Recently I bought a book entitled “50 Philosophy Classics at a bargain price. Despite being able to acquire this book (in e-format) from the local library, I decided to go ahead and purchase it as I have always been intrigued by philosophy and I reckoned I could use this book for my “daily night read” before retiring for the night.
What a refreshing source of insight that the book has been. From learning about the terse philosophical concepts that were promulgated by these philosophical giants, I am able to gleam into insightful commentaries and insights which have gotten my cognitive functions all fired up and pumping in all cylinders.
I gotta say that its been so long since a book (or any book for that matter) has had a profound impact on my mind. Reading a book is to the mind what an empty stomach is to consuming a sumptuous feast. I find myself putting down the book at times, ruminating and trying to link the pieces before telling myself “Gosh, this is so similar to Christ’ teaching” or “wow these people may be pagan, but their philosophies sure do have a Christian bent”. Reading these texts is enabling me to form connections, patterns and correlations which is itself a rewarding and satisfying endeavour.
Now that my GRE exam is over, I think its really high time I return back to reading. Aristotle says (from the book) that everything In this world has a purpose and function, and for us humans, our function is to function at our highest capacity with all our faculties. That statement got me thinking deep and hard – what’s my function as a human being? Am I living to my greatest potential? And here’s the thing – we often equate function, purpose and potential into material and tangible items, items which we can measure and quantify and thus assess our progress and attainment.
But what if living to our highest functions encompasses more than just our material our earthly gains? What if we look at the highest functions from our relationships with those that matter the most to us? What if we view our highest attainable functions from how much we are feeding our minds and soul through prayer, meditation and study? Ironically Aristotle points out that study is also one of the major functions that delineate us from mere animals – that’s an obvious yet interesting thought which got me thinking whether I myself am devoting enough time to study. And by study, I do not mean pouring myself out to learn mindless quadratic equations for a mindless graduate entrance examination – but rather do I devote my time to reading about matters pertaining to my professional work and soon my academic endeavours – change management, business, philosophy and family parenting. How do I purposefully spend my time with my family – my Wife, my son. Am I purposefully spending time even with God?
Yes, the above does sound like an examination of conscience of sorts (I can’t help but be convinced more than ever now that our inherited Christian faith is so deeply rooted in ancient philosophical roots – I feel like I am a child discovering all these “new” insights) but it bears deep reflection and thought. I feel like a human being again – to be able to read, to reflect and think – rather than be glued to a phone which provides no room for deliberate thought and reflections. Perhaps one of the things I can start of with is to use less technology to meet my “entertainment” needs and instead turn to books to start feeding my mind once again.
That and also to start writing actively again on this blog. As you can see, my entries have been sporadical and sparse over the last couple of months. Armed with my trusty iPad, I should now start taking more advantage and write/type more on this blog. Gotta start keeping up with that 750-word rule per day idea to sharpen and hone my writing skills as well.
What am I really going to write about? I am not sure. But I do hope to reflect and pen down my thoughts based on my readings – be it whether I am reading about philosophy or other related books. Granted I am going to be diving into the change management domain soon but perhaps I should use the Fledgling Academic as my avenue for academic writing and leave uncanny philosophy for more personal and informal types of writing.
Anyway, the most important thing now is that I just start getting into the habit of both reading and writing.