What is the human endeavor? What is the human experience?
I am creating an Introduction to Philosophy class to be taught next year at a local community college. Philosophy is interesting because it begins with curiosity.
Human curiosity: Who are we? Why are we here? What makes ‘us’ us? It questions birth, death, and the life we live in between.
I remember as a child wondering who I would be if I wasn’t me but rather someone else. Wondering in that way would always take me to a different interior state. A state that was almost surreal.
Some people need hard and fast answers to these questions. It brings them comfort.
Others do not.
This fact in itself is part of philosophy. Why are some people one way and others another? Is it biology, experience, education, personal need for control or…? How come two people can have the exact same experience, same opportunities, same challenges and one go one way and the other go a completely different way?
And maybe the biggest questions humans tend to ask are the God questions. Who is God? How do we know? What does God want from us? Why do humans fight the most about God? And will this ever change?
Even in the church, the place where some believe God is experienced the most, God is argued over. However, much of what is argued over in the church has nothing to do with God. What hymns do we sing? What power structure do we hold? What is our vision? (Can we even really know what vision God holds?) And then maybe the biggest question we ask that has nothing to do with God…..How do we convince people to come to our church because its only in convincing others to come do we believe we are doing what God wants us to do.
As I continue on this quest, my personal quest of curiosity, I am discovering that my greatest desire is to continue being curious. I am learning that pain comes in holding to tightly to any strong idea or belief or story. But being curious is different. Being curious allows me space to watch as things move and change…as philosophies alter. Being curious without hanging on tightly is freedom.
I suppose this, too, is a philosophy.