One long time Magic the Gathering content creator by the name of RJ, also known as flourishingmusic79 on YouTube, recently began a new series called “Seeds of Flourishing.” Naturally, since I was already subscribed to his channel, I found this a curious new direction for his channel to take. While he still does set musings and other Magic related content, his focus has become on this series which goes into various pursuits that have contributed to his eudaimonia.
According to the almighty Wikipedia on the subject of eudaimonia:
“In the works of Aristotle, eudaimonia was the term for the highest human good in older Greek tradition. It is the aim of practical philosophy-prudence, including ethics and political philosophy, to consider and experience what this state really is, and how it can be achieved.”
Since most people have no clue about Greek terminology and high-concept philosophy, RJ decided to go with the term flourishing instead, as most people have an idea what that means. As an adjective, flourishing means “developing rapidly and successfully” or “thriving.” In the context of a verb, flourishing refers to “growing or developing in a healthy or vigorous way, especially as the result of a particularly favorable environment.” While using flourishing in the context as RJ uses it does not quite exactly match up with eudaimonia, what he essentially is referring to is how flourishing intellectually, mentally, and physically can help one achieve that desired state Aristotle cited in his work.
Anywho, RJ breaks his series down into four major categories, which first began under a different title “Stuff That Helped With My Eudemonia (sic)”. One type of video deals with literature that helps you to open your mind up to new ideas and possibilities. A second category of topics deals with music, which is one of my favorite topics in general. The third category has to do with finding peace and fulfillment in the enjoyment of nature, and of being at rest, something I must admit I don’t do nearly enough. The fourth is actually looking at various life philosophies in depth, which is particularly fascinating to me, considering I actually knew what eudaimonia was already (AKA I am a big-time philosophy nerd.)
I’ve learned particularly a lot from RJ’s videos about certain literature that’s well known in the United Kingdom, where RJ is originally from, but that’s not widely known about in the United States. These include the DK Big Ideas Books, which cover a lot of big ideas in an easily accessible way. While I’ve actually bought a few books in the series, I’ve found them to be a bit hit or miss. But, the one he recommends specifically in his video, which was in his initial series of Eudemonia videos about the DK Books, is The Movie Book, which I purchased used from AbeBooks and thoroughly enjoyed.
From this DK book series he recommends, I also particularly enjoyed The Sherlock Holmes Book and am currently reading The Science Book. I do plan to acquire more of these books, and each of them has certainly given me quite a breadth of topics to consider for essays in the future.
But, the one video that inspired me to actually go as far to recommend this video series, and RJ’s channel in general, is the one that was posted on September 9, 2022 entitled “Seeds Of Flourishing – Ep. 15 – 1001 Albums – Pere Ubu – The Modern Dance.”
The reason that this video struck me as particularly important to comment on is three-fold. First of all, it informed me about this book that’s been updated numerous times called 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die, which exists as a list on Rate Your Music for reference. As a big time audiophile and collector of vinyl records, this could be a handy reference for albums I’ve been missing in my life.
Secondly, it turns out that there’s a podcast called 1001 Albums which actually follows said list and talks about the albums in depth, the 1001 Album Club. RJ himself plans to make entries from this 1001 Albums list for his own Seeds of Flourishing series that I’m currently recommending, and I’m looking forward to these episodes.
Thirdly, this episode inspired me to actually look into these albums for myself, potentially as posts much like this one, analyzing not only the song, but more importantly, the context in which it was made and its impact on the greatest history of musicology.
There are a few other highlights from this series I’ve particularly enjoyed, including his mentions of Connections TV series from James Burke and the BBC podcast In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg.
If you’re looking for new ways to expand your intellectual horizons, as well as learning about new philosophies, music you’ve missed out on, and ways to better enjoy your every day life, definitely check out the flourishingmusic79 channel. His videos are criminally under-viewed, and I hope to change that with the writing of this glowing review of his work.
I will be sharing other video series and YouTube channels I particularly enjoy in future posts. Do you have any YouTube video series or channels you particularly enjoy? Leave them in the comments below!