Tonight’s show is an important one. Without it, it’s hard to build on the information presented in the other shows. Here we begin to learn about learning, logic, critical thinking, Hegelian dialectics, Plato, the Trivium, the Quadrivium, the 7 liberal arts, and many other facets of human cognizance.
My guest is Gene Odening.
This is the story of the 3 successive stages of the “Philosophic Life” which almost all of us live. Some of us live it consciously, others, not so much.
Gene’s story is one of good fortune. Early in adolescence he was given the tools to recognize and to pursue the Philosophic Life, which he undertook to do, not as a vocation but as a serious hobbyist. This is part of what the talk is about, defining those tools and following time-tested ways of applying them.
Gene lived through the first part, the Stage of Preparing For Life, in a fashion which the ancient Vedic Sages called: “Learning by grazing through the fields of the Brahma (the Creator God), in sobriety, and with a guru”. He even had his own guru!
When he was 20 years old, he began the second part, the Stage of Receiving From Life. This is when he began his vocational career and started his family life. Life was good. He and his wife traveled many parts of the English speaking world scouring the libraries in particular; she reading her beloved fiction; he in the reference and antiquarian sections. His quest was to find out what Money was. Money is a very elusive thing. As ghostly as it is, it takes up much of our life’s time and energy. By happenstance, in pursuit of its secrets, almost all other known topics come into view for a closer examination, including Philosophy, a treasure beyond measure.
As he reached the age of about 56, he had the realization that he was now in the final stage, the Stage of Giving Back To Life. This is when one should properly become the elder advisor, not ‘offering’ advise, but giving of it freely when asked. It is also the time of beginning one’s journey through mentality. This is the time of: “Examining a life which has been worth living”, as the Greek sage Socrates counceled.
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