Miranda and her Philosophical Trio (Chapter 1)

Miranda is sitting alone in her room, holding the philosophical text which her philosophical practitioner had given her. Today, like always, she is extremely busy – work, family, cleaning, buying – but she is forcing herself to devote five minutes to do her philosophical “homework.” She is in a new philosophical group, a “Philosophical Trio.”

Last week, Miranda had a shocking realization: that she had become an “automatic working machine” as she called it. She works all the time, like a robot, like a zombie. Later that evening she contacted Linda, the philosophical practitioner.

“I must add something to my life,” she told Linda, “but I don’t have time.”

“For philosophical reflection,” Linda explained, “it is not necessary to have a lot of time. Philosophy can exist in small moments of everyday life.”

And so they started a Philosophical Trio: Miranda, David, and Linda the philosopher.

The text in Miranda’s hands is from Agora’s Topics page: “Death, Sacrifice, Tragedy” by the philosopher Martin Foss (1889-1968). When the Trio first read the text together, Miranda objected. She didn’t like the words “sacrifice” or “tragedy” or “a higher life.”

“I don’t agree with this text. I don’t think about life such a dramatic way.”

Linda smiled. “Good. This will be an exercise in how to think about a text without opinions. Let’s not worry about agreeing or disagreeing. Let’s use Martin Foss’ words as a starting point for our creative, personal journey.”

Now, in her room, Miranda pushes out of her mind her usual opinions. Silently she reads a sentence: “We may speak of the ‘community of lives’ of which the person is a member… Such a communion of total and unlimited sharing is… not influenced by the ups and downs of everyday life.”

The idea of “communion” with humanity feels foreign to her. But the words “not influenced by the ups and downs of everyday life” attract her attention. And suddenly these words give her a new idea: Even though I am completely preoccupied most the time, even though I am working like a robot during the day, nevertheless something important remains uninfluenced. What is this important thing? It is not a feeling or experience, but it exists – maybe a bond with life. It’s like love – you don’t have to feel it every moment, but it continues in the background.

This is not Foss’ idea, but it originated from his words. “I am singing with Foss,” Miranda says to herself. “My voice is not his voice, but we resonate with each other.”

She stands up – she must start cooking dinner. But the new understanding glows in her heart. She smiles.



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Sunday, 26 March 2017

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