Tag Archives: Ancient Greek Philosophy

Daily Obstruction: Crucifix

18 Oct




The future and the past both cast a specter upon the present forming the shadow of a cross.


Daily Obstruction: Archimedes’ Point

17 Sep


Archimedes’ Point


Philosophers are always trying to “get to the bottom of things.”  Every bottom is a top when looked at from a different perspective.

Daily Obstruction: Essential Ingredient

28 Aug

quan yin

Essential Ingredient


There are certain lines of texts that are a key to unlocking the whole:  “And the student brought fuel for the fire to the master” – Upanishads; “The master gave a shout” – Zen koan collection; “Socrates had a way of playing with my hair” – Phaedo; “Mahakashyapa smiled and began to laugh” – The Flower Sutra.  Or rather than a key, they are more like a particular spice that gives the flavor and aroma to the whole meal.

Daily Obstruction: Virtue Ethics

29 Jun


Virtue Ethics


“Sounds like you’d rather be right than be happy.”

“If I don’t do the right thing, then I can’t be happy, but doing the right thing is often obvious and rarely easy.”

Daily Obstruction: Philosophers & Monsters

22 Apr



Philosophers & Monsters


The riddle of the Sphynx is the nemesis of the philosopher.  Its essence is time.  Its effect is a plague.  The Sphynx stands before the philosopher as the personification of Nature’s objection to all philosophy.

Daily Obstruction: Necessities & Nuisances

21 Apr

ascetic buddha1

Necessities & Nuisances


Socrates found the needs for sleep, food, drink, sex, and other bodily necessities to be obstacles.  Others call these “creature comforts.”  Still others find these to be that which makes life worth living.  What you find to be an obstruction or an amenity says much about you.

Daily Obstruction: Via Negativa – Vita Vitalia

16 Apr



Via Negativa Vita Vitalia


Aristotle once asked what the ultimate goal of the human form of life is.  He rejected the aim of “living,” for we humans have that in common with all life and thus that can’t be the unique purpose of human existence.  But why segregate human life from all other forms of life?  From the vantage point of life, the task of life is living.  There is no ultimate achievement; only varying degrees of living vitally.  The impulse of life moves toward living as vitally as one can.  More often than not, this inclination exceeds mere “happiness.”  Often vital living means distress, dis-ease, discomfort, even one’s own demise.  The fact that so many of the words that describe the state beyond happiness involve negative prefixes exemplifies the standpoint from which mankind has developed its vocabulary – from within the realm relative safety, ease, and comfort.  Humans lack a positive word for the ecstatic state of vitalism.

Daily Obstruction: Right Now

4 Apr


socrates plato

Right Now

If you live in the Now then you’ll never be even a minute older than you are now.

Daily Obstruction: Fabrication & Deconstruction

19 Mar


Fabrication and Deconstruction


Some people make things from whole cloth.  Others, seeing a dangling thread, can’t help but pull on it and see what happens.

Daily Obstruction: Contra Plato

12 Mar

Bathsheba 1889 Gerome

Contra Plato


A little knowledge of The Bad does not necessarily result in a turn towards The Good.  More frequently than not, it unleashes Promethean desire to plumb the depths of decadence and return with the forbidden fruit.