Gaia is the word for "unity-of-life-processes". The experiment here is to unify the various threads of voice and sense of self together into an undivided unity. Spirituality, economics, politics, science and ordinary life interleaved.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Montaigne on Managing the Will.

Michel says "In my opinion, a man should lend himself to others and only give himself to himself."

This is good food for thought!

What does it mean to lend oneself? He says to lend your faculties to another is make yourself a slave to them. You need to be thrifty in lending yourself out. What does it mean to give oneself?

Is happiness more in being fully involved in life, or in detachment, or in involvement without attachment, or in something else? Montaigne says it is in involvement with detachment.

Soon I find myself agreeing with Michel. When we act without passion for outcome, we act freely and happily. We can lend ourselves wholly to the task and keep ourselves for ourselves. To give all and keep all at once is the wisdom of prudence indeed!

Montaigne's prudential guideline1 : want only what is near and free.
Montaigne's prudential guideline 2: the reasonable man prefers peace and avoids disturbance above all else.

Is this quietism? No; in Montaigne's age is was realistic. Confucius agrees: when the leaders are vicious the wise men act stupid.

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