Wisdom From the Past

From Durant’s “Caesar and Christ”, Lucretius says “All things that grow decay: organs, organisms, families, states, races, planets, stars; only the atoms never die. The forces of creation and development are balanced by the forces of destruction in a vast diastole and systole of life and death.” I was just thinking about with a friend yesterday. It’s never the end of the world. Our children will go on with their children making things in their world better and then another generation will come and it will seem worse and then get better.

And then this Lucretius guy! Wow. His work was lost to the world until someone rediscovered him 1400 years later. Just imagine that. You spend your whole life studying and writing, probably thinking no one is listening or even cares. You die. Your work is lost but you don’t know it. 1400 years later someone finds it, reads it, and shares it with the world. And then 600 years after that some homeschooling Mom quotes it on her blog. It’s crazy. But it makes me want to keep reading, thinking, and writing. Who knows? Maybe 1000 years from now someone will come across my work, have to have their android figure out how to read the data, and pour over my notes to learn about how we lived and thought now.

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