“Vivere si rectè nescis, decede peritis;
Lusisti satis, edisti satis atque bibisti;
Tempus abire tibi est, ne potum largius aequo
Rideat et pulset lasciva decentius aetas;”
Horatius as quoted by M. de Montaigne in: Essais II, Editions Gallimard, 1965, Chapitre XII (Apologie de Raimond Sebond), p. 213.
[Amateuristic English translation: “If you don’t know how to live well, leave your place to those who do; you have fooled around enough, eaten enough and have drunk enough; time for you to withdraw for fear of having drank more than reasonable and in so doing, of becoming the laughing stock of the young, to whom cheerfulnes is more becoming.”]
[Re-posted from The Old Site, original dd. 07-04-2010. Only one to go ;-]
I wanted to talk about essential differences between absolutes and universals. The wish not to live beyond your expiration data is universal. The requirement to live until such time as ‘one is called’ is an absolute. The difference between the two is the meaning that is conferred to to what it is ‘to live’.
I (try to) explain.
“Et ne fut jamais au monde deux opinions pareilles, non plus que deux poils ou deux grains. Leur plus universelle qualité, c’est la diversité.”
Michel de Montaigne, Essais II, chapitre XXXVII, p. 569, Gallimard, 1965.
[Amateuristic English translation: “And there were never in the world two opinions that were similar, not more than two hairs or two grains. Their most universal quality, is there diversity.” (the two hairs and two grains stuff you’ll have to google together with “Cicero”)]
[Re-posted from The Old Site, original dd. 19-02-2010. I’m getting to the end of the recycling bin so there will be new material soon.]
Back to basics 😉
One of the remaining problems in modern culture is that we are thinking in terms of success. The problem is not so much with the sensation of success. Not at all, it is an enjoyable sensation and nobody should be cut off from it. No, the problem is that we want to make a snapshot of it. We want to frame it and put it on our walls.
“Je lui disais que c’était bien quelque chose, notamment à ceux comme lui d’éminente qualité sur lesquels chacun a les yeux, de se présenter au monde toujours bien tempéré, mais que le principal était de pourvoir au-dedans et à soi-même; et que ce n’était, à mon gré, bien ménager ses affaires que de se ronger intérieurement: ce que je craignais qu’il fit pour mantenir ce masque et cette réglée apparence par le dehors.” Montaigne, Essais Livre II, Chapitre XXXI, folio classique, editions Gallimard, p; 488.
[Amateuristic English translation below: “I told him that it was quite something, certainly in those – like him – of eminent quality on whom everybody has their eyes, to present oneself to the world as always well tempered – but that the important thing was to provide for oneself internally; and that it was – to my taste – not a good way to manage one’s affairs to be eating oneself from the inside: which was what I feared he did to maintain that mask and that temperate appearance on the outside.”]
[Re-posted from The Old Site original dd. 14-07-2009. Finally Montaigne again, I’m not so sure about my translation so don’t rely on it. I should look for a quote on impatience, I really should.]
Let me be clear: I’m fed up with all this excitement and passion and live fast stuff – even if I wouldn’t mind the ‘die young’ bit. Continue reading