I read a lot. On top of my daily studies in the arts and Christianity, I read philosophy. And now, I listen to philosophy on podcasts and on YouTube.
My daughter turned me on to podcasts when one day I asked her what she was doing and what music, if any, she listened to while performing her workout, running, cleaning, whatever. A casual question. She said she started listening to podcasts. I knew of them, but not anyone who was actively listening to them. I’m a pretty techie guy, but sadly I was way behind on this.
Podcasts are downloadable talk shows whose content is produced by private individuals (mostly) on subjects that are quite varied. Pick any subject and someone is most likely making a podcast about it. I listen to topics on photography, art, motorsports, Christianity and now philosophy.
I also discovered that content on YouTube is likewise created on just about any subject. My ex-girlfriend used to brag that she was “YouTube Certified” because she would look up a skill that she lacked, say on something she wanted to fix in her house, and voila, someone made content about that very same subject. Brilliant! She fixed her house on her own and saved tons of money.
The philosophical videos on YouTube are impressive productions. The copy is well thought out and erudite. Many times, it weaves popular culture with some pretty heavy ideas. It brings attention to nuances in film and TV and music, much more than many of their surface stories suggests. It is genuinely thought provoking.
The YouTube creators I watch are well intentioned and positive. They deliver quality ideas that can lead the mind into higher states of understanding, all while being entertained. Philosophy books are not easy to read and digest, even for the learned, but these videos bring the ideas to your living room or computer or smartphone in a way that is easy to grasp.
You’ll end up dreaming about complex ideas in the full IMAX effect and live in a state of philosophical inquiry all day long.
It messes with your daily “regular” brain. You’ll see the world through a prism that skews reality, making it fantastical, scary, beautiful, confusing. If you’ve ever experienced therapy, you’ll know what I mean. It opens up your mind to places it normally wouldn’t go.
We are all better off when we “think more”. We’re healthier if, like going to a gym, we workout our minds. Our need to entertain ourselves needn’t be exclusive of learning or thinking. The mind controls all our behavior. It’s the computer. If the computer is outdated with old software, well, you get what get. But if you feed your mind daily with quality ideas that challenge and nourish, you will be amazed how it finds itself into your daily living.
Ideas will mess with your mind! And that’s a great thing!
IMAGE: “The Glorious Beheading of the Apostle Paul”, 2018 ©Artist Robert Perez
Mixed-Media on Wood, 36 x 48 inches