In 1957, four years before his death, Carl Gustav Jung, psychiatrist and psychologist, began writing his life story. But what started as an exercise in autobiography soon morphed into an altogether more profound undertaking.
"Dr. Jung's Life Would Make A Good Movie"
Aristotle's Metaphysics was the first major study of the subject of metaphysics - in other words, an inquiry into 'first philosophy', or 'wisdom'. It differs from Physics which is concerned with the natural world: things which are subject to the laws of nature, things that move and change, are measurable. In Metaphysics, the study falls on 'being qua being' - being insofar as it is being; the causes and principles of being, the causes and principles of substances.
In a ranch south of Texas, the man known as The Executioner dumps 500 body parts in metal barrels. In Brazil's biggest city, a mysterious prisoner orders hit men to gun down 41 police officers and prison guards in two days. In Southern Mexico a meth maker is venerated as a saint while enforcing Old Testament justice on his enemies. A new kind of criminal kingpin has arisen: part CEO, part terrorist, and part rock star, unleashing guerrilla attacks, strong-arming governments, and taking over much of the world's trade in narcotics, guns, and humans.
"The worst narrator for the book"
Towards the end of his life, Seneca the Younger (c4 BCE-65 CE) began a correspondence with a friend in Sicily, later collected under the title The Moral Epistles. In these 124 letters, Seneca expresses, in a wise, steady and calm manner, the philosophy by which he lived - derived essentially from the Stoics. The letters deal with a variety of specific topics - often eminently practical - such as 'On Saving Time', 'On the Terrors of Death', 'On True and False Friendships', 'On Brawn and Brains' and 'On Old Age and Death'.
As former tutor and adviser to Emperor Nero, philosopher and statesman Seneca was acutely aware of how short life can be - his own life was cut short when the emperor ordered him to commit suicide (for alleged involvement in a conspiracy). And Seneca proved true to his words - his lifelong avowal to Stoicism enabled him to conduct himself with dignity to the end. During his rich and busy life, Seneca wrote a series of essays that have advised and enriched the lives of generations down to the present day.
'On Anger' is one of Seneca's most important essays. At some length he investigates the nature of anger: how and why it emerges, the effect it has on the individual and those to whom it is directed, and how to manage it and prevent it even from arising. For, Seneca considers, anger simply serves no purpose - it does not bring courage in war, prevent others misbehaving or punish miscreants. In short it has a negative effect on all. In 'On Leisure' he takes a short look at what is really meant by the term.
David is the small boy who is always asking questions. Simon and Ines take care of him in their new town, Estrella. He is learning the language; he has begun to make friends. He has the big dog, Bolivar, to watch over him. But he'll be seven soon, and he should be at school. And so, with the guidance of the three sisters who own the farm where Simon and Ines work, David is enrolled in the Academy of Dance. It's here, in his new golden dancing slippers, that he learns how to call down the numbers from the sky.
Marc is a promising young footballer of 15, growing up in Scotland. A few hundred miles away in England, Martin is a fun-loving 16-year-old. Both are enjoying their summers when they are suddenly struck down by debilitating illnesses. Within days, the boys are close to death. Although their paths have never crossed, their fortunes are about to be bound in the most extraordinary, intimate way. One of them will die, and in doing so he will save the other's life.