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August 06 • Philosophical Phragmentations

Day 759

Here is nothing new, except for those of us with a track record of being a little slow on the uptake.

I just made up a phrase to describe, in short, a concept I want to explore:

Comparative Philosophy: the overuse of metaphors to explain simple observations.

Then I made the mistake of checking with Professor Google to make sure I wasn't stealing something. It turns out there is already a thing called Comparative Philosophy, and it is about, well, comparing philosophies across cultural and other influences. There is also a Comparative Philosophy magazine at San Jose State University and even a Center for Comparative Philosophy at Duke University. Then I checked with Professors Wikipedia for their thoughts, and they don't seem to know anything about comparative philosophy, so I must still be having an original idea.

But I digress.

In my religiously conservative upbringing, the word evolution was just short of a cuss word — the effing word — philosophically speaking. Creation has a beginning, a present, and an end, all recorded or foretold and wrapped neatly in an apocalyptic bow. Eternal salvation is also presented as achievable through a simple prayer or an immersive underwater commitment. And don't get me started on how life's problems can be solved in a thirty-second commercial or a sixty-minute dramatic episode. No wonder I entered recovery expecting a how-to book, or maybe an article, on the 12 Steps and permanent sobriety. I was ready to be healed and willing to be slapped upside the head to achieve that (vague TV-healer reference).

What I've found is an ongoing self-improvement lifestyle. I've found answers that require questions pre-dating my memories. I've found hope that fuels my future and sustains my present. I've found people who love me despite my failures, not because of my successes.

What does this all have to do with Comparative Philosophy? Honestly, I don't remember. I started writing with something in mind about counting up vs. counting down and arriving vs. the journey, but c'est la vie...

Oh well. Sometimes life evolves in ways we do not anticipate. Imagine that.




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