I am preparing a post on method.
1) Because I am a passionate dilettante philosopher who is not content with just blogging. I need a method in my blogging.
2) I had promised a method post, so it is very Roman-like to keep my promise (well, ancient Roman-like, contemporary Romans having lost many of the old virtues.)
Truth being the method governing my posts keeps bugging me since I started this blog, and, needing to process my ideas a bit I propose this posting sequence to my readers:
I) a post as a preparation for the method post (ugh!). It’s the present post. I need it for clearing up my mind before the real thing.
II) A post on SEX, as a break. It might help not to lose ALL my readers because of my philosophical manias.
III) The real thing, i.e. the method post.
IV) A second post on SEX, to beg for additional pardon, thus ending this sequence in full glory.
What do you think? Will you pardon me? Will SEX help?
Rhetorical questions not expecting answers let’s put some preparatory ideas together and that the trip begin!
Game of Ideas with Hidden Links
1) We will touch upon questions from numerous points of view, as if for each topic there were like a forum of different positions in the writer’s mind.
2) A thought in progress where who is writing is gradually clarifying his ideas. Such ideas might contradict one another because the writer is constantly reaching new (and sometimes opposite) perspectives, which could baffle the reader but also help her/him understand how complex things can be.
3) A game of ideas then, with anecdotes and facts only apparently deprived of connections. Such connections (mental links) will sometimes be explicit (said) or implicit (unsaid,) which should bring the reader to make her/his own connections, namely towards creative non-passive reading / thinking (which of course may imply total disagreement with the writer.)
Well, at least Magister was very successful in this game. But Magister is Magister.
Writing vs Thinking
Writing, thinking, clarifying,
striving to sort out thoughts
in ways so “clear and ordinate”
This, many years ago, Magister counselled
for the good education of the mind.
writer, philosopher, educator…
Writing in fact is a stern discipline linked to the activity of thinking. Writing teaches us how to think in ways so clear and ordinate. It obliges us to. Reason and word (word = discourse, written or oral) are actually only one word in Greek: logos. Awkward prose or clumsy oral-written reports often reflect muddled thoughts.
As for myself the problem is more complicated:
- writing in a foreign language makes the task challenging and
- we have this fatal attraction for digressions, for the free wanderings of the mind and all its unrestrained associations, ie for chaos (something Magister definitely wouldn’t condone.)
We like both sides of the moon – the dark indistinct and the crystal-clear. We appreciate discipline, clear argumentations, polished sentences, but we also dig lush jungles of words – in literature & thought we having impressive examples of both.
- We get nourishment and peace from the perfect equilibrium of Western Classical Music: Mozart, Boccherini, Clementi, Haydn and young Beethoven. Or Italian Opera: Verdi, Bellini, Donizetti etc. wrongly called romantic, since Italian Opera is classical in its nature (and even Puccini is like that.) Interesting how Italians never totally absorbed Romanticism, their classical heritage and almost inborn sense of taste (and grace) being too tenacious (read here.)
- We also get a lot of pleasure from insane Western Romantic music (older Beethoven, Wagner, Mahler, Scriabin etc.), maybe because of the Celtic and German blood in us possibly engendering (a myth, ok) some excess.
Thus said, will our so-called philosophy be muddled? Will readers think we are crazy? We really have no idea, dear readers. We really have no idea at all.
Note. We just gave you an example of digression + bizarre association. The concepts of writing and thinking were linked with music, two totally different spheres of the human experience, but the connection appears evident to me.
We do this a lot. We associate a lot, but we understand it can confuse the reader. See an example of these free associations in the post Relax & Creativity.
Weakness or Strength?
My friend the Jurist told me yesterday: “Why the hell are you worried about this roving of the mind? This is only a blog, it can be crazy.”
True, but the thing is I am a bit ambitious (to a certain extent, or I will fail). I am actually attempting a research. A research from a man-in-the-street-of-Rome point of view, though nonetheless a research. Thence this roving tendency could turn into a weakness (or a strength?)
Are we capable of carrying out such research? Who the hell knows, but we take the chance.
A Philosopher in Every Man
Magister used to say that every person is a natural born philosopher, that is, everyone, during the entire course of his/her life, keeps building a constantly evolving grid of concepts & connections among them. This world vision or Weltanschaung (read here) enables us to comprehend the surrounding world (from Latin comprehendere, cum + prehendere = put together, grasp, or insert into a grid). Comprehension of the surrounding environment – it implies also better interaction with it, the two things going together.
Ok, if this is true of every man (that he is a natural born philosopher,) and, if I am a man, which I certainly am, I should somehow hope to be able to transmit my Roman feel in a sort of organized way. Is that true?
In principle yes, ALL though depending on the degree of discipline, education and availability of time I dispose of.
A Helping Hand
- What’s the difference – one might ask – between a philosopher on one hand and a peasant or a man of the street on the other hand? No difference, only level of training, skill, specialization may differ. The philosopher is a pro. Which doesn’t mean the non-pros must shut up. I will not.
- We should all learn to think (and write) more effectively because it can help us greatly to make our days and guide us in the fundamental choices of our life. The more efficiently we think, the happier we live, classical measure though being vital here: if we think too much and act too little, we can get neurotic.
This blog intends to give a helping hand to those who think self-improvement is important (and possible.)
Reason? Not All
Ideas are now taking shape a bit as regards my future method post. The next writing will though as promised be devoted to SEX, SEX, SEX NOTHING BUT SEX (though in the Roman way.) In the meanwhile, some additional patience pls.
I can dominate my chaotic mind with control, writing, striving for some order. But chaos is still there; non rational things, disorder, even entropy, are still there – in our minds, in the Universe, who the hell knows: I need to delve into what the guys at the Third Culture are doing, or I’ll say a bunch of stupidities.
What I do know is we cannot live in disorder. We need to discipline ourselves most of the time.
But not all the time.
We also need excess, spring breaks, fun, Carnivals, Saturnalia – a Roman festival (see picture below) where rules were broken, reversed: masters became for example slaves and slaves masters.
The Romans were big gurus in the art of living. They ruled the world with humour on their faces and tongues (sometimes crass tongues, to say the truth) and not with mystical seriousness. They faced the most dreadful tragedies with utmost courage but preferred comedies.
Reason and order are not all. They can lead to horrors if taken too seriously, a great lesson from the non ideological Romans, that the people from colder climes do not seem to have quite understood. Taking things too seriously can call disaster. All the promised perfect paradises, all the Utopias – they brought despair most of the time.
Let us then have fun also! Carnivals are made for that! Look at Rio in Brasil, look at our Spanish cousins! – an economic success although Madrid has movida every night!
Good g-o-d-s, how can I finish this never ending blabbering?
Maybe with Coelho‘s beautiful words, from his novel Zahir:
Let us have some respect
for our life on this planet..