To be is to do — Socrates
To do is to be — Jean Paul Sartre
Do be do be do — Frank Sinatra
I posted this quote for the sole reason that it always makes me smile. But as I looked at the list of names, and their sequence, I realized that, in a simplistic way, these simple words also reflect our evolution of philosophy and thought. Socrates lived more than 2,400 years ago and his influence on thought is legendary. Jean Paul Sartre was a prominent French philosopher at the peak of the twentieth century. Frank Sinatra was born only ten years after Sartre but has come to embody a later generation.
One must not think ill of the paradox, for the paradox is the passion of thought, and the thinker without paradox is like the lover without passion: a mediocre fellow.
— Søren Kierkegaard, from Philosophical Fragments
At one point in my life I was formally studying philosophy. Not coincidentally, I was also struggling deeply with various aspects of Christianity and religion. Kierkegaard became a hero. He was a troubled soul who was as prolific at journaling as I was, and who shared many of the same intellectual struggles I was contemplating.
I have always relished the paradox. …