During the last month, New Epicurean published A Man’s Neighbor and His Dog by Elli Pensa. Aeon published Why the Enlightenment was not the age of reason, an essay that question how reason has been fetishized in the Platonized interpretation of the Enlightenment and how much of Enlightenment thinking was about sensuality and the affirmation of this world.
Outside of that, this month for me has been low-key in terms of content, except for chronicling the pleasures of my trip to Key West and Puerto Rico, including my follow-up ancestral storylines blog entry. I **have**been working on future content by reading a couple of books, including the challenging-yet-enjoyable Ontology of Motion. I’m taking notes and will soon publish more on this book and my reactions to its somewhat controversial claims and its re-interpretation of a classic. I do recommend its reading for anyone who wants to read or revisit Lucretius’ On the Nature of Things, while thinking critically about its content.
Some Epicurean notes on the pleasures of travel: Going on a vacation with my friend and neighbor didn’t only serve to add variety to my pleasure regimen. As I mention in my Key West entry, it deepened our friendship. When one travels and one goes beyond one’s comfort zone, boundaries–and circles of trust–are tested and expanded. Someone who is an ordinary neighbor in your comfort zone, becomes much more familiar and intimate when you’re in a strange environment.
An observation from the Havamal on friendship that proved true this week has to do with how it is much easier to befriend the friend of a friend, than it is to befriend strangers. Friends move in concentric circles around us and are a gateway to more friends, and friendship is also the ideal context or healthy “habitat” within which Epicurean philosophy is lived, breathes, and grows. My fellow traveler is the second neighbor of mine that has now taken an interest in studying Epicurean philosophy as a result of associating with me. He lives just north of me, the other one lives just south of me. I had the two meet on Sunday for brunch. We had an amazing time, great conversation, and enjoyed shrimp curry with sticky rice, as well as breadfruit salad–I brought home frozen breadfruit from Puerto Rico.
Speaking of my vacation, I never read the book Travels with Epicurus by Daniel Klein, but I did listen to a podcast episode with the author titled Travels with Epicurus: living an authentic old age.