Tagged: the soul

The Question of the Body

As much as our modern temperament is inclined to demand simple reductions of everything — simple reductions being the wisdom of the common man, suitable for an egalitarian age that has elevated commonness to an ideal — there is in truth no single question that defines or epitomizes philosophical investigation. Rather, the essential questions of the philosophic pursuit may be represented as manifestations...

Humans As Matter

We are born almost exclusively matter. Our aim is to become almost exclusively soul. This trajectory of nature, our teleology, though rarely perceived and barely understood by those few who do perceive it, must be the touchstone of all our self-understanding and all our judgments and choices. Today, however, men strive to maintain and perpetuate their most fully material condition, regarding the gradual...

Conditions of the Philosophic Life

Recently, a serious student who has embarked with gusto on the path of philosophy mused, in an e-mail, about what it means, definitionally speaking, to “be who she is.” Let’s say this is a note for the future, in case I might lose myself someday. What if I lose myself and forget who I was? Read this: “From myself in the past (2022)...

Advice For Living Today

Do not attempt to live in ordinary ways — to “carry on with your life as well as possible” — during times of crisis and decline. When oppression is ascendant, liberation naturally becomes, or ought to become, the central theme of practical life. If it does not, then you are living in detachment from your true situation, which is never advisable and may...

Random Reflections

Wishing for a world in which everyone is free to mind his own business is all well and good. But as soon as you encounter someone who does not share your wish, you have a problem to solve, and restating your original wish a hundred times will not solve it….

Free Will and Failure

You are obliged by the most basic necessities of nature to make choices. You should therefore make your choices with the greatest degree of attention, the widest range of understanding, and the most serious appreciation for the extent to which your freedom to choose in any given circumstance is a gift that will come only once. But there is one more element of...

An Energy Crisis

The world’s current fidgeting over rising energy prices amid the Russian war of attrition in Ukraine, as though our daily convenience is reason enough to let a rabid tyrant go ahead and blow out the doors of his cage, got me to thinking what a wonderful metaphor this impending “energy crisis” has become for so much of what has gone miserably wrong with...

The Freedom You Have

Montaigne wore a medallion around his neck engraved with the words, “What do I know?” It was his way of continually reminding himself of the necessary humility at the heart of the sometimes hubristic philosophic quest. My version of Montaigne’s medallion is the home screen of my cell phone, which, for about six months, has been adorned with my customized welcome message, “I...

Stigmatizing Human Breath

I just read a new headline from The Washington Post that absolutely crystallizes the essence of our hysteria pandemic: “The coronavirus is airborne. Here’s how to know if you’re breathing other people’s breath.” The details of the article, urging the use of carbon dioxide monitors as a proxy gauge for determining whether the air in any given space has traces of human breath...

The Finish Line

As soon as you concretely identify the finish line you are seeking, you begin to tire, until the last stages of the race, as your mind increasingly anticipates that approaching line, come to define exhaustion itself. For upon telling yourself, “I only need to make it to that point,” the soul immediately calculates how much of its energy will be needed to travel...