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03 July 2018

Commonplace Book: June

A sample from my commonplace book, and brief instructions for how to keep one.

A commonplace is a traditional self-education tool: as you read, grab a notebook. Write down things that embody Truth, Goodness, and Beauty. Write down notable quotes, with or without your own thoughts about them. Write down the questions you have as a result of the text you are reading. You will find the book becomes a record of your own growth, and it becomes a touchstone for memory of things you have studied in the past. This is what Mother Culture is all about: self-directed, conscious self-education.

Summer is in full swing now, and we've had a bunch of activities to go to, so our book work has slowed way some while we do other seasonal things (we've all sporting sunburns from a morning at the lake right now), but there's still some getting done, and one of the things that's going really well is Mother Culture reading: Brandy had some great suggestions, and I tried a couple of them out the last week of June, and they are doing really good things for me. So here are some selections from my reading this month:

Since human beings are more than just intellects, however, the curriculum must develop more than just intellectual virtue. Creatures formed in God's image must be cultivated in body and sould --mind, will, and affections.
-The Liberal Arts Tradition, p2

Grounded in piety, Christian classical education cultivates the virtue of the student in body, heart, and mind, while nurturing a love for wisdom under the Lordship of Christ.
-The Liberal Arts Tradition, p4

The Roman concern for filial piety was even greater than that of the Greeks. It is from their word PIETAS that the English word is derived. Cicero defined PIETAS as the virtue "which admonishes us to do our duty to our country, our parents, or other blood relations." John Calvin was so impressed with the classical emphasis on PIETAS that he suggested that the Christian interpretation of it, often translated in the New Testament as "godliness", could be understood as the entire calling of Christian life.
-The Liberal Arts Tradition, p13

Pietatem, quae erga patriam aut parentes aut alios sanguine coniuctos officium conservare moneat.

Do not accept what you attained as something definitive. If you can do that, then try to go further.
-Attributed to BKS Iyengar

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