Tag Archives: creative writing

Transcending Philosophy

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We all essentially practice philosophy on some level.  Any conscious decision calls upon the basic tenets of philosophy.  For example, one’s daily diet is based on such.  Modern definitions of philosophy may carry social stigmas with them and call upon other similar terms, such as; logic, reason, and rationality.  Or, people may envision of deep chasms of thought without solution.  Others may think of ancient Greek pedophilia.  These stigmas only blind their subscribers.

Philosophy, in my opinion, is best practiced without announcing it.  A novice philosopher is likely to reach for basic syllogistic form:

1) 1 = 1
2) 1 + 1 = 2
3) Thus, 2 is a composition of 1 and 1
4) Therefore, duality (2) cannot exist without singularity (1)

This is an old form, and is a straight line to logic.  Though, it is not all powerful, nor, is it infallible.  More importantly, for most people, it’s a bit basic and overbearing in a discussion.  It has more of a peer oriented appeal as opposed to angling a public audience.

I have learned in my own practice of philosophy that, in order to be effective, its presentation must be as dynamic as the individual it reaches.  Humans are logical, yet they are also creative, emotional, and instinctual.  Also, we are much more open to persuasion than force.  A person would rather be asked than told.  If they are to be told, they will only pursue intrigue.

Relying on logic for conversation limits the scope and power of the potential range inherent within communication.  Also, we are not walking calculators – we are so much more.  The first rule is a golden one – speak to others as you would like to be spoken to.  There are three primary focuses in classic writing: Logos, Pathos, Ethos.

Logos is Greek for logic.

Pathos denotes empathy, or, emotional appeal. 

Ethos represents ethics.

A writer will go far with these concepts in mind.  When combined, these components reflect a very human comprehension and appeal.  Logic appeals to the left hemisphere of the brain, composition, practical application, and reason.  Emotional value applies creativity, sensitivity, empathy, compassion, personality, heart…as well as building the foundation for the third component – ethics.  Ethical demonstration is a social facet in our communication and a display of our humanity.  Ethical values build an image comprised of integrity, honor, courage, social designation, …etc…or, may be used to portray reverse images, as well.

Logos, Pathos, and Ethos are consistently present in our conversations, regardless, whether we are voicing ourselves audibly, or in writing.

Logos – Propose the logical foundation for your writing. Pathos – lace the logic in your writing with emotional appeal – or, relation to personal meaning. Ethos – adhering logic and empathy to a social fabric and moral code.

There are a myriad of  philosophers and examples, but for this purpose, let us consider the artful form of Albert Einstein:

“When, after several hours reading, I came to myself again, I asked myself what it was that had so fascinated me. The answer is simple. The results were not presented as ready-made, but scientific curiosity was first aroused by presenting contrasting possibilities of conceiving matter. Only then the attempt was made to clarify the issue by thorough argument. The intellectual honesty of the author makes us share the inner struggle in his mind. It is this which is the mark of the born teacher. Knowledge exists in two forms – lifeless, stored in books, and alive, in the consciousness of men. The second form of existence is after all the essential one; the first, indispensable as it may be, occupies only an inferior position.”

(Albert Einstein, 1954)

Albert Einstein, the author of this excerpt, seems to leap from these lines.  There is a sturdy logical framework here, but it is laden with self reflection, introspection, profundity, wisdom, ethical ideology, creative recognition through self knowledge, displaying a personal relationship with the concepts illustrated and initiating a journey with the audience…

…to name a few components that compose enlightening writing.

More importantly, Einstein does not seem to contrive his open contemplations, here.  His honesty pours onto the page with a quiet authority grounded by the reader’s own recognition. The illustration of his self reflection is extracted through the teacher’s own rich trials of comprehension.

Notably, Einstein discusses the recipe of the “born teacher” in this dialog – and appears to be unintentionally revealing himself in the description.  One might wonder whether the professor had aimed on himself in elaborations on such ideals.  If so, it seems to exhume these notions with humility and some inherent nobility.

As with any art form, greatness is built upon the foundation of the artist’s clarity.  Beyond philosophy, beyond tradition, beyond average, more profound than logic – and into genius…

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Agnostic Blasphemy

agnostic.blasphemy

-by Catalyst

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Filed under atheism, blog, Blogging, poetry

The High Road and the North Star

see.think.

