Seneca the Wise

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“there are many things that we concede exist; what their qualities are we do not know. … Why, then, are we surprised that comets, such a rare spectacle in the universe, are not yet grasped by fixed laws and that their beginning and end are not known, when their return is at vast intervals? … The time will come when diligent research over very long periods will bring to light things which now lie hidden. A single lifetime, even though entirely devoted to the sky, would not be enough for the investigation of so vast a subject. … There will come a time when our descendants will be amazed that we did not know things that are so plain to them. … Some day there will be a man who will show in what regions comets have their orbit, why they travel so remote from other celestial bodies, how large they are and what sort they are. Let us be satisfied with what we have found out, and let out descendants also contribute something to the truth” — Seneca in Natural Questions VII, 25.

A Happiness Project

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The chronic reading of self-help books continues. This week, it’s The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.
Things that i want from life:
I want to be loved and to love. Both of these are well on their way to accomplishment.
I want a better relationship with my parents. (working on Mom first)
I want a dog.
I want to get more exercise. (see above)
I want a weekly adventure. (started a monthly one… see above 2)
I want to learn to turn down the crazy adventures.
I want to eat better.
I want to live in a jungle/greenhouse. (in progress)
I want to write a novel. (Begun)
I want to be a good correspondent (not doing too badly at this one).
I want to read good fiction (doing better at this).
I want to be a good cook. This means mastering bread-making (done!), pie crust (in progress) and soufflés.
I want to play games (board or e, it doesn’t matter).
I want to be a great teacher (and i am).
I want to be a successful academic.
I want to be a great lover. (need more practice!)

Humiliations

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The failure becomes more and more visible for everyone else to see.

Red, glaring, ever an elephant in the room.

Wearing a bright orange, plaid tablecloth as a dress.

Tomorrow it will be a great story and we’ll all chuckle loudly,

but for now, for now it just terrifies.

On Human Civilization

Aside

“Human civilization is a cumulative process, and any part of it is more easily and more quickly destroyed than rebuilt. No single generation can hope to build or rebuild it from the bottom, and hence we should gratefully accept and appreciate the building materials which past periods no less creative than ours have left us. It is an inheritance each generation is called upon to hand on to its successor. It cannot help neglecting and destroying part of this heritage, but it should always try to preserve what is worth preserving and to add something that is better in the place of what has been destroyed” (Kristeller, Renaissance Thought and Its Sources, pg. 210).