In his series of videos about Buddhism and Modern Psychology, Duke University’s Robin Wright says that The Rolling Stones song I Can’t Get No Satisfaction expresses the crux of the first Buddhist Noble Truth and may have been one of the most Buddhist of the more modern songs of our culture. He says that the first noble truth of Buddhism teaches us that until we have harmoniously aligned ourselves, none of us can be satisfied. The Buddhist’s call the condition of misalignment suffering, but Wright suggests that the condition is more one of constant yearning in the first of his videos Here or on YouTube.
In other posts, I have said that for most of my life, I have felt a vague but gnawing craving to be at a Home that I can never seem to find:
I am homesick for a place I am not sure even exists–One where my heart is full, my body loved, and my soul understood. – Anonymous
I have written about this type of yearning several times before Here, but until I discovered Wright’s Free MOOC Buddhism and Modern Psychology, I had no idea that what I was saying had anything to do with Buddhism, and something about seeing that other people had expressed a similar craving before me somehow made me feel better.
I had another aha! moment in a MOOC from the Univerity of Copenhagen. The class is a study of Kiekegaard, but because Kierkegaard was heavily influenced by Socrates, the study begins with the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates. Long before I examined any of the teachings of ancient philosophy, I began writing about how how intuition guides both the visual artist’s hand and the pen of the writer. In looking closer at Socrates, I discovered that 500 years BC [2500 years before I began to write about intuition], Socrates discuss Innat Ideas and how people discover their own truths through a process that he called Maieutics, which literally means midwifery. Here
Again, when I discovered that Socrates had experienced what I call Intuition was soothing to me.
Days before I discovered the Free Kierkegaard MOOC, I had begun viewing Susan Meyer’s lectures about Ancient Philosophy, which is a MOOC that was being offered from the University of Pennsylvania. This class offered me a more sound platform to begin to understand philosophy.
At the same time that I began learning about Kierkegarrd in the MOOC from the University of Copenhagen, I began participating in a free MOOC from the University of Virginia. This is a study of history beginning about the time that Kierkegaard wrote. Because of MOOCs, I have discovered a way for me to integrate my interests in learning, as they relate to my own work and study, and I have found a way to satisfy my personal craving to know more. After I began all of the above classes, I discovered another MOOC from the University of Virginia. It is the study of Historical Fiction, and that class hits all of my right buttons.
For the past year, I have been collecting from my great aunt’s memoir. She was a child during the 1890s, and I have been collating my mother’s memoir. She was a child during the Great Depression. In addition, I have been writing my own memoir, and I was a child who literally grew up during the 1950s, in the cotton fields of Southeast Missouri.
Before I began any of the above classes, I had begun participating in the free MOOC Laura Ingalls Wilder from Missouri Here In looking at Wilder’s career and her writing, I was encouraged to begin writing Historical Fiction, but I knew nothing about the genre. Voila! I bump into the MOOC from the University of Virginia, and that class appears to have more information than I can possibly absorb. I cannot recommend MOOCs strongly enough. There are MOOCs about any field of study that you can imagine.
©Jacki Kellum August 4, 2016