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Bittersweet Symphony

If you’ve ever listened to The Verve, you know there’s one epic song titled “Bittersweet Symphony.”
Truer words never spoken. For example, the following lyric:
“’cause it’s a bitter sweet symphony this life… Trying to make ends meet, you’re a slave to the money then you die.”

Life is a symphony. An ordered symphony that moves at a predicted pace. Human beings today are ordered to work for their whole life. Even childhood isn’t as great as it can be. Children are sent to school, and study to get a job that makes good pay. There is nothing more to education than just that. What happened to Plato’s ideal world? Where there is no foolish currency, and  society is brought up through intelligence. Studious. Hypothetical. Philosophical.

It’s silly that all we do is study and study and study, and there isn’t anything more to that. Studying does not, I repeat, does not equal intelligence. Intelligence is properly characterized by the mind thinking quickly and rationally, while being in the calm.

A philosopher is intelligent. Philosophers reflect on every possible motion through logic and reality. What is after life? We don’t know. Whether there is a Heaven or a Hell, or neither, is it really worth working ourselves to exhaustion and not accomplish the basics of life? What do grades and yearly salary matter after death anyways?

Think about it. Sit down and think. Just for an hour, or ten minutes even. Just think. Reflect on everything you have done for the week, or reflect on your whole life. Forget your mistakes and concentrate on what you have done to make yourself an intelligent being.
You’ll realize some things you never imagined.

  1. December 23, 2009 at 10:47 AM

    Your thoughts bring to mind two things:

    First, the poem ‘The School Boy’ by William Blake (I’m just writing this excerpt from memory so some words might be incorrect)

    …But to go to school on a summer’s morn
    Oh it drives all joy away.
    Under a cruel eye outworn
    The little ones spend the day
    In sighing and dismay.

    I always keep it in mind (especially when I’m teaching). Although I was always a good student, I was in great fear of some of my teachers, often felt oppressed indoors and that it would have been so much nicer to be playing outside. I would hate to make a child feel the same way I felt years ago so I try to be as kind as possible.

    Your post also reminded me of something I read years ago (I can’t remember the source) that explained that there is no such thing as someone being too young to die, as each life, as designed by The Creator, is a perfect symphony, complete in every aspect.

    As human beings we have to be concerned about our survival but I think most people end up working harder than they have to in order to gain that which really doesn’t matter in the long run. A recent book that discusses this is ‘The 4-Hour Workweek’ by Tim Ferriss. His life plan is not for everyone, but he does show how skewed 21st century man (and woman) has made the world of work.

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