What is it about genus arboretum that socks us in the figurative solar plexus We see a logging truck go cruising down the road, stacked with a bunch of those fresh-cut giants, we feel like we lost a brother. Next thing you know, we're in The Brick, we're flopping money down on the bar. Wood. We're under a roof. Wood. We're walking the floors. Wood. Grabbing a pool cue. That's wood. Our friends in the forest carry a set of luggage from the mythical baggage carousel. Tree of life, tree of knowledge, family tree, Buddha's Bodhi tree. Page one of life, in the beginning. Genesis 322. Adam and Eve. They're kicking back in the garden of Eden and boom, they get an eviction notice. Why is that Lest they should also take of the tree of life, eat and live forever. A definitive Yahweh no-no. Be good to yourself, go out and plant a wet one on a tree.
What is the meaning of human life, or of organic life altogether To answer this question at all implies a religion. Is there any sense then, you ask, in putting it I answer, the man who regards his own life and that of his fellow creatures as meaningless is not merely unfortunate but almost disqualified for life.
What the people wanted was a government which would provide a comfortable life for them, and with this as the foremost object ideas of freedom and self-reliance and service to the community were obscured to the point of disappearing. Athens was more and more looked on as a co-operative business possessed of great wealth in which all citizens had a right to share. Athens had reached the point of rejecting independence, and the freedom she now wanted was freedom from responsibility. There could be only one result. If men insisted on being free from the burden of a life that was self-dependent and also responsible for the common good, they would cease to be free at all. Responsibility was the price every man must pay for freedom. It was to be had on no other terms.
What we all hope in reaching for a book, is to meet a man of our own heart, to experience tragedies and delights which we ourselves lack the courage to invite, to dream dreams which will render life more hallucinating, perhaps also to discover a philosophy of life which will make us more adequate in meeting the trials and ordeals which beset us. To merely add to our store of knowledge or improve our culture, whatever that may mean, seems worthless to me.