Humanities: Appolonian/Dionysian split | March 11, 2010

BACKGROUND: This was an essay for a class called “Humanities”. It is necessary for general ed., and it was an easy class. I personally however, didn’t like the class and the curriculum is a joke. The basic concept of the class is “The art of being human”, which, that statement in itself is ridiculous. Anyway, I wrote this a couple months back, and I wrote this paper with no real thought, even some of the events I made up purely for effect, and I still did poorly, in my opinion on using those events for the paper.

A Degas

     The gifts of humanities are beauty, beautiful movement, language, ideas and a deeper sense of the past. My favorite has to be beautiful movement. Me, being an athlete, I find beautiful movement in people, and to understand the difficulty, grace and precision in every movement an athlete makes. In football, to see juke moves, and when I see them, my mind slows them down to see every muscle pull in their own specific ways in order to complete the task given to the athlete in that moment, so many parts working together, and do with such precision, is beautiful. Also, in track, I run hurdles, and to see the body move in such rhythm, and the grace to contort the body and also move so gracefully, not slowing down because of a hurdle but running through each one. To do these things in sports, each little detail in the form, in their actions, to seemingly defy physical restraints with their mastery and gracefulness, is beautiful to see. It makes gives a sense of awe, it gives a hope of potential, of what we can do with what we have. Degas, gives this sense of grace, and captures movement, action, and the energy from the stage in his still paintings. With his ballerinas, they exhibit life, and invoke memories of sport, with the mood of the paintings. Beautiful movement can be found not only in people and sport, but in nature.

The Great Wave

Nature, with the oceans crashing, trees in the wind, even machinery in a factory, they have beauty in their motions; The rhythm that comes from them, the serenity in them. Hokusai’s painting, the eighteenth of the “twenty-four views of Mount Fuji”, depict a violent wave but show a power in the motion, and it leaves the scenes to the imagination, making it alive in the viewer’s mind. This scene that is seen so vividly in my mind animates itself because of the artist, this beauty found in nature is emphasized by the artist, and brought forth, showing the beauty of motion.


     The apollonian and Dionysian split in humanities is describing the type of character one may have and the two categories they are split into. Apollonian is the critical thinker, who needs order and needs structure, and needs to understand what’s going to happen. Dionysian, however, is the opposite. They are more spontaneous, they live in the moment, they don’t need an explanation and they lean more on intuition as their guide. I believe I am an apollonian, I find security in knowing what’s going to happen, I plan a lot, and don’t take that much of an interest in what is around me, but more so, what I can do with what is around me. I look to utilize, and I critically analyze things, and I plan out everything that I do. That has always been the way my mind works. Even when there doesn’t seem to be a need for analysis, I do anyway. One example is, when I was at the movies, in a “popcorn experience”, I was watching “Avatar”, a sci-fi action movie, while watching it, I contemplated how the movie budget would affect future movie productions and how it will affect moviegoers, I also thought of the underlying tones of the war and contrasted it to similarities of the current war. On another level, thought of the subtle hint toward interconnectivity of everything around being made into a natural environment that to me was a view on the internet. I always, when writing essays outline them in my head, and I keep organized almost everything I have, and I have found I feel more secure when I do these little things. Apollonian is my nature, and it’s a more stressful than I like.


     Critical thinking, I do a lot, as mentioned in the above paragraph, but I do it in unnecessary ways, just because its second-nature, and it gives my mind work and exercise. I would actually prefer not to critically think as much as I do. Even as an athlete, critical thinking is necessary, but in sports, to be good, it’s a necessity. Just as in chess, you have to think multiple moves ahead, and in sports, knowing how to make the best decision, in the moment it happens, but also for decisions that go have affects that go through the course of the game; More so in the coaching than in the playing mostly. One example, was when I was planning to go to Las Vegas for New Year’s Eve, I had to plan the trip, and foresee all the expenses and also think about any extra random expenses, it was good that I did, because my friend ended up getting a tattoo there. It was fortunate that I forecasted that. Time too, I calculated, with the time it took and took into account traffic as a factor. Another time, I lost my mp3 player’s adapter, I thought of all the places it could be before doing anything, I searched for it and couldn’t find it

 anywhere. Then I went to Bestbuy, and they were selling it for $25, I thought that was a lot of money, but didn’t know what to do. So I walked around the store, and thought for a while, then, I thought of all of the other places I could get it, a couple days later I found it on eBay and bought it for $7.


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