Echoes through time: an untroubled retreat

Men seek for seclusion in the wilderness, by the seashore, or in the mountains – a dream you have cherished only too fondly yourself. But such fancies are wholly unworthy of a philosopher, since at any moment you can choose to retire within yourself. Nowhere can man find a quieter or more untroubled retreat than in his own soul; above all, he who possesses resources in himself, which he need only contemplate to secure immediate ease of mind – the ease that is but another word for a well-ordered spirit. Avail yourself often, then, of this retirement, and so continually renew yourself.

Marcus Aurelius (AD 120 – 180), Meditations (4.3)

Photo by Mark Koch on Unsplash

Eating my tsundoku

How’s your tsundoku? In our present time of limited distraction, I’m hoping to eat my way through mine.

For tsundoku is the Japanese word for books piling up, unread.

Learned readers will of course appreciate that this is a positive thing.

It’s another of those valuable concepts ( Shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing, wabi-sabi) that the Japanese have a word for.

More here (Open Culture), here (Wikipedia) and here (BBC).

Part of my personal tsundoku. Currently, Thomas Cromwell has me in thrall.

Main image, photo by Ed Robertson on Unsplash

Echoes through time: Give your heart to your trade

Give your heart to the trade you have learnt, and draw refreshment from it. Let the rest of your days be spent as one who has wholeheartedly committed his all to the gods, and is thenceforth no man’s master or slave.

Marcus Aurelius (AD 120 – 180), Meditations (4.31)

Recommended reading: The Madness of Crowds – @DouglasKMurray

I’ve just finished The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity by Douglas Murray. It opens…

We are going through a great crowd derangement. In public and in private, both online and off, people are behaving in ways that are increasingly irrational, feverish, herd-like and simply unpleasant.”

If you struggle to find a logic to follow in identity politics, if you’re somewhat mystified by the raging debates about gender versus sex, or the rights of actors or writers to present a perspective other than that of their own race-gender-sexuality, then this is the book for you.

As a result, I too found myself googling “European art” and “straight white couple”. I’ve so far resisted the temptation to google Nicki Minaj’s Anaconda video … but, the days are longer in self-isolation.

A valuable, insightful book.

The book is here.

There’s a taster in this interview from Uncommon Knowledge:

Photo by Rob Curran on Unsplash