Saturday, January 21, 2012

Chapbook for Boethius' "The Consolation of Philosophy"

Book II
"But you are wrong if you think Fortune has changed towards you. Change is her normal behavior, her true nature." -section I

"I can say with confidence that if the things whose loss you are bemoaning were really yours, you could never have lost them." -section II

". . . you should not wear yourself out by setting your heart on living according to a law of your own in a world that is shared by everyone." -section II

"There is something in the case of each of us that escapes the notice of the man who has not experienced it, but causes horror to the man who has." -section IV

". . . he who hath much, wants much." -section V

"When you think of your future fame you think you are creating for yourself a kind of immortality. But if you think of the infinite recesses of eternity you have little cause to take pleasure in any continuation of your name." -section VI

"Good fortune deceives, but bad fortune enlightens." -section VIII

Book III
"Look up at the vault of heaven: see the strength of its foundation and the speed of its movement, and stop admiring things that are worthless." -section VIII

Book IV
"Some may perhaps think it strange that we say that wicked men, who form the majority of men, do not exist; but that is how it is. I am not trying to deny the wickedness of the wicked; what I do deny is that there existence is absolute and complete existence. Just as you might call a corpse a dead man, but couldn't simply call it a man, so I would agree that the wicked are wicked, but could not agree that they have unqualified existence. A thing exists when it keeps its proper place and preserves its own nature. Anything which departs from this ceases to exist, because its existence depends on the preservation of its nature." -section II

". . . only the wise can achieve their desire . . ." -section II

". . . the wicked cease to be what they once were. That they used to be human is shown by the human appearance of their body which still remains." -section III

"There is, indeed, great punishment then, sometimes exacted with penal severity, sometimes, I think, with purifying mercy; but it is not my intention to discuss it now." -section IV

"You are urging me to the greatest of all questions, a question that can never be exhausted. the subject is of such a kind that when one doubt has been removed, countless others spring up in its place, like the Hydra's heads. The only way to check them is with a really lively intellectual fire." - section VI

"It is because you men are in no position to contemplate this [divine] order that everything seems confused and upset." -section VI - puts us in our place! :)

"Some people are excessively afraid of suffering for which they actually have the endurance; others are full of scorn for suffering they cannot in fact bear. Both kinds [Providence] brings to self-discovery through hardship." -section VI

"All fortune is certainly good." - section VII

"Once earth has been surpassed
 It gives the stars." -section VII

Book V
"Human souls are of necessity more free when they continue in the contemplation of the mind of God and less free when they descend to bodies, and less still when they are imprisoned in earthly flesh and blood. They reach an extremity of enslavement when they give themselves up to wickedness and lose possession of their proper reason." -section II

". . . the operation of human reasoning cannot approach the immediacy of divine foreknowledge." -section IV

". . . human reason refuses to believe that divine intelligence can see the future in any other way except that in which human reason has knowledge." -section V

"Whatever lives in time . . . is in the position of not yet possessing tomorrow when it has already lost yesterday. In this life of today you do not live more fully than in that fleeting and transitory moment." -section VI

"Why, then, do you insist that all that is scanned by the sight of God becomes necessary? Men see things but this certainly doesn't make them necessary? And your seeing them doesn't impose any necessity on the things you see present, does it? . . . the divine gaze looks down on all things without disturbing their nature; to Him they are present things, but under the condition of time they are future things." -section VI

Last Line of the Book:
"A great necessity is laid upon you, if you will be honest with yourself, a great necessity to be good, since you live in the sight of a judge who sees all things." -section VI

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

:)) Well, this lays to rest any variance in the answer to the question: ?Is Jessica a true nerd?
love ya, Mom