Sunday, December 09, 2012

The Great Courses!

For quite a while now Sandra and I been watching The Great Courses videos regularly.  Usually a course consists of 24 to 36 thirty-minute lectures.  On most weekends we watch two lectures, one on Saturday and one on Sunday.  Currently we’re watching “The Meaning of Life: Perspectives from the World’s Great Intellectual Traditions.”  The lecturer is Prof. Jay L. Garfield. 

He has introduced me to many new (to me) ideas.  I was particularly impressed with yesterday’s lecture, which covered the philosophical teachings of the Roman, Marcus Aurelius.  I knew he had been an Emperor; I hadn’t known he was a philosopher who wrote about Stoic teachings in his famous tome, “Meditations.”  My main takeaway was a validation of one of my key beliefs: what we have in life is the present, not the past or the future.

Here’s a perspective to consider: We don’t spend a lot of time worrying about the billions of years that preceded our appearing on the scene.  So there is no point in worrying about the billions that will follow us when we leave the scene.  Death is just part of the process and need not be feared.  Fear takes over when we become attached to our identity, our ego, our self-styled important place in the cosmos.  And about God?  Who knows?  If God exists we have nothing to worry about.  If God does not exist we have nothing to worry about.  Right on, Marcus!


Anonymous nick traino said...

dan, i have been going to an italian barber shop. it turns out it is the only place that i can speak my native tongue.
on one occassion joe;the owner , said to me "nick, do you go to church and do you believe in god".
my responce was yes to both questions.
he then said to me,"nick, danny (another barber) over there does not believe in god, so tell danny why do you go to church".
my response was simple.
"just in case".

7:20 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Good one, Nick. Keep it up.

7:46 AM  

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