Friday, December 14, 2012

Interesting lenses into all humanity...the struggle continues....the mercy stays.....

.“Anxiety and Ennui are the Scylla and Charybdis on which the bark of human happiness is most often wrecked.”
-The Map of Life, William Edward Hartpole Lecky

No creature so miserable as man, so generally molested, in miseries of body, in miseries of mind, miseries of heart, in miseries asleep, in miseries awake, in miseries wheresoever he turns, as Bernard found. A mere temptation is our life, on this earth, ever fettered of sorrow. Who can endure the miseries of it? In prosperity we are insolent and intolerable, dejected in adversity, in all fortunes foolish and miserable. In adversity I wish for prosperity, and in prosperity I am afraid of adversity. What mediocrity may be found? Where is no temptation? What condition of life is free? Wisdom has labour annexed to it. Glory & envy, riches & cares, children & encumbrances, pleasure & diseases, rest & beggary go together; as if a man were therefore born (as the Platonists hold), to be punished in this life for some precedent sins; or that, as Pliny complains, nature may be rather accounted a stepmother than a mother unto us, all things considered. No creature’s life so brittle, so full of fear, so mad, so furious; only man is plagued with envy, discontent, grief, covetousness, ambition, superstition. Our whole life is an Irish Sea, wherein there is naught to be expected but tempestuous storms and troublesome waves, and those infinite:
So great a sea of troubles do I see,
that to swim out from it does seem impossible. [1]
… no Halcyonian times, wherein a man can hold himself secure, or agree with his present estate: but, as Boethius infers, there is something in every one of us, which before trial we seek, and having tried abhor: we earnestly wish, and eagerly covet, and are oft soon weary of it. Thus betwixt hope and fear, suspicions, angers, betwixt falling in, falling out, etc., we bangle away our beat days, befool out our times, we lead a contentious, discontent, tumultuous, melancholic, miserable life; insomuch, that if we could foretell what was to come, and it put to our choice, we should rather refuse than accept of this painful life. In a word, the world itself is a maze, a labyrinth of errors, a desert, a wilderness, a den of thieves, cheaters etc., full of filthy puddles, horrid rocks, precipices, an ocean of adversity, a heavy yoke, wherein infirmities and calamities overtake and follow one another, as the sea waves; and if we escape Scylla, we fall foul on Charybdis, and so, in perpetual fear, labour, anguish, we run from one plague, one mischief, one burden, to another. Serving a hard servitude, and you may as well separate weight from lead, heat from fire, moistness from water, brightness from the sun, as misery, discontent, care, calamity, danger, from a man.”
—Robert Burton,
The Anatomy of Melancholy, 1621.

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