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Showing posts from May, 2012

Being Nothing

(continuation from below)

3. Being Nothing

Yet while it may be said that writing and building something are two different kinds of creation that promise to make a life worth living, there are however other activities which, while not as spiritually enlightening or visibly effective, nevertheless occupy many a heart and a mind until one's demise. To be sure, an examined and written life offers you an understanding of existence, especially of your own, and I find that consolation of philosophy rather attractive because at least, I hope, I have an excuse for being at all. A productive career, also, is always seductive for us mortals who wish to have something remain as testaments and witnesses to our rather, as Hobbes summarized it, "brutal, nasty, and short" lives.

When you look around you, however, you hear only of a few people reading Augustine or Camus in search for answers to such questions as to what one is to look for in one's life and where does one go to find i…

Writing and Building Something

1. Writing something

I've always felt uncomfortable being around writers, not because they are snobby or they have inside (literary) jokes that exclude poor readers like me--for they are some of the kindest you can ever be with--but because precisely of their lack of pretentiousness which only magnifies their mental and emotional powers. When something is hidden from your view, inaccessible, all the more do you revere it or fear it. I respect them to the point of being insecure partly because I had once wanted to be one of them, partly because I've realized I won't. But most of all, I respect them because they know very well where creation is accomplished--never in cafes or artsy restaurants nor in conference rooms or before an audience, but always only in the humility of a chair, a desk, where passions have to be named and Jacob's silent angel to be wrestled with till morn.

They look into each other's eyes, and you know they recognize each one's labors. They …

The Door is Open

quoted from the Discourses of Epictetus (c. 60-c. 138 AD), one of the most hilarious books I ever read--

On Vanity In what lies your power? "All men pay respect to me." Well, I also pay respect to my platter, and I wash it and wipe it; and for the sake of my oil flask, I drive a peg into the wall.

On Necessary Difficulty What do you think that Hercules would have been if there had not been such a lion, and hydra, and stag, and boar, and certain unjust and bestial men, whom Hercules used to drive away and clear out? And what would he have been doing if there had been nothing of the kind? Is it not plain that he would have wrapped himself up and slept? In the first place, then, he would not have been a Hercules, when he was dreaming away all his life in such luxury and ease . . . "

On those who are afraid of death Tell me where I can escape death: discover for me the country, show me the men to whom I must go, whom death does not visit. Discover to me a charm against death. …

Mactan Island, Cebu 2012