Splendid health

The steroids are long gone, the Levofloxacin runs out today, but traces of the pneumonia I brought back from KC continue to remind me that breath is life. William James’s best advice to his friend Schiller is too true: “Keep your health, your splendid health, it’s worth more than all the truths under the firmament.”

But we do have other truths to catch up with today. In CoPhi we consider Hegel, Schopenhauer, Mill, and Darwin. Three optimists and one scrooge.

In Atheism, it’s on to Lord Russell. His message to the future: “never be diverted by what you wish to believe… love is wise, hatred is foolish. We must learn a kind of charity and a kind of tolerance that is absolutely vital…”

In Bio, Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal really hits home.

“In the end, people don’t view their life as merely the average of all its moments—which, after all, is mostly nothing much plus some sleep. For human beings, life is meaningful because it is a story. A story has a sense of a whole, and its arc is determined by the significant moments, the ones where something happens. Measurements of people’s minute-by-minute levels of pleasure and pain miss this fundamental aspect of human existence. A seemingly happy life may be empty. A seemingly difficult life may be devoted to a great cause. We have purposes larger than ourselves.”

And, did you see Jackie Robinson? Ken Burns has another hit too, continuing tonight. We do need our storytellers and our mortal heroes. “Free minds and hearts at work…”

5:30/6:18, 46/65

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