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Isn't it pretty?

Monday, February 09, 2004

Nothing Ever Changes

I started reading Plato's Phaedo last night. Once again, I am amazed by the fact that nothing ever changes. This past week, I had been thinking a lot about society and how it has become incredibly materialistic. I figured that the materialism of society had come about in the last 100 years or so and that before that, people did care more about being good people, about values, about striving for truth and knowledge and all those noble gestures. I had been thinking about why I don't want our outcome to be determined by society, I would rather things be determined by genetics or biology, or that we be given a purpose from Hashem before we are born. To me, that way, even if you are not born into the most promising of circumstances, then maybe there is still hope that you have been given a spark, something to hope for, some potential within that you can actualize. But if everything is nurture, and you are unfortunate enough to be born into a bad situation, then there is no hope. The truth is, I think we are a mixture of nature and nurture, and I think that gives the most hope. But I totally am digressing here. My point is, I had been thinking in the past week that we have come to the point of being incredibly materialistic and how it is such a sad state. And then I picked up my Plato book (I love that book!) and there is Socrates, on his last day of life, talking about the materialism and how the only way to escape it is through death. He says that the only way to true knowledge is through death, because then the soul no longer has the body getting in the way, demanding attention. And I realized, nothing ever changes, no matter how evolved and advanced we think we are, if we look back, we are the same as we have always been.

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