Consolation of Philosophy (Part 1)

A few months ago I had several posts on the movie and the book, The Natural.  I would like to write a few posts on another book, The Consolation of Philosophy, by Boethius.  This is not a novel, like The Natural, but a creative non-fiction book in which the author has a conversation with himself to console him while in prison waiting his execution.

The book has remained very influential ever since it was written in 524 AD.  The book was written over a one year period while the author was in prison for crimes he did not commit.  He was stripped of his fame, wealth, honor, and possessions, separated from his family, and was ultimately executed. These misfortunes forced the author, Boethius, to reexamine the moral principles upon which his entire life was based.  The book is his record of how he was able to rise above the unjust actions against him and remain optimistic in reason and hope.

The book is very short, around 120 pages, and easy to read.  It is presented as a dialogue between the author and Philosophy, who is personified.  It is Philosophy that helps Boethius to come to terms with his imprisonment and how to rise above it with the help of philosophy.  The book’s teachings apply to all of us today.  If you feel that you have been accused unjustly, or abandoned for whatever reason, or perhaps misunderstood by friends and coworkers, you might find this book very helpful.  All of us could use a book that lifts our spirits, and not just a book that wastes our time with simple statements and feel good quotes.  This book delivers strong medicine, but medicine that all of us can take and benefit from.  And, it is very enjoyable to read.

More in my next post.

 

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