October 31, 2013

While You Live, Shine

Shining brightly is important for children
and other living things.

Music has always existed in the Universe. The planets themselves are constantly singing a celestial tune. Written music has been around for substantially less time, about 2000 years.

The oldest surviving example of a complete musical composition, including musical notation is the Seikilos epitaph. It was found engraved on a tombstone not far from the ancient city of Ephesus in western Turkey.

The song uses ancient Greek musical notation and the melody is recorded along with lyrics. While the tune is interesting, it is the lyrics that really appeal to me.

While you live, shine.

Have no grief at all.

Life exists only for a short while,

and time demands its toll.

Not much has changed in the area of human needs over the past two millennia, and the lyrics of the Seikilos epitaph's song are as bang on in 2013 as they were in the first century. 

Live fully now. Quit wasting time on things that don't make you happy. And, get on with it.


  1. Anonymous11/01/2013

    That's beautiful! I'd never heard of the Seikilos epitaph before. Shine On!

    1. Miss Marla,

      I read about this amazing artifact in a book about the psychology of music called, "How Music Works: The Science and Psychology of Beautiful Sounds, from Beethoven to the Beatles and Beyond" by John Powell.

  2. "Not much has changed in the area of human needs over the past two millennia..." I guess you are right. Perhaps there is no such thing as "human progress". We are essentially the same.

    I have now read your blog every day in October. It's crazy how it affected my life and behavior! This month I have spent less money than I have done for years, decluttered my home, left a pile of clothes, books and other things to charity. So liberating! Well, I started this summer while reading minimalist blogs but I moved further and faster into action now when I found this very inspiring blog. Thank you so much for writing about your and your wife's lifestyle giving the reader a convincing alternative and example of how it is possible to think and live.


    1. Eva,

      In spite of our increased material abundance, our happiness levels have not progressed since the 1950s. We are essentially the same, just with neater gadgets.

      Linda and I are so happy to hear that our blog has been useful in your life. It is great to hear about your efforts to minimalize and simplify, and we are not surprised to hear that it is making you feel liberated.

      That is one of the best things about living in this way - freedom from things and situations that aren't adding to our lives. This leaves more time for the things we do enjoy.

      Thanks for leaving a comment and letting us know about how you are doing. We would love to hear more about your ongoing efforts.


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