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What Fire Cannot Destroy

“Those bygone workmen did not serve, they worked. They had an absolute honor, which is honor proper. … A tradition coming, springing from deep within the [French] race, a history, an absolute, an honor, demanded that this chair rung be well made. Every part of the...

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Presence Even in Absence: The Power of Friendship

“…the absent are present, the poor are rich, the weak are strong, and—even more difficult—the dead are alive.” Cicero, On Friendship In our times the issue of presence deserves special attention. What constitutes real human presence? Too often, it seems, those who are...

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Seeking Harmony in Our Home

“When cordially united, a father and sons, or a family of brothers and sisters, may, in almost any state of life, set what is called misfortune at defiance.” William Cobbett, The Cottage Economy VIDEO FOLLOWED BY DISTINCT WRITTEN REFLECTION: The other evening we sat...

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Does God Care?

“What is more, the deity was not content to care for the body but, most important, also implanted in the human being the soul and made it dominant. …For is it not quite obvious to you that, in comparison with the other animals, humans live like gods, naturally...

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Living with Yourself

“And a virtuous man wishes to live with himself; for he does so with pleasure, since the memories of his past acts are delightful and his hopes for the future are good, and therefore pleasant. His mind is well stored too with subjects of contemplation.” Aristotle,...

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Might vs. Valor

Phalinus, messenger from Persian King Artaxerxes, demands that the Persians (who had fought with Cyrus, now dead, against Artaxerxes) put down their arms. Xenophon responds: “Phalinus, at this moment, as you see for yourself, we have no other possessions save arms and...

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Bethany Weekends: Spring, Summer Schedule

Socrates insisted on the centrality of examining our lives. The purpose of such examination is clear: we will come closer to being the persons we can be if we accept the challenge of our human identity, of being rational. This is our privilege: to use our reason to...

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Of Dogs and Men

“But when he knew he heard Odysseus’s voice nearby, he did his best to wag his tail, nose down, with flattened ears, having no strength to move nearer his master. And the man looked away, wiping a salt tear from his cheek… If this old hound could show the form he had...

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Some Matter Can See!

“By nature animals are born with the faculty of sensation..." Aristotle, Metaphysics Perhaps of all the wonders of the natural world none is as magnificent as this: some creatures can see. One almost shudders to ask: what does it mean to see something? Here perhaps we...

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That Tree is Alive!

“Of natural bodies some have life in them, others do not.” Aristotle, On the Soul VIDEO FOLLOWED BY DISTINCT WRITTEN REFLECTION It seldom catches our attention. So easy is it for us to pass it by without noticing. That tree is alive. Choose the tree—it matters not...

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Rediscovering Wonder

“For it is owing to their wonder that men both now begin and at first began to philosophize.” Aristotle, Metaphysics VIDEO FOLLOWED BY DISTINCT REFLECTION When it comes to certain wonder-full things in the world around us, life experience can have a stultifying effect...

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Learning to See by Drawing

“The excellence of an artist, as such, depends wholly on the refinement of perception… I believe that the sight is a more important thing than the drawing, and I would rather teach drawing that my students may learn to love Nature, than teach the looking at Nature...

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