15 December 2017

from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: All The World Is Stage + News

Dear Friends,

This Sunday we are discussing: The World is a Stage.

But before we get to our topic, some news. This Sunday will be our last
meeting for 2017 but we'll be back on the 7th January. I will post the
topic for the first meeting of the New Year sometime next week.

A second matter is that Encarna kindly pointed out that members of the
PhiloMadrid Group on MeetUp might get the impression that no one is
coming to the meetings since there no or few RSVPs for the meeting. I
will rewrite the introduction to make it clear that we have two lists
for the meeting and that we don't usually RSVP.

In the meantime it will be nice if you could also subscribe to the
MeetUp group here: https://www.meetup.com/PhiloMadrid-philosophy-group/
MeetUp is free just to follow and if you can RSVP the meetings visitors
will have a coordinated view of our activity.

The following message is from Alfonso who asked me to share with you,
and to whom I must apologise for not including it last week:

Desde La Realidad Más Metafísica Y Sensible Os Mando A Todos Un Fuerte
Abrazo Y El Sentimiento De Lucha Y Placer Que Siento Viendo A La Gente
Senana Tras Semana Peleando Por Mejorar. Me Emociona Y Por Eso Lo Quiero
First Goes First And So. Just For My Friends

Finally: Miguel sending me news of exciting events regarding maths and
science in Madrid but most of these events happen before I send out the
email. Sometimes I manage to send a message on my Facebook. However, if
you want direct news about his tertulia and mailing you can contact him
via his webpage: https://sites.google.com/site/tertuliadematematicas/

------end of news
All The World Is Stage,

Matilda sent us this quote from Shakespear that bares the title of our

All the world is stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.
"As you like it" W. Shakespeare.

(NB; full text available online)

---My few ideas….
The point about such famous and memorable texts in our culture is not
that Shakespeare wrote these verses, or any other author who wrote
equally powerful verses. But that even Shakespeare found it compelling
to write about human truths and human beings and human nature. We can
escape most things but can we escape the gravitational pull of other
human beings?

Indeed human beings have a great capacity to notice and write about
human truths. But by definition, the meaning of "to notice" is to
participate in the activity as an observer. Can an actor also be a
member of the audience?

Unfortunately, Shakespeare only gives us the gist of the stages of human
kind; he does not provide us with the theme or the genre of the play we
are supposed to be acting in. So this leaves us with having to ask: what
is happening in the play? What is the play about that we see on the
world stage?

And although this is not a topic about Shakespeare, the playwright, an
observation we might make is that The World is a Stage might also be
interpreted as a case that we are actors performing some make believe
reality for the benefit of other people; and when we go home we remove
the mask. So basically we are actors performing for the public in a make
believe real time story, but without the valuable benefits of having an
Equity card. Meaning, we are amateurs and without prior experience.

Or the second interpretation is that the world is our stage where we
cast ourselves in the different roles in our own play. When we are
children we play the role of a child and so on… In other words, we are a
one person show and what is more we are also the playwright and the
stage hands.

But if we are our own playwright to our own play, do we write the verses
before the performance or do we act and then write the verses as a
record of our play? And do we have an idiot for a director? But unlike
Shakespeare, the playwright, we can neither rehearse before our
performance nor erase any mistakes. And even worse, we don't have a
prompter in the flickering shadows of the footlights to remind us of any
lines we have forgotten.

If we are all actors or mere players, who are the audience in our play?
Could we be both the audience and the actors at the same time? This is
beginning to sound like some lost chapter from a Quantum Mechanics text
book; we are both a particle and a wave. We can be here and there and
everywhere but it all depends how others chose to observe us. Indeed
people do critique our lives as if we were sometimes the playwright and
sometimes the actor or actors. You should have studies medicine instead
of history of art? And why on earth did you operate on that patient with
a feverish infection? Humans might be very good at observing people but
most times we are hopeless at look at the details and certainly blind to

Sure we are all mere players in the cycle of life; and like "Solomon
Grundy" in the English nursery rhyme we are born, age and die. But these
are just word tags, categories, a linguistic way of bring some order in
the chaos of the brain. But what is a child supposed to do? Or middle
aged person? It's not as if we are born with some innate powers like
Super Man or Super Woman; the only tool we have on the world stage is a
crude capacity to figure out probabilities and patterns. This sabre
tooth tiger looks very friendly today; she's not going to eat me!

It is also unfortunate that many people do not even reach middle age or
let alone the second childishness. Many just have cameo parts on the
world stage and some of us just barely play an extra in a crowd scene.

Of course, whichever way we reach the end of the play the conclusion is
always as Shakespeare says, "Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans
everything." But the tragedy is not that we are sans everything, but
that we are sans everything without our memories and hence we are mere
actors sans new lines in our own play. But are we?

Best and see you Sunday and if not have a Good Holiday


tel: 606081813
Blog: http://philomadrid.blogspot.com.es/
MeetUp https://www.meetup.com/PhiloMadrid-philosophy-group/

PhiloMadrid Meeting
Meet 6:30pm
Café Madrid
Calle del Meson de Panos in Opera

from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: All The World Is
Stage + News

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