Davood Gozli and I discuss three books that have been near and dear to my heart: Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Pierre Hadot’s The Present Alone Is Our Happiness, and Lao Tse’s The Tao Te Ching. All three books have been formative at the just the right moments in my life. Austen’s books taught me the importance of moral and intellectual education in the deepest sense of that term. Hadot showed me that philosophy was, rightly understood, a loving pursuit of living wisely. And Lao Tse (or Laozi) showed me that sacred texts slowly sink into us: if we allow them to, they shall slowly transform our sensibilities, our way of being in the world.
This is as much a conversation about transformation (the substance, as it were, of the conversation) as it is one about presence (the vibrancy of what’s occurring in the conversation itself, right and now).
And if that isn’t enough to get you to listen, then, well, Davood is kind enough to call me a “real philosopher.” Now you have to be curious!