I was asked by a friend today “What gives existence meaning?

Existence?

Meaning?

In my experience, meaning is seen by the seer, measured by compass and square, eaten by the glutton, weaved by the weaver, drafted by the architect, stalked by the hunter, beheld in the light, bought by the owner, briefly grasped by the artist, drummed by the drummer, hatched by the mother, sculpted by the craftsman, thought by the thinker, constructed by the carpenter, needed by the missing, fought by the fighter, protected by the father, tuned by the mechanic, loved by the philosopher…the child whispers it in a smile, the lover embraces it with a kiss, and the state of mind reaches at association in fleeting attempts to title it. And, as if each of these hollow words could take that which hides it.

For me, it is found in walking the high road.

Life is a verb. It is alive. Never still, it is yours…and, it is mine. Only held motionless with the discipline of mind. Each moment that passes is the birth of opportunity for us.  And, when caught in the dire straight, the wealth in life passes by the you, and the I.

Walk to a point and stand where your sight is far, in a circle.  Now, pick a direction.  Someone might have told us that there is either left, or right.  Another may have taught that there is a North, West, South, and East.  Yet, the expanse of your circumference never ends.  PI shows, with its infinite hint, that no point is a true equidistant. Our directions to choose number infinity, though, even five choices are better than two.  It saddens me when each new mind sets out to reach – only to be told its arms are too short for that peach.

Some grasps at reality stick with us…..walking as ghosts along the sides of us – others, transformed by the shifting fractals of change. To know where others end and I begin is my North star.  Anything resembling meaning was first guided by this point, whether deemed as trivial when near or obfuscated by the complex and far.  Intrinsic value is the sole measure of what many call “soul.”  As, within, it is the gauge that lowers if small minded are allowed to pull you down.  The body can break.  It can fall.  It can weaken regardless of how you stand tall.  Yet, to feel words bead up and bounce off you finds the spirit unscathed extending from a self knowledge and a love known as ‘divine.’

Knowing yourself and the reach of your integrity is sourced from within and cannot be stained nor taken.  Believing in yourself and holding within – your sense of purpose, is a script of the self taught.

The pressure of the world has bound your reaction.

To some path we all slave – Let it be one we have purposefully named.

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Filed under blog, Blogging, Conciousness, Human Condition, Perception, Philosophy, writing

What is a Thought?

What is a thought?

Art by Alex Grey

At a glance, I see a few options (I dare not go much further on this one):

I could issue a palliative, and slip away.  I could begin my ascent with discussing several potentialities.  I could work on simplicity to extrapolate some form of explanatory measure.

For time’s sake, I’ll take door 3.

Firstly, for this purpose, I would hold that function is necessary to define.  I’ll work in terms of verb and noun in light of keeping it simple…

Thought:

Noun – i) A manifestation of sensory interpretation.

ii) An Induction.

Verb – An act of intrinsic projection.

 

A little further – What is worth thinking?  Thinking is worthy of thinking. Thinking is a form of concentration. In turn…not thinking (Zen “no mind” philosophy) requires concentration, as well.  This is action in inaction.

In conclusion, focus is the very ground that thought is built upon.  As, focus is a constant of the human condition. Focus may be honed or blunted…impulsive, emotional…erratic. It may be a weapon, a tool, harnessed, or feral. Focus may take you everywhere to dream on everything. It may also take you nowhere in the name of expedition.

What’s worth thinking?

Let’s, uh, think about it. It is your reality. Turn the question to yourself, and answer to yourself – Without holding audience.  And that… may be just worth thinking.

 

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Filed under Philosophy, psychology

Dungeons and Dragons

Design courtesy of Dreamworks

 

 


Striking at a distant thought of a memory.

Thoughts scan and analyze…

yet they should never be…

nor have been.

Born and lost…

Their tails curl to envelop grounding.

Some fade.

Others grow old; weakening to the point of non-existence.

Yet, through survival,

they breathe heavy whispers…

in the fire of dragons.

Experience is silent when embraced.

and I may never understand…

for –

comprehension beckons such thoughts.

Haunting me –

Restless ghosts they are…

threatened by their existence.

And…sadly, my mind,

their dungeon.

