Friday, June 8, 2012

Early Riser

It's the end of the day, and just for kicks, I decide to reflect on all of the things I have accomplished throughout.  During the school year, I often think about all of the homework I have completed and happily celebrate internally. The contentedness just seems to take over and I feel, in that instant, my mind ease into a state of complacency. I even think that Toni is quick to notice these occasions. 

Sometimes, there will be days where I am overwhelmingly flustered due to my inability to accomplish tasks. I think I found a remedy! It's waking up early! I know, I know, some people might read this and scoff at the idea. "Why in the world would I give up my beauty rest?" But it seems to work, at least for me. Rising early usually led to more time to get things done. I think the transcendentalists were correct in extolling the usefulness of waking up early. 

I even reward myself with a frappucino from Quick Trip on most mornings. 

Hey, everyone needs motivation!


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Walking as Discovery

It is so ironic. Walking is so widespread. Most of us learn how to walk at a young age and we quickly get good at it. It then becomes impulsive; our strides become more and more refined with maturity, and it it eventually becomes second nature. We learn how to fall more gracefully.

Just like walking, some of us become so refined in living that we forget to take notice of our beautiful surroundings. We are flooded with the chaos of our particular circumstance, which results in our avoidance of any sort of mindful experience with the world. 

This is why I believe that hiking is a very delightful experience. It allows me to take in the beauty of life as I see it unfold. I also think that it teaches me to be mindful. I am really enjoying this discovery.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Illumination of Fiction

Fiction is a wonderful art. It allows people to analyze life in a way that is metaphorical, as opposed to approaching life with a serious, rationalistic demeanor. It does not, as much philosophy does, force anyone to think seriously as one would when they attempt to discover some scientific axiom. There is an ambiguity to fiction that is clearly noticeable and commendable. Philosophers, trying to understand reality with the best descriptions, scoff at ambiguous terminology when working in the seriousness of academic circles. This is the beauty of fiction; it frees you from reality, momentarily, and forces you to interpret the story subjectively, making the story relevant from your own perspective. Good fiction is artful ambiguity. 

I recently read some fiction books, freeing my mind from all of the diligent undertakings of a philosophy undergraduate student. It was a breath of fresh air. One of the books I read was The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes. The book was interesting and thought provoking, even though the resolution of the story was completely foreseeable (as hinted at by its title). But the literary motifs in the story are very interesting. Probably the most distinguishable motif in the story was one that involved memory. The main character, Tony Webster, is often depicted in many asides telling us that memory often disregards past facts in order to satisfy our subjective emotions of the present. This is an interesting concept. It seems that every person could possibly think of a time where their memory has escaped them, and caused a lapse due to the distress of that particular situation. The lapse seems to pacify our minds; catharsis results.

The other book was a horror thriller by Charles Maclean, entitled The Watcher. I found this story surprisingly illuminating in an interesting way. The narrator, Martin Gregory, is a computer programmer who, out of nowhere, commits a very disturbing act (he kills his two golden retrievers and gives them to his wife as a birthday gift). From the very outset of this grotesque outburst, Martin is clearly mentally distressed. Throughout the story, he begins to make connections with fables of the past and concludes that he is the reincarnation of the protagonist of these myths. His unhealthy mental state caused me to think about how we, as humans, are guilty of making connections that are sometimes irrelevant or coincidental. Of course, most of us don't go to such extremes as the narrator. Nevertheless, some African tribes think that certain lesions to the skin is a sure sign of witchcraft.