Sunday, January 15, 2012

Proof of Virtuosity

As a rule of thumb I like to take mind over matter when it comes to pursuits, and with a heave and a ho take time out of my day to exercise. Though exercise is very helpful, and with companions even enjoyable, it does not contain the same thrill for me as the ecstasy found in a well tempered mind. Though exercise can lead us to do incredible things, most of which I'm happy to leave to those mad hatter gymnasts,  without the proper ordering of the mind they fall prey to maleficent desires.

With sly behavior you would make believe,
And tell me a story so commonplace.
Yet with what presence and pomp you come,
Though you claim to be of moderate pace;
Look, inside your heart is fear, overcome
Is soul's great power; intent on dismay,
You beat your pace with maleficent drums,
Your soldiers bear looks of iron and steel.
By such an exhibit I must conclude,
Your crudity; animal base, seeking,
Power. But such poor flair is no matter;
Yours is a carnal flair, void of true light.
Therefore, take my advice, turn back and flee,
Come back with proof of virtuosity.

The fear then is that men and women without proper ordering of the mind will use their strength for evil intent. Indeed, in the Republic Plato spends quite a bit of time in the later chapters speaking on how to train the Guardians of the city. It is no surprise to me that he suggests that the first lessons to be learned by those that guard the city should be well learned in the ways of music, and art; although he does make some amendments to what is proper and improper for them to learn, particularly in the realm of truth.

The hope then, for me, is to inspire within others a rigorous discipline; for any sort of art, that will give insightful views and so lead to an understanding of the nature of the world. Though such discipline cannot be said to grantee overcoming evil, it can be the first step.