The Essential Life

The Essential Life

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One of the important new books to be published this month is "The Essential Life," by Stephen Berrien Stanton. No profounder or more spirited essays on what may be called the philosophy of life have appeared in many seasons. They are manifestly the result of the prolonged meditation of a remarkably acute mind, in the course of which simplification has been carried very far, and the work in consequence not only purged of all superfluity of expression, but compressed into the essence of thought. The style is extraordinarily vivid and eloquent, and achieves this effect by its brilliant conciseness and precision rather than through the more conventional period. The titles of the essays explain and suggest the contents of the book: "The Spirit in Man," "Time," "Individuality," Imagination," "Happiness," "Morality," "Environment," "Spiritual Companionship," "Expression," "Action," "Spiritual Capacities," "Attitude," "Eternal Youth," "The Centrality of the Soul," "The Obscuration of the Present," "Travel," "Realities," "Instrumental Hands and Orchestral Hearts," "Wayside Healing," "Beauty," "Life's New Lands." The spirit and manner of the expression is remarkably sustained throughout. In the course of the chapter on "The Spirit in Man," Mr. Stanton says: "Introspection is the largest outlook. Within ourselves we see furthest into nature and nearest to God. What we took for the mere inland sea of our soul, opens out on exploration and stretches away into the great spiritual ocean itself. Our brain backs upon infinity. We become each moment only what God already is." In the chapter on "Attitude," he says: "In modern life the left hand of fatigue takes back all that the right hand of opportunity offers. Not the means of enjoyment so much as the capacity for it is lacking. We bolt our experiences as we do our food and get no nourishment or pleasure from them. The revels of life are over by the time we decide to join them, and everywhere we encounter empty chambers. Exhaustion goes on a mere vacation; for only exuberance can take a holiday. The world has forgotten its functions; its outings are no longer a sign of health, but a symptom of sickness." -The Book Buyer: A Monthly Review of American and Foreign Literature [1908]show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 243 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 13mm | 340g
  • Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1514357402
  • 9781514357408