Aristotle believed in thinking just to think. That idea is called theoria. Perhaps by todays standards this idea is kin to daydreaming and many a student in school was brought to an embarrassing state of attention when their minds wandered off and their teacher wandered over to help. But what if we started to take on the philosophy that watching clouds in contemplation of anything was actually a time of extreme value to our personal lives?
The way people think and interact with the world around them is of extreme interest to me, and I think there are three fronts with which we can live inspired lives. These three fronts are also the three actions that Aristotle believed free people took for themselves. They are theoria, poiesis, and praxis.
Theoria: “contemplation, speculation, a looking at, things looked at”
Poiesis: the activity in which a person brings something into being that did not exist before
Praxis: is the process by which a theory, lesson, or skill is enacted, embodied, or realized
In my view, any of these three areas bring inspiration and purpose to a person’s life because of how they perceive what it is they do. It’s the energy and spirit and passion inherent in art and life and love because these three things shape our very real need to be human. Our desire to be who we are and do what we love and not only do what we love but think about it and be a part of it and continue to create a world around us that strikes us down deep in our core every single day in our life is absolutely contagious.
Philosophers find solace and enjoyment in their craft because it is the art of thinking and perceiving things in ways that hadn’t been seen before. It’s the act of incorporating theoria into the structure of our lives.
Artists find their true happiness inherent in the art they produce whether that be photography or videos or music or plays. They produce things that hadn’t existed before and so incorporate the actions of poiesis into their sense of identity. They are the creators, the crafters, the artisans who shapes the world with tangable things that bring the world into new life.
And bigger still, the doers do so through praxis. The philosopher who writes a book, the artist who paints a mural on a once empty wall, and the people in the world who shape the world around them.
Though it’s easy to say that any one person participates in one of these actions, the reality is that the unity of all three is necessary for the world to continue to spin.
An artist thinks of an idea or follows a pattern or a feeling or a thought, they create what it is they feel and through the concept of turning thought into action they produce what had once never existed.
We are all artists. The janitor that cleans our bathroom. The Mcdonald’s attendant that makes your hamburger from the meat we get from the butcher. The thought leads to action leads to creation in a never-ending pattern of human ingenuity and self-expression.
What are you thinking right now? What needs to change or what book needs to be written or what movie needs to be produced or what people need to be helped or what photo needs to be taken or what foods need cooked or what do you care about and what are you going to do about it?
That’s what makes us human. That’s what makes us unique.
The way 7 billion people on earth see the world is a grand art gallery full of life changing individuals that can shape the world into the way they wish to see it. That energy and power lies in every single person on Earth and don’t ever let anybody else tell you otherwise.
You are different. The way you see the world matters. And at every step there will be a chance to change lives. Will you take it?
A young writer and photographer who loves the outdoors with a significant passion. I believe that what the environment needs is people who have a close relationship with the land through the things they do out there. Check out all TheOutLife social media avenues and feel free to send some feedback!