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1. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius - practical advice on how to arm yourself every day.

2. Man's Search for Meaning by Frankl - no matter how bad you think you have it, it can be worse, and you can find meaning.

3. The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen - it's the journey (not the destination) and <i>pay attention!</i>




The Snow Leopard was so beautiful. I read it slowly, over the course of several months. My girlfriend at the time teased me for reading it so slowly. But it was one of those books I didn't want to read quickly because it was so dense with meaning.


I tried getting through Meditations, but I couldn't. Maybe I'm more used to long-form writings, rather than the short paragraphs? I could read them, but I felt like they didn't "sink in", even if I felt they were profound at the time.


I don't know which translation you read, but maybe give the Gregory Hayes version a chance. It is more recent and more straightforward, less stylized in terms of phrasing. I felt that the language got in the way less when reading it.


Oh, lordy lord. Then don't read Gomez DaVila.

Meditations is an outstanding book. You don't have to read "through". You can browse and see what connects with you. What made a strong difference to me: the translation. First, I could not connect with the book. Then I found another translation and started liking it. Later I realized that the fist translation, while harder to read and understand, was much better. It was, like he wrote. Short. No unnecessary words.


It's actually his personal diary, written often while he was on campaign. From that perspective I think it's impressive how insightful he managed to be in short bursts. But if you are looking for something more long-form, you might try Seneca's Letters or Epictetus Discourses.


Do we know he wasn't just practicing philosophy by writing down what he heard others say?


>no matter how bad you think you have it, it can be worse, and you can find meaning.

I agree. I have a personality where when something bad happens I just assess my potential courses of action and act accordingly. Sometimes I get depressed, but I usually snap out of it and get back to work. However, I am married to someone with a chronic, debilitating illness. I'm struggling to help her keep hope. I think one of the tricky things to get around is that people with legitimately terrible situations don't want to hear "It could always be worse." They kind of have a point. Just because there's a person that has it worse doesn't mean they aren't suffering also. I think Frankl's book might be helpful, but I wouldn't really know where to start trying to convince her that it might help.




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