What is that phenomenon we call ‘beauty’ and why does it lie at the core of both collective civilisation and individual desire, even as we value it precisely for existing outside of practicality?
For some of us, success has become part of our identity. We have constructed a narrative about ourselves—which others have reinforced to us—that says: ‘You must be successful. You must be an achiever’. We feel a pressure to conform or live up to this identity...But if we don’t want to base our identity on what we do, what are the alternatives?
While Cobain and Augustine both end up famous and well-regarded in their respective fields of philosophical musing—one in music and the other in writing—somewhere along the way one experiences a tragic hopelessness leading to despair and suicide, while the other encounters life-changing hope and a new start. And what made the difference?
There’s almost nothing that can taint the acquisition of our romantic or erotic desires. But, whether we’re reading the latest erotic novel or entering the meat market of the Tinder-swiping generation, we know there must be something better and that this is not real love. We need to reclaim romance apart from our flippant desires and redefine our notion of love, which can and should remain our highest value.
Sometimes religious people have given answers to the ‘Why?’ (God is testing you, you’ve done something bad in a previous life, or you’ve done something bad in this life & this is Karma.) At best, these answers are unsatisfying and at worst, dangerous and highly offensive.
I didn’t choose most of the circumstances in which my life has been shaped: my parents, my culture, my influences. How can it be truly said that ‘I am the captain of my soul’ when, in reality, I didn’t even choose to get in this boat?
True Restfulness is a condition of the soul, not necessarily obtainable via the annual holidays, weekend lie-ins, and lunch breaks that are mere components of the working schedule, added in to lubricate the gears of productivity. In contrast, experiencing true Rest renews us deeply from the spirit outward, naturally resulting in (but not occurring for the sake of) an energetic purposefulness during both work and leisure.