the air is crisp, the sun-bright and the ground covered in golden leaves. i don’t know what it is, but there is something about just walking the streets of this great city that puts me at ease, cams me and really inspires me to think. and of course, once my mind gets wandering it just goes into this far off place and spins out of control with perpetuating thought.
and somewhere in the back of my mind emerges the following:
while on my journey of self-discovery i find that i have been reverting back to schools of philosophy that raised me through my adolescence – those rationales that challenged me to really think about life, where we want to go, our purpose and the moments/people/events that occur, forever being shaped and influenced by each one. i still take comfort in these challenges as i continue to grow.
so here is am, on the other side of the world with minimal social, emotional and material weight and as my mind wonders it comes to a stop on something i remember reading by charles taylor’s the sources of self.
it is his argument that “‘the self’ is linked by one’s relation to materialistic possessions that constitutes the good life and further these moral frameworks are presided over by hypergoods – goods which not only are incomparably more important than others but provide the standpoint from which these must be weighted, judged, decided about”.
thus, i stop to evaluate ‘the goods’ that i have in my life – in this exact moment – and i realize that my life materials are simple and not many. they are some clothes, worldly books, pictures of loved ones, my computer, my journal and a pen. i’ve come to learn in the past six months that excess isn’t what makes the self happy but the ‘hypergoods’ that remind me of who i am, who i want to be and what i want to fill my life with. for me, my ‘hypergoods’ are my failed mistakes, my successful achievements, my darling friends, my loving family and my commitment to serving the community. these are the things that shape me, that me feel whole.
ah, moral philosophy. right now, i’m content to say that my own “sources for the self” are simple: breathing, discovering, and living.
and this is where i will let my mind rest, of course, until another thought-provoking instance.