Milt’s controversial Classical interpretations, and Limiting Life’s possibilities to 2: The Trap of Dualistic Thinking, along with guest expert, Angela Levesque

Mia and I were at a dinner party recently, when a guy I’d only met once came rushing enthusiastically up to me.

Milt, I fuckin’ love your show, man!” he gushed, crushing my hand in his. “Mia is so unpredictable and she’s just spot-on with the advice, and you, my man…”

I waited for the remainder of his statement, but he just stood staring at me. “I, uh, what?” I finally asked.

Well, you, geez, you’re like this smooth-voiced prophet from the past, man, with all your Socrates bullshit, I just love it!”

‘Socrates bullshit’? Now, I get those kind of twisted compliments every now and then, and in this case, I just thanked the guy and was about to continue hobnobbing, when he continued, “I mean, it’s bullshit, right? You’re just making that shit up, right?”

I turned, “Uh, no, actually whenever I do stick a little Classical Era philosophy in the show, I’m not just making it up, believe it or not, everything I say is pretty much taken from the original texts, I just put it into modern language, but why do you think it’s bullshit and I’m making it up?”

He shot a glance towards a woman barreling down upon us. “Well, my wife here thinks it’s bullshit, she studied philosophy in college and has never heard anything like what you talk about from her professors.”

That doesn’t surprise me…” I said, as the woman suddenly stepped right up into my face. “Milt Quibner? Hey, I have a bone to pick with you!”

Hmm, not ‘hello’ or anything remotely polite; oh well…

Look, where are you getting your information on the Classics from? Because frankly, I think you are doing a disservice to them!”

I smiled, “Oh? How is that?”

Well, in one of your recent shows, you/

Milt, ya frickin’ genius, you!” A large hand with an even larger body behind it suddenly thrust itself between us. My old friend, Clark, lumberjack, fishermen, gold miner, off-road warrior. “Fuckin’ amazing, man, great to see you!”

I made the introductions and could just sense that this woman had some ax to grind with her, but I have to tell you, friends, increasingly I just do not have the interest or energy to engage in defensive struggles, especially when it comes to my views of the Classical material. I have been ‘studying’ Classical and, more importantly, the Pre-Classical era philosophy, theater and history for over 35 years, and while I am not an expert, I am capable of offering an educated opinion on the essential arguments from most of the texts from that period. Further, I refuse to wallow in academic trivial pursuits and prefer simplified, more general interpretations which I can use, rather than fighting over particulars that nobody really gives shit about anyway.

I decided, instead of defending myself, to use another tact. “We were just talking about some of my crazy interpretations of philosophy,” I offered, turning to the woman. “Not everybody believes, Clark, that what I’m saying bears any resemblance to the truth, you know.”

Ah, fuck that, man,” he said, instinctively turning to her, “Milt’s got more knowledge of that shit than anybody I ever heard, and you know why I love this guy? It’s because he makes sense and has the balls to say it, you ever seen his library?” The woman, still nameless, shook her head ‘no’. “Fuck me, man, you sit in his office and point to a book and he’ll tell you everything interesting about it, hell, I never have to even read ’em, Milt makes it easy for me!”

She replied, “Well, I was just saying to Milt how some of his interpretations are a little far from traditional academic positions, and/

Oh, fuck them academics, man!” Clark bellowed. “Them academics are fuckin’ morally bankrupt, and besides, like Milt says, philosophy is supposed to make your fuckin’ life better but nowadays, it only makes you into a cynical fuckin’ critic, fuck that!”

Ping! Clark stood staring at her for a moment before he shook everybody’s hand again and sauntered off, leaving me and the couple facing each other. Now, I am a student of antiquity, and I know the essence of that period is one of dignity and grace, thus I applied some in this instance.

Clark’s a real hoot but I love the guy,” I laughed, “Anyway, there are many different ways to look at the Classical period, which is why it’s as vital if not more so today than ever, and as for my interpretations, as you say, they may range far from traditional academic positions, but I assure you, I have a couple very stern Greek taskmasters metaphysically hovering over my shoulder, inspecting every word I pen, so if you differ with me, you probably should take it up with them!”

Who’s them?” she asked.

I smiled broadly, “Why, the Old Man himself, Socrates, and his little brother, Demetrius Toteras, they don’t let me get away with shit, since we share, of course, the same daimon…”

And with that, I excused myself and went and got myself a glass of 12-star Grand Fine Metaxa, ah


Speaking of Socratic thought…

This week’s MiltnMia Show:

Limiting Life’s possibilities to 2: The Trap of Dualistic Thinking, along with guest expert, Angela Levesque

After Milt introduces the show and that he’ll be going solo, and has some words about their guest expert segment at the end of the show with Angela Levesque, an intuitive lifestyle consultant, awareness coach and energy healer, he mentions their 2 relationship booklets, The Get Over Yourself! Handbook on Cheating and Betrayal and The Get Over Yourself! Handbook on Creating Happiness in a Relationship, before Milt speaks of today’s theme, The Trap of Dualistic Thinking.

Milt reads one of 11 emails he’s received asking more about his repeated references to Dualistic Thinking, “Milton, I was sailing along listening to the show when you started talking about Dualistic Thinking, something I had never heard of and now you have me really intrigued, I understand black and white, good and bad but can you actually explain what is the problem with it?”

Milt then outlines his views on why we need to expand beyond duality, along with some historical and philosophical references:

Most people are not aware of their thought processes and simply go about using the only language they’re familiar with…Dualistic Thinking narrows your range of possibilities down to 2, and we know now that in every situation there are always more than 2 ways to view things…Dualistic thinking is really anti-humanistic, it isn’t flexible, it locks you into one or the other category…

During the Socratic period in Greece, Socrates wanted to know what the standards were that all the crazy poets were judging things on, he went around asking, ‘OK, what is truth, what is beauty, what is the Good?’ He wanted to know the standard, the highest point possible, and he wanted things definitive and absolute…his student, Plato, said, ‘You got the Ideal, which we’ll set up as the standard because it’s perfect, and then you got the Real, the things that decay and change and are not perfect’. He set up these two models and they were immediately adopted as the way its’ gotta be, it’s gotta be one way or the other, and no damn wiggle room in between, and out of that dualism, you have religion coming in and using Dualistic Thought by attaching morals to it, giving us Heaven and Hell, good and bad, right and wrong with no wiggle room, right? From Socrates to the Church, you have absolute states that are fixed and that you gotta conform with…now religion wants you to believe duality is fine, but any thinking person can see there are always more possibilities to a situation that 1 or the other…”

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Opening day MLB is fast approaching, and once again, the pundits and experts have given my SF Giants no chance at all to repeat. Now, we’ve just won our 3rd Championship in 5 years, so you’d think we’d earned a little love, but nope, them East Coast Boys just will not admit we are a deadly playoff team. No problem, we’ll just do our thing and if we’re fortunate enough to make the playoffs, then we’ll see who remains standing.

Gotta actually play the games, you know…



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