Monday, February 22, 2010

Great Appreciation for the Works of Dr. Cornell West

Dr. Cornell West is on the faculty at Princeton University's Center for African American Studies and the Religion Department. I initially learned from him and his work while being a seminarian at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, as he was a professor at Union previously. One of his books was also in the Masters of Social Work curriculum at Rutgers University (Newark) when I was a student there.

Union has a podcast library on their website and I strongly recommend that everyone listen to his lecture, available for free and also free within iTunes. In this talk, Dr. West talks about both the prophetic and socratic traditions and specifically calls everyone into a deeper awareness of our own levels of thought about the significance of life and what it means to be human. In relation to the Socratic tradition, he introduces members of the audience to an ancient Greek word, paideia. Paideia is roughly translated as education or instruction at the level of what it means to be human, at the uncovery of the True and the Beautiful.

Dedicate some time to the significance of your life and lend an ear to Dr. West. When we ask the fundamental and universal questions such as, "Why am I here?", "What is my purpose in life?", etc., have the patience to sit back and critically reflect on the answers your mind supplies to you. Pause, and then ask yourself the great Byron Katie question, "Is it really true?" Then, stand back and/or sit down as I know the answers you uncover will be life-altering. Beware of Elijah's "still small voice!"

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