Magnum Opus – Our great work


At age 19, I came across the term Magnum Opus meaning “great work” in Latin. It usually refers to an artist’s best or most iconic piece for example Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. I’ve interpreted the term in my life to represent my purpose. The great work that I am to do in the world. A year later, after frustration with college, I had an idea of a “creative “sanctuary”, a place where people could educate themselves and express their interests in S.A.M.M. (science,art,math and music). It would have an auditorium to host shows and seminars. A library/book store for people to access knowledge. Possibly even include piano labs for musicians, and whatever else possible as the idea grows. It’s a place with no goal other than to release creative urges or hone a skill among others with similar (or even better dissimilar) interests. A creative community of sorts. Upon hearing this most people say “isn’t that what school/college is about?”  Yes to an extent. Schools do hone skills and have vast creative resources but that fact is overshadowed by the pursuit of the degree. I was listening to a talk by Alan Watts on the futility of Self-Improvement. He said the joys of learning French should be “the ability to speak French…and having fun with French people” and when you put a degree on it “the degree becomes the main point in a game of one upmanship”. 
The root of education is latin for “to bring out” or “to lead forth”. sadly college usually “brings out” the capitalist ideal of competition and profit motive rather than “leading us forth” along the road that leads to the love of learning, knowledge and creativity. Whenever my family tries to convince me to go to college they mention the degree say I need the “credentials” so I can be successful rather than the community of like minds and resources I could use to further myself. Honestly, I’d rather not be in the college community because it’s tainted by most people’s worries of repaying loans and finding a job and if worry is misuse of imagination college culture cultivates and attitude opposite to my goals which is the expansion of the imagination. For this reason, I quit college in order to pursue my magnum opus.

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