1. Apr, 2014


The exuberance of youth, whether we are 20 or 70 years of age can sometimes sweep us over the edge, so that we end up in an alien land, contemplating purchases or personal or political decisions that pushed us up like a rocket into the stratosphere, there to finally reflect on the consequences. St.Augustine of Hippo (354-430 A.D.) said," Intellectual apprehension diffuses itself like an explosive flash, then the utterance of it is slow, occupies time, and is of a vastly different nature". Not bad for a 4th.C. philosopher, and theologian, with his understanding of the apogee that is reached as we grasp something, only to be moved into the slower dance of reflection. If only politicians and all involved in violence could take that on board. Interestingly it was Sir Phillip Green,head of Top Shop who in recent times, said, 'Be calm,my dear" as also repeated by David Cameron, both of whom highlighted in amusing contexts, the recurring theme of reflection. St.Thomas Aquinas picks up the next stage, that of the cardinal virtue of Prudence. 'This commands our behaviour, implementing the goal of reasoned direction of conduct (post reflection). So we have here another framework for our daily existence. The necessary passion, without which we are empty. The discipline of reflection, so that we can learn. The application of prudence to provide an effective strategy to meet our goal. We must not forget that this is a moral virtue, so not one that befits a member of the Mafia. Even earlier, Aristotle the Greek philospher reminded us that ' hounds take pleasure not in scenting hares, but in eating them.'

Overall we have here the framework for counselling ourselves and others. Who said psychology is of the modern times?

Thank you. Tom Baxter