What is Friendship?

AristotleFriendships as Aristotle saw them came in three varieties, friendships for pleasure, utility and virtue. He describes them in this manor. The cause of friendship between young people seems to be pleasure. For their lives are guided by their feelings, and they pursue above all what is pleasant for themselves and what is near at hand. But as they grow up, what they find pleasant changes too. Hence they are quick to become friends, and quick to stop; pleasure friendships are a thing of youth. Friendships based on utility seem to arise especially among older people, since at that age they pursue what is advantageous, not what is pleasant, and also among those int heir prime or youth who pursue what is expedient. Nor do such people live together very much. For sometimes they do not even find each other pleasant. Hence they have no further need to meet this way if they are not advantageous to each other. Complete friendship is friendship of good people similar in virtue; for they wish goods in the same way for each other in so far as they are good, and they are good in themselves. Now those who wish goods to the friend for the friend’s sake are friends most of all; for they have this attitude because of the friend himself, not coincidentally. Hence these people’s friendship last as long as they are good and virtue is enduring.

Aristotle commented that friendships based on virtue are rare in the world. For people need time to grow accustomed to each other; for, as the proverb says, they cannot know each other before they have shared the traditional peck of salt. The main thing to think about when thinking of friendship is; are you seeking pleasure, utility, or virtue? For we need all three in our lives at one time or another for growth to occur.


Incense in Buddhist TempleIncense has been around since man first learned of fire. Some people have an aversion towards all things incense. Usually this aversion stems from a bad experience in childhood, or maybe they were burnt at the stake in a previous lifetime; for the rest of who enjoy incense it can bring a wonderful aroma to our noses and bring back memories and experiences past, and relax the mind and body. I remember incense from days in churches around the holy times of the year where the priests would fumigate the church to purify it. The time I went to a local hindu temple and smelled the aroma of the incense in the air. Going to other sacred spaces and smelling the incense there. Incense always reminds me of healing and purification.

Here are a few of my favorite brands of incense are Shoyeido, Nippon Kodo, and the Friends of Nub Gon Monastery. Of course there are other brands that I enjoy but I am primarily fond of the Japanese and Tibetan/Nepali/Himalayan incenses. If you have another favorite, leave a comment below. I am always looking for new aromas to try!

On Suspicion by Sir Francis Bacon

Free Tail bats in Austin, TXSUSPICIONS amongst thoughts, are like bats amongst birds, they ever fly by twilight. Certainly they are to be repressed, or at least well guarded: for they cloud the mind; they leese friends; and they check with business, whereby business cannot go on currently and constantly. They dispose kings to tyranny, husbands to jealousy, wise men to irresolution and melancholy. They are defects, not in the heart, but in the brain; for they take place in the stoutest natures; as in the example of Henry the Seventh of England. There was not a more suspicious man, nor a more stout. And in such a composition they do small hurt. For commonly they are not admitted, but with examination, whether they be likely or no. But in fearful natures they gain ground too fast. There is nothing makes a man suspect much, more than to know little; and therefore men should remedy suspicion, by procuring to know more, and not to keep their suspicions in smother. What would men have? Do they think, those they employ and deal with, are saints? Do they not think, they will have their own ends, and be truer to themselves, than to them? Therefore there is no better way, to moderate suspicions, than to account upon such suspicions as true, and yet to bridle them as false. For so far a man ought to make use of suspicions, as to provide, as if that should be true, that he suspects, yet it may do him no hurt. Suspicions that the mind of itself gathers, are but buzzes; but suspicions that are artificially nourished, and put into men’s heads, by the tales and whisperings of others, have stings. Certainly, the best mean, to clear the way in this same wood of suspicions, is frankly to communicate them with the party, that he suspects; for thereby he shall be sure to know more of the truth of them, than he did before; and withal shall make that party more circumspect, not to give further cause of suspicion. But this would not be done to men of base natures; for they, if they find themselves once suspected, will never be true. The Italian says, Sospetto licentia fede; as if suspicion, did give a passport to faith; but it ought, rather, to kindle it to discharge itself.

Truth and Life

Sea of SunflowersAuthentic truth is always comprehensible to everyone, even to children. How do you know what you believe in is true? When you go through your daily activities do you react to everything or do you stop to think before you act? Does your Animal Mind control you or your Rational Mind? What is time? Time is an illusion. Time is the distance between cause and effect, between sanity and insanity. If each person were to transform the less than awesome aspects of their nature, the total sum effect could transfer the world. Our negative characteristics exist to show us where we could be more proactive in our own lives. Share with someone without expecting anything in return, and truly feel it, and see how it feels, the light it lets in. How often do we hate without knowing why we hate? How often do we live in the 1% surrounding us, without realizing the 99% of reality surrounding us. When we disconnect from that 99% of reality of light around and live in the 1% darkness we lose touch and depression creeps upon us. If you try to completely shut down your emotions you will eventually blow up. There is nothing new under the Sun. Hope these thoughts have given you some seeds for contemplation. Enjoy.