Gilgamesh & The Secret of Life

Gilgemesh

Ancient Sumerian Tale of Gilgamesh

The stubborn, hard king Gilgamesh sought to ask the Immortal One the secret of life. He was told that there would be stones on his path to guide him.

But in his urgency and and pride, Gilgamesh was annoyed to find his path blocked, and so smashed the very stones that would have helped him. In his blindness of heart, he broke everything he needed to discover his way.

We too, in the same confusion, break what we need, push away those we love, and isolate ourselves when we need to be held most.

Book of Awakening
Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have

Mark Nepo

.
.


Mark Nepo
Mark Nepo
born 1951

. Mark Nepo website
. Wikipedia

Mark Nepo is a poet and spiritual adviser who has taught in the fields of poetry and spirituality for over 35 years. He is a cancer survivor. In his 30s he was diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma, a struggle which helped to form his philosophy of experiencing life fully while staying in relationship to an unknowable future.

Nepo has a doctorate in English. He taught for 18 years at the State University of New York in Albany, New York.

Nepo is best known for his New York Times #1 bestseller, The Book of Awakening.

Books written by Mark Nepo include:


On the One Life We’re Given – Mark Nepo

Where Can We Find The Deepest Human Life?

Deepest Human Life

The Deepest Human Life is Everywhere 

Plato helps us realize that within each of us the very depths of being human are present – we see that each human life reflects something important about who we are.

The difference between regular folks and someone like Kant, pertains to our differing abilities to articulate the shape of a philosophical constellation – it has nothing to do with our inner substance. The pursuit of wisdom involves a confrontation with our ignorance, most famously embodied in the “I know I know nothing” of Socrates.

Regardless how challenging things may be, we take solace in the fact that even a profound confusion is a profound confusion. Whatever holiness can be found in Socrates and Confucius is within our reach.

Exploring Life Through Philosophy

Philosophy, as Plato shows, involves confronting the fact that our most stubborn attempts to think clearly come up short, but we nonetheless have to live as if we had answers to the stubborn mysteries. Philosophy is everything that humanly follows from a real confrontation with our strange predicament.

At it’s best it’s a way of life. The division between the wise and the foolish is not between those with all the answers and those who are confused. The great dividing line is between our usual folly and an enlightened folly, by which one understands life itself and has found a way of happily living in an impossible relationship.

Can Beliefs & Wisdom Coexist?

Thomas Aquinas, the master of the theologians, is said to have come down from his vision of God and declared his thousands of learned pages so much straw. Yet, as Socrates and other great ones teach us, we can’t do without beliefs. They’re a necessary part of being human.

Wisdom is compatible with any number of traditions, religious or otherwise. For wisdom is not so much the possession of right beliefs (though it involves dodging the worst of them) as finding a way to relate to our beliefs in such a way that the good parts of us are liberated. Wisdom isn’t a doctrine: it’s a style.

The Deepest Human Life
The Deepest Human Life: An Introduction to Philosophy for Everyone

Scott Samuelson

Background on Scott Samuelson

Be Yourself…

Dr. Seuss - Be Yourself
.


.
Dr. Seuss
Dr. Seuss
1904-1991

. Biography.com
. Seussville.com
. (official Dr. Seuss site)
. Wikipedia

 

Theodor Seuss “Ted” Geisel was an American children’s author, political cartoonist, poet, animator, screenwriter, filmmaker, and artist, best known for his work writing and illustrating more than 60 books under the pen name Dr. Seuss. His work includes many of the most popular children’s books of all time, selling over 600 million copies and being translated into more than 20 languages by the time of his death.

Geisel adopted the name “Dr. Seuss” as an undergraduate at Dartmouth College and as a graduate student at the University of Oxford. He left Oxford in 1927 to begin his career as an illustrator and cartoonist for Vanity FairLife, and various other publications. He also worked as an illustrator for advertising campaigns, and as a political cartoonist.

Geisel published his first children’s book And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street in 1937. During World War II, he took a brief hiatus from children’s literature to illustrate political cartoons, and he also worked in the animation and film department of the United States Army, where he wrote, produced or animated many productions – both live-action and animated – including Design for Death, which later won the 1947 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

After the war, Geisel returned to writing children’s books, writing classics including:

He published over 60 books during his career, which have spawned numerous adaptations, including 11 television specials, four feature films, a Broadway musical, and four television series. He won the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award in 1958 for Horton Hatches the Egg and again in 1961 for And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street.

Geisel’s birthday, March 2, has been adopted as the annual date for National Read Across America Day, an initiative on reading created by the National Education Association.

How Can Principles Guide Our Life?

Principles

Living a Principle-Centered Life

The art of living is not found in logic, nor in wealth, fame, or in any indulgence. Where is it then? In doing what human nature demands.

How is a person to do this? By having principles be the source of desire and action. What principles? Those to do with good and evil, indeed in the belief that there is no good for a human being except what creates justice, self-control, courage and freedom, and nothing evil except what destroys these things.

Marcus Aurelius, from Meditations

The Daily Stoic
The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living
Ryan Holiday

Background on Marcus Aurelius

 

How to Live a Flourishing Life – Goal of Ancient Philosophy

Ancient Philosophy

While modern ethics is essentially concerned with which actions are right or wrong, ancient Greco-Romans conceived of ethics as the much broader inquiry into how to live a happy life – the pursuit of which they deemed to be a human being’s most important endeavor. But, a happy life can be pursued in different ways, depending on which concept of eudaimonia – the flourishing life – one adopts.

Though a flourishing life was the common goal, the major Hellenistic schools of philosophy differed on how to achieve such a life.


Ethics is one of the classical branches of philosophy, with the other ones being: aesthetics (concerned with beauty and art), epistemology (the study of how we know things), logic (dedicated to understanding reason), and metaphysics (to comprehend the nature of the world).

How to Be a Stoic: Using Ancient Philosophy to Live a Modern Life
How to Be a Stoic: Using Ancient Philosophy to Live a Modern Life
Massimo Pigliucci