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How to Flourish: Leisure & Learning
September 20, 2023 at 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PDT
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“Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life.” ―
“Of all people only those are at leisure who make time for philosophy, only those are really alive.” — Seneca
Leisure, wrote German philosopher Josef Pieper, is the basis of Western culture and a basic power of the human soul. He wasn’t the first to believe this: the ancient Greeks believed leisure and contemplation were central to the pursuit of a flourishing life. In fact, the English word school originated from the Latin scola, which traces its roots to the Greek word for leisure, σχoλη.
In a world that prizes productivity, it seems as if we have forgotten how to protect our leisure, or spend what little we have of it well. What happens to a culture that has lost its conception of leisure and that has forgotten how to cultivate a type of intellectual life that stands apart from institutionalized education? What happens to our souls?
And, if leisure and learning are truly central to a flourishing life, how can we restore them today?
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