Monday, July 11, 2016

Cathedrals of Learning

Many, many years ago two general states of happiness were identified by those who spent time wondering about what happiness might be. If you're remotely interested they were the Hedonists and Platonic schools of thought that produced erudition and learning, literature and volumes of theory that have stuck in the western imagination to the point of almost being an anthem amongst the ever so clever. No doubt it's a luxury to be able to sit around wondering about what happiness might be, and for many long generations it was a something of a luxury to be able to put down in writing any thoughts a person might have had about the poem of happiness. Inevitably there are those who might cynically suggest that a definition of happiness might include the idea that being able to sit around wondering what happiness might be is in and of itself a state of happiness. Either way, far too often a society's thinkers totally lose touch with the realities of a large percentage of those they nobly claim to think on the behalf of. It's a blindness of course. Then what happens? I'll tell you. A fence is built.

On the one side of this fence are the more powerful, on the other side of this fence are the less powerful. Invariably the more powerful have access to greater resources than the less powerful, and oddly enough the insults the more powerful toss over the fence include words that suggests ignorance is a state of un-enlightenment. Currently a favorite word for this sad condition appears to be "Uneducated." It's an interesting word. On the one hand it suggest proficiency in the areas of reading, writing and arithmetic and on the other hand it suggests a grasp of the extent of knowledge, acumen, and understanding which for one reason or another is deemed superior coming as it does from Guilds of Cathedral Builders. The higher this fence gets the more profane the insults become and elements within society begin to define education and learning in a way that will suit their immediate interests rather than serve anything like enlightenment. But I guess if you really wanted to gain some comfort from this fence, you could give it gravitas worthy of the Cathedrals by calling it a Hedonistic Excellence. An Homeric Arete if you want to be a truly Ancient Greek type pompous.

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