In a group of mine a person noted that Pythagoras would say some lines from one of Homer's works to help ease people's illness. Half of the group flat out rejected claim of the healing power of words. Why do people read the bible? Or Ajax? Or the Brothers Karamazov? Why read existentialist works, or … Continue reading Pythagoras’ use of Words to Heal
My Best Writing Advice
My first novel was imperfect, the ending wasn't right at all, even after I rewrote it. I believe this is because the concept for this novel was subpar. After this failure, I shifted towards short stories, novella's really at 30-40 pages a pop. I wrote three in a row. My first novella had some potential, … Continue reading My Best Writing Advice
Dostoevsky and Nietzsche’s Demon
Comparing two great geniuses. Dostoevsky's the Brothers Karamazov: published in 1880 Devil. You keep thinking about our present earth! But our present earth may have repeated itself a billion times; it died out, let's say, got covered with ice, cracked, fell to pieces, broke down into its original components, again there were the waters about … Continue reading Dostoevsky and Nietzsche’s Demon
A Magnum Opus’ Life
Goethe completed Faust a year before his death, as did Dante with his Divine Comedy and Dostoevsky with The Brothers Karamazov. This could signal many things, notable for me is that when you discover a potential universal story towards the end of one's life where a writer has already developed their voice, their pursuit, and … Continue reading A Magnum Opus’ Life
Mephisto as 18th century Morpheus (From The Matrix)
Interesting new Faust hot-take inspired form a friend: Faust (Neo), clapped up in a tight office doing meaningless work that numbs the mind, has no purpose, at least no fruits of his labor. God (the machines) anoint him special so he's been given a pointless career in academia, but behind the scene he plays a … Continue reading Mephisto as 18th century Morpheus (From The Matrix)
Hume on the Self: A Bundle of Perceptions
For my part, when I enter most intimately into what I call myself, I always stumble on some particular perception or other, of heat or cold, light or shade, love or hatred, pain or pleasure. I never can catch myself at any time without a perception, and never can observe anything but the perception.” ... … Continue reading Hume on the Self: A Bundle of Perceptions
Pound, Canto LXXXI
“Master thyself, then others shall thee beare” Pull down thy vanity Thou art a beaten dog beneath the hail, A swollen magpie in a fitful sun, Half black half white Nor knowst’ou wing from tail Pull down thy vanity How mean thy hates Fostered in falsity, Pull down thy vanity, Rathe to destroy, niggard in … Continue reading Pound, Canto LXXXI
Goethe: Trilogy of Passion, Part III
III. ATONEMENT.[Composed, when 74 years old, for a Polish lady, who excelled inplaying on the pianoforte.]PASSION brings reason--who can pacifyAn anguish'd heart whose loss hath been so great?Where are the hours that fled so swiftly by?In vain the fairest thou didst gain from fate;Sad is the soul, confused the enterprise;The glorious world, how on the sense … Continue reading Goethe: Trilogy of Passion, Part III
New Revelations in Goethe’s Faust
Welp, I just finished reading Goethe's Faust *again*. I combed through it with the help of a good group of people Things I learned this time through which I didn't realize in my previous reads. (1) When Faust translates the bible to "In the Beginning is the Act!" I believe this is foreshadowing the end … Continue reading New Revelations in Goethe’s Faust
Trying to Decide on a Book to Read?
When I'm at the impasse of which book I should read next, I ask what emotions I'm dealing with; which ideas am I concerned with at this stage of my life. Is there something you can't let go? Is there someone you miss? Are you on the precipice of a moral crisis? Do you feel … Continue reading Trying to Decide on a Book to Read?
Faust Translating the Bible
When Faust translates the bible, from "In the beginning was the Word" to "In the beginning was the Act!" I believe, what this ultimately means is, the "act" posits freedom. So, the "act" is the first act of freedom first expressed, which also embodies freedom for others. This is the divine's ultimate purpose, an ever-creating … Continue reading Faust Translating the Bible
Poetry and Philosophy
How should the soul be instructed? Plato gives two accounts to lead men's souls to the harmony of justice. One account is the allegory of the cave, the other is Diotima's ladder of love. I often think of Plato watching the great tragedies, taking notes in the bleachers. Does philosophy get us further down the … Continue reading Poetry and Philosophy
Climbing Diotima’s and Jacob’s Ladder
Dante's Paradiso, In the Sphere of Saturn, canto 22 where the contemplatives stir, Beatrice would not smile. However, in the Fixed Stars, canto 23, she finally does. Beatrice says to Dante: "Open your eyes and see what I now am; the things you witnessed will have made you strong enough to bear the power of … Continue reading Climbing Diotima’s and Jacob’s Ladder
Paradiso Canto 4: The Usage of the Timaeus as Comparison to Heaven
In Paradiso, Canto 4, Beatrice tells Dante, You reason: 'if my will to good persists, why should the violence of others cause the measure of my merit to be less?' And you are also led to doubt because the doctrine Plato taught would find support by souls, appearing to return to the stars... (lines 19-24) … Continue reading Paradiso Canto 4: The Usage of the Timaeus as Comparison to Heaven
Divine Justice, Job and Greek Tragedy.
Job's 3rd friend, the young one, intervenes and suggests who are we to say we can ever comprehend God's justice? Who are we to hubristically ask the question, "Why me?" and expect an answer? I believe a culture that doesn't expect an answer, is a culture that is failing. I believe Job was right in … Continue reading Divine Justice, Job and Greek Tragedy.