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New essays by Castalian Spring, Blogging Bacon, on Medium.

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"We tend, in the moment, to see the entire world through the lens of our worries and concerns. In doing this, the whole world for us becomes coloured, or darkened, by our concerns: a fearful world, full of potential danger, an angry world, full of outrages, etc. This immersion in our affects also suggests a “certain perpetuity” to our worries: they seem enormous to us right now, like we couldn’t see out of them."

It is a great article, but I will take the other side and say that some of us see the world with eyes that receive the beauty and magic of life. That said, even we manic happy-clappy souls have stressors to overcome. 🙂


Don’t we all do this? Bacon suggests already what modern psychology confirms: unproductive rumination, both product and stimulus to anxiety, is very common, seemingly as much in the 16th-17th centuries as today:

for who is there amongst us that cares no more than suffices either to resolve of a course or to conclude upon an impossibility, and does not still chew over the same things, and tread a maze in the same thoughts, and vanishes in them without issue or conclusion …?

It’s a good question. The answer would direct us to people who either do resolve upon a course of action, and then put their mind at rest, or else explore all alternative responses, to such an extent that it becomes clear that there is no possible issue or conclusion.

It is a good question. The answer above does not convince me so much.

"...there is no possible issue or conclusion?"



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Posted (edited)

Well, I apologize. I just accidentally deleted two comments with one click: the "empty" comment--which I was trying to get rid of--and the one responding to Light-of-Truth's recent comment on Castalian Stream's blogpost on Bacon and mindfulness--which I meant to keep. 

Basically, I was just suggesting that Bacon's "maze metaphor" was very apt, for it can seem to a person who is stuck ruminating on problems that there is no solution, like a person lost in a maze who can't see around corners or over walls (like a corn maze, perhaps, or Daedelus in the mythological labyrinth). That person's vision is narrow.  I thought Patch Adams had good advice when he said, "If you focus on the problem, you'll never see past it to the solution." (in the movie "Patch Adams," with Patch played by Robin Williams). If you say "mindfulness," people can relate. I like how Castalian Spring makes Bacon's wisdom relevant to readers today. (Regarding Castalian Spring's essay, "Francis Bacon on Staying Present" (based on Bacon's essay, "Of the Moderation of Cares"). Thanks, Light-of-Truth, for taking the time to read it and comment!

Edited by Christie Waldman
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