Less Haste, More Speed

In actuality, I’m not nearly as harried and compelled to make haste as I could be. But sometimes… I’ve taken to drinking a lot of tea and coffee; Scholastic philosophers and eighteenth century British Imperial economics seem to become clearer under the influence of caffeine.

Anyway, it’s the New Year, and I’m resolved to write and blog more, which will likely mean a lot of mostly useless ruminations on whatever I’m reading and writing about in ‘real life.’ Right now that means Roman religion from the time of the Republic, the history of the British Empire (and, on here anyway, what that history means for the American (in?)formal empire), and philosophical/theological musings from any number of corners and crannies. With that, here’s a relevant piece of wisdom from the French ‘Christian existentialist’ philosopher Gabriel Marcel:

‘There are many reasons for this regrettable state of affairs; one of them no doubt is the gasping, hurrying rhythm of our lives; I am not referring only to the relative absence of true leisure today, but also the increasing incapacity even of genuinely philosophic minds to follow out a long continuous task, the sort of task that requires perseverance and a good wind, in the long-distance runner’s sense. Every student today is forced to get his results as quickly as possible, no matter by how many improper short cuts, so that he can get his degree or his doctorate and land his job. The results of scholarship are measured by a temporal coefficient; the point is not merely to get one’s result, but to get it in as little time as possible. Otherwise the whole value of one’s researches may be called into question, even the possibility of earning a modest livelihood may be swept away. This is a very serious matter, for such conditions are at the opposite pole to those required for the real flowering of the intelligence, in the richest sense of that word.’

Gabriel Marcel, Mystery of Being, Vol. I

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