Mirror To The Universe—The Good Life
By Rob Mohr
“The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge.”“The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge.”—Bertrand Russell
Knowledge and wisdom are acquired through what we learn each time we fail, or, are thrown off course by unexpected events or encounters. Fortunately, wisdom, once acquired, prepares us to see more clearly and anticipate what we will inevitably encounter in the future. Anticipation, seeing optional paths to navigate what lies ahead, is an essential quality in the good life.
Fortunately, here at Lakeside, we have time enough so that friends become family that we love and cherish. And where, if we remain alert, we share a rich environment for the accumulation of knowledge. Here, a good life is possible, but only if we have the wisdom to enjoy it.
A key to the good life was encapsulated in the Delphic motto “know yourself.” When I assess my own life, two basics emerge: I approach everything creatively, while anticipating the future, aware of multiple paths, one of which will enable a quality life. Creativity is essential for life to thrive and develop, and is the catalyst for the evolution of human culture and society.
Think about one of your children, grandchildren, or someone young whom you mentor. What would you like for their future? The same way of life you have, or more?
We could start with their being free from fear that reduces flourishing. Free from violence, of no or inadequate health care, of a destroyed environment, of no income, no home, no hope. Assurance of a full education, pleasure found in harmony with nature, complete security, and virtue as a psychological habit, would be good starting points. To be treated justly, have a spiritual grounding and enjoy the spiritual dimensions of life, understand the value of friends and family, enjoy the benefits of technology and artificial intelligence, and to live in a world without violence or hate for others.
All or most of these possible futures are things we struggle to gain. We fear the loss of income, health care, and our environment. Today, our security is tenuous at best. War and violence are inevitable, economic uncertainty, pandemics without health care are more and more likely. Currently we struggle for virtually all of the benefits that we hope the youth of the world will have.
But there is a possible future, one where AI, robotics, and technology will free us for more creative lives, while producing an income adequate to support secure lives for humans. A future where everything that can be automated will be automated. Supercomputers and those who program them will enable profound economic, social, and political changes that benefit humanity.
People will be liberated from hard manual work, or servitude providing comfort for others, will experience a drastic increase of leisure and creative time for all of the arts. Travel will be possible for everyone. Improved full access to health care will increase life expectancy and comfort. Is all of this and more possible? In Denmark, residents no longer fear the future; all of the essentials for a good life are provided equally to everyone. But such a future will require a different, more creative mindset, a vision for a better, healthful, and progressive life.
Life is a valuable and wonder-filled gift we all receive. And a good life no longer defined by one’s job title, but rather by creativity, harmony, and freedom from fear has finally become a realistic goal. We should rejoice, but will we? A wise Danish philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard, anticipated the choice we face today when he wrote, “Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.”
Might we willingly ensure a good life for generations to come?