Tuesday, December 06, 2005

A hybrid personal philosophy...

I heard an interview recently on N P R's F.resh A.ir, with H.arold R.amis. He said something that caught my attention. At first, I thought it was insightful. I was interested enough to go online and listen to the interview again, to write down the part that caught my attention. And insightful it may be, but now (and I'm not completely sure why), I find what he said pretty amusing. I sorta feel like I should be smoking dope, or maybe opium, as I read it. Stretched out on a chaise with a brightly colored, fringed scarf nearby. Bare feet. Plump pillows. Highly intelligent companions, though all slightly stoned.

Anyway, here's a man who is older, and I'm sure he feels he is growing intellectually, spiritually or whatever, but after reading what he said about 5 times, I feel like he's stuck in the 1960's.

So now that I've set the (my) stage for you, here's what he said:

"... well, I've been creating a hybrid personal philosophy that's kind of a blend of existential psychology, Buddhism and progressive Judaism. And I kind of describe myself as an existentialist in the sense that I believe that the essential task to leading a good life is to discover meaning at all times; meaning is not given to us. There is no universal meaning to life that applies now and for always for each and every person. That our job - and it's a tough job - is to figure out what it all means, and to fulfill a personal destiny that we each figure out for ourselves."

And then he related all that to the movie, "Ghost B.usters"! Um, maybe that's the part that cracks me up.

Just to refresh my memory, because sometimes I have an idea of what something means, but through time, I can create my own possibly slanted definitions, I looked up a few words.

existentialism: A philosophy that emphasizes the uniqueness and isolation of the individual experience in a hostile or indifferent universe, regards human existence as unexplainable, and stresses freedom of choice and responsibility for the consequences of one's acts.

Buddhism: The teaching of Buddha that life is permeated with suffering caused by desire, that suffering ceases when desire ceases, and that enlightenment obtained through right conduct, wisdom and meditation releases one from desire, suffering and rebirth.

Judaism: The monotheistic religion of the Jews.

Monotheistic: The doctrine or belief that there is only one God.

And thus ends my lunch break at work.

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