NOVEMBER 17, 2022: “Something To Believe In” …

How many of you knew that today is “World Philosophy Day“, the international day proclaimed by UNESCO to be celebrated on the third Thursday of every November? Lol! You’re so welcome for this random nugget that you probably could have lived without knowing for the rest of your life!

Meanwhile, of the questions I see most often on the writing forums I frequent is, “What is the purpose and goal of philosophy”? I believe the ultimate goal of philosophy is to help us identify what we really “think, feel, and believe” about humanity, then EMBODY IT! Don’t just say the philosophical word or quote you’ve studied, appreciated, then memorized. Walk it. Talk it. Live it. Breath it. Emulate it. Stand for it. Own it. Embrace it. EMBODY IT!

In being honest, though, despite the fact that over the years there have been many different philosophies I’ve studied, appreciated, and aligned with, I believe that we should each seek out and endeavor towards our own unique set of “thinks, feels, and believes”, and not just find some someone else’s to strictly adhere to.

Don’t get me wrong, I do suppose that in many ways, the study of other peoples’ philosophies has its merits, but too often, and especially these days, free thinking seems to be a dying art, because everyone is so fixated with “labelism” and the sense of identity they feel by belonging to a specific mindset or group:

Oh, yes, I’m a Platonist, or Aristotelian, or Stoic, or Epicurean, or a Skeptic!

Oh, really? That’s awesome! ISN’T IT GOOD TO BE YOU? It looks like you’re in the cool club now because you’ve read some ancient words and found “something” you believe in! But, umm, hi! What do you think? What do you say? What do you feel? Do you have ANY original thoughts or synapses of your own? Or, instead, are you a 6 billionth edition mimic of some dead guy’s novel concept that you read in a textbook or on some social media post that just happened to appear on your feed?

As for me? As I said, I have both studied and appreciated a little bit of all the many schools of philosophy, and guess what, people? I’ve found mindset platforms I align with in almost every one of them – some of which blatantly oppose and contradict themselves. My personal philosophy is MINE and sometimes it can often change with the season. I call my school of thought, “Life According To Cat”, and I am here to tell you that, frankly, some my ideologies may actually be quite ridiculous. But they’re mine, and mine alone, and not only do I not shove them down peoples’ throats, I’m also wise enough to know that some of the things I do, say, think, and believe may be categorically WRONG! I’m very rigid about some things, and very open-minded about others, and sometimes those varied paradoxes can happen within the same five minutes!

I’m “THE FIRST OF ME” and “THE LAST OF ME”. The multi-dimensional and fascinating world between my ears is something even I don’t always understand, but I just go with it anyway, because I’m ME, and I CAN, and as long as I’m not burdening anyone with the “philosophy” I embody, then it’s Jean-Claude Van DAMN none of anyone else’s business what “school of thought” is in session for me each day. I have no want to be labeled or categorized, nor do I need group to belong to at all. I belong to MY group: “Real Cat, Party Of One!” Anyone who’s ever tried to put me in a group or box has usually ended up with that same box right up their ass!

So adamant, am I, that human beings learn to think for themselves, that I even deter my own children from adhering to my philosophical ideologies and beliefs. I don’t WANT them to be just like me, think just like me, or believe just like me. They’re my children – not my puppets, extensions, or mockingbirds. If I’ve done my job well by the time they’ve left my nest, they’ll be “where I ended and THEY begin”, not Xerox’s of dear ole mom. Parents who raise their kids that way are GROSS! Oh, yah, that’s just ONE of my RIGID “Real Cat” philosophies. Parents should allow their children to be who they were meant to be – NOT who they WANT them to be. But that’s another answer for another day.

I’m not gonna lie, folks, it has taken me a very long time to arrive at the answer to that, “what is the purpose and goal of philosophy” question that began this Diary entry, and in doing so I found something else to believe in short of my belief that the truest value in philosophy is only achieved when it’s taught us to find our own, which is this …

No matter how many enlightening books I read or dead guys’ words I’ve studied, I will faithfully continue to sit down with myself and have the same long, heartfelt and often heated conversations with me about all the things I believe that I’ve been having all along. More so than that, I’ll keep being thankful to have even reached such a place wherein I’ve been blessed to have the ample experiences I’ve had, good, bad, or indifferent, such that I can truly “walk, talk, live, breathe, emulate, stand for, own, embrace, and EMBODY” all the somewhat nonsensical things I do, not the least of which is the God I’ve never once lost faith in despite the fact that I could have long ago.

SOMETHING TO BELIEVE IN

I lost all faith in my God, in His religion, too. I told the angels they could sing their songs to someone new. I lost all trust in my friends. I watched my heart turn to stone. I thought that I was left to walk this wicked world alone. Tonight, I’ll dust myself off. Tonight, I’ll suck my gut in. I’ll face the night and I’ll pretend I got something to believe in. And I had lost touch with reason. I watched life criticize the truth. I’ve been waiting for a miracle. I know you have, too. Though I know I won’t win – I’ll take this one on the chin – we’ll raise a toast and I’ll pretend I got something to believe in. If I don’t believe in Jesus, how can I believe The Pope? If I don’t believe in heroin, how can I believe in dope? If there’s nothing but survival, how can I believe in sin? In a world that gives you nothing, I need something – something to believe in. {Bon Jovi}

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