Goals & Purity (This is not a “wait until marriage” PSA)

I think it’s really important to set goals for yourself. Goals, according to my teaching program, should be SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. With those characteristics in mind, I’ve taken the step of a setting a goal for  myself: no more marathons in 2011.

So far, I think I’m doing a fine job of sticking to my goal. I haven’t run farther than 8 miles in months so I feel like I’m really setting myself up for success. Sometimes marathons will just sneak up on you, of course, but I think that maintaining a fitness level low enough that I couldn’t run a marathon if I wanted to will help me avoid that common pitfall.

I do have another, companion goal to this one: run the Napa Valley Marathon in 2012. To that end, I’ve made a running schedule for the rest of the year and these days I do my runs with specific time & distance goals in mind.

I hope to post from time to time about marathon preparation and training. This will most likely be my last running event until after the Peace Corps so I want to give it my all and get my time into the 4:00 range.

The first post will be a mini-review of my experience with barefoot running. I tried the Merrell Pace Gloves this week. Here’s a sneak peak of the review: I’m returning the shoes to REI tomorrow.

On a completely unrelated note, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about this famous quote from Soren Kierkegaard: “Purity of heart is to will one thing.” (I plan to write a blog about that idea soon). I was thinking about it particularly in light of a mid-week visit from some representatives of the Bruderhof. I will write a post about that visit early next week — it was nostalgic, inspiring, challenging, heart-warming and thought-provoking, as well as a lot of fun.

I was reading Aldous Huxley’s The Perennial Philosophy today and I came across a quote that reminded me of Kierkegaard’s comment. The quote is from Kabir, a poet-saint who, according to Huxley, is “claimed as a coreligionist by both Moslems and Hindus.” Kabir said:

“Behold but One in all things; it is the second that leads you astray.”

What do you think he means? What do you think Kierkegaard means? I’m certainly still trying to figure it out. Maybe I’ll think about it during my run tomorrow…

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5 thoughts on “Goals & Purity (This is not a “wait until marriage” PSA)

  1. I would love to know the larger context of the Huxley quote. As for the Kierkegard quote, Plato writes about this in the Republic; in trying to come up with an accurate definition of justice the talk turns to what is injustice. They conclude that it is an injustice to spread oneself too thin (a paraphrase… of course). In the just-city, the craftsman will stick to his craft and not try to be a warrior otherwise the craft and the art of war is served an injustice. Thus, the philosopher-king will rule strictly as philosopher king; simply as one thing. Its much like Heraclitus who in trying to figure out what the world was/is stated that all is one. Unlike Thales who suggested that everything is constructed of water or Anaximander who said all is earth, wind and fire; Heraclitus said all is one (aka the logos). But he also said that all is flux- the one is change.

    Secondly, the Huxley quote has a very deterministic feel… the ‘one’ is the cause the ‘second’ is the effect.

    Lastly, this is one of those late night responses so I doubt that it is completely coherent.

    • The quote came from a chapter in the book called “That Art Thou” which was about certain similarities between Eastern religions (esp Buddhism and Hinduism) and Christianity. The point was that in Buddhism & Hinduism they believe in a universal reality of which we all are part — everything is the same thing. In Christianity, we believe that when we become believers we are incorporate in Christ and so, in some way, part of the ultimate reality, God. So, the point of the quote was that everything is one thing. (Something which Christianity doesn’t really agree with, of course).

      Why did Plato say that injustice was somebody trying to do too many things at once? What did Heraclitus believe the Logos was — was he a Christian?

  2. Its unlikely that Heraclitus was a Christian as he was a Presocratic philosopher. It’s not entirely impossible that he had a divine revelation of the Logos but it is unlikely. Also, his ‘logos’ is a little different.

    Plato said that because in doing too many thing you serve an injustice to something else. So if your a shoemaker, to do your craft complete justice (word play intended) one needs to be devoted to it.

    Also, you should just read the Republic… k? Thanks.

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