Monday, November 22, 2010

The Artist's Way puzzle, humanism

I have solved the Artist's Way puzzle.

The puzzle was religion. I am religious but more in a way that makes me very happy in a forest and interested in talking to rocks. Nevermind! The problem is that Cameron tells you to supplement in your own religion and I can't because how she talks is monotheistic, closed, modern, and inaccessible without the desire to believe in God. I know it works for many people but for me it caused a problem. It made many passages awkward and some weeks I gained nothing because of my inability to accept her variety of spirituality.

So that was the puzzle. The solution is humanism. I was reading Week 7 and decided to supplement human kind for God. What it creates is a giddy variety of humanism which tells you that people want you to write. That you are writing for them. That human kind embraces art. It might not be true, but when is humanism ever entirely true. What is it? Beautiful, glorious optimism. It is Doctor Who saying 'I love people, people are incredible.' People can do everything wrong, cruel, and horrid. The power of Doctor Who is seeing that and still finding people incredible because sometimes they get it right. Messy, muddled, wonderful people!

Not that we do not have a great propensity for wrong, but sometimes it is important to think that we can get it right as well.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Studying philosophy, part 1

I recently became interested in what it means to me as a student to be studying philosophy. I will try to explore that in upcoming posts. I will begin by sharing a letter I wrote to a fellow volunteer.

Preamble: I volunteer as a Peer Helper. Part of this Volunteering involves being on a Committee. I am on the Student Transition committee. We meet once a week with tea, coffee, and baked goods. Students can come in and talk for an hour. The head of this committee, aware that my mother killed herself, was very upset when the group had a conversation regarding suicide. She emailed me and expressed concern. I thought that I would share my response, as it involves how I see philosophy. It's a bit cheesy because I was trying hard to reassure her. The other thing to gather is my dislike of people being concerned about me, which has little to do with philosophy.


The world philosophy day was set in Iran. There was a concern expressed that freedom of thought would not be permitted, as the government of Iran has shut down many humanities programs in the university were the conference was being held. There have also been deaths and imprisonment's. The concern was that the government would use the world Philosophy day (put on by Unesco to allow for a wider variety of philosophical interests.) The group that [name removed] belongs to sent someone to ask the PSU to send a letter to our Chair to endorse moving it (if that makes any sense.) World philosophy day is now in Paris.

I really didn't find the conversation disturbing or upsetting. I find microskills disturbing because it requires self-reflection and self-analysis. Even if I had found it upsetting that isn't necessarily a bad thing, although in that case I would have wanted to talk it over with someone. I study philosophy because it challenges my beliefs, sometimes it can be unbalancing but once you regain your balance you've gained something. You know, we seem to be talking after all. I think I find it confusing when people are worried about me. I don't want conversations to be censored because I am in a room. It'd be missing part of life.

Sincerely, Jesse.