Chronic Pain and Spiritual Health

Living with chronic pain is difficult emotionally and mentally. Every aspect of your life is affected and you have to adapt each and every day based on the level of pain. It is difficult for other people to understand.  Sometimes you have to cancel plans or leave places early. You may need help doing things […]

http://gentlementalannie.com/2016/03/11/chronic-pain-and-spiritual-health/

A great read! My first re-blog 🙂

Do you think often enough? Plato wants to know.

Throughout Plato’s writings, often misinterpreted as the sayings of Socrates because, especially in the early dialogues, Plato used Socrates as his voice in the majority of the Platonic Dialogues. For the purpose of this post, I’ll refer to Plato because he was the author of Socrates’ words. Of course, it is well known that these Dialogues were written long after the actual conversation, or dialogue, actually occurred. It seems logical to conclude that they constitute Plato’s best use of the actual conversation he recalls to convey the desired philosophical message or lesson.

Think More!

One of the first things Plato suggests we do as part of living a good life is to Think More. I find it ironic how we put so much work into preparing for almost everything we do so that we do them well. And that is as it should be. However, perhaps sadly, we rarely devote the time to think about us. Time for thinking about whether our ideas are based on the sound application of reason or whether we simply are “going with the flow.” In this, Plato seems to be referring, if he were writing today, to those things society places in high regard like celebrities or high-profile athletes. Not to suggest these people cannot be excellent role models and there are many, many of them, but there are too many that are not. It may seem as if they represent the majority. It is merely what the mainstream media elects to show us for ratings, though the good examples are far more common.

Get to Know Thyself. How? Subject yourself to critical examination.

Rather than simply going with the flow Plato suggests that we must devote time to KNOW THYSELF. In order to get to know ourselves, as Plato suggests, we must spend time proactively thinking about the decisions we make in our daily lives. This will, dare I say it, require us to unplug and focus on ourselves. Analyze our decisions as one might analyze their big presentation at work. Being happy is more important than any presentation and knowing yourself will actually improve your work, but how many of us spend even a few moments to get to know ourselves? Much less spend the time and effort to do so.

Form the Habit – Make the Effort

If we proactively make the effort to strengthen our self-knowledge we are not easily influenced by what our current culture thrusts upon us, which is so often intended to be sensational and create an emotional pull on us. Rather, we must actually make a decision as an act of your will to stop and subject ourselves and our ideas to a critical self-examination. Of course this can be done with another person, but it is not necessary. We can have a Socratic discussion with ourselves. In order to truly “AND bold know thyself”, we must stop and think more.

No matter how it’s done, the important thing is that it is done. Like anything, to make a real difference and become a part of us we must make it a habit. Actually engage in self-examination to make sure to examine the ideas and ensure sound reasoning is behind the decisions we make; and do so on a consistent basis until you no longer even notice it any longer. Easier said than done, but I shall try and hope you will as well.

Happy thinking…

Aristotle: Follow-up Questions

The Wise Man Seeks NOT Pleasure, but Freedom From Care and Pain.” Aristotle

Life is evil because pain is its basic stimulus and reality; and pleasure is merely a negative cessation of pain. Aristotle was right ‘The Wise Man Seeks Not Pleasure, but Freedom From Care and Pain.’”   Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy. That would make

But I have follow-up questions (comments would be greatly appreciated):

  • What if seeking freedom from pain is impossible?
  • If it is impossible, can one still achieve Freedom from Care?

What if health issues like Multiple Sclerosis guarantees you will have pain at some level all the time. You are given a life sentence of ceaseless pain and suffering. There is never a day off.  Your uninvited guest is incurable and progressive – it only gets worse. Maybe you finally got diagnosed with fibromyalgia, or psoriatic arthritis, or severe muscle spasticity and painful joints.

Perhaps you have Spinal Stenosis – the narrowing of the spinal column as you look down at the vertebrae from the top of the spine. In there is all the delicate spinal cord that travels from the white matter in the brain into the spinal column where it is protected by brilliantly designed flexible yet protective vertebrae. In its extreme cases, the cord is impinged and paralysis can occur.

What if you have had 4 cervical vertebrae fused together in your neck, have had surgery on each shoulder and 2 on one knee? I could go on and on…, but an even bigger question is…

What if you have ALL of the above?  Believe it or not, I freaking do!

What is this Blog Going to be About? Philosophy, MS & Me…?

My journey through life trying to seek happiness and peace despite the chronic pain & suffering. If not freedom from pain, can I still seek Freedom from Care as Aristotle stated?

I intend to use my love of learning to live as full an intellectual life as I can and write about it in this blog. Once there is a following to justify it we will do a Podcast as well. I hated practicing law and now MS made it so I had to retire – so  it’s not all bad.

I always wanted to write and now I can. Now I will. The main focus is & will always remain Knowledge, Philosophy and the search for the best way to live one’s life. And in my case, as with many others, how to live the best life despite MS or other serious challenges.

We will seek the best way to use philosophy to help deal with major adversity and achieve a happy, carefree and fulfilling life. I believe we need philosophy now more than ever and I look forward to building a community of amateur and professional philosophers to accompany me on my journey.

For a decade I have carried so much guilt and shame for being a diseased, horribly flawed waste of a human being. But I finally know I am not that. My health does not define me, it’s only a part of me. In fact, I would not be me if I suddenly was cured. It affects me and is very unpredictable, but it cannot define me unless I allow it. I refuse to allow it any longer. There is no shame. I didn’t do it to myself, I got a disease or two. Just uninvited guests that will never leave and that is all. Sort of like the graying whiskers in my beard.

Much, much more in Donate Page, where I do ask for donations because I need help and cannot be ashamed. I am grateful for everyone that signs up for email updates and for those that can donate. You can donate here.