The fundamental Canon

  • Life is fully experiential.

    Through physical sensation and action, the mind can make sense of its surroundings. Everything from feeling the sun and wind on your face to the feelings of love and anger. It’s all physical and material. This cannot be denied.

    But our technological world is increasingly taking us out of our natural environment. Away from the rising and setting sun and into fluorescent lit office buildings and black mirrored screens. Completely unnatural.

    Not only are our professions becoming less natural, our social life is too. Dating and social network sites create a sort of artificial crowd of people. The creators of the sites tell us it’s the best way to live and connect with people. So we do. We stay. Sometimes way too long and too frequent. We invite others to stay. We even let our children grow up in this cyber environment and they end up teething on iPads.

    We now know that children who spend an enormous amount of time with screens from a young age are different from children that do not. Their brains are wired differently and their social skills are muted. To them, the social media, gaming and communication platforms are real life. They know nothing else. But it isn’t just children...adults are just as trapped in the web.

    I liken it to a dream state. It’s real, but it isn’t really living. The tactile experiences that are felt by the body help the mind process data. Important data. The senses are the keys to living.

    So as we study Epicurus and natural philosophy, always keep in mind that we are meant to be in nature and not in artificial cybernetic environments. Use the Canon to enrich your life and live it!

    My PSA for the day to get out, unplug and enjoy the pleasure of the day.

  • This is a really big issue and getting worse all the time. It has great benefits but great costs so we really need to be sure we have estimated the end result correctly.

    I bet there are many apt cites to the same point to support this, but I remember first from Diogenes Laertius that Epicurus said that the wise man "will be fond of the country."

  • Absolutely true.

    Live in nature. Be fond of the country.

    It doesn’t have to mean selling all your possessions and living in a cave by a stream but it does mean being in the moment and taking in your surroundings. Getting the sun on your face!

    Our bodies and minds are so tuned to the world, the cycles of nature, that I believe that this mind paralysis of tech is killing us.

    This technology certainly does have benefits. It connects people and opens up lines of communication that was impossible at one time. It’s like “fast food”, conceptually it’s a great idea. It can be good and be a quick fix, but if it becomes a habit, you’ll have health problems.

    It comes down to making prudent decisions for your life.

  • If I were making a list in this category I would also advise having pets. Not to be morbid, but the lessons learned when they die really make a useful impact I think.