Mulhall Annual Lecture 2020
The Mulhall Annual lecture 2020
The School of Philosophy Wessex was pleased to host the annual Mulhall Lecture on Saturday morning, 26th September 2020. The Lecture was given online using Zoom by Brian McGeough from the School of Philosophy and Economic Science in Ireland. The title of the talk was:
'Our Present Opportunity ..... What would the wise do?'
A recording of the talk was made. Click here to watch the recording.
The following are quotations used by Brian McGeough during the talk:
THE ANNUAL MULHALL LECTURE
ON ZOOM SATURDAY 26TH SEPTEMBER 2020
"In the universe there will never be a time when everything will be going smoothly, there will always be some agitation, some imbalance."
"There are but very few who are capable of comparing and digesting what passes before their eyes at different times and occasions, so as to form the whole into a distinct system. But, in books everything is settled for them, without the exertion of any considerable diligence or sagacity. For which reason, men are wise with but little reflection, and good with little self-denial, in the business of all times except their own."
"For I am proposing that a law is rightly enacted, only when it aims, like an archer, every time, at an outcome that is always constantly accompanied by something ever beautiful, and at that alone. All else should be set aside, be it wealth or anything else of that sort, in the absence of the stated aims."
PLATO LAWS BOOK 4 706A
"That God is all, and that chance and opportunity, with the help of God, determines the course of all the affairs of humanity. And yet we should accept that these are accompanied by a third more gentle element: skill. For I myself would suggest, that in a storm, it would be a huge advantage for the steersman to cooperate with opportunity...........Then, a lawgiver who holds to the truth is needed........also presumably be able to pray in the right way."
PLATO LAWS BOOK 4 709C-709D
IN A LETTER (20-V1) TO ANTONIO SERAFICO OF SAN MINIATO
On the wise and fortunate man.
"I consider that man wise and fortunate, who lives happy in the midst of calamities because he depends on God alone; whom fear does not weaken, nor pain torment: who is not corrupted by desire, nor inflamed by passion.
Amongst the thickest thorns he gathers delicate and beautiful flowers;
from dung he pulls and digs out pearls; he sees in the darkest night;
burdened with shackles and bound with chains, he runs on as though unfettered and free; until at length the Holy spirit breathes upon him.
Imitate then, as you have so begun, Pythagoras, Socrates and Plato; who applied themselves to philosophy, no less in action than in discussion,
even when fortune seemed against them.
Many have paid lip-service to philosophy, but these men served it with their whole heart. He tastes nothing, Serafico, who has not tasted for himself.
Farewell; and persevere in your conduct."
MARSILIO FICINO LETTERS V1 L20
"I did not cease to consider how an improvement might be effected in this particular situation and in politics in general and I remained on the watch for the right moment of action."
"To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men, - that is genius. Familiar as the voice of the mind is to each, the highest merit we ascribe to Moses, Plato, and Milton is, that they set at naught books and traditions, and spoke not what men said but what they thought. A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his own mind from within, more than the lustre of the firmament of bards and sages. Yet he dismisses without notice his thought, because it is his. In every work of genius, we recognise our own rejected thoughts: they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty."
EMMERSON'S ESSAY ON SELF-RELIANCE
"Man must use his intelligence to visualise the true will of the Absolute and act accordingly in full consideration of the universe (samashti), transcending all limitations."
"One needs first of all to learn to speak the truth of whatever is contained in the mind: and having expressed one's mental contents of resolutions or aspirations in speech one must act according to that speech. This is not simple. It needs great courage and trust, and this is possible when examples are available."
"What chiefly influenced me was the fear of losing my self-respect and turning out in my own eyes a creature of merely words, reluctant to embark on any action."
"A man must not pray and strive that everything conform to his own wishes, but that his wishes conform to his own wisdom. Every city, and each and every one of us, should pray and be eager for this - to possess reason."
"Habitually repeated prayers may merely be lip service with no depth to them. When the meaning of the prayer does touch the heart, then one tries to put it into practice. Mental prayers are usually silent or have less words; they are very potent and bring spontaneous expansion within one's heart. A longing only to serve the Atman is certainly a potent prayer, but to last and continue it has to be manifested in constant service."
"I'm praying more, because I feel I should and I think of people. That's what concerns me: people.
Thinking of people anoints me, it does me good,
it takes me out of my self-preoccupation.
Of course, I have my areas of selfishness.
On Tuesdays, my confessor comes and I take care of things there."
POPE FRANCIS / TABLET INTERVIEW 8-4-20