Well sort of.
When I was a senior in high school I met a girl by accident that I knew would be my wife. I thought I was really cool and smart. She came to a baseball game I was playing in. Between games I saw she was reading Camus. To impress her I made a comment about Camus. She laughed and said that Camus did not espouse that.
Determined to prove her wrong and me smart I gathered her book to look for my belief. “Hey, this book is in French,” I said.
“Most French writers write in French,” she said in all seriousness. I was humbled. When I learned she got a perfect score on the SAT I thought “What does she see in me?” I was determined to be as smart as she.
When I went to the University of Miami (the benchmark of world thought, on a baseball scholarship no less) I went through the course guidelines to graduate. I read that book everyday. My roommates teased me about my fascination with that booklet. But they all asked me questions about what they had to do to graduate on time.
I graduated with a major in Mass Communications and four minors, psychology, English, philosophy and political science. Sunshine U as it was known back then (now it’s the Stanford of the South) gave me a great education.
I took philosophy classes from the department head. He made philosophy come to life. He said, “In your lifetime you will come across many people who will have a philosophy of life and most will not know the efforts of the great thinkers. I will go a step further and guarantee that none, nada, zip will be politicians.”
My past time centers around reading philosophy works. The WWW makes this possible and easy. I could go into video games with philosophical undertones and tell you why we don’t teach this in school , but it would fall upon deaf ears and bad feet.
Today is Spinoza’s birthday. Of all the philosopher’s he is the one I align with. Seeing as philosophy is the mother of psychology and me being a psychologist connects the dots.
I was raised Catholic and I find it wise to say that in a Catholic country. But I don’t practice the religion. I am a registered Republican so I can vote in Florida primaries. I don’t practice the party.
But the label of Catholic and the label of Republican has given me an insight that keeps me on the rails. If Democrats felt toward Muslims the same way they feel toward Republicans they’d all be on the same page.
I have a belief, an understanding, of the world. I don’t espouse to the religions that stem from the Bible. Just the knowledge that there is no agreement, as proven by the many interpretations, might suggest a problem. But I accept your right under the US Constitution to have your beliefs provided they don’t violate human rights. In fact, I admire people of true faith (not the radicals). I wish I could believe as they do because everything is delusionally okay. They BELIEVE, honestly believe, and I admire that. I admire more their acceptance of my continued search for understanding.
Here Spinoza enters my life.
He connected God and Physics in a way that is unfolding in our lifetime. I nod my head to Baruch. So many great thinkers and he was one of the humblest. Some of those guys were arrogant. I guess understanding God, man and the universe (without need of a telescope) can lead to arrogance.
The world is mine because I understand it. I know what God is. I know my role in the universe. I understand and appreciate my limited time of consciousness. I admire people who search but frown upon the unlit corners they search in.
I appreciate our view of individualism. However if you look on FaceBook the posts center around anti-individualism expressed by individuals who don’t ‘get it.’
Remember what you were thinking before you were born? After you die those same thoughts will return.
I have a friend who knows what he was thinking before his birth. Unfortunately it is the same thinking after his birth (go figure)