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Boethius - The Consolation of Philosophy - I will briefly show you what complete happiness hinges upon

Identifier

003151

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

A description of the experience

Boethius – The Consolation of Philosophy

I will briefly show you what complete happiness hinges upon.  If I ask you whether there is anything more precious to you than your own self, you will say no.  So if you are in possession of yourself you will possess something you would never wish to lose and something Fortune could never take away.  In order to see that happiness can't consist in things governed by chance, look at it this way.  If happiness is the highest good of rational nature and anything that can be taken away is not the highest good – since it is surpassed by what can't be taken away – Fortune by her very mutability can't hope to lead to happiness ….. the man who is borne along by happiness which can at any time fail, either knows or does not know its unreliability.  If he does not know it, what kind of happiness can there be in the blindness of ignorance?  And if he does know it, he can't avoid being afraid of losing that which he knows can be lost.  And so a continuous fear prevents him from being happy.  And if he thinks the possibility of losing it a matter for indifference, then the good whose loss can be borne with such equanimity must be small indeed.

The source of the experience

Boethius

Concepts, symbols and science items

Concepts

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps

Commonsteps

References