Monday, 22 June 2015

Many of our Greatest Philosophers loved to Walk. Why?

Most of us inhabit a world buzzing with cares, distractions and stimulation. We are cronically overstimulated all our waking-hours and overstimulation is the arch-enemy of clarity of thought.  We have become so accustomed to this state of affairs that we hardly notice that it is so. Is it any wonder that the philosopher, pondering some of the deeper puzzles of this strange existence, will often seek peace in perambulation? 
In fact, I contend that the walking is neither necessary nor sufficient to achieve such peace. The necessary and sufficient conditions are to be alone or with an equally contemplative companion and to be quietly in a natural environment. Sitting side-by-side fishing on a river-bank in quiet harmony with a close friend will do very nicely. While every-day life is overstimulating, sitting alone in your favourite arm-chair is not stimulating enough. The conditions I have tried to describe above provide a near-optimal level of peaceful stimulation as a backdrop to clear thinking and incisive analysis. 

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