How we think about Reality is key to our humanity. The reality comes down to expressions and actions. But everything real is also tied to ideals that were here before we were and will be here after we are gone. Living intelligently involves being able to see now with open eyes and knowing there is something up ahead.

Reality is now for sure. But it is finally beauty and truth, freedom, love and justice. These are ideals or values that make up a life well lived. So we must think of both the now and then, of our intentions today and of what sort of a tomorrow they may create.

Ideals are values at the heart of reality

Our actions and expressions are registered on a scale from ugly to beautiful, from worst to highest. The Las Vegas shooter knew at the start he was engaging in evil.

Had the shooter considered the lives of those he shot, the truth would have been clear enough. We must assume he willed a state of what Paul Tillich called dreaming innocence. One guesses he suspended conscience. He collapsed perception to himself alone. Selfishness is the gateway to evil. The Las Vegas shooter ended up as an automaton, acting a script he did not write.

Make no mistake

Values played out in the shooter’s mind. Good had to be quarantined. Hurt and harm had to seem rational. The shooter acted in a movie and in the end, there was just him.

He never saw a wounded face. He never touched a mourner’s tear.

Yes, we should all call evil out. But we should see its ordinary methods. Somnambulance is natural, better than craziness. Some way to blot out all goodness and let grim death hold sway.

Universal fallibility

All of us at some level do wrong. We all hurt and we all harm. The only philosophy that’s truthful knows what evil is and how to deal with it. No solutions are perfect. But love must be our guide.

We should confess our wrongs daily and seek forgiveness for them. We see forgiveness sets us free to create lives of goodness.

The revolution’s always near. It takes place here within us.

Philistines

There is a philistine streak in us, it’s nearly universal. Sometimes, it's just humorous, sometimes it can injure. We should be aware of it as sort of a redemption. It’s just a little sign of our endemic imperfection.

Nothing hampers us more than clinging to perfection.

Philosophy wasteland

We no longer regard philosophy as worth teaching. Values are not on the lips of children. We are attuned to smiling photos of Betsy De Vos creating education for profit.

Our redemption is our capacity, despite everything, to think and read and absorb. Like the Scarlet Pimpernel’s pursuers, we seek here and there. The wasteland becomes a redemptive place as we find buried knowledge. We can all thus become knowledge sharers.

We must fashion a philosophy that works. Starting with reality and love and surmising how they link.

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