Journey of Transformation
September 28, 2014
We should put aside the distractions of life and focus on one thing, knowledge because it is the power that leads to a good life. “Knowledge is a fountain of life to him that possesseth it” (Proverbs 16:22). Throughout time, there have been different views on whether or not education is important. Education being important is a very strong belief which unlike Woody Allen, Thomas Merton believes. Merton says that an education is to show a person how to define himself authentically and spontaneously in relation to his world and that distracting oneself is simply a sham. Unlike him, Allen believes that life is all one big distraction and that there is no specific meaning to one’s life. Reading older passages of Plato, I’ve come to an agreement with Merton because, without an education of any type, nobody would know the difference between good and bad. Everyone in this universe wants a good life. There is no definition to what a good life is because it is subjective. Regardless, being educated on whatever one chooses can take them far in order to live the good life we all strive to have. That means that having goals are important and in order to reach a goal; there needs to be a path one should take in order to get there. We should put aside the distractions of life and focus on one thing, knowledge because it is the power that leads to a good life.
The Idea of the Good is described by Plato, who classifies the good being exceptional. There are many forms that he speaks of, but his idea of the good is something that cannot be clearly seen. It is rather something that one can feel and understand as time goes on. Once one recognizes the idea of the good, they can see all of the other forms. Only education can help recognize the idea of the good because being educated in as much as possible will make a person very well-rounded giving them an idea of the good leading to a good life. By ignoring distractions, one can focus on knowing the good and focusing solely on it. Distractions will lead to the mind wandering in all different directions meaning that focus is lost. In order to have an idea of the good, focus is crucial and even beneficial. In order for a person to find his/her true self, it is vital to have an education because with time, so much is learned and experienced through it.
Plato’s philosophy, The Divided Line, is a line on how to get to the good, itself. As the line is ascended, the closer to the good one can get. Plato describes how being is the intelligible realm and becoming is the visible realm. In order to get to the good, one has to know the good. Through education, the good and evil in the world can be learned. Ascending this line, one can get to the good life itself. Socrates makes an analogy; the sun is to the visible realm as the good is to the intelligible realm. It’s very simple, in order to see something, the visible realm; you need light, a person to see and something to see. The good is to the intelligible realm; it can’t be seen but in order to know the good you need see the good. Ascending the divided line is the primary goal in life and in order to get there, distractions need to be avoided. Distractions can play a huge role in life, but it can’t be life itself because if one is always distracted their life is meaningless, and everyone has meaning in this life. One cannot just ascend the line and reach the good without education. Knowledge can be gained all over and through the world especially in school. Socrates states that knowing the good is powerful.
In the Apology, Socrates states how he had an excellent experience with the voice in his head that he always claimed interfered with his life. He ended up taking this voice as evidence to conclude that death shouldn’t be feared. He states this because, during his trial, that voice he talks about didn’t command or interfere with him to do anything that led him…