What is this blog?
This my open journal. I aim to be candid. I won\’t share everything. There\’s too much stuff that goes on in my head that just doesn\’t make sense in this format. (e.g. my current prevailing deep-fantasy is the interplay between two symbols, vividly projected somewhere in my skull: a large, red, roaring sun; and a brilliant, white point that emanates sharp rays of white light. Those fantasies don\’t really have a place here. I have another blog that those might go.)
I want to make this blog a place to cultivate my public persona. This is where I can begin writing my stories that I will share with other people during conversations at bars, coffee shops, and on airplanes. This is where I can develop my opinions on the things that I find interesting or important. Another thing this blog will do is publicly record a significant portion of my thought process.
There\’s a danger to this: I have never felt perfectly comfortable with a group—evangelicals, feminists, soldiers, college students, progressives, conservatives, Americans, whites, hispanics, and so on. I tend to alienate myself from groups. I shy away from labels and categories. I can barely stand calling myself an existentialist, (but I am certainly a half-closeted Jungian). I have a frustrating relationship with labels because I think I\’m special and unique; this is not a virtue, but it is who I am. I feel like the easy way of explaining this away is saying that I grew up in between too many cultures; despite appearances, I am half-Mexican, whatever that means.
I would mark today as a big day: I received my copy of Plato: The Complete Works. It was one of life\’s cruel ironies that I received this book overnight, while I have been waiting over two weeks to receive a box of cloth face masks (to prevent spreading COVID-19), which has been sitting in a FedEx warehouse somewhere in Tennessee. I\’m not complaining. Honestly, I\’d rather have the book.
Plato is a big deal.
I feel that it\’s a mark of intellectual maturity that I am excited to study his complete works—1800 pages cover to cover—on my own. A little over five years ago, I was reading CG Jung. I had no formal intellectual education besides a third rate high school diploma, but I quickly read and finished The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious and Psychological Types… I had no idea what was going with his books. I followed a lot of rabbit trails trying to decipher CG Jung\’s work; his work is a labyrinthine puzzle that led me to philosophy.
Anyway, as far as I am concerned, Plato might as well be the foundation of Western Civilization.
(And Heraclitus is the dry ground that Plato\’s foundation rests on.)
I feel that Plato is real and legitimate—that once I have finished reading this, my ideas will have a better foundation. I don\’t think that\’s an overstatement. However, I\’m not saying that in order to have well-founded, legitimate ideas, one must have read Plato. But the man\’s work had such a big impact and covered so much ground that it would be a mistake to dismiss him, namely because one would risk unknowingly borrowing his ideas.
Ideas are important; they shape our world. I\’m an ideas guy. I like tracing ideas to their supposed origins. I like seeing how ideas, ideologies, and symbols evolve over time.