Estate planning is the realm of normal, physical every-day reality. Financial security and protecting your family’s lifestyle are important goals, especially in these troublesome economic times; but building wealth and becoming aware of the (somewhat depressing) legal and political landscape should not be the only goals in life. Life is so much more than that.
One of my favorite philosophers is Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860). He recognized the brutal nature of the bloody, savage physical world we occupy. Nature is “red in tooth and claw”. Violence and injustice are widespread. Humans are constantly at war with each other, both physically and economically.
Schopenhauer believed there is a temporary escape…. in the arts – painting, sculpture, poetry, drama, and above all, music. The object of science is the universal that contains many particulars; the object of art is a particular that contains the universal. Art is greater than science and law, which are laborious accumulations of cautious reasoning. You need both science and art, both sides of the mind as depicted in the cover of the 1978 Rush album Hemispheres. The two figures on the album cover represent Apollo, the Greek God of wisdom and reason; and Dionysus, the Greek God of wine, ritual madness, fertility, theatre and religious ecstasy.
Music is much more powerful and penetrating than all the other arts because it affects our feelings directly and not through the medium of ideas. It speaks to something much more subtle and profound than the intellect. Symmetry in the visual arts is what rhythm is to music. Symmetry is rhythm standing still. As Goethe said, architecture is frozen music. Forgetting the individual self and its material interest is an elevation of the mind. Put your Estate Planning War Chest in perspective. It’s essential to make a living, but not as vital as an awareness, appreciation and enjoyment of a much deeper reality.