Continuing to learn, as I age, is a true joy. Learning is fun, entertainment, and sometimes bestows a long-needed confirmation.
Let me tell you a story. Roaming my library, perusing the books they put on display, I pick up John Kaag’s, American Philosophy: A Love Story. I’m amazed how good it is and soon more amazed:
“Coleridge [Samuel]—following a long line of platonic thinkers—believed that Truth was realized through a sort of inner calling that granted each person partial access to the reality of the Divine. Every person could attend to this individual calling if he or she had the courage to take heed…. Socrates: He pursues the Good and the True with the help of a daimonion—a ‘divine something’…that warned him against making bad decisions. Socrates listened to this daimon and therefore ended up living and dying nobly. The implication for Coleridge was clear: Those who fail to listen to the voices in their heads screw up royally. I knew all about these voices. One had warned me about getting engaged, and then about getting married, and then about staying married. If only I had taken its advice sooner.”
John Kaag’s lovely blend of philosophy and the personal also holds confirming words about “voices in your head.” I’ve heard, frequently followed, and now understand that some of my so-called impulsiveness in “following voices” isn’t impulsive. I’m only following deeper, realer voices.
I’ll close with another quote that makes me laugh out loud in recognition:
“Most men of Hocking’s [William] age fell in love at a very early age. With themselves. And the women they loved were expected to deal with this belief acquired in their youth—that they were the absolute center of everyone else’s universe.”