The classical greeks had a lovely word for what can best be described as “human flourishing” … eudaimonia. This would supposedly be the highest end of human purpose… a sort of hellenic karma. Aristotle, Jesus and Buddha all three dealt with the end of our life, and frankly I am ok with the idea of human flourishing, so long as I can be a helianthus annuus (nothing anal, just your average sunflower). Aristotle defines eudaimonia as not relating to health, wealth or power but as rational activity in accordance with excellence.
I like to see it further. Not just rational activity but also an ability to think positively. To always find that ray of sunshine and see the cup half full. A sort of eudaimonic personality mixed with an epicurean feel-goodness. Ahhh for the joys of Finnis’ spoudaios and phronimos.
No matter how much you can revel in the ancient and modern philosophical approaches to life it is always funny how once you put down the book (even an unputdownable one) you scarcely manage to practice what you read. Moments of frustration that should be faced with the aplomb of a zen master suddenly transform into uncontrollable outbursts and demi-blasphemies. Why? Does the spoudaios exist? Is eudaimonia a utopia?
I have no idea why I started writing all this (maybe the Alain de Botton book I am reading is partly to blame). On the other hand I do know the real reason.
I have writer’s blog: Faced with my new blogsite I have many many things to write and suddenly cannot catch any of the ideas. Hence the rambling. Wishing for a eudaimonic purpose. Writer’s blog seems to happen quite frequently in this kind of journal. Unlike the Bollettino, this blog is not a chronicle. It is a net for capturing abstract ideas and hence needs constant justification.
So I have thought of a purpose. I shall start a dictionary of terms I seem to be coming up with. Today we define two new ones:
a) Wankellectual – Wannabe intellectual, as in I want to be an intellectual so I try to be one in any way possible. Could be prone to growing long hair or shaving head – probably wears round spectacles – tries to be uncomfortably different – reads boring literature – 76% of wankellectuals are communists who buy label goods. I think wankellectuals are a result of post-post-post-modern society’s inability to define anything other than a McDonut.
b) Writer’s blog – Inability to come up with anything valuable to write in blog. Looks like I am not the first to come up with this but I can promise you I thought of it independently without any prompting. Just like that day when I thought up the slogan “Time is what you make of it” for an SDM campaign only to find it was already taken by SWATCH.
Oh. And I will not hyperlink SDM to the organisation. Because I only believe it existed during my time as a real center-left independent entity…. now it is just pathetic reduction of student minds (with wonderful potential) to propaganda repeating units. Big-headed? Moi?
Oh what the hell…. for a website of governmental apologists go to www.sdm.org.mt. Believe me, I loved the organisation. Promise. That was before the “thank-you-very-much-mr.armyman-for-beating-up-the-immigrants-and-doing-your-job, approach”.