The practice of self-culture (1904) by Hugh Black (Self-help) PDF book

The practice of self-culture (1904) by Hugh Black (Self-help) PDF book

The practice of self-culture

The author recently published a book on Culture and Restraint, which was a somewhat philosophical discussion of the two great ideals of self-development and self-effacement, showing the strength and weaknesses of each and the need for a completer ideal which would include both. Service offers a great reconciling thought which finds room for the two opposing ideals. This present book deals with the practical ways in which the self can be equipped for service. It frankly admits that self-culture is not in itself a complete ideal for human life, but has its place as the necessary education to make a man's contribution to the world worthy. Nothing could be finer as a definition of education than Milton s, I call a complete and generous education that which fits a man to perform justly, skillfully, and magnanimously, all the offices, both private and public, of peace and war.

The author trusts that the title The Practice of Self-Culture will justify itself, not from the point of view of giving many details, but of giving an impulse to practice. The counsels and details are well enough known, but our chief need is to lay hold of a comprehensive scheme into which our efforts will fall easily and the possession of which acts as an inducement. For example, in treating bodily culture there might well be a paragraph with much good advice about eating and drinking, and another about sleep and the like, but these things, which would be in place in a manual of hygiene, are matters of common knowledge. What we need is the right view of the whole subject, which will make us treat the body sanely and reverently as an integral part of life. Practical advice does not necessarily mean a list of petty precepts and counsels, but advice that will lead to practice; and if this book gives to any reader some impulse in the great education of life, it will have served its purpose.

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