Tag Archives: Ancient Greek Philosophy

Daily Obstruction: Crucifix

18 Oct

img_9418

Crucifix

 

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

 

Daily Obstruction: Archimedes’ Point

17 Sep

img_8692

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

dharmachakra_stone

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

IMG_7540

 

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

 

IMG_5153

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.