Well, this is again wishful thinking, for I do wish I could help my readers find their way through ideas, and notions, and concepts, and lay everything neat and clean in a sentence. And the sentence would be as well-constructed and comprehensive as an aphorism. But aphorisms – principles expressed in just a few words – are sharply defined sentences relating to abstract truth. So far so good, but what is truth? And, if we really were able to define truth, would that be the truth, that is, only one? And then again, whose truth would that be – mine, yours, someone else’s? Who would lay claim of authorship upon that all-comprising sentence, and could it, for that matter, have an influence on the rest of the people? What kind of influence would that be, positive, or negative? Are positive and negative straightforward terms, or are they, too, liable of interpretation?
No need to count the questions in the previous paragraph. There’s not even a shade of a doubt that others would emerge, following the same line of thought in pursuit of a pattern. The pattern. In the end, another affirmation finds its way in the argument: trying to keep such profound concepts from possible biased interpretations proves to be an insurmountable difficulty, for the more we try to unify our convictions, beliefs, and values, and make them produce harmony, the more elusive the outcome.
Let’s take for granted that at least some of the readers of this post belong to that category whose natural tendency is to attain harmony in their lives. Whoever has undertaken the quest for harmony knows what it takes to find that state of steadiness and keep it despite the fluctuations of events occurring during their existence. Are we the only ones to doubt about our decisions, to seek the truth, to waver about the very values that have been transmitted to us through upbringing, institutionalized education, or about the theories we have adhered to along our lives? Surely not. How many of us are in search of a role model, someone whose wisdom, inner balance, and strong will surpass our own and so are able to come to our rescue when we are in need of certainty – a voice that could show us the way?
|René Magritte, La Recherche de l'Absolu|
It seems that this happens to human beings precisely when they are called upon to face important events which demand a course of action. Indeed, only then do we realize that all that has already been experienced before; what’s needed then is either to try and find out on one’s own, or else listen to the voice of wisdom.
Harmony may take the form of the music of the spheres – an ancient philosophical concept that regards the movements of the Sun, the Moon, and the planets as mathematical relationships which express qualities or ‘tones' of energy manifesting through numbers, visual angles, shapes and sounds – all connected within a pattern of proportion. Pythagoras, the first man to call himself a philosopher, or lover of wisdom, identified that the pitch of a musical note is in proportion to the length of the string that produces it, and that intervals between harmonious sound frequencies form simple numerical ratios. Pythagorean ideas exercised a marked influence on Plato, and through him, on all of Western philosophy.
|Plato's Theaetetus: the roots of knowledge|
And so time has come to turn our gaze to philosophy for a while: it is highly probable that we will find answers to such problems as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language.
Undoubtedly, the following video will bring more ideas to the fore, and will clarify them. They are all meant to introduce the domain of our special guest, to whose work I am looking forward to dedicating the next two posts.