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I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know . . . and repent in dust and ashes


Job 42:1-6

Then Job answered the Lord:
‘I know that you can do all things,
   and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
“Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?”
Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand,
   things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
“Hear, and I will speak;
   I will question you, and you declare to me.”
I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear,
   but now my eye sees you;
therefore I despise myself,
   and repent in dust and ashes.

From Michael McGhee's "Transformations of Mind: Philosophy as Spiritual Practice" (CUP, 2000, p. 8)

I had thought to say that philosophers need to remember that they are also human, but how does that make them different from anyone else? And yet, thinkers, philosophers, stand in a particular relation to their own humanity because they offer representations of our human relation to reality, and their vocation rides upon an interior acknowledgment of human weakness. If humankind cannot bear very…

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Religious naturalist and Unitarian minister in Cambridge UK, jazz bass player, photographer, cyclist and walker. Over the years I've tried various descriptions of "where I'm at" but, although they have been OK as far as they go, they've not fitted as well as they might. These days I find the following words of the philosopher, Paul Wienpahl, fit the bill better than anything else: 

"As I see it, the point is not to identify reality with anything except itself. (Tautologies are, after all, true.) If you wish to persist by asking what reality is; that is, what is really, the answer is that it is what you experience it to be. Reality is as you see, hear, feel, taste and smell it, and as you live it. And it is a multifarious thing. To see this is to be a man without a position. To get out of the mind and into the world, to get beyond language and to the things is to cease to be an idealist or a pragmatist, or an existentialist, or a Christian. I am a man without a position. I do not have the philosophic position that there are no positions or theories or standpoints. (There obviously are.) I am not a sceptic or an agnostic or an atheist. I am simply a man without a position, and this should open the door to detachment" Paul Wienpahl in An Unorthodox Lecture (1956)