Sometimes, I Wish that I Were A Simpler Person Who Wasn’t Baffled by Life’s Profundities – Free University Courses in Philosophy, Psychology, & Buddhism

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I have begun to watch the videos in the Free Online Course Ancient Philosophy, which is being taught by Dr. Susan  Meyer, from the University of Pennsylvania Here.

I have also begun watching the videos in the Free Online Course in Philosophy from the University of Edinburgh Here. 

In addition, I have begun watching the videos that are relating Buddhism and Psychology. That course is begin taught by Robin Wright from Duke University Here.

Here is the obvious question: “Am I extremely bored or Do I simply have too much time on my hands?” Anyone who reads my blog knows that neither of these is true. In order to watch the videos from the Free University MOOCs, I have to carve a space into my packed schedule, but I believe that doing so is worthwhile.

It seems that all of my life, I have been puzzled by peoples’ behaviors and about other mysteries of life. The study of Philosophy requires years and not weeks, and the same is true of the study of Psychology and Buddhism. All of these disciplines are profound.  But I don’t have years to study any of these systems of thinking, and that is why I am glad that I can glean an overview of each field through the very competent professors at some of the world’s leading academic institutions. While I readily admit that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, I also know that no knowledge is ignorance.

At times, I wish that I had elected to remain ignorant on many issues. Sometimes, ignorance does seem to be bliss, but I don’t believe that I have the correct gene pool to enjoy ignorance. Both of my parents were thinkers, and I am, too.

The problem with thinking is that we often puzzle over  things that simply do not have answers. Yesterday, I explored the profound question: “Why Is Apologizing Difficult?” Here. I spun the question around and around and even made myself dizzy doing so, but I still came to the end of the post with no answers. As I said before, sometimes, there seems to be no answers, but that is not a good excuse to hide our heads in the sand and to pretend that the questions are not there. If nothing else, we must continue to sit before the questions and to listen to the sounds of silence that seem to be there. Perhaps we will one day hear the answers and perhaps not, but the people who refuse to listen are mute and the people who refuse to acknowledge are blind. I don’t want to stumble through life blinded and mute. Do you?

©Jacki Kellum August 2, 2016

In Restless Dreams I Walk Along

Sounds of Silence
Paul Simon

Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence”In restless dreams, I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
‘Neath the halo of a streetlamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
No one dare,
Disturb the sound of silence
“Fools,” said I, “You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you”
But my words like silent raindrops fell
And echoed in the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made …
“The words of the prophets
Are written on subway walls
And tenement halls
And whispered in the sounds of silence”

Profound

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