Blake Snow

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Tagged suffering

The meaning of life: 13 things I learned from the world’s greatest thinkers

I don’t always study philosophy, but when I do, I make it count.

Case in point: A friend and I were recently discussing the human condition over email. Exhilarating stuff, I know. I’ll skip to the best part.

Basically, we decided that humans struggle to internalize both complex and simple realizations. Complex ones because they’re harder to grasp, and simple takeaways because we’re usually too distracted by temptations, desires, and pleasures to see them through, even if we believe in them (or so argues Aristotle; more on him later).

At this point, I asked my buddy, “So if humans struggle to comprehend both complex and simple ideas, what in the HELL are we good at?”

His reply, “Entertainment. And nothing else.” Full stop. The gravity and strategic double periods of his remark made me do this:

MGM Studios

MGM Studios

At which point I enrolled in a 36-course undergraduate class from Smith College. Not exactly. But I did download the audible version of the classThe Meaning of Life: Perspectives from the World’s Greatest Thinkers, from Amazon!

Having already graduated (go, fight, win!), I did this solely for my own enlightenment. Little did I know how much impact professor Jay Garfield’s masterful curriculum would have on my worldview, existential outlook, and shared beliefs with others.

Here’s what I learned:  Continue reading…

6 poignant quotes that embody Ernest Hemingway

Hemingway aboard his boat off the coast of Cuba (1950)

Hemingway aboard his boat off the coast of Cuba (1950)

As compiled by Highbrow:

  1. “The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”
  2. “The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.”
  3. “I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.”
  4. “Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.”
  5. “I drink to make other people more interesting.”
  6. “As a writer, you should not judge, you should understand.”

See also: My review of Old Man and The Sea