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Whither and Whence?
Some mistakes are so easy to make, it is hard to see that they are mistakes. I thought it was easier to know where I had been than where I was going. Isn’t that obvious?
Future - Future - Mystery - Bread - Experience
After all, we have been in the past and we haven’t been in the future. The future seems like a great mystery, while the past seems stale. Day-old bread is cheap and so is day-old experience for most of us. The key to living, we often think, is to know what is about to happen before anyone else.
I carried this idea over to my church life.
Meeting - God - Life - Nothing - Prophet
If there was a meeting on “how to find God’s will for your life,” I was there. Nothing would have made me happier, than if a prophet had arrived to tell me God’s calling on me.
Or so I thought. Careful study of a great book, Phaedrus, reminded me of something I should have known from the Bible.
Plato - Dialogue - Phaedrus - Encounter - Socrates
Plato begins his dialogue Phaedrus with an encounter between Socrates and a good-looking young man; sensibly enough named “Phaedrus.” He starts the discussion with two questions: “Where are you going?” and “From where are you coming?”
In two words: “Whither and whence?”
Course - Discussion - Socrates - Phaedrus - Future
Over the course of the discussion, Socrates demonstrates that Phaedrus cannot really know the future, after all it does not exist yet, but he can know the past. The trouble is that Phaedrus, like most of us, has no idea where he has really been. In our hurry to go “some place,” we often fail to notice where we have been.
Our memories are often contrived and changed to comfort particular desires. I have kept papers from tenth grade partly to remind myself of how little I knew and how much I have changed. Otherwise, there is a temptation to project forty-seven year old...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Eidos
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