Read Next

The Pleasure of Walking

In 2006, I quit the vast majority of intoxicants. I don't drink, I don't use recreational drugs, I don't smoke tobacco, I don't drink soda, and I am working on quitting all sweets entirely, and largely succeeding. I am not one for fine dining, and not frequently one for other forms of hedonism.

I usually do not advertise this - I might write about it for people who wish to know what I do, but I do not bring it up in conversation unless it comes up. But occasionally it does come up, and a common reaction is someone saying, half-joking, "Then why bother living?"

I think I understand. Many people do jobs they dislike for causes they feel nothing about. This must wreak havoc on a man's spirit. Most people spend more of their waking time on their work than any other thing - I can only imagine what spending the bulk of my time on something I disliked would feel like. Or worse, not even something I disliked - but something I felt very neutral about.

If a man's occupation becomes a slow crushing of his spirit, then of course he would need high energy, and high impact to free him from it. He needs to fit all of his leisure into his remaining waking time - from 6PM at night to 10PM when he is home from work, on the two days of his weekend, and his vacation time each year. Of course, not even that time is all his own - he still has to commute, run errands, do admin, do necessary little things. The reality of the situation is far worse - most people don't live bad lives, they just move slowly and quietly through things they don't particularly care for.

Of course, if a man only had 5% of his waking time to himself, he would want to maximize this time in the easiest, most surefire way of producing pleasure and relaxation. Who could blame this man? I don't. If I was suffering through a soul-killing occupation and had very little time, I would want to make sure that the time I did have was very enjoyable.

Echoes and Debate in the Halls of Valhalla

You would be forgiven for expecting that the Halls of Dead Warriors would be martial or militant in nature. It is not so; it is dreamlike, soft, warm, light. The texture of reality becomes almost velvety in such a place. And the levels of civility are surprisingly high; there is not much left to prove.

Sinking deep past consciousness to access those who walked a path both martial and civic. Memory blends and distorts, fades, is gone. But there. It would be interesting to see if pure philosophers were admitted to Valhalla, but it is not today’s focus, and the moments here are precious. We seek answers.

“Do we need hatred to bring people together?”

A leader is always wracking his mind. There are those who just see people as pieces on a chessboard; they may accomplish a lot, but at great harm.

And there are those who believe in a strictly humanitarian spirit; that harm resulting from omissions, as their lines are overrun and their precious ideals are violated, negated, cast aside by the harsh steel of a more pragmatic foe.

Rendering New Theme...