Consolation of Philosophy (Part 5)

Let me finish the series of the last four posts with a discussion of the final book and some final words about the Consolation of Philosophy.

Book 5

In this final section of the book, Philosophy states that everyone has free will to choose what actions to take now and in the future.  This is a very heavy burden for all of us if we are to remain on the road to happiness.  Life is not a series of random events that none of us can control.  Philosophy teaches that our decisions impact our future and that we must be diligent in making the right decisions if happiness is to be realized.

Philosophy warns all of us, “Therefore, stand firm against vice and cultivate virtue.  Lift up your souls to worthy hopes … the necessity of virtuous action imposed upon you is very great …”

Summary of the Book

The teachings of Boethius through his book echo the road to happiness in this life found in my book.  He mentions that the meaning of life is happiness; that financial comfort, honor, prestige, pleasure, and love/friendships are needed to reach happiness; and that virtues are required to make the right decisions to use the goods acquired in life to find happiness.

The main difference is that Boethius does not speak of the Adventure.  In my book, the Adventure is the means by which the acquired virtues are utilized to move the individual from the “good life” to happiness.  As important, the Adventure of the individual is also the means by which society flourishes.  In essence, the flourishing of society is based on the happiness of the individual.

That is what makes the narrative of the my book so compelling: the meaning of life is happiness and finding one’s happiness leads to the betterment of society.  In other words, individual happiness = better society.  So, if we all are searching for happiness, then we are searching to help those around us.  Without happiness, there is no flourishing of society.  Without the flourishing of society, there is no happiness.  This is the Holy Grail: society flourishes by those actions undertaken by individuals searching for their personal happiness.  This twofold gift can not be realized without  a successful Adventure.  The Adventure cannot be successful without the virtues.  The virtues can not be gained without trying to find honor, recognition, financial comfort, pleasure, friends and love.  This is the warning of Boethius, take extreme care to cultivate the virtues and use them properly: without them you will not find happiness and those around you will not prosper.

I hope that these posts might inspire you to read the book.  it is a very rewarding book and very easy to read, especially with the primer of my last few posts!

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