Yes, I'm still hitting the weights.
The Bodybuilding of an Educator: Gym regimen - April 2011: "Tuesday, 19 April 2011 Even-Keel Workout 1 50 mins, 97kg [I seem to have lost some weight. Mostly fat, as far as I can see. Fine by me. Gain..."
Certain ancient philosophers denied the government of the world, saying that all things happened by chance. But such an opinion can be refuted … by observation of things themselves: for we observe that in nature things happen always or nearly always for the best; which would not be the case unless some sort of providence directed nature towards good as an end; which is to govern. Wherefore the unfailing order we observe in things is a sign of their being governed; for instance, if we enter a well-ordered house we gather therefrom the intention of him that put it in order, as Tullius says (De Nat. Deorum ii), quoting Aristotle [Cleanthes].
Some ancient philosophers denied governance to the world, claiming that everything occurs by chance (fortuito agi). But … this position is impossible: First, from what is apparent in the things themselves. For we see among natural things that what is better occurs either always or for the most part (semper aut in pluribus). But this would not happen if natural things were not directed by some sort of providence toward the good as an end (ad finem boni)—which is what it is to govern. Hence, the fixed order of things itself clearly demonstrates the governance of the world. As Tully, quoting Aristotle, says in De Natura Deorum, if someone entered a well-ordered house, he would, because of the very order within the house, arrive at the idea of someone responsible for the order (ordinatoris rationem perpenderet).
…quidam antiqui philosophi gubernationem mundo subtraxerunt, dicentes omnia fortuito agi. Sed haec positio ostenditur esse impossibilis … ex eo quod apparet in ipsis rebus. Videmus enim in rebus naturalibus provenire quod melius est, aut semper aut in pluribus, quod non contingeret, nisi per aliquam providentiam res naturales dirigerentur ad finem boni, quod est gubernare. Unde ipse ordo certus rerum manifeste demonstrat gubernationem mundi, sicut si quis intraret domum bene ordinatam, ex ipsa domus ordinatione ordinatoris rationem perpenderet; ut, ab Aristotele dictum, Tullius introducit in libro de natura deorum.
…there are many changes or actions of physical objects which cannot be adequately explained in terms of internal characteristics or tendencies of individual things [i.e. discrete material objects]. E.g. water rises up in order to fill a vacuum; and this cannot be explained from the specific nature of water and its own energy, but only from the purpose which is to be found in the perfection of the whole universe, and which must be intended by some other, superior agent [ex fine qui in perfectione totius universi sit positus, quem oportet ab alio superiori agente intendi]. It is the same with the water of the sea, which restrains the force of its breakers on the shore so that it never overwhelms the earth. This is certainly for the preservation … of living beings, which is a purpose intended by the supreme Governor of nature. From this we can see that when these natural objects change or act in accordance with their own specific tendencies, if by these they serve the convenience and preservation of the whole universe, its species or even individuals [cum per illas etiam deserviant commodis et conservationi totius universi et suarum specierum, vel etiam individuorum] (especially humans), they also manifest goal-directedness through subordination to a superior agent.
|EPISTOLA DE MODO STUDENDI||A LETTER ON THE METHOD OF STUDY|
|Quia quaesisti a me, in Christo mihi carissime Ioannes, qualiter te studere oporteat in thesauro scientiae acquirendo, tale a me tibi traditur consilium:|
ut per rivulos, non statim in mare, eligas introire, quia per faciliora ad difficiliora oportet devenire. Haec est ergo monitio mea et instructio tua.
Tardiloquum te esse iubeo et tarde ad locutorium accedentem;
conscientiae puritatem amplectere.
Orationi vacare non desinas; cellam frequenter diligas si vis in cellam vinariam introduci.
Omnibus te amabilem exhibe;
nihil quaere penitus de factis aliorum;
nemini te multum familiarem ostendas, quia nimia familiaritas parit contemptum et subtractionis a studio materiam subministrat;
de verbis et factis saecularium nullatenus te intromittas; discursus super omnia fugias;
sanctorum et bonorum imitari vestigia non omittas;
non respicias a quo audias, sed quidquid boni dicatur, memoriae recommenda;
ea quae legis et audis, fac ut intelligas;
de dubiis te certifica; et quidquid poteris in armariolo mentis reponere satage, sicut cupiens vas implere;
altiora te ne quaesieris.
Illa sequens vestigia, frondes et fructus in vinea Domini Sabaoth utiles, quandiu vitam habueris, proferes et produces. Haec si sectatus fueris, ad id attingere poteris, quod affectas.
|Because you have asked me, John, my dearest friend in Christ, how you should study to amass the treasure of knowledge, such is the advice I give to you.|
You should choose to enter not immediately into the ocean depths, but rather through small streams, for one should reach more difficult matters by going through the easier ones first. This is, therefore, my admonition and your instruction.
I bid you be slow to speak and slow to approach the chat-room1.
Embrace purity of conscience.
Do not fail to have time for prayer. You should frequently choose your own room if you wish to be led into the wine cellar.
Present yourself as amiable to all.
Do not look for deep, hidden meanings in the deeds of others.
To no one should you show yourself to be too familiar, because too much familiarity gives birth to contempt and provides from its eagerness the raw material for backsliding.
You should in no way involve yourself concerning the words and deeds of worldly people. Above all else you should flee from common conversation.
You should not fail to imitate the steps of the saints and all good people.
You should not consider the source from which you hear something, but whatever good is spoken, commit it to memory.
Those things that you read and hear, make sure that you understand them.
Make yourself certain about doubtful matters, and make it your business to shelve in the bookcase of your mind whatever you can, as if desiring to fill a vase.
Do not seek the matters that are above you.
Following those well-known paths you will bring forth and produce, as long as you have life, branches and fruits useful in the vineyard of the Lord of Hosts. If you eagerly follow these points, you will be able to attain that which you are striving after.
In human affairs whatever is against reason is a sin. Now it is against reason for a man to be burdensome to others, by offering no pleasure to others, and by hindering their enjoyment. Wherefore Seneca [Martin of Braga, Formula Vitae Honestae: cap. De Continentia] says (De Quat. Virt., cap. De Continentia): "Let your conduct be guided by wisdom so that no one will think you rude, or despise you as a cad." Now a man who is without mirth, not only is lacking in playful speech, but is also burdensome to others, since he is deaf to the moderate mirth of others. Consequently they are vicious, and are said to be boorish or rude, as the Philosopher states (Ethic. iv, 8).
Since, however, mirth is useful for the sake of the rest and pleasures it affords; and since, in human life, pleasure and rest are not in quest for their own sake, but for the sake of operation, as stated in Ethic. x, 6, it follows that "lack of mirth is less sinful than excess thereof." Hence the Philosopher says (Ethic. ix, 10): "We should make few friends for the sake of pleasure, since but little sweetness suffices to season life, just as little salt suffices for our meat."