Academy of Ideas

I have been enjoying many videos from the Academy of Ideas. In the description, we find:

We create videos explaining the ideas of history’s great thinkers. We do this to help supply the world with more knowledge, to empower the individual, and to promote freedom.

I have found many videos on solitude and the question of relationships. Solitude is a double-edged sword: it builds us or kills us. We find our vocation in life or we succumb to addictions and self-harm. If we seek a relationship with another without first tending our own soul, the dissolution of the relationship begins there.

I was also impressed by this video on conformity.

The person who runs this site has obviously spent a lot of time thinking and reading about me and you (or you and I), the otherness of other people and what makes a relationship. He leans heavily on the psychoanalysis of C.G. Jung. My own reclusive life is bringing me to understand many more things about vocation, meaning of life found in one’s own work, thought and values.

We have been conditioned in our lives to give first priority to relationships, marriage and social life – on pain of being labelled as selfish. Man is a social animal as said by all philosophers of history. However, relationships are only a part of our existence and vocation in life. The greatest books, works of art and technological achievements are the fruit of the individual person.

If we live alone, we should see this positive dimension of solitude as opposed to loneliness and dependency on others for our “addictive fix”. I wish for you all a fascinating time watching these videos and developing your own critical minds.

The summer has given time to work through many of these things, because the coming autumn and winter will bring another way of living – less time outdoors and more intimate work reading and writing.

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1 Response to Academy of Ideas

  1. David Llewellyn Dodds says:

    Catching up with yesterday’s entry in The New Christian Year, selections chosen by Charles Williams (OUP, 1941), I found a quotation from ‘A Very Necessary Epistle of Discretion in Stirrings of the Soul’ as edited by Edmund Gardner in 1910 in The Cell of Self-knowledge: Seven Early English Mystical Treatises:

    “Silence is not God, nor speaking is not God: fasting is not God nor eating is not God; onliness is not God nor company is not God; nor yet any of all the other two such quantities. He is hid between them, and may not be found by any work of thy soul, but all only by love of thine heart. He may not be known by reason, He may not be gotten by thought, nor concluded by understanding; but he may be loved and chosen with the true lovely will of thine heart.”

    I did not remember that word ‘onliness’, but it leapt out at me after having read this post yesterday. In a handy transcription of the Epistle by Christian Classics Ethereal Library a search allows me to find ‘onliness’ is used 11 times in it. I’m usually shy of reading mystical works as I expect them to be beyond me – and, not infrequently, encounter earnest introductory warnings in them against reading them lightly… But I think I may try this one, being only about 5000 words. (I see there are various good-looking scans of copies of the whole Gardner book, in the Internet Archive, too.)

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