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What he talks about as “An excess of being (or humanity)” in Achilles is reminiscent to me of Thoreau’s state of being awake: “The millions are awake enough for physical labor, but only one in a million is awake enough for intellectual exertion; only one in a hundred million to a poetic or divine life. To be awake is to be alive. I’ve never met a man who was quite awake. How could I have looked him in the face?”
Do you think a great poetic life, a divine life, or intellectual exertion can happen without first the experience of hard physical labor?
We have to be rooted in reality. That requires interacting with the world of the concrete in a significant way. Physical labor is an enormous part of that.
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