To be, or not to be,

Humancafe's Bulletin Boards: The Book of Life: To be, or not to be,
Eds. on Sunday, February 9, 2003 - 11:48 am:

To be, or not to be? This each living thing must ask upon being captured by that infinite web of Life, and be born. But like on a dew pearled fragile gossamer, each life clings to its being. And thus we must live, or die.

William Shakespeare
Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Sonnets from the Portuguese

Kahlil Gibran
The Prophet

T.S. Eliot
The Wasteland

Umberto Eco
The Name of the Rose

By Monday on Saturday, February 15, 2003 - 11:29 am:

Thatís quite a collection of books. I think there is more than just to be or not to be. How to be might be of importance, too. Some questions to the eds.

Does the mind of the philosopher dwell among the gods of love or the gods of hatred? Life is to be cherished, but not at any prise. Upholders of the religion of science believe that the most important thing is to keep human genes alive. What would be the use of colonising a new planet by a race that has already destroyed one?

Recently, while listening to an intellectual exchange (in Socratic sense real erotic love of wisdom) I felt that, for a long time, there was enough air to breathe. It sounded like: Welcome home, spirit. Sometimes, and unfortunately not seldom, the air is thick of hatred and pettiness of mind. Itís totally forgivable if an animal or even a small child believes that all means, even the evil ones, to own satisfaction are justified. We know that they miss the capacity for moral thinking. On the other hand, when the quantity of experience and knowledge increases, donít we expect that the sense of responsibility grows in proportion? A well read philosopher with great intellectual mind would be on top of telling just from unjust, necessary from unnecessary, worthy from unworthy, wise from stupid and beautiful from ugly. And not only telling, but doing accordingly as well. Ever since Plato, the idea of a sort of marriage between the universal and the individual will, or mind and body, has time after time been presented by philosophers. When only I know enough I do the right decision. I am not a prisoner of my own or other mind, but able to choose what is the (absolutely) best. When will this time come? When will we be one with the universe, without imagining to be the universe?

Agathon: ďHe [love] does not walk on the ground, nor on the skulls (which are not at all soft), but walks and lives in the softest of all things. He makes his home in the characters and minds of gods and humans; and not in all minds, one after another, but whenever he finds one with a tough character he moves on, and whenever he finds one with a soft character he settles down. Since he is in continual contact with the softest members of the softest type of thing, not just with his feet but with all of him, he must be extremely sensitive.Ē (The Symposium.)

Often we fail to be sensitive enough, but only few of us are programmed to kill, and none of us is born as such. Isnít the philosopher a lover of wisdom?

April the cruellest month? Only if you donít accept that life is a circle.

By Eds. on Monday, February 17, 2003 - 12:51 pm:

Charles Dickens
Great Expectations

John Steinbeck
Grapes of Wrath

Victor Hugo
Les Miserables

Joseph Campbell
The Power of Myth

Feodor Dostoevsky
Crime and Punishment

"But that is the beginning of a new story--the story of the gradual renewal of a man, the story of his gradual regeneration, of his passing from one world into another, of his initiation into a new unknown life." --Feodor D.
By Monday on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 12:11 pm:

John Steinbeck: Of Mice and Men

Thanks for wasting your time


By Monday on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 12:17 pm:

Oh dear,

One has to be a Monday to miss the links. Now you have to find them yourself. Here is a good book site:

By Ivan A. on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 12:33 am:

Some of mine, Ivan

Jerzy Kozinsky
Being There.

Salman Rushdie
Midnight's Children

Hermann Hesse

Charles Doughty
Arabia Deserta

Somerset Maugham
The Razor's Edge

Rudyard Kipling

"Ship me somewheres east of Suez, where the best is like the worst,
Where there aren't no Ten Commandments an' a man can raise a thirst;
For the temple-bells are callin', an' it's there that I would be --
By the old Moulmein Pagoda, looking lazy at the sea;
On the road to Mandalay..."
By Eds. on Thursday, February 20, 2003 - 10:35 pm:

Femininity is a power beyond the reason of men, or women:

"Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness." --George Sand

Jane Austen
Sense and Sensibility

George Sand
La Mare au Diable

Emily Jane Bronte
Wuthering Heights

Mary Shelley

Charlotte Bronte
Jane Eyre

Louisa May Alcott
Little Women

* * * * * * * * * *

Additional submission by Celsia, on women authors:

Angela Carter, "The Bloody Chamber"

Toni Morrison, "The Bluest Eye"

Maya Angelou "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings"

Virginia Woolf "Orlando"
By Eds. on Sunday, March 16, 2003 - 03:12 pm:

They dared to go where none had gone before...

Frank Herbert

Isaac Asimov

Gene Roddenberry
Star Trek

Arthur C. Clark, Stanley Kubrik
2001: A Space Odyssey

Robert Heinlein
Stanger in a Strange Land

Edgar Rice Burroughs
Tarzan, and The Chess Men of Mars

Jonathan Swift
Gulliver's Travels

Aldous Huxley
Brave New World

George Orwell

H.G. Wells
The Time Machine

Jules Verne
Journey to the Center of the Earth

By Eds. on Sunday, March 23, 2003 - 02:25 pm:

"To go into solitude, a man needs to retire as much from his chamber as from society. I am not solitary whilst I read and write, though nobody is with me. But if a man would be alone, let him look at the stars. The rays that come from those heavenly worlds, will separate between him and what he touches." -Emerson

Edgar Allan Poe
The Raven

Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Scarlet Letter

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Henry David Thoreau

Emily Dickinson

Henry Wadsworth Longellow
The Song of Hiawatha

Herman Melville
Moby Dick

James Fenimore Cooper
The Last of the Mohicans

Mark Twain
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

"So endeth this chronicle. It being strictly a history of a boy, it must stop here; the story could not go much further without becoming the history of a man." -Tom Sawyer

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