Episode 15

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Published on:

12th Oct 2019

STOIC POETRY | Leaves upon the sea

October 12, 2019 | Dear Eric, Would you ever have not taken your own life? Though I do not believe in fate, I'm convinced you had no real choice but to die when you did. Sure, it was your choice—yet you could have made no other. This is because free will is an illusion...

I could not do otherwise now than to type these words. My desire, opportunity and motive all drive me to do so. This pecking at the keyboard now is precisely what I must do now, though I believe this action was my choice. But now that I know I am not truly free, that the universe mindlessly requires my every decision and action exactly as I make it, I can therefore choose to exercise my motive will in the direction of improved and better actions, which strangely, I had no other real option to pursue. This game of feign control - of deciding, and then doing, and then deciding and doing again, until I'm dead - is the illusion I call my free life, and the false thing I call my independence. It's only that I cannot see very far past my seeming immediate self-management that I gain the false sense that I have some real control. I do not. I am just a result and consequence of thirteen-billion years of action and reaction and action again...on and on through time, like waves crossing a vast sea in every direction and lifting water here and there for brief moments at a time. A leaf floating upon such a sea is never free of the sea which supports and maintains it, and the consequent energies which come together to push and pull and animate its existence. And I too am never free of the great sea of everything from which I came, and now am, and will soon no longer be.

I was, am and never will be free. None of us is free. We're all leaves upon a tossing sea.

Blog post URL: https://www.goingalone.org/post/leaves-upon-the-sea

My website: https://goingalone.org

My email: softypapa@goingalone.org

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About the Podcast

Stoic Poetry
A Stoic theory of life adventure | Be safe...but not too safe.
There’s little good news in nature. The universe seems incapable of care, or of opinion, or of preference regarding right or wrong, good or bad, or what constitutes a just and virtuous society or life. The universe’s first opinion on these matters is evident in the dead, bleak environment of space and time; the restless progress of all order in the direction of entropy, and the cold indifference of matter and energy everywhere - where the curious phenomenon of life appears like some strange, exotic exception to a rule of inorganic truth. So, what do we do with this fact? How do we prevent a slide into nihilism? How do we keep our upright posture while our legs buckle and give way as our mind struggles to accept a reality the facts cannot seemingly deny? This project takes on this challenge.

About your host

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Kurt Bell

I like to walk and think.