begin to wonder why the authority doesn’t let them question.
Perhaps because it infiltrates the authorities belief or paradigm.
By eliminating any connection and respect to authority, the youth are more likely to question the status quo, common beliefs, assertion of a population.
Lead them to question all publicly asserted opinions until they are utterly senseless – meaning they find the loopholes, they know what is placed in to deceive, what are truths.
Take any spicy hot topic of the day and instill persistent questioning. When their questioning collapses all initial ideas with rationale and unhinging of the authority in question, they will reject the status quo.
The status quo would be rejected so much that everyday the youth would tell tales of satire implicating the Socratic method to disregard all the ideas handed from the people.
Where they go on from their is your decision or theirs depending on how it evolved and broke down.
Reading The Greats
For the youth, reading the greats may appear daunting at first but still understandable. But the level of maturity changes everything.
People change. Every 4 or 5 years or so and you are no longer thinking the same way – hopefully. Most people stay the same without challenging themselves.
Classic texts are pure beef, it is material that is thick to think about for years in a person, and it can be reread at different intervals and stages of one’s life. It can be a challenge, but a worthy one.
If and whenever I meet a person that is interested in the classics I am always interested in waxing poetics and exchanging ideas. I want to pick that persons brain.
Philosophy is an exciting and stimulating method of discourse to me.
I’m currently reading Plato’s Republic. I would say it is a great intro to Western Philosophy.
It dissects a lot in terms of politics. The whole thing is written in a dialogue form.
It goes from discussion of morality to justice/injustice. They attempt to asses what is the good society, how it is best to handle education, art, the state, the individual.
Like most philosophical works and books in general, The Republic has been misconstrued, bent, manipulated for people’s own base ends.
They either demonize it or they hold it to high esteem. That’s perhaps one of the most amusing aspects of the editor/translator’s notes in the beginning, even calling out an author that he believes has misinterpreted the text.
Claiming that the another author had twisted the Republic to be starting points and preliminary equation in puzzling the pieces to lead up to the communists of Russia and other countries as well as the Nazi’s in Germany.
Everyone has their interpretation. I simply perceived it as amusing whether valid or not, after reading I could see why it may have been misconstrued in such a way, but I wouldn’t say it was the main reason that any of that happened.
What I find leaving the greatest impression on me is the idea of a philosopher king.
When I first heard the concept of philosopher king, I immediately presumed that it was a noble, virtuous person to dictate the state – more or less, but it wasn’t about that whatsoever.
It is argued that because the person is a philosopher-king he would not have reason or motive to do wrong for his people.
I thought it was a great novel idea. But surely I had more questions about this notion of philosopher king, so naturally I picked up the book – with no hesitation.
I’m enjoying it. It’s world’s away from eastern philosophy. But it’s still incredible. I highly recommend it. If you don’t enjoy today you may pick it up later in life, probably from a different vantage point.