On Humans

The Formula

You are


- ‘Coming-to-be in a circular motion. (Aristotle On Generation and Corruption p.63)


- Mankind is ever-flowing, and will ever follow, the course of time: and so they are immortal, because they leave children's children behind them, and partake of immortality in the unity of generation. (Plato - Laws (Penguin) p.153)


- The function of men is an activity of soul (living) witch implies reason, and we are all connected by it. (Marcus Aurelius - Meditation p.119), (Epictetus - Discourses, Fragments, Handbook (Oxford) p.88) & (Aristotle - The Nicomachean Ethics p.11)

Animality plus rationality

- Clearly then Socrates' essences differ from human essence only by being demarcated. Socrates, as Ibn Rushd says, is nothing more than animality plus rationality; those are what he is. (Aquinas - Selected Philosophical Writings (Oxford) p.94)


- Anything one ever does is either due to oneself or not due to oneself. Anything which is not due to oneself is either to chance or to necessity, where “necessity” means either compulsion or the natural course of events (...) Anything anyone ever does, then, is bound to be caused by one of seven factors: Chance, nature, compulsion, habit, reason, anger, or desire. (Aristotle: The art of Rhetoric (Oxford) p.39)


- The universe is change and life merely opinion. (Marcus Aurelius - Meditation p.24)

The measure of all things

-Man is the measure of all things, of things that are that they are, and of the things that are not that they are not. (The Sophists by W. K. C. Guthrie p.171 “Protagoras ) & (Plato - Theatetus 152a)


- The three aspects I mean are being, knowing, willing. For I am and I know and I will. Knowing and willing I am. I know that I am and I will. I will be and to know. In these three, therefore, let him who is capable of so doing contemplating how inseparable in life they are: one life, one mind, and one essence, yet ultimately there is a distinction, for they are inseparable, yet distinct. Self-conscious. (Saint Augustine - Confessions (Oxford) p.279)


- You will soon understand that we are trifling, weak little bodies, lacking stability, and liable to be destroyed by no great effort. (Seneca - Dialogues and Essays (Oxford p.222)


- For such is human nature, we cannot bear to be deprived of the good, and cannot bear to fall into what is bad.(Epictetus - Discourses, Fragments, Handbook (Oxford p.58) 


There is something inside us “wilde” that can be thrown out at any time depending on the circumstances. (Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad)


Click on the image to enlarge*

You are born to 

Experience, Feel, Disturb & Not know

- You were born, to experience loss and to perish, to feel hope and fear, to disturb others and yourself, to dread and yet to long for death, and, worst of all, never to know under what terms you exist. (Seneca - Dialogues and Essays (Oxford) p.70)

Increase & Multiply

By this blessing I understand you to grant us the capacity and ability to articulate in many ways what we hold to be a single concept and to give a plurality of meaning to a single obscure expression in a text we have read. It is said “the waters of the sea are filled” because their movement means a variety of significations. Likewise, the earth is filled with human offspring: its dryness shows itself in human energy and the mastery of it by reason. (Saint Augustine - Confessions (Oxford) p.296)

To use reason or rope

- Diogenes would constantly say that to manage our lives properly, we need either reason or a rope. (Diogenes - Saying and Anecdotes (Oxford) p.31)

You are not 

No longer human

- Even if released, I would be forever branded on the forehead with the word “madman”, or perhaps, “reject”. Disqualified as a human being. I had now ceased utterly to be a human being. (No Longer Human - Osamu Dazai p.167) 

Life is

A training ground

- What is all this except a training ground for a reason which has examined with accuracy and scientific care all that life embraces.  (Marcus Aurelius - Meditation p.100)

of war,

- In a word, all that belongs to the body is a stream inflow, all that belongs to the soul, mere dream and delusion, and our life is a see, a brief stay in a foreign land, and our fame they're after oblivion. (Marcus Aurelius - Meditation p.15)

of decisions,

- Life consisted of a few simple signals and decisions; that death took root at the moment of birth and man’s only recourse thereafter was to water and tend it. (The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea - Yukio Mishima) 

of a dangerous caus,

- The real danger is nothing more than just living. Of course, living is merely the chaos of existence, but more than that it’s a crazy mixed-up business of dismantling existence instant by instant to the point where the original chaos is restored, and taking strength from the uncertainty and the fear that chaos brings to re-creat existence instant by instant. You won’t find another job as dangerous as that. There isn’t any fear in existence itself or any uncertainty, but living creates it. (The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea - Yukio Mishima)

- Personal reflection: Therefore there is no happiness in existence itself, living also created that. 

of creating your own story,

- Dad, is there any purpose in life? “ You see what I was getting at. or don’t you, what I really meant? Father, can you give me one single reason why you go on living? Wouldn’t it be better just to fade away as quickly as possible? But a first-class insinuation never eaches a man like that. He just looked surprised and his eyes bugged and he stared at me. I hate that kind of ridiculous adult surprise. And when he finally answered, what do you think he said?”Son, nobody is going to provide you with a purpose in life; you’ve got to make one for yourself.” (The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea - Yukio Mishima p.99)

it’s the choice to fulfill it,

- The goal of human life surpasses that of other animals even more than the one life suppresses the other, and what gives human life its greater excellence is precisely the great excellence of the goal it is ordered to. So it doesn't have to contain its ultimate goal in the way the lives of the animals do.  (Aquinas - Selected Philosophical Writings (Oxford) p.326)

it can be the activity of virtue,

- Life has two meanings: sometimes it means the living things very existence and that has to do with the substance of the soul, which is the source of existence in living things; but it also means the living thing’s activity, and in the sense, virtue disposes us to live rightly, for it is the virtue that disposes us to act rightly. (Aquinas - Selected Philosophical Writings (Oxford) p.400)


it can have different forms, 

- Clearly then there are three levels among the power of the soul, or living abilities: those of vegetable life, of animal life, and of rational life. But there are five sorts of ability: namely, nutritive, sensitive, intellectual, appetitive, and locomotive, some of these containing several powers under them, as we have said. (Aquinas - Selected Philosophical Writings (Oxford) p.135) 

it is less excellent then existence,

- And this is why pseudo-Dionysius says that though living things are more excellent than existent things, existence is more excellent than life: for living, things don’t only have a life but, together with life, have existence. (Aquinas - Selected Philosophical Writings (Oxford) p.208)

it is connected,

- Your life is like the ocean, everything runs, and touches, you touch at one point and it reverberates on the other side of the world.  (Fyodor Dostoyevsky - Os Irmaos Karamazov (Editora 34)

it is a miracle.

Life is not math, it is a miracle, everything is always different. (Herman Hesse - Kurgast)


What if you don't know how to play life's game?

Should I live for something?

- I seem to have heard the theory advanced that human beings live in order to eat, but I’ve never heard anyone say that they live in order to make money. (No Longer Human - Osamu Dazai p.26)

What I use to not be human

-The more I worked the more morphine I consumed, and my doubt at the pharmacy reached a frightening figure. Whenever the woman caught sight of my face, the tears came to her eyes.

I also wept.


(No longer Human - Osamu Dazai p.164)