The man that hath no music in himself, Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils.
Just a bit ambitious aren’t we?
That was the response when I described my new blog to friend yesterday. Seeking truth across faith, science and philosophy? Humanity has only been pondering these questions without resolution for about 5,000 so what’s to add? What’s the point anymore in the age of 21st century technology? And isn’t it the height of hubris to think that one can add something new to the conversation?
Ambitious? Yes…Terrifyingly so…
According to Aristotle, all men (ie humanity) seek knowledge, understanding and that man’s highest good is the contemplation of truth. For Aristotle, knowledge, truth and understanding is not some nirvana to be attained but something to be constantly striven for. It is in the seeking and striving for truth, knowledge and understanding that man finds his purpose. It is in this context that Aristotle thunders his challenge to us from 25 centuries ago: The unexamined life is not worth living! Humbly, I have decided to reach down and pick up Aristotle’s gauntlet and this blog is a record of my reflections of what I discover in faith, science and philosophy.
Too often around me I see people tumbling through life like boulders careening down a hill, living with the illusion of being control but in truth totally subject to the force of gravity. To me, living Aristotle’s maxim is to be like a skier cruising down a slope, at times slaloming around obstacles, other times, stopping to take in the beauty of the scenery. Even though the skier, like the boulder, must come down hill, the skier is in control and enjoys the “fall” much more than the boulder does. Who would you rather be?
When I visit my Uncle Tom in Colorado the first thing he says to me after pouring me a glass of red wine is “so, what has become apparent to you since the last time we met?” We then settle down in two easy chairs in the shadow of his library of Britannica’s Great Books of the Western World, drinking and refiling our glasses as needed. Conversation isn’t always serious; we will share some good laughs, especially after a bottle or two. What is important though, is that during those few hours, we actualize Aristotle’s maxim. We always come away from these experiences, refreshed and with a deep sense that we learned something new. This blog is inspired in part by those experiences. So… grab that glass of wine, get comfy in that chair and tell me, “What has become apparent to you since the last time we met?”
Post Script: My Uncle Tom is one of my mentors (too many others to name right now!) Even as we get older we still benefit from having trusted, wise mentors as part of our circle. Ideally as we go through life we will be both mentors and mentees and quite often we will be both simultaneously. Who’s your mentor? Don’t really have one? Then work on getting one. Be warned however, a good mentor relationship takes time and effort and is built on mutual trust, a willingness to listen, honesty and did I say trust??? It is however, worth it. Mentorship is a two way street and benefits both participants. So find that older relative with life experiences to share and start working on that relationship. At the same time, take that youngster, perhaps a nephew or niece, and bring them under your wing. In the future I would love to do a post on mentors so let me know what you think. Who are your mentors? What makes the relationship work? What have you both gained from the experience?