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STOIC POETRY | Quiet remembrance of the truth

Updated: Sep 4, 2021

October 13, 2019

Dear Eric,

I expect you discovered Stoic principles without knowing they were such, as ideas like these are natural to anyone who honestly consults their reason while life pushes back.

And life does always push back... Like gravity it pushes back, always in the direction of down - where down is towards disorder and dissolution and death. Though we can resist this draw for a time; life pushes - or pulls rather - always down towards fact over fancy and change leading to everything one day at an end of all order. It's that end which is the fact - and the thing we make up stories against to go away. Our own end to be sure. We make the fearful thing go away by masking the famine of death with a feast of authentic love suggesting a banquet of forever.

Temperance, apathy and an awareness of death: such are the ingredients of a still and quite mind of peace. Like eating dry salt crackers in a desert when nothing could be better.

Go away, death! I will remain - forever - despite your arrival. Come take my wife, or my child or my friend, and they too will go on...because I say so. Come take me also and I will live on as well. I'm forever don't you know..? Don't you? So, death takes the wife, and the child and myself. And my story is forgotten like the rest. My forever becomes like the nothing it was before the dream was proclaimed eternal. Just sounds in a void. A few utterances in the sunshine before the light goes out. It's thoughts like this that demand a more honest assessment and truth. It's such thinking which stills the tongue and shuts the mouth and softens the eyes which gaze at our now living wife and child and at all we have. It's the testimony of reason which demands our humble withdrawal from before the awesome theater of night and day and the swimming course of moments moving through indifference. We withdraw our reckless speech and protest and sit instead wherever we can - this rock will do - and summon our family to sit with us. We ask about their day with sincerity while the sky blazes above our heads with too numerous stars to comprehend, all singing entropy like a discordant chorus of fact. Just gazing up once should blind forever the vanity of any one who is wise. And so, we go on through our remaining days. Each day better than the last - come what may - though also quieter too. For what use is there in speech and action or consumption when only the quiet remembers the truth. And so, we are quiet. And so, we remember the truth.

This is The Good Life - quiet, remembrance of the truth.


My name is Kurt Bell.

You can learn more about The Good Life in my book Going Alone.

Be safe... But not too safe.

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