Tagged: soul

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...

Death and Learning

From a student who likes to fire random “meaning of life” questions at me, I received an e-mail with this reflection: Even if I will die tomorrow, is it meaningful for me to learn something? If not, I don’t want to. My reply: To learn is to improve your soul. So your question also means, “Even if I will die tomorrow, is it...

On the Passions

“Love is blind,” they say. The same, however, might be said just as surely about anger, envy, indignation, and above all, fear. Any passion, if allowed to become dominant in the soul, causes blindness. For by highlighting an object exclusively so as to make it appear overwhelmingly preeminent within its context — which is in effect to remove the object from its proper...

The Meaning of Life

Meaning is definition. The meaning of life is therefore essentially the definition of life. Hence, the search for the meaning of life is a search for a definition that will tell us what we are really doing when we live, or (if we believe in freedom of the will) what we ought to be doing. I emphasize the point that meaning is definition...

Philosophic Principles, Part One

Purposefulness. It is better to die never having found the answer than to live never having heard the question.

Profit. Never seek material gain from the best thing you can do; for that is the literal meaning of selling one’s soul. You will not get it back.

Teaching. Those who have just opened their eyes must be led toward the sun….

The Infinite Universe

I suspect that the universe extends as far as the range of our vision — and I mean exactly that far. For I believe there is no universe, in any of the senses that we use that term, without perception. The universe — extension and time — is in part a product of the activity of enmattered souls, which is to say limited...

Thoughts on Being a Slave

What the slaveowner knows.– A society of strong and virtuous men would never make a great cause out of liberalizing so-called “recreational drug” laws (nor would they ever have to make a cause out of it), since they would be too busy enjoying all the more essential forms of liberty to care much about such things. By contrast, if a society does make...