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Filed under creative writing, Philosophy, poetry, thinking

Teach Your Children Well

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Every child – a bare canvas.  Every generation engaged in a technological advance.  Worlds of information at their fingertips.  The future has tiny hands that will change current events.  The youth is a national treasure that should be groomed of pop culture.  Disneyland, myths, and McDonalds stray the child from foundations of necessary knowledge.  Fun no longer is a game of chess.  Instead, they’re eating immortal slime in the play palace.

 

Children are ripe for balanced discipline and love, born with a curiosity that challenges the world.  They will ask questions bearing answers that may defy your words.  This is the sacred passage of their birth.  Their  great minds primed for information and forge understandings by the fires of their imagination.  If you choose to act, beware of each developmental stage…Understand your limitations if you are their sage.

 

Why fill their heads with empty picture shows?  Ancient tales of fat generous men, busy rabbits, or gods that can’t be seen, yet hold together everything?  Instead, plant the genius seed – ask them what they think.  Their answers may soon exceed yours.  Give freely, lifts to their confidence.  It will dress them in power.  Give them tools that work and build their intellect.  Instead of playing “Airplane,” work on a thinking project.

 

Build a code to be passed down.  Evolve the species.  Grasp up the torch and teach.  Brother, parent, aunt, older friend – be their wit beyond you, there’s always room to teach a thing or two.  Resist the pangs of pride when they school you – as…it’s a give and take world where all people need each new skill.  They may also lend a hand to climb each new hill.

 

Never forget to focus on kindness to all beings with respect for the world’s ecosystems…

among other various environmental themes…

or you may be sent to a nursing home

by their own financial  means…

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Filed under creative writing, Philosophy

Hell and the Evolutionary Prerogative

Hell. We’re all familiar with the concept. There are many religions that claim its existence. Even the idea of reincarnation offers a dismal look at eternity if the cards one is dealt are not played right. Hell is the ultimate prison. Prison for eternity. I’ve never been to a prison, but can only imagine the detriment of a cage populated with humanity’s worst offenders. People, wicked as any demon, lie in wait for the fresh fish entering their population. I couldn’t fathom being held in an earthly prison – let alone – a metaphysical one for all of time. If I were to believe in hell, I’d probably stammer in my very foundation.

Luckily, the idea has never entered my mind as credible. Yet, I remain civil regardless. I’m a pacifist and see violence as a crude technique employed by the less evolved. I didn’t need hell to scare me into this line of thinking. But…I digress…

I may not stand among the average person when I state such convictions. On a world scale, violence is a reality that refuses to sleep throughout recorded history. It seems to be a reoccurring subject. What confuses me is that though I may not feel the judgment of God or gods – devil nor demon, I choose to live with a code of ethics that surpass those written of in holy books. I would never attend a public execution – or, stoning (depending on what age I find myself in). I want to help those in need. No traditional god or threat of eternal prison has defined this idealism for me. In contrast, a simple look at the natural suffering of life has lead me to this conclusion – ranging from the cuddly herbivore to the human slave.

I have made others helpless under my physical strength in self defense and only felt saddened. This is who I am. I have seen others do the same as well. I have likewise witnessed those who gain some kind of thrill by inflicting suffering upon others. Some of whom believe in hells and gods. I witnessed no difference in their behavior. Perhaps at time – but no lasting influence over their behavior. Yet, holding others in my view only cloud it. Clearly, all I speak for is my self.

I seek the same ends as those that contend morality is influenced by the fire of hellish threat do. I seek peace on Earth. Yet, tales of hell have never accomplished what I feel is a humanistic progression. In fact, the most violent times existed when hells were most widely believed in. Only objective morality has ever paved the way to righteousness. Only through arriving at the realization that our actions affect those around us in a manner that echo universal repercussion have we sought to change direction. This threat is immediate, relative to action, and thus, founded in objectivity. This is consequence in real time.

Hell is scary indeed, but alas, holy books fail us. A real threat walks among us, threatening something we need not imagine – Earth. If future generations do not act – they will be verifiably doomed. Hell is no longer needed. The real threat is written in non-fiction. Facts condemn us – not gods or devils. The pieces are set for all to see – and, any prevention is “holy.”

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Filed under Religion and Modern Politics