I Took a University Course On The Meaning of Life; Here’s What I Learnt

Kal's Cartoon. The Economist. 17 January 2015.

Kal’s Cartoon. The Economist. 17 January 2015.

I am alive. Hear me roar; for after death, I will not soar.

F O R E W O R D 

Throughout these past few months, I found myself repeatedly compelled to ponder beyond my zone of comfort by the many great authors we have discussed. However, there have been two quotes that I kept coming back to, whether it was when reading, or listening to you, Prof. LePage, discuss various themes. I had originally intended to include these in my final paper, but I see no place where they may be appropriate. Therefore, at this risk of being crass, I decided to include them here, for they resonated with me for months, and well worth repeating.

The first comes from, oddly enough, a rebooted television series, Battlestar Galactica based on the premise of a bloody war between humans, and their evolved humanoid robots called cylons, who do not die, but simply resurrect whence killed in a ship called the Resurrection Hub. In an episode called “Guess what’s coming to dinner,” the cylon number six, in rebellion, admits to her human hosts:

“To live meaningful lives, we must die and not return.”

And the second, comes from the Persian astronomer, mathematician, and philosopher, beautifully translated by the late Edward Fitzgerald:

Then to this earthen Bowl did I adjourn

My Lip the secret Well of Life to learn:

And Lip to Lip it murmur’d — “While you live

Drink! — for once dead you never shall return.”

I can only hope that this work may attempt to crouch on the shoulder of these giants.

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Refute of the Soul III

“Vive ut vivas” – Live that you may live

MR. COHEN concludes:

All the world’s great wisdom traditions have insisted that higher human development is dependent upon the cultivation of the soul. Prayer, meditation, and most forms of spiritual practice are focused upon developing ourselves at this deep level. That is why giving attention to the state of our own souls is of such profound importance.

And by God all the world’s “great wisdom traditions” can’t be wrong! I seem to remember something about the world being flat? And then something about us being at the centre of the world? And then something about the anger of God(s) through lightning? And then something about the anger of God(s) through earthquakes? And then something about the anger of God(s) through (regular) flooding? And then something about God(s) over here not liking the other people’s God(s) over there? All of these were once thought of by the “great wisdom traditions” until science came along and (often at the sacrifice of the scientists’ dignities or even lives) remedied the ignorance. When a million people reverberate a stupid thing, it remains a stupid thing. Read more

Refute of the Soul II

One Occupies My Soul, Pondering; In another, An Empty Chair

FIRST a caveat:

It has been pointed out to me that my slight mockery of “Post-Modernism” in the post previous could be the result of my lack of understanding for the subject. While I fully admit that my knowledge of the philosophical idea that is Post-Modernism is limited in comparison to the garrisons of people smarter than me, the context in which I was employing mockery was not in favour or disfavour of the subject matter. It was to point out that the phrase has been used in order to add word-candy to the article; in other words, it has no place in the context of the original article. On-wards… Read more

Refute of the Soul I

Explain that, Smarty pants.

ON October 14, 2012 Andrew Cohen, American spiritual teacher, bestselling author, and founder of the global nonprofit EnlightenNext, published an op-ed piece in the blog Big Think; a website that I’ve been following thoroughly for years for it is a gathering of authors and thinkers of many different disciplines who write to inform and educate. The piece was called “In Defence of the Soul“.

At the time of reading, I simply left my personal inclinations and conclusions to the fact that I simply didn’t agree with Mr. Cohen; that we see life in two very different perspectives. But as I re-read the article, I became overwhelmingly motivated to write my refute to the work for the purpose of outlining the incredible luxation for what was written, and the place it was written in. I take my refute in three parts, going over the piece line by line. I hope that you’ll stick by me, and comment where you feel inclined to do so. I appreciate the feed back. Read more

Ideology: A Powerful Beast

Sounds like a cop-out argument, doesn’t it?

They say the Lion and the Lizard keep The Courts where Jamshyd gloried and drank deep: And Bahram, that great Hunter – the Wild Ass Stamps o’er his Head, and he lies fast asleep.

The world has become quite a unilaterally ideological place to live. So much so that the word mediocre has a negative connotation. It sounds dodgy, indecisive, and less. It sounds, well, mediocre. People are fast moving themselves from third person perspectives, to having become very opinionated with no apparent justifiable, arguable reason why. Even I, finds myself quite immersed with what I have to say, but not how I acquired the knowledge of the words that are leaving my mouth. Read more