The great Russian author and thinker Leo Tolstoy set off to compile, “a wise thought for every day of the year, from the greatest philosophers of all times and all people.” He would spend seventeen years collecting bits and pieces of wisdom before he published them in a book called “A Calendar of Wisdom.” This blog is a continuation of his project, for seventeen years of a single life is not enough to capture a fraction of all the wonderful thoughts and dreams that fed the minds of the past.
If there is a difference between Tolstoy’s book and this blog, it is more a matter of tone than content. This blog is unabashedly against all forms of authority, whether it take the form of nationalism, religion, the invisible hand of the market, and even outright rebellion (for the rebels of today so easily become the tyrants of tomorrow.) It also means we shouldn’t worship past thinkers as indisputable authorities who have the last word on everything. Truth is not like a rare piece of jewel that remains unchanging throughout the ages, but a plant that grows and adapts.
To reflect the blog’s rebellious attitude, it is named after the Greek Titan Prometheus, who defied the Olympian gods by stealing fire and giving it to humanity, thereby founding civilization. It aims to bring bits and pieces of wisdom from their lofty seats into the fiery recesses of the human mind, where they can continue to burn and live, just as it did in the hearts of all the wise men and poets of the past. Hopefully, in the end the reader will feel as Tolstoy did about his own book, “I felt that I have been elevated to great spiritual and moral heights by communication with the best and wisest people whose books I read.”