Tagged: soul

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...

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...