New Philosopher Issue 19: Life
“People are frugal in guarding their personal property; but as soon as it comes to squandering time they are most wasteful of the one thing in which it is right to be stingy.” Seneca
An envelope is opened at the end of Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life, its contents promising an answer to the eternal question: What is the meaning of life? The answer: “Try to be nice to people, avoid eating fat, read a good book every now and then, get some walking in, and try and live together in peace and harmony with people of all creeds and nations.”
Pondering the meaning of life is not just the domain of Pythons and philosophers. Curious eight-year-olds, heartbroken teens, and expiring octogenarians alike reflect on life’s meaning, if only in difficult or dull moments. And, much like the legions of thinkers before them, they can’t agree on an answer. Some say it’s ‘love’; others ‘learning how to die’; or ‘flourishing’; or, one that’s particularly popular among teens and philosophers, ‘there is no meaning’.
Whether you’ve found meaning or you’re still searching, try to remember Seneca’s counsel: “The life we receive is not short, but we make it so; nor do we have any lack of it, but are wasteful of it.” In essence: don’t squander the time you’ve been granted.
New Philosopher is an independent quarterly magazine devoted to exploring philosophical ideas from past and present thinkers on ways to live a more fulfilling life. Commentary on New Philosopher aims to guide readers into living a happier and freer mode of existence.
Seneca, speaking on the shortness of life says: “It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it. Life is long enough, and a sufficiently generous amount has been given to us for the highest achievements if it were all well invested. But when it is wasted in heedless luxury and spent on no good activity, we are forced at last by death’s final constraint to realise that it has passed away before we knew it was passing.”
“Life is long if you know how to use it.”
New Philosopher caters to those who have not studied philosophy, as well as philosophy students and academics. Our aim is to introduce philosophical ideas that challenge contemporary thought and conditioning. Are our thoughts and aspirations truly ours?
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