The Form

The idea of “the Forms,” a la Plato, has always been interesting to me. My understanding is that at its simplest, it says that everything in reality is based on some ideal, true, form of which reality is merely a shadow (literally in the famous allegory of the cave). This brings some type of objectivity to our world that may otherwise might be absent. Of course it depends on whether or not you believe in such forms.

Anyways, that’s not what I wanted to talk about. I wanted to talk about forms as we may apply them to ourselves. We all have this picture of our ideal self, in our ideal life. What does that look like? And what steps get us closer to that realization.

I’m struggling on what to write next though, because there is a bit of a paradox. Maintaining this idea of a form creates an expectation-reality gap. But what if part of the form I envision form myself includes self-acceptance. Can I be happy with myself, but still want to improve? The ardent optimist/ possiblist in me says of course you can! Wanting to improve can mean accepting yourself now, but wanting better for yourself in the future. But doesn’t that imply discontent in the present? If I ever get to where I want to be will that be enough? Just like with the forms our reality maintains an asymptotic relationship with our ideal self, it can get closer and closer, but never truly reach it. But again that depends on what you believe.

Here’s where I think I land, and literally this is just my thoughts as they are coming to me, I haven’t thought about it this way before: The current form I had in mind was one without discontent. It assumed that acceptance means fully content, but that is not the case. Just like you can’t have happy without sad, courage without fear, etc; satisfaction/ being content requires a conception of dissatisfaction. Acceptance is the acknowledgement of that duality, and the duality (or plurality) of all things.

One thought on “The Form”

  1. I think about this too! How can you strive for aspirations while simultaneously staying present? Recently I’ve come to think of my present circumstances, no matter what’s going on in life, as an investment just as much as it is an end goal. The striving doesn’t end, but it’s helped create an appreciation for every leg of a neverending marathon towards this “ideal.”

    Also, I really liked what you said about the duality of things. Sometimes the happiest moments are results of moments of pain. Life – it keeps ya on your toes!

    Liked by 1 person

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