On the point of living

23 Jun

“What is the point of living?” one might ask. Certainly, one has known someone who has asked that question. Another similar-veined question posited is, “What are we here for?” Of course we can’t say with any certainty the answers to those questions; but we can get approximate as much as collective thought and our own consciousness allows. Plato said, “The noblest of all studies is what man is and how he should live.” Scientifically speaking we know what man is. Man is a composition of bones, muscles, flesh; man is a mammal capable of analytical thinking; man is, fill in the blank, but these miss the point philosophically, and with what we’re primarily concerned with at the moment.

We should turn to education, a monstrous creature that is concerned with pumping out ‘civilized’ robots who are content to earn money for food, shelter, who can, with any luck on school geography and socio-economic status, read and write proficiently, but who are lacking in morals, wisdom, reason, logic, mature thought and spirituality. Students who have no idea about what Plato terms ‘the good life’; of course we’re not thinking of ‘good’ in such modern, narrowistic views, but rather, the true virtue of the soul. We, as a society, and especially with education, should be asking the tough questions, What should people believe about life?, How should we live it?, In what state of society can the good life be best lived?, How can we create such a state? Or, even a more simple, less idealistic (aka beginning) approach would be, With all the technology, how can we have a better quality of life?
We have technology, we have vast, deep knowledge, and we work more than any civilization in history. We are depressed, lonely, isolated. We kill ourselves over money and fame. We have no sense of direction, so we ask ourselves, “What is the point of life?”

Our education system is pounding out educated zombies of, what I call, unlife; people who mistake knowledge for living; people who are ill equipped to deal with the destiny of humanity. This has consequences and those lie in the politics of the day. As Sir Richard Livingstone says so purely, “Our political thought is admirable so far as it goes: but it approaches its task from a narrowly intellectual angle, as though only adequate knowledge and exact thought were needed. Unfortunately, the problem is also, and predominantly, moral and spiritual.” Perhaps if our politicians focused on the latter two, we could have avoided a number of demoralizing actions, among many other things, in past presidential administrations. Those words quoted above, by the way, were written in Britain almost 70 years ago; funny how some things parallel. The past, however, is done, some souls are destroyed, the good life gone; but we can yet save the soul of future generations, and restore some concept of what ‘the good life’ is all about. But first one should probably read Plato’s Republic and then begin by asking the following question, How can I restore my soul and, or, keep it alive? But perhaps I ask too much, so back under the rock I go.

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