Posts Tagged ‘Aristotle’

True Pleasure

April 12, 2011

“Lovers of pleasure, rather than lovers of God.”  In II Timothy 3:14  Paul uses this description of people in the last days.  It is a shame that people seek the pleasures of this world before developing their relationship with God.   I understand that people want to be happy.  Aristotle taught that all humanity shared the same goal.  He called it eudaimonia; which is Greek for happiness, or flourishing.  What so many people fail to realize is that true happiness begins in our relationship with God.  Psalms 16:11 says “You will show me the path of life.  In Your presence is fullness of joy:at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.  So if you truly want to be happy,  “Seek first the kingdom of God, and its righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”  Mathew 6:33

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The Greatest Pleasure

February 17, 2010

Yesterday I read something in Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics that caught my attention.  “…the activity of philosophic wisdom is admittedly the pleasantest of virtuous activities…”  He goes on to say, basically, that it isn’t for everyone.  Yet, he ranks philosophic reflection as the highest pleasure.

I will admit, that there are times when contemplative thinking has been profoundly pleasant.  This is especially true when you combine philosophical inquiry with theological reflection and prayer.  (I can imagine some of you are rolling your eyes by now, or perhaps have stopped reading, or maybe even have fallen asleep!)

Maybe it is an age thing.  In Hinduism, the third stage of life, from 50-75 is one of slowly withdrawing from the world, spending time with the grandchildren, and increasing your focus on religious and philosophical pursuits.  I have to admit that the idea of increased religious and philosophical meditations is appealing to me.

I suppose that means I’m in the right professions.

Balancing Success

June 2, 2008

Aristotle wrote that virtue was a mean between extremes of acceptable character traits.  I agree with Aristotle that often we need to find a balance in life.  Too much or too little can be a bad thing.  Yet, I sometimes wonder if balance leads to mediocrity?  Do we need to be off balance to succeed?  It seems as though people who are successful are driven to pursue their goals and dreams, often leading to imbalanced lives. 

What is success?  Do we measure it in some tangible form?  Or is it more personal?  Is it simply a subjective belief that our lifes have had meaning, purpose, success?  I believe that ultimately our success is achieved by fulfilling God’s purpose for our life.  I suppose that once again I am in agreement with Aristotle who also believed that humans had a purpose.  It is ironic that I would find myself so often in agreement with Aristotle, since he was so rooted in the material world, and I place much greater emphasis on the spiritual or nonmaterial realm.