Plotinus – Light of Light

The passages used in this video help to convey a vivid representation of a spiritual realm not known through the senses. Such heights require a certain kind of intellect or theoretical wisdom by which to grasp such eternal principles. Some speak of this heavenly kingdom with simplicity, while others like Plotinus use a more abstract language to describe the source of existence. Like mathematics you can’t ascend the ladder of knowing without mastering the elementary. Just as arithmetic is prior to algebra & calculus, so is civic virtue prior to purifying & intellectual virtue. Not all are endowed with the same capacity for comprehension and neither can that which resides unperturbed be comprehended by its lesser. Yet we are led to believe – quite literally and figuratively – that the beginning and end of all causes is an image of that supernal Light.

Love & light,

JY

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Foresight – See it to the end

“For ‘foresight’ (providentia) implies a certain sort of relation to something distant which things that occur in the present have to be ordered toward.” – ST II-II Q49 A6

Foresight is the core part of prudence that enables one to direct and govern their steps towards a worthy end goal. With proper foresight we are able to deal better with unpredictable encounters along the way and alter our behaviour and concentration in the present time so as to adapt our priorities and apply the necessary virtue towards a greater good…

Click on the image above for further reflections on the essential nature of foresight.

Love & light,

JY

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Reasoning – Discursive Thinking

If you can come up with 10 good reasons to start something new, then it’s probably worth the effort? The process of thinking up a number of reasons to begin a project is often the easy part, whereas the task of weighing out the costs & sacrifices can be a cumbersome affair. There is also the matter of trying to figure out whether or not the work can be sustained once put into action. Do you have the means to reach the goal? Have you the capacity, time, energy, connections and resources to reach your end in mind? These trailing questions allow us to avail of reason in a more discursive way. It allows for deliberation; a sort of investigation that allows one to think their way through to the end and piece together an order that is both practical and immediate. Let’s flesh out this concept some more. My video above will attempt to show in part how reason is an integral aspect of prudence.

Love & light,

JY

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Shrewdness – Quick Wittedness

“If docility involves our willingness to listen to others, shrewdness
involves the ability to size up a situation quickly on one’s own.”

Without getting into all the rigmarole and to keep this week’s message simple, ponder the following ‘idea’ to give sustenance to the topic on hand:

To cultivate and expand the muscle of shrewdness expose oneself again and again to new learning environments, exercise various modes of understanding & experience, and avail of intuitive rationality with calculative measure. The fibre of being shrewd ought to be broken repeatedly in order to be strengthened and aligned with good judgement. Wisdom is attained through missing the mark over and over again until we get it right. It’s a shot in the dark until we hit something real and substantial. Therefore keep aiming your bow until you know and feel its precision completely but for the love of goodness shoot the arrow with the end in mind. To be shrewd is to aim in light of velocity, wind current, temperature, distance and all the other factors that both impede and make the way possible… it is from the same causes and by the same means that every virtue is both produced and destroyed.

Click on the image above to access my video talk on the virtue of being shrewd.

Love & light,

JY

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ENGAGE YOUR INNER MUSE

A VOCAL WARM UP FOR SINGING

First and foremost get your body aligned with the Muses.
Get your body moving and in sync with that eternal flow.
There is no right or wrong way to let your body go.
Just let your hair down and feel the magic all around.
Once the music hits you, close your eyes and hum the tune.
Let your body be as light as a man walking on the moon.
Imagine the dance in your mind’s eye as you soar into the endless sky.
Close your eyes to the starry light, for you are fully mine to-night.
Says Terpsichore as she passes you to her elder sister Aoede.
Who in turn transforms the dance into a spectacular melody!

Click on the image above to watch my approach and preparation for singing and engaging the Muses.

Love & light,

JY

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Docility – Open Both Ears

“Just as docility has to do with a man’s doing well in acquiring a correct estimation from another, so shrewdness has to do with a man’s doing well in acquiring a correct estimation on his own.” – Aquinas

Docility is about being teachable. It largely has to do with the ability to be taught by another person. So how might we go about assessing the student’s natural disposition for learning? Well for starters we could try to locate the person’s preference or dominate style of learning. The student may be more visual (spatial) in comparison to being verbal (linguistic) when it comes to acquiring information and/or experience. That is to say that a person who is more spatially inclined may prefer to avail of images and pictures, rather than speech and writing when it comes to understanding certain things. For instance it is way easier for me to learn 20 moves on a chess board by seeing the game in play than it is to read chess notation of recorded moves. The same applies with putting together objects such as an office desk or installing a stereo system. It is much easier and quicker for me to work with an instruction manual which depicts sequential images than to listen or read the text of a user-guide. Knowing your strength and weakness can make all the difference in the world as it pertains to docility. To live the good life is to know thyself, which implies knowing how to avail of the natural traits and virtues that allow one to be at their best.

The video above addresses docility as an integral part of practical wisdom or prudence. It is the main course of this meal and ought to provide a more crispy understanding of the advantages of fostering a healthy form of docility.

Love & light,

JY

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Understanding First Principles

From my childhood up to the present day, good manners have been second nature to me. Good morning, pardon me, cleaning up after myself, allowing seniors to get on the bus first, apologising for mistakes, waiting patiently in a line up, to keeping the door open for the person behind me, are all aspects of being polite in my culture. ‘Good manners’ is the grease that prevents friction one might say. However, not everyone subscribes to the same kind of social virtues. Aggravation may follow if you strongly believe that everyone ought to abide by your code of behaviour. On the other hand there are civil ways to get along with one another that can’t be overlooked without some direct or indirect consequence. As social animals we need an understanding of first principles to peacefully co-exist with one another. It is not my goal here to dictate what they are but if by chance my genius can get you thinking about why we need them, then you may be inclined to further explore how we can go about knowing what they are. Which in turn can help us transition and make better decisions when faced with particular situations. Check out my video above to get your dialectical juices flowing!

Love & light,

JY

“For virtue makes the goal correct, and practical wisdom makes what leads to it correct.” – Aristotle

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Be Grateful – Not Hateful

The Canticle of the Sun became song through a man who was bent on restoring what he believed to be one of the main functions of our humanity, namely charity, i.e. to bestow unto others a means to live life with dignity and joy. He put this into action through a position of weakness rather than strength. This implies one can be at their best, even when they are most vulnerable and poor in spirit. For me the Canticle of the Sun is a way to offset the negativity and cynical thoughts that can easily blacken our view of the world. It is about being thankful for all the good things in life, regardless of how far we fall into the cracks of the system. No matter to what degree we might cave in under the heaviness of complexity, a spirit of gratitude is a means to brighten the most darkest cave.

Love & light,

JY

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Improve your Memory

A psychology professor gave us a challenging assignment in class. We were instructed to pay close attention as he recited random words (nouns) aloud. Once he stated 20 words in total, he asked us to raise our hand if we remembered them all. About a third of us raised our hand. Then he asked us to write down all the items on a piece of paper in the exact order they were called out. Less than 5% of us were successful. My method for remembering all the content was an envisioning technique that allowed me to string all the words together into a unified sequence of events. Check out my video above for a brief demonstrate:

Cheers,

JY

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WHAT IS PRUDENCE?

Prudence hangs from the tree of knowledge.
We have to stretch ourselves to reach it.
Once fully apprehended, then we can see.
That all the branches stem from eternity.

The Fall of 2017
By Jason Youngman

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