What's Ailing You?

Many have attempted to discover what ails us as humans. What is it that keeps us from achieving our potential? What is it that keeps us from being happy?

The philosopher Plato (as opposed to the country singer Plato) believed that what keeps us from living the good life is our lack of knowledge. We achieve this knowledge from attempting to know the forms, or eternal, unchanging, essences, through the use of our reason. According to Plato, if you truly know the good, you will not fail in acting in accordance with it.

This raises some questions though. What about everyday occurrences where we obviously know that something is not good for us? Knowing that bag of candy and triple bacon cheeseburger are bad for us doesn't seem to be the problem, its the act of turning it down which is hard.

This seems to be the case with most everyday activities. The truth is most people know the right thing to do in many situations, but where they fail is actually following through. Knowing the end is the easy part, it seems, compared to following through with what you know to be right. Plato would say this is because you have failed to rule yourself through reason and are succumbing to your appetites. You have let the appetite take the reigns which throws you into a disharmonious state.

Your reason longs for harmony. It longs for knowledge and truth, and it longs to put this into action. Succumb to your appetites, and you will hinder the progress of your journey to the truth.

So its not enough to know the good, you must also become a harmonious person capable of putting the good into action by ruling your appetites through reason.

Plato never had to deal with triple bacon cheeseburgers.


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