Gene Odening interview, Part 1 – “The TRIVIUM Method” – #049 (+ video)

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Gnostic Media's 1 Year anniversary show!

Tonight's show is an important one. Without it, it's hard to build on the information presented in the other shows. Here we begin to learn about learning, logic, critical thinking, Hegelian dialectics, Plato, the Trivium, the Quadrivium, the 7 liberal arts, and many other facets of human cognizance.

My guest is Gene Odening.
This is the story of the 3 successive stages of the "Philosophic Life" which almost all of us live. Some of us live it consciously, others, not so much.
Gene's story is one of good fortune. Early in adolescence he was given the tools to recognize and to pursue the Philosophic Life, which he undertook to do, not as a vocation but as a serious hobbyist. This is part of what the talk is about, defining those tools and following time-tested ways of applying them.
Gene lived through the first part, the Stage of Preparing For Life, in a fashion which the ancient Vedic Sages called: "Learning by grazing through the fields of the Brahma (the Creator God), in sobriety, and with a guru". He even had his own guru! He graduated from this stage in a less than sober state. At age 18 . . . He ingested the Eucharist in fact, rather than only in effigy, and had his Crown Chakra opened. That is, he had his mind blown on large doses of LSD.
When he was 20 years old, he began the second part, the Stage of Receiving From Life. This is when he began his vocational career and started his family life. Life was good. He and his wife traveled many parts of the English speaking world scouring the libraries in particular; she reading her beloved fiction; he in the reference and antiquarian sections. His quest was to find out what Money was. Money is a very elusive thing. As ghostly as it is, it takes up much of our life’s time and energy. By happenstance, in pursuit of its secrets, almost all other known topics come into view for a closer examination, including Philosophy, a treasure beyond measure.
As he reached the age of about 56, he had the realization that he was now in the final stage, the Stage of Giving Back To Life. This is when one should properly become the elder advisor, not 'offering' advise, but giving of it freely when asked. It is also the time of beginning one's journey through mentality. This is the time of: "Examining a life which has been worth living", as the Greek sage Socrates counceled.

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  27 comments for “Gene Odening interview, Part 1 – “The TRIVIUM Method” – #049 (+ video)

  1. ShreddedFeet50
    August 15, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    I got Miriam Joseph’s book. Grammar is the first subject of the trivium covered. How is it that knowing what a pronomial/definitive/connective/conjuction is and how to find one in a sentence will help me? I’m on board with the concept of the trivium, but why would I need to know how to parse a sentence into the minutia of grammar in order to develop a body of knowledge?

    • Jan Irvin
      August 15, 2011 at 8:51 pm

      If you’re not capable of breaking down a sentence into its components, subject, predicate, et al, how are you determine if the statement is true or not? If you can’t determine truth in a sentence, how do you develop a body of knowledge from it?

      Understand that Joseph’s biggest issue is seeing grammar, logic, and rhetoric as three separate studies unto themselves and not as a repeating, functioning system. The cover and title reflect this issue.

      If you’re interested in further study as to why these things are important, I recommend listening to Leonard Peikoff’s audio lecture series – Introduction to Logic, or/also Socratic Logic by Peter Kreeft (book) BEFORE going into Joseph’s book.

  2. ShreddedFeet50
    August 17, 2011 at 7:54 am

    Thanks. I understand that, but I thought the big idea in grammar was to build a body of knowledge, after which logic is used to make it understood. I would think that there are research skills that aren’t addressed in any treatise on grammar that are much more important, though not sufficient, for building a body of knowledge. Parsing a sentence seems but a small step in that direction.

    How do you find primary sources? Where are certain categories of knowledge stored? What can I find in the library of congress? I don’t really know the answers to these questions, but I feel confident that they, to greater and lesser extent, are important in the “grammar” stage of an endeavor.

    • Kristi Vice
      May 19, 2014 at 4:20 pm

      I have been trying to find primary sources, or at least what I am assuming to be primary sources, original scientific studies, and most require a current membership in an academic institution. Furthermore, I can recall looking for studies while an active student engaged in a degree program and even with access to library materials some were available for purchase only! Just google the famous Framingham study. No data from the study is freely available, and seemingly contradictory statements are available on blogs and in books that I own. I stubbornly cling to the belief that knowledge should be free and available to those willing to read, listen and share, but I am wrong. Much “grammar” is secret knowledge only available to a few.

  3. ShreddedFeet50
    August 25, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    Please respond to my critique, Jan.

    • joe lewis
      July 20, 2014 at 10:43 pm

      I want to respond to some of these questions in case Jan is too busy, or maybe it was covered elsewhere. But this is how I’ve recognized the method for achieving this almost mythical “primary” source of any information, not just in grammar alone.

      Yes, the trivium and quadrivium have incredibly more significance than achieving proper sentence structure from it. Once you become familiar with each piece of it, you will develop a symbolic understanding, and recognize how the pieces align to form the 2 components through which energy must “exchange” in order for anything to exist, according to the laws of the universe. Just as it is the only pathway for energy to manifest, it is the only method with which our minds can grasp upon to the “energy” that is higher/primary information. So the potential of its expression is profound and near limitless.

      We cannot carry what we don’t have the capacity to hold, and that is what the trivium and quadrivium teach us to do. While it is a good outline for educators to base their teachings from, it is more importantly a key, that unlocks itself like a fractal, infinitely deep for anyone whom holds the courage with which to fathom it.

      • joe lewis
        July 20, 2014 at 11:09 pm

        You shouldn’t at all be concerned of access to the “library of congress” or any classified study. Because there is such a wealth of information in literally every conceivable way, that it is impossible not to learn it if you have worked to develop your consciousness and awareness of reality. The reason that people describe it as a “holographic” universe, or say that “God” is in all things; is just because we are all just different organizations of the same molecular components. Those base components function the same way, every single time. So we can learn it from anything, as long as we are fully willing. Therefore the information is “all around you” and “already trying to teach you.” You just have to calm down and let yourself recognize larger patterns of it.

        This is how humans have recognized primary information in the past, be it indigenous shamans or classical scholars. Because this supposed “primary” or what some consider the “first” invention of the grammar that our language has evolved from, may even have come from an “extra-terrestrial” origin. So in your quest to find the “truest” information, I suggest you simply compare it with what is natural according to reality. Testing it in every way across all different fields of study. Because, to uncover reality and recognize our human nature, is our purpose for being here.

  4. carmine
    April 27, 2012 at 3:25 am

    Bill Donahue, YT bdona4556, removes ALL contradictions regarding all religions by using astrological, geological, and biological nature as the only basis for his argument. He is truly a modern day gnostic.

  5. kevin
    August 30, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    i have sister joseph’s trivium book. do you suggest reading it in any particular order?

  6. Kristi Vice
    May 19, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    My dog seems to understand a few everyday concepts such as “outside,” “breakfast,” “daddy’s home,” and”cat.”

  7. lora davis
    July 4, 2014 at 3:27 am

    I only wish that some of these speakers could become just a bit more gender sensitive. We are not all “men” and there are other pronouns than “he” that apply to 50% of the population. Please be conscious of what it’s like to go through life as a woman, but being constantly lumped in with men in any conversation. It takes just a bit of understanding and effort to make this change. Thank you.

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