I always loved the story of the British journalist William Connor, who enlisted during World War II. As a consequence of that catastrophic tumult which killed millions, wracked the world and changed its shape, his regular column in The Mirror was absent for some years. In 1946, resuming his column under his byline of Cassandra, he dryly began "As I was saying, before I was so rudely interrupted".
Indeed. I'm sorry I've been away.
The anecdote is ironic and tragic, too, since I am presently fated to have a Cassandra in my life as well. But that is a story for another time.
In the last six months I've quit my job of ten years, changed houses (and as a corollary, acquired a new station in life as a Landlord), changed my son's school, endured personal tragedy, and confronted malevolent forces at play contending for the happiness of my family. On the upside, I have decided to return to study (after an absence of 16 years) and that's an exciting opportunity I'm lucky to be able to take.
I've decided to take a degree in History, Philosophy and Politics, with the option of a Masters in Teaching in the last year, should I choose it. Needless to say, gentle reader, I insist you come along for the ride.
Life throws us googlies occasionally (I almost said "curveball" but find the Anglo term more satisfying), and the rational man looks for answers. If answers are not readily at hand, a quest is in order. Several friends have pointed out that not all men choose to take a degree in Philosophy in order to answer a personal question, but that's just me.
Although we're diametrically opposed on matters of faith, I'm reminded of Betrand Russell's view:
"The man who has no tincture of philosophy goes through life imprisoned in the prejudices derived from common sense, from the habitual beliefs of his age or his nation, and from convictions which have grown up in his mind without the co-operation or consent of his deliberate reason...while diminishing our feeling of certainty as to what things are, [philosophy] greatly increases our knowledge as to what they may be; it removes the somewhat arrogant dogmatism of those who have never travelled into the region of liberating doubt, and it keeps alive our sense of wonder by showing familiar things in an unfamiliar light."Lastly, I've been noting things that strike a chord with my current state of mind. I thought this was a gem (having studied and worked in a technical discipline for 15 years, I was starting to feel like this):