For some time, now, I’ve been on this path to read from a list of authors who have taken that deep dive into Meaning, Thinking and Existence. It can be a bit sketchy for a Christian to do this. I believe the more you read, the more you have to think about. Not necessarily the more you know; since much of what people say is opinion and not fact.
In the Warrior PATHH program we use many quotes. These quotes come from people who understand struggle. My issue has been not knowing or understanding the person from which these quotes originated. So, I’ve been reading more about them. Just this morning I was reading about Kierkegaard and last week I finished reading about Nietzsche (pronounced Neetcha). I was born and raised in church so I’ve heard all the stories from The Bible. As I’ve aged, those stories gave way to new meaning for me. I’m not “religious”, I’m spiritual. I can safely say that The Apostle Paul, along with Elisha and Elijah and many other prophets of The Bible, could definitely hold their own in a conversation with folks like Bertrand, Jung, Plato and his pupil Aristotle, Marx, Socrates and many other philosophers. The funny thing about philosophy is that it all rests upon opinion. There is zero fact or data to be tracked. I’d love to sit in a room with folks like Newton, Einstein and some of the philosophers mentioned above. You’d better have a full pot of coffee cause we’d be there a while.
Existentialism is a tough topic because it’s so broad. People trying to understand the “I am” and things like Meaning and Purpose is kinda funny. They sit and discuss for hours trying to really come to a conclusion of it all. Being a person of faith and believing in God, Jesus and The Spirit makes it easy to just say, “Okay, I get it. That’s all I need to know”. It makes it much easier to not get wrapped around the axle. I take the most rest in believing that life here on earth is about 1 foot of rope in an everlasting length of that rope. It’s temporary. I will say, however, that it is interesting to read what these great philosophers and “thinkers” of all time had to say. It’s interesting to read what they believed. Some of them, such as Nietzshe, was just plain crazy. I mean, the dude died of a Syphilis, which is a brain eating disease. Word on the street is that his last 10 years were the most remarkable time of his works because of what he had written. It feels good to read his stuff, along with the others. It’s helpful in those times of despair to read what these men have written and spoken. It’s helpful in the sense of it gives us another angle to look at life and our own struggles. A lot of it makes sense. Heck!! Some of those guys may have even been prophets in some way.
I don’t know. I just find what they had to say a bit fascinating. One thing is for sure, it definitely leads to deep conversations with others. I truly believe that is one thing that we are missing in society today. It’s those deep conversations with others. It’s in those conversations that we really get to know someone. As long as boundaries of respect for others’ thoughts a opinions are laid out, I highly encourage those “Big Talk” conversations. It’s in those discussions that we truly get to know another person. When you get to know people on those deeper levels, you have a greater appreciation for folks and a greater appreciation for life. And that, my friends, leads to hopeful living and positive living. That leads to having a zeal for life and waking up everyday excited to meet and talk to new people.
I encourage everyone to spend time having those “Big Talk” discussions with friends and strangers. It’s only through and in those talks that we can better understand one another. A lack of understanding others is a major driver into the mess we have today in the United States and in the world. Take time to listen to others and respect their thoughts and opinions. That’s what the great philosophers did. They had those “Big Talk” discussions and through those discussions they led peaceful lives.
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