Website owner: James Miller
What are the most important things in life? What do the proverbs, the wise sayings of man through the ages, have to say on this point? Let us search them. If we did so we would come up with the following list: - the basic necessities (food and shelter) - a good wife (or spouse) - good health - a good conscience - a good name - wisdom, understanding, good sense, spiritual knowledge, understanding of ourselves and life Now let us ask another question. What things are most commonly pursued by man? What does the common, ordinary man pursue in life? We can list them: - temporary pleasure (gratification of appetites) - material possessions, wealth - social position, being "important" - friendship, friends, acceptance by a group When we ask the question "What are the important things in life?" what we really mean is: "What things in life bring the best happiness?" Both are just different ways of phrasing the same question. What a person pursues in life depends on what he values. His values, basic tastes and preferences, determine his priorities and the way he occupies himself and spends his time. The most basic, underlying values of the wise man are Wisdom, Understanding, Justice, Goodness, and Virtue. These are his first loves. They are what drive him, determining his tastes and preferences. The ordinary man, however, has as his first love pleasure and the other things we have listed. He occupies himself with the pursuit of Thrill and Temporary Pleasure. He focuses on the temporary pleasures available to him through catering to his base appetites. He spends his time in front of a TV set watching programs that excite his fantasies and provide him temporary thrills and erotic pleasure; he finds his pleasure in eating, sex, gambling, coarse humor, alcohol and drugs. The wise man, on the other hand, is driven by a different set of tastes and preferences, likes and dislikes. He is attracted to that which gives spiritual understanding. He is interested in the serious questions of life and society. He is interested in the problems of his fellow man. He is interested in the dilemmas of life --- spiritual, moral, economic, etc.. He is interested in spiritual and moral truth. And he tends to prefer activities that aid him in these interests -- that provide insight, knowledge, perspective, etc.. He is likely to be a lover of reflection and also of books. What is wrong with the pursuits of the common man? The problem with these pursuits is that most of them are illusory. They don't give real happiness, or the best happiness. And many are also destructive, destroying morally, spiritually and physically. The wise man, the man of understanding, knows there is a God and he puts spiritual things first. He is a god-fearing person who lives by God's moral law. Jan 1987 More from SolitaryRoad.com:
On Self-sufficient Country Living, Homesteading
Principles for Living Life
Topically Arranged Proverbs, Precepts, Quotations. Common Sayings. Poor Richard's Almanac.
America has lost her way
The really big sins
Theory on the Formation of Character
You are what you eat
People are like radio tuners --- they pick out and listen to one wavelength and ignore the rest
Cause of Character Traits --- According to Aristotle
These things go together
We are what we eat --- living under the discipline of a diet
Avoiding problems and trouble in life
Role of habit in formation of character
The True Christian
What is true Christianity?
Personal attributes of the true Christian
What determines a person's character?
Love of God and love of virtue are closely united
Walking a solitary road
Intellectual disparities among people and the power in good habits
Tools of Satan. Tactics and Tricks used by the Devil.
On responding to wrongs
Real Christian Faith
The Natural Way -- The Unnatural Way
Wisdom, Reason and Virtue are closely related
Knowledge is one thing, wisdom is another
My views on Christianity in America
The most important thing in life is understanding
Sizing up people
We are all examples --- for good or for bad
Television --- spiritual poison
The Prime Mover that decides "What We Are"
Where do our outlooks, attitudes and values come from?
Sin is serious business. The punishment for it is real. Hell is real.
Self-imposed discipline and regimentation
Achieving happiness in life --- a matter of the right strategies
Self-control, self-restraint, self-discipline basic to so much in life
We are our habits
What creates moral character?