Either you are sorting it out, or you are full of it.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Lighting the Lamp

There was an old philosophy buddy of mine who I ran into several years after we had studied together in university. Someone told me he was a DJ. Someone told me he had been floating for years now, living a life of contemplation and drugs. He asked me plainly, “What is the right way to live?” I found myself speechless. I had spent so long away from that question that I didn’t know how to answer. At the time, part of me was ashamed.

Even now, I still feel like I can’t answer it, but I don’t feel ashamed. I now know why I can’t answer it. I feel I can only answer this question with another question. With many questions. How to describe them?

I think of Socrates, and I think of spelunking. Socrates instilled in his finest students a love for caves. But Socrates never gave us the light for them. He gave us a lamp, a lit lamp, but with little fuel. Socrates was weak and feeble.

These questions are the lamp, requiring other things, other questions, which occasionally produce brief, momentary bursts of light.

We hoot and holler into the darkness crying, “Where are the matches? Where is the flint? Where is the flame?”

posted by ferret at 6:10 pm  

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