Elia is in his last year of getting an undergraduate degree in anthropology at Loyola.  Tuesday evenings we often meet over supper and talk.  He shared with me last night his feeling that he’d like to specialize in mythology and what mythology suggests about a society and spirituality.  I could relate.  After evolutionary theory, I’ve probably read more mythology and spirituality texts than anything else.

It amazes me how little I remember of what I read.  I’ve conducted three book purges over the course of my life, getting rid of hundreds of volumes each time.  I’ve read hundreds of science fiction books, maybe 150 books on mythology, dozens of books on spirituality and dozens of books on psychology.  I’ve read many books I’ve barely understood.  I’m reading a book now on the endocrinology of relationship, another called The Ontogeny of Information, and in both cases most of the concepts are going over my head.  I’m approaching 1,000 lectures watched, put out by the Teaching Company, while exercising.  I remember almost nothing of maybe 100 lectures on philosophy.  Nevertheless, I expect my own ideas have been influenced by those hours.

I guess the point I’m making is that I vacuum up concepts and ideas, sometimes feeling integrations during the process, but usually the stuff just disappears unremarked.  Probably numbering in the hundreds are the ideas discussed in this website that previously emerged in other places I’ve watched, listened to or read, but I have no memory of the exposure.

And then there are all those times I think I’ve thought of something new, and I discover later it was proposed by another person I have had no contact with.

Elia is studying mythology.  I feel like I’m deeply involved in a process that is resulting in my creating my own mythology, one that I hypothesize might be useful.  Whereas Elia is exploring societies and the stories those societies create, I feel a sensitivity to mythology and the nature of consciousness and identity in my own experience as I feel an opportunity to be part of the creation of something that is practical.

Last night, Elia and I talked about the nature of presupposition and how theorizing has a lot to do with one’s assumptions regarding consciousness.  I suggested to Elia that all we know, as Descartes proposed, is that we exist.  All else is surmised.  Living life aware of how little we actually know offers astonishing leverage to appreciate the moment.

Appreciation is a powerful place to theorize from.

Perhaps that should be considered when examining the power of presupposition.  If people are experiencing appreciation or gratitude when engaged in the process of understanding evolution, their chosen discipline or their experience, the results of the exploration will be influenced by their feeling state.

If Elia has discovered his profession and is feeling guided by an appreciation for what he studies, perhaps he is following Joseph Campbell’s footsteps, following his bliss by listening to the stories that people tell.

As always, I feel lucky to be his dad.


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