Wednesday, 10 February 2010

A little bit of philosophy

No, I won't be expounding on any philosophical conversations here. I just wanted to pay tribute to a couple of very good friends with whom I enjoy long visits a couple of times a year. It was just a couple of weekends back that Kevin and Mike dropped in again for the morning, lunch and afternoon. You see, once the conversation gets flowing around all things philosophical, it's hard to find a natural ending point! (We ended up having to reluctantly bring things to an end when I had to pick up Colin from school. I can certainly understand why some of the great thinkers of our time speak about conversations lasting until the wee hours of the morning, and even past that. Time seems to stand still when you're discussing ideas that go outside the realm of reality.)

I can't even begin to list the ideas and people we covered. The natural flow of conversation, to be sure, led us all around the world, spanning many eras, meeting different philosophers. All throughout we added our own two cents, wondering how this person might have felt about that person, discussing the ups and downs of different modes of thought, hashing out the age old philosophical questions. We talked about the merits and downfall of different pieces of literature and film, personal favourites and those things that caused us to cringe. We spoke of books we had read, introducing each other to new ideas and thoughts. We pondered on society and its rules, morals, ethics. We simply let the conversation guide itself, following wherever it led.

These are my absolutely favourite types of conversations. My brain is stimulated, my memory stretched, my debate skills honed, and my mind enlightened. They happen far too seldom, due to distance, time commitments, family, and work obligations. I can recall reading about C.S. Lewis, and how he would spend hours on end in the evenings with a group of friends (including J.R.R. Tolkien) in such a manner, and I yearn for a chance to engage more regularly in such an activity. All well. There is a time and a season for all things, and although I am not in a place or time to welcome friends to sit out on the back deck and while away the evening hours in pleasant philosophical conversations right now, I shall be sure to try and have them more than once a year!

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