Plutarch’s morals 


The philosophers tell us that some bodies are composed of distinct parts,as a fleet or army; others of connected parts, as a house or ship; others united and growing together, as every other animal is. the marriage of lovers is like this last class, that of those who marry for dowry or children is like the second class, and that of those who only sleep together is like the first class, who may be said to live in the same house, but in no other sense to live together. but just as doctors tell us that liquids are the only things that thoroughly mix, so in married people there must be a complete union of bodies, wealth, friends and relations. And thus the Roman legislator forbade married people to exchange presents with another, not that they should not go shares with one another,  but that they should consider everything as common property. 

I think that is sound advice. 

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About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

14 thoughts on “Plutarch’s morals 

  1. shelldigger says:

    While that is an interesting philosophy, and I understand the well meaningness of the statement, that philosophy just will not satisfy the deep desire in all of us to call something “mine!”

    A good marriage I think should be a sharing of the load, both in work and responsibilities, but I do not think my wife has a problem with all of the guitars and telescopes in the house being mine. And I have no trouble with her collections, or the Kindle Fire HD, etc etc, being hers. I think there is an innate desire in all of us to call at least a few things in life “mine.”

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    • makagutu says:

      In his view, if you are one, then what belongs to one belongs to the other. You have access to the kindle collection anytime you want as long as she isn’t using it likewise if she can handle a boat, she should be able to take any and go for a ride. That’s how I see it

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      • shelldigger says:

        In the grand scheme of things I believe that also in a sense. We share whatever accumulated wealth we have in tangible items. Our net worth is the sum of all things and equal.

        But that kindle is still hers!

        …and if she had boat handling skills, or wanted to develop those skills, I’d have no trouble with her taking out the boat. You can bet your ass though as soon as there was a problem with the boat it would would quickly become “my” problem. 🙂

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  2. Age-old wisdom, I should think.

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  3. Swarn Gill says:

    If you think about how we evolved in roaming bands of several hundred, I think ownership would be a rather odd concept. We can even see this as evidenced by the Native Americans who didn’t really understand that the Europeans were going to take their land, since they didn’t really see how the land could belong to anyone. Our brains are wired for that life on the time scale of evolution. You could divorce someone I suppose once you coupled, but you would still see that person everyday…the tribe survived by working together and you took care of each other and shared things.

    We think such wisdom is antiquated because the world looks so different now, but inside our bodies is a brain that would be much freer if there were no possessions at all. Just my two cents on the matter. 🙂

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  4. We have things that one uses more than the other. Does that make them his/hers? Although he did throw out MY sony walkman which was not appreciated as I was using it to learn Spanish (ok this is a long time ago but us elephants …)

    Presents? Not bought them for years. Life moves on from prescribed rituals to surviving together.

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