Tagged: soul

The Climbers

Two climbers in different fields can understand and respect one another, and perhaps even be friends — with a wink. Two climbers in the same field can understand and respect one another, and may even appear to like one another, albeit with a slight sneer. But to the climber, nothing is more offensive, more viscerally disruptive, than the presence of a non-climber within...

Living Against the Age

In this era of popular psychological pseudoscience, which systematically mistakes context for causality, it is common to hear laments about men who beat their wives “because” their fathers beat their mothers, or children with drug-addicted parents who “inevitably” succumb to the habit themselves. It is certainly true that context, particularly intimate human context, influences character development and the relative visibility of available options,...

Walking Away from the Body

Many people walk regularly, but we do not all walk for the same reasons. If you walk primarily for your bodily health, or to “get your blood flowing,” then your walking is not similiar to mine. I walk every day, as much as possible, and often for hours. And I do so, in the final analysis and in ultimate effect, for one reason...

Freedom is…

Freedom is not caring what they think, not fearing what they say, and not dwelling on what they might do. Freedom is listening to them when it suits you, but without ever needing to listen — and speaking when it suits you, but without ever needing them to hear. Freedom is seeing where you have changed, without fear of the sight — and...

Death, Immortality, and Courage

Late modernity, having adopted na├»ve materialism as its religion, has dismissed the belief in the immortality of the soul, not merely as a logical consequence of rejecting the soul itself, but rather morally, objecting to the belief in an immortal soul as a kind of cowardice, specifically a refusal to accept the “hard truth” of life’s brevity and the absolute finality of death...

The View From the Stars

A student with whom I engage in regular philosophical discussions sent me the following musing, after admiring the night sky during a full moon: A few stars reveal their existence by the tiny but clear sparkle, and I think of how tiny I will be from the point of view of the stars. How short human life will be, and how small some...

Heraclitus and Writing

Pigs delight in the mire more than in clean water. (Heraclitus, Fragment 13) As a writer, I believe I have consistently striven to find the clean water. But striving and succeeding are two different things, and all searches begin in the fog. Hence, I concede that I may, in spite of my best intentions, have had “my moment among the pigs” — which...

Loaves and Fishes

Objective wealth.– Wealth, understood not in its typical, purely relative sense, but as an objective state of being, is not a measure of how much you possess, but of how little you need; not of what you earn, but of what you save; not of how much you can spend, but of how little you waste. Needless to say, poverty may properly be...

Three Forms of Government

Tyranny is a gossip whispering anxiously about his neighbors. Democracy is a crowd alternately screaming its envy and singing its lust. Freedom is a lively and unconstrained conversation among equals. The tyrant and the democrat are therefore united in their hatred of the free man — the former, because the free man appears impervious to gossip, and is therefore a threat to the...

Dionysus for Literalists

If every social event, to be enjoyed to the fullest, must be accompanied by alcohol, this means that the real “event” is the drinking itself, while the social gathering is merely the accompaniment or sidelight. That is, if eating with friends, chatting with friends, camping with friends, and commiserating with friends, all have one thing in common — alcohol — then one is...