The inner workings of my brain, for better or for worse, result in the simultaneous existence of several unfinished projects. I also have several partially read books sitting around my house. To finish one project (an overdue blog post) and to celebrate recently finishing four books, I am sharing some book excerpts from my summer reading. Enjoy!
The problem with life is not its brevity, but the fact that we squander it as though it was never going to end, as though life were in infinite supply. We live in a counterfeit immortality, believing our desire to be immortal and concealing the fear of death that underpins it. Seneca writes, 'You act like mortals in all that you fear, and like immortals in all that you desire.' The correct philosophical attitude is exactly the other way around. ~ Simon Critchley, The Book of Dead Philosophers (Vintage)
Are you genuine? Or merely an actor? A representative? Or that which is represented? In the end, perhaps you are merely a copy of an actor. Second question of conscience. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche, The Portable Nietzsche (Portable Library)
Are you not ashamed that you give your attention to acquiring as much money as possible, and similarly with reputation and honour, and give no attention or thought to truth and understanding and the perfection of the soul? And if any of you disputes this and professes to care about these things, I shall not at once let him go or leave him; no, I shall question him and examine him and put him to the test; and it it appears that in spite of his profession he has made no real progress towards goodness, I shall reprove him for neglecting what is of supreme importance, and giving his attention to trivialities. ~ Socrates, The last days of Socrates (The Penguin classics)
The physical needs for food, water, shelter, clothing, and basic comforts could be easily met for all humans on the planet, were it not for the unbalance of resources created by the insane and rapacious need for more, the greed of the ego. It finds collective expression in the economic structures of this world, such as the huge corporations, which are egoic entities that compete with each other for more. Their only blind aim is profit. They pursue that aim with absolute ruthlessness. Nature, animals, people, even their own employees, are no more than digits on a balance sheet, lifeless objects to be used, then discarded. ~ Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose