Monday, February 1, 2010

February 1 - Good Morning!

Ok, it's still technically morning while I write this - 10:50 - and I'm waiting for the bus to go home. That's the nice thing about morning classes, you're done early.

It's a gorgeous day though, I can see the mountains, (a rare occurrence in the oft polluted Salt Lake Valley) the sun is shining and it's fairly warm (another rare occurrence during the bitter cold winter months).

I'm excited to begin. Perhaps I've forgotten how therapeutic it can be to journal about the day.

I suppose I'll try to get into a regular pattern of things to say so I don't run out.

I suppose I'll talk about my classes today (ok so I've got one more at three, so I'll only talk about the first two):

First of all, at 8:30 in the morning I have my Intellectual Traditions class which is basically a look at how Western thought has developed through history. I'm in the section dealing with the Common Era and the Edge of Modernity.

We've been reading Beothius's Consolation of Philosophy which has been a fascinating look at a developing sense of Western morality. Today we tackled the question of evil i a world ruled by an all powerful and good God. Essentially there are no truly evil people, just good people diseased in the mind who need punishment to bring them back to the good. We also talked a bit about the nature of the divine and how there can be free will with a God with all knowing providence. The nature of the divine is incomprehensible to man though. In a similar vein, Plato expressed that man is limited in his perception of reality. One can see forms in the world (the example used in class was that of a chair), but cannot know their essence. In example: we can perceive the form of a chair without knowing all that is encompassed in "chairness." Applied to the divine: there is simply a mode of thinking beyond comprehension of we mere mortals.

As a side note I'd like to add my own thoughts on God and the nature of any divine being: Though I remain agnostic in that I understand that I will never be able to know or comprehend for certain the existence or nature of a divine being and thus do not make any attempt to; I hold that if there is a divine, that it lies within the principle of ecology. That is to say God exists in the relationships between entities in this world. As individuals we can never be truly self-sufficient, we rely on other people, plants and animals, and the physical world to sustain us. Without these connections we would cease to exist, indeed our very birth is the product of several relationships (that of two sexual beings (or mother and father if you will) and that of mother and child for example). However, what is greater than this simple survival as a result of relationships in nature, there is a sense that individually we are limited, but when combined in our relations with others we can, as two or more, accomplish greater things. In these relations between ourselves and others God is found.



My other class this morning was my Asian Civilization Class (focusing on the modern era starting after around 1500 CE). We just finished reading a book by Kishore Mahbubani called The New Asian Hemisphere: The Irresistible Shift of Power to the East Basically it outlines how the West has to learn to live with a rising Asia. It's quite the interesting read but I'll save my further discussion of it for another day if people are truly interested (leave me a comment if you are!). However today we began to introduce Asia as a place of study, mostly background information. Fun fact - the word Monsoon, comes from Dutch which came from Portuguese, which came from Hindi, which came from Arabic. Fascinating to see the way in which the etymology of a word shows it's history in the conquest of a region.

Anyway, it's now 1:44, I got home took my car into the shop (there are things wrong that need to be fixed, I just hope it won't be too expensive, they are figuring out what is wrong now), and made a wonderful pasta lunch. Lemon, garlic, butter, white wine tossed with bread crumbs into spaghetti. Delicious. I would have taken a picture but unfortunately my camera is broken and I need a new one. :(


At the moment I am waiting to hear on my car, and later I will go back to class. What joy.

Hopefully this has been enjoyable, and will continue to be so for the rest of this month.

Oh and here's your cute boy for the day. Thought I'd forgotten eh?



As always,


Matt

3 comments:

  1. Meh I don't need to worry about cute boy pics (says so bf wont get mad lol)

    Sounds good
    Later Matt

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  2. Matt

    Why i dont share your concept of God its a nice thought though, classes sound fun, hope the car doesnt cost much to fix and yea the pic is cute :P

    take care and be safe

    bob

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  3. I like it when you talk about ideas, you're always interesting. The rise of Asia is keenly observed here in Australia, a western culture on its fringe. Feel free to discuss it!

    While I don't find the idea of "God" at all helpful, for me too any sense of transcendence comes from our unity with all other living things and the world around us.

    ReplyDelete