Saturday May 28th 2016Tim
It's adventurous to go to an alien place in the search
for simplification. An attempt to go to Zoroaster to
find that alien place is less alien than perhaps Mars or
Interpretive Dance, but it's far enough away to offer a
person an insight into the enterprise of being human.
And the point, if there is one, would be to see in us
people a quality of something like charm that's worth
preserving, always liked that Zoroaster might have been
a shoe maker. I think it was Hegel who mentioned in a
rather endless manner those relationships within the
body which he called mind that enabled our being to live
long and prosper. Education he might have claimed was
solace around which morality adhered, but his wording
was very, very different to mine. Hegel was a more
positive teacher, his wording was more like "Education
is the Art of Making us Ethical." Art is not Craft.
There's songs about it, and those songs go back a bit to
the time before plenty was threatened, a time when
assumptions could be made with less fear of regress, or
the circle, or incantations, those repetitions that are
supposed to touch the unknown so it might look kindly
down upon us and no wonder so few of us grasp something
like Schrödinger's Cat when there's actually no need to
this side of an examination hall.
I remember long ago reading a story about a wealthy woman
and her three children who lost a bread winner, fell into
hard times and had to sell stuff. Their lot did not improve,
but under no circumstances would she agree to her young,
hard working daughter's suggestion that they should sell the
silver knives and forks they never used, so they could buy
coal for their winter. At the time I shared her daughters
reaction. Silly old person, what difference would it make.
Well I'm older now, and I wonder about things I might not
once have thought about too much, it's a luxury certainly.
But in a world where we don't truly know what's valuable
this side of the banks and the bookkeepers, some things are
worth keeping. Not sure there's any argument about that, but
my own question, Does education help in deciding what to
keep? The answer doesn't depend upon the many charm-less
definitions of "education," it's more like Gandhi's "learn
as though you were going to live for ever." I guess too,
charm touches the emotions before it goes anywhere near the
intellect, if there is such a beast. And the stranger thing
is, if you can see both sides of a problem as two things in
the same state, you're more arty than you are crafty, and
you're bound to piss off somebody.