Category Philosophy

Pink Floyd and Some Heideggerian Musings on “Time”

The photo off to the side here shows my ancient cat’s pill dispenser. Two pills of different dosage values go down his gullet in the morn (note the “a.m.” slot), two at night (“p.m.”), to keep his wonky thyroid properly modulated. I take a couple of minutes to fill this dispenser every Sunday night, both to save myself the trouble of fishing individual pills out of their respective bottles twice daily, and also as a backup for my wonky memory (for which no modulation is available) as the day proceeds and I ask myself, “Did I give Rascal his pills this morn?”

What strikes me most about this weekly ritual is the increasing feeling, week to week, that I JUST DID THIS LIKE ABOUT…16 HOURS AGO!

And therein lies the problem of time, and memory, and the future, and life and meaning and death and the music and the philosophy that does its level best to make sense of it all and keep us from th...

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Perfection or Oppression? Chasing Happiness With Epicurus and “The Giver”

So we heard from Kierkegaard a couple of posts ago, and his prescription for happiness, at least as it existed in his own mind. Kierkegaard largely turned his back on the pleasures and joys of this world (other than philosophy and religion), putting all his faith as well as his formidable intellectual capital into a vision of an afterlife that would ultimately reward the denial or disinterest in pedestrian earthly pleasures.

His philosophy is far more nuanced and rich with rhetoric than that brief summary suggests, but at base, Kierkegaard and a segment of Christianity that has at least partially mirrored his views aren’t overly enamored with this fallen world, regarding it as mere waystation and proving ground for the eternal joy to come.

Google tells me it’s about 1,725 miles from Copenhagen to Athens, but it’s a lot farther than that philosophically from Kierkegaard to another subject of this post, the ...

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Are You Happy? Is It Important? Grappling With Kierkegaard

I am driving down the street in mid-afternoon and gaze about at a red light, noticing wispy striated clouds in the west, as if drawn with the finest paintbrush or exhaled with a baby’s breath. Something familiar and warm stirs inside.

On the back patio barbecuing, beer in hand, the temperature neither hot nor cold, warm nor cool, an ideal midpoint or no temperature, really, the air pillow-soft. A sparrow sits on the telephone line above, still as a statue for minutes on end, while my wife and daughter watch the ballgame on the other side of the patio slider, whooping with any hit from the home team.

This is it, I say to myself. It.

Assuming you are of able body, you always enjoy bowling and miniature golf, don’t you? Of course you do—it is impossible not to smile and laugh in multiples during these activities. Happy.

Irish music, go on, get up and do a jig, oh yes!

Happiness can be among the most e...

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Try a Little Tenderness: Notes on a Daughter’s Broken Finger

We were sitting in a private room in the ER, X-rays done, waiting for the doctor to arrive to show us the pictures and prescribe a course of action. That’s when my 14-year-old daughter had what was her first, I think, enlightenment moment, fully grasping, in a personal and urgent way, the strange tragic happenstances that can alter life in a brief blink. And thankfully, the in-breaking bit of wisdom didn’t cost her very much by way of bodily injury.

“It’s so weird,” she said, a shallow laugh coming into her voice somewhere near the top of her throat. “This morning I woke up and went to school and everything was all usual, and now I’m in ER with a broken finger.”

She’d been playing first base for her high school’s JV softball team when she reached to dig a throw out of the dirt and the ball struck her non-gloved hand in just the right freakish way to dislocate the joint at her knuckle and cause ...

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