"Man is most nearly himself when he achieves the seriousness of a child at play" - Heraclitus.
Seriousness? WTF is Heraclitus talking about?
Or is he being ironic, like some bloggers we know? Does he mean that man is most nearly himself when he is not serious at all? That our true nature is to be frivolous?
Surely not. By all accounts he was a miserable old sod, sometimes being known as the "weeping philosopher." He got the dropsy and treated himself with a "liniment of cow manure." Then he died. It doesn't sound like he was a barrel of laughs to me
So is he saying that children's play is deadly serious and we grownups should play seriously too?
My play is sailing a Laser and regular readers will know that from time to time, about once very three or four years or so, I threaten to get serious about it. Get fit. Train. Work hard. Keep a training log. Learn from my mistakes. Sail 100 times a year. Actually try to win regattas and stuff.
But that mood doesn't last very long, and pretty soon I'm back to being happy as a fat, lazy, dumb, totally useless, back-of-the-fleet, crap sailor again.
What do you think? Should we be serious about play? Is play more fun if you take it seriously?
And if you got the dropsy would you self-medicate with liniment of cow manure... or rum?