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In His Own Words: The Philosopher

In His Own Words: The Philosopher

By Mitch Kato

Mitch is also an accomplished artist.  He stands next to some of his 2013 contributions to the Summer of the Arts Exhibit.
Mitch is also an accomplished artist. He stands next to some of his 2013 contributions to the Summer of the Arts Exhibit.

There was a period of my life where I had some time on my hands so I signed up for an online college. I was intending on getting a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy which was long overdue. American Public University was the only online school that was offering that degree. The school was demanding. But I really developed my reading and writing. Even the English Composition class was geared towards conservative learning, which I appreciated. I have had a life-long interest in philosophy. Then after I graduated from there I started my own club in Reston. So that was 2003. It took me a while to build up membership. We even invited several speakers. Then we settled at the Reston Used Book Shop. During one club meeting, I argued that everything is possible. Scientific laws are there, but those are bounded only by past records. But there is no law that says we must obey past records. Future is always new. Future can transgress laws as matter of fact. That being said, there still might be laws that can be transgressed; because everything is possible. We as scientists have this notion that we can draw out physics in certain coordination.

I then went to GMU and rather than studying philosophy, I chose to take several courses in religion and Chinese. I thought that my Chinese philosophy teacher was excellent. He wrote a manuscript of Tao Te Ching showing me that there is philosophy apart from the West. Inspired by Tao, I wrote the following poems:

Good is Evil
Evil is Good
Truth is Truth

The other poem:

More is Good
Less is Better
Nothing is Best

Recently, I was the president of the philosophy club at GMU. Also, I have a philosophy class that I teach at the Drop-In Center. The first several classes were hellish. I wasn’t sure what role I had to play. I started off with the Western history of philosophy. That didn’t go so well. Then I started lecturing on the three major hermeneutics: Freud, Marx and Nietzsche. The class shared the following observations: the students found Freud amusing; Marx, they said, was all abstraction; and they found Nietzsche, with his eternal occurrence, negative. As I continued to look for interesting curricula, I looked around my room for something and hit upon a collection of CDs. These were Teaching Company CDs. The CD on Buddhism caught my eye, though I thought it might be too out there, I found the teacher was excellent--so tried it out. Also, I had the students compete in a philosophy contest. This was met with mild success. Every one wrote something philosophical. Then they received a book. Some students dove into their books while others abandoned them.

Of course, all these adventures were made possible by Pathway Homes. Because I was given a quiet place to contemplate, I was able to achieve excellence in my studies. Same with my art work. Nicole, our dedicated landlord/counselor, is always there whenever I have my “minor problems.” It is an amazing security to have a permanent residence and a time to think.

Recipe for Recovery
1. Mentally ill must take his medicine.
2. Mentally ill must show for his doctor’s appointments.
3. If 1 and 2 are reasonably followed, mentally ill is entitled to a government check (SSI and SSDI or etc.)
4. After 1 and 2 the medical community will learn about mental illness medicine and its physical and mental effects.
5. After 1, 2 and 3 the mentally ill will live a normal life.
6. After 1, 2 and 3 the mentally ill’s future, the sky is the limit.

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