Give and take.-– Everything that makes you tired of your fellow human beings can also, if you remember to let it, make you more appreciative than ever of trees, birds, turtles, clouds, and the way an otter’s head pops out of the thick river grass.
Start to finish.– The first fully formed appearance of the essence of what is usually called Western civilization occurred in, or rather as, classical Athens. The last such statement was the United States of America. Athens, however, was the idea — “the West” in theory, existing primarily in the soul. The United States of America was the West in practice, existing primarily in the body. Practice is always more comfortable and common, but far less perfect and clear, than theory. The idea is the truth of the thing, the instantiation a mere imitation, a fatally compromised attempt to bring Being down into the incomplete and ever-fading world of action.
Safety.– The only way to eliminate the risks of living among humans is to stop living among humans. The desert island is the safest place, if humans are your primary fear. Today, we are all being trained to adapt ourselves to living on our islands, free of the risks of living among humans — and free of the boons of living as humans. Human contact, friendship, goodwill, love — these are the only effective bulwarks against tyranny. The most ambitious tyrants have always made it their goal to undermine these as far as possible. This is far more possible today than ever before, thanks in part to our new and more all-seeing, all-pervasive, and all-comforting mechanisms of tyranny.