— Mark Twain
Philosophy = Love of Wisdom
— Will Durant from “Fallen Leaves – Last words on Life, Love, War and God.” P. 39
By the soul, as distinct from the mind, I mean an inner directive and energizing force in every body, and in every cell and organ of a body. It is closely associated with breath (which, like the soul, was once termed spiritus), and it gradually dies if breathing permanently stops; but it is more than respiration, for it can rise from mere breathing to the subtlest functions of the body or the mind. When I introspect I perceive not merely sensations and ideas but desire, will, ambition, and pride as vital phases of me. Spinoza was right — desire is the very essence of man. We are living flames of desire until we admit final defeat. Will is desire expressed in ideas that become actions unless impeded by contrary or substitute desires and ideas. Character is the sum of our desires, fears, propensities, habits, abilities, and ideas.
I do not know what modest measure of freedom and origination I enjoy, but when I introspect I see no mechanism, but ambition, desire, will. Desire, not experience, is the essence of life; experience becomes the tool of desire in the enlightenment of mind and the pursuit of ends.
Though I am fond of my unique soul, I do not expect it to survive the complete death of my body. Death is the breakup of the human soul — i.e., of the life-giving, form-molding force — of an organism into the partial souls that animate individual parts of the body; so these lesser souls can for a time continue the growth of hair and nails on a corpse. And when the corpse completely disintegrates there will be souls, or inner energizing powers, even in the ‘inorganic’ fragments that remain. But my soul as me is bound up with my organized and centrally directed body, and with my individual memories, desires, and character; it must suffer disintegration as my body decays.
I am quite content with mortality; I should be appalled at the thought of living forever, in whatever paradise. As I move into my nineties my ambitions moderate, my zest in life wanes; soon I shall echo Caesar’s Jam satis vixi– “I have already lived enough.” When death comes in due time, after a life fully lived, it is forgivable and good. If in my last gasps I say anything contrary to this bravado, pay no attention to me. We must make room for our children.”
— Will Durant from “Fallen Leaves – Last words on Life, Love, War and God.” P. 10
— Seneca from “Letters from a Stoic.” P. 4
What man can you show me who places any value on his time, who reckons the worth of each day, who understands that he is dying daily? For we are mistaken when we look forward to death; the major portion of death has already passed. Whatever years behind us are in death’s hands. …
Nothing is ours except time. We were entrusted by nature with ownership of this single thing, so fleeting and slippery that anyone who will can oust us from possession. What fools the mortals be! They allow the cheapest and most useless things, which can easily be replaced, to be charged in the reckoning, after they have acquired them; but they never regard themselves as in debt when they have received some of that precious commodity, – time! And yet time is the one loan which even a grateful recipient cannot repay.”
— Bill Bonner
That is done based on the value they put on things. How much value do they put on leisure time? How much value do they put on living close to family? How much do they care about garden-fresh vegetables?
Imagine a man who decides that what matters to him is tending his own small farm, using his time as he pleases, keeping his family at home, and feeding them from his own garden and home-raised animals.
He will lower GDP (his non-monetary output will never be measured). He may be counted as “unemployed,” for he has no job. He will spend little money, depressing consumer demand.
But he may be the most satisfied, content man on the planet.“