Thursday, February 19, 2009

Spiritual Search

The ultimate triumph of philosophy would be to cast light upon the mysterious ways in which Providence moves to achieve the designs it has for man.

Marquis de Sade

I have always liked mysteries. Not the Sherlock Holmes variety, but the sort of mysteries that scientists enjoy poking their noses into.

I took a philosophy course in college and found it dull, boring and tedious. The professor was an interesting, colorful fellow, but his lectures were not and I thought his examples were silly. But I waded though the literature: Kant, Nietzsche, Hobbes, Locke, Descartes, Rousseau, etc. and retained just enough of it to get by.

Many years later, out of curiosity, I read a series of lectures by Martin Heidegger and discovered something. I was suddenly into the world of the known, almost known, unknown and unknowable. In short, I was in a mysterious land. Now I'm an avid reader of philosophy, both ancient and modern. It has become one of the most interesting and satisfying adventures on my vagabond journey.

I'm not a gardener and most of my life I have taken gardens for granted. But I have seen how people can turn a small patch of earth into something beautiful by care and determination. There is such a small patch in front of this apartment building and the young woman who lives on the first floor has filled it with flowers. I have seen her stand and look at it with concern and love as one might worry over a child.

I remember seeing a clarinetist stare at his instrument while it was still in its case with the same look of curiosity and fascination.

Now I understand those looks. There are mysteries to be seen. What may bloom in that garden, what music is that clarinet capable of.

Philosophers may disagree with each other about the best route to take, there are the empiricists, the Cartesians, the metaphysicians, the ethicists, the aestheticians, and so on, but the summit of the climb is the same . It is to know the unknown and the unknowable.

DB - The Vagabond

1 comment:

  1. Having passion for something, whether a garden, and instrument, or a vocation is a wonderful thing.