perpetual Cimmerian darkness
November 19, 2013, 9:57 pm
Filed under: the sweet life, unseen world | Tags: , , , ,

Have you ever read a more beautiful description of being, of our days?

Those who have compared our lives to a dream are right—perhaps more right than they realized. When we are dreaming our soul lives, acts and exercises all her faculties neither more nor less than when we are awake, but she does it much more slackly and darkly; the difference is definitely not so great as between night and the living day: more like that between night and twilight. In one case the soul is sleeping, in the other more or less slumbering; but there is always darkness, perpetual Cimmerian darkness. We wake asleep: we sleep awake. When I am asleep I do see things less clearly but I never find my waking pure enough or cloudless. Deep sleep can even put dreams to sleep; but our waking is never so wide awake that it can cure and purge those raving lunacies, those waking dreams that are worse than the real ones.”

Michel de Montaigne

left to the mercy of parents
April 23, 2012, 10:09 pm
Filed under: brave new world, the sweet life | Tags: , ,

The French Renaissance essayist Montaigne had this to say about homeschooling:  to practice it is to abandon our children to foolish, indiscreet and ill conditioned parents.  Better to instruct them in the way of the law because the wellbeing of the state depends on it.

Plutarch is admirable throughout, but especially where he judges of human actions.  What fine things does he say in the comparison of Lycurgus and Numa upon the subject of our great folly in abandoning children to the care and government of their fathers?  The most of our civil governments, as Aristotle says, leave, after the manner of the Cyclops, to every one the ordering of their wives and children, according to their own foolish and indiscreet fancy; and the Lacedaemonian and Cretan are almost the only governments that have committed the education of children to the laws.  Who does not see that in a state all depends upon their nurture and bringing up?  and yet they are left to the mercy of parents, let them be as foolish and ill conditioned as they may, without any manner of discretion.

Michel de Montaigne, Of Anger