Tagged: meaning of life

It’s the end, but…

We are watching something remarkable, namely a civilization committing suicide. Those of us who see clearly what is happening have traveled, in the course of just a few short weeks, through several stages of realization: from bemusement at people’s susceptibility to media manipulation, to frustration at their deference to excessive authority, to alarm at their willingness to sacrifice societal foundations in the name...

What Not to Do

Popular sages and life-advice dispensers are very good at issuing ready-made, one-size-fits-all commandments on how to live well. They tend not to be quite so good at following their own advice, however, partly for the obvious reason that most easily-synopsized “rules for living” must be kept so nebulous or generic in form that one who is clever enough, and motivated enough, will always...

Thoughts on Death and Eternity

A few new thoughts on the current state of things, proffered to those visiting this site for the same reason I maintain it, namely as an increasingly rare port in an increasingly violent storm. In other words, these are thoughts for the happy few, we lonely and “socially-distanced” holdouts for reason and civility in a world gone stark raving mad. “We have to...

Socrates on the View from Our Hollows

Several days ago, I wrote a short piece about Socrates’ description of the Earth to his companions, as he sat in his prison cell awaiting the hemlock. Today, as a spiritual escape from the moral prison formed of modern politics and the mass hysteria of coronavirus, I would like to reflect on one of the key themes of that famous episode in the...

Standing Apart

You are not better merely for standing apart — many who stand apart are only fools or fugitives. But neither can you become better until you stand apart. Those in the crowd hate the one who stands apart, because they lack the courage to risk becoming better themselves, and failing — and because they fear being left behind. Nothing angers the crowd more,...

A Thought on Wasting Time

Regular readers will be aware that I often return, perhaps somewhat obsessively, to the theme of not wasting time. I can never emphasize enough, however, that when I speak of wasting time, or invoke the personal motto of sorts that I use to exhort my serious students to improve their lives — “I don’t waste time” — I am not even remotely concerned...

Once More Around the Universe

One year ago today, I was sitting in a hospital bed awaiting surgery for a broken foot, trying to distract myself from the thought of losing my lifelong pastime and natural condition — walking — for an indefinite period of time. That evening, my chosen method of meditative self-discipline was to write about my experience for Limbo. Thus began a series of four...

Chance and Fate: Thank you, Neil Peart

I spend a good deal of my time on this website discussing the significance of suffering, the importance of seeking meaning in life through redeeming pain and failure, and the need to reject the all-too-human temptation to mistake stability and comfort for fulfillment and happiness. And in my private discussions with good students I come to know well, I always emphasize the urgency...

Meanwhile, back in the cosmos…

Some weeks ago, a student who knows a great deal about my character and interests contacted me with the urgent advice to run outside as quickly as possible, so as not to miss the gorgeous moonrise she was witnessing from a bus across town. Yesterday, the same young woman contacted me with similar urgency, at roughly the same late afternoon hour, to ask,...

The Body

A Musing on Pleasure.— Imagine a door so rare and enticing in its loveliness that passing through its frame engenders an immediate obsession with the act of passing through as such, and thus an overwhelming desire to open that door again, and then again, until one can hardly stand the thought of ever walking away from it, for fear of losing contact with...