Freedom in Action

Whenever someone contemplates reality in pure pursuit of knowledge and without regard for immediate practical purposes; Whenever someone, oblivious of possible usefulness, disadvantages, danger, or even death, is able to say, “So it is; this is the truth!” (e.g. “The Emperor has no clothes!”)— Then we witness, in an eminent degree, human freedom in action.Continue reading “Freedom in Action”

The Proper Attitude of Man

The good is that which is in accord with objective reality. An insight into the nature of the good makes certain attitudes impossible. It makes impossible the attitude of always referring to oneself and to the judgment of one’s conscience. The man who wishes to realize the good does not look upon his own act,Continue reading “The Proper Attitude of Man”

Terrifying Drivel

In 1933, Josef Pieper, assistant in a sociological research institute, published a brief treatise, “formulated in the requisite scientific jargon,” patiently identifying and correcting major blind spots of eminent experts in the field. Very soon, Pieper was to leave behind the jargon, and the field itself. Many decades later, however, he was inspired to revisitContinue reading “Terrifying Drivel”

Lifting Up Our Souls

On the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: thou shalt do no work on it, thou nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy beast, nor the stranger that is within thy gates. Exodus 20:10 In his masterwork, Leisure, the Basis of Culture, Josef PieperContinue reading “Lifting Up Our Souls”

Teaching Wonder

All knowledge of any depth . . . begins with amazement. Everything depends upon leading the learner to recognize the amazing qualities, the mirandum, the “novelty” of the subject under discussion. If the teacher succeeds in doing this, he has done something more important than and quite different from making knowledge entertaining and interesting. HeContinue reading “Teaching Wonder”

Teaching in the Real Sense

Teaching in the real sense takes place only when the hearer is reached—not by dint of some personal magnetism or verbal magic, but rather, when the truth of what is said reaches the hearer as truth. Being taught means to perceive that what the teacher has said is true and valid, and to perceive whyContinue reading “Teaching in the Real Sense”