These are a few notes on Ecclesiastes, specifically touching upon the first chapters. After providing suggestions for improving your study skills and how to become a better student, I started to think about books, really good books. Good books are those about which you have different perceptions with each reading. As time goes by and new ideas are acquired, additional relationships and mental perceptions are developed, and thereby the ideas that remained crouched in previous readings are suddenly revealed, and the old ideas might acquire a different radiance under the light of a new reading. The best, or I do not know if the worst, is that one life is not enough to exhaust the meanings and ideas of good books.
Ecclesiastes is one of those writings that reveals how time passes unappealably for us while for them (the good books) it is only one of their many accomplices.
1.1: I do not know the nature of the son of David kinship. The verse does not shed any more light on the author. In fact, even at the end of the book it cannot be confidently asserted that the corporeal author is only one. Intellectually, though, the author is the same.
1.2-3: It may seem pessimistic, but it contains a truth: the eagerness of man passes away, and other similar eagerness will come to replace it. Let us allow the reading of the book to preserve flexibility.
1.4-7: The cyclical nature of things, in the face of which the will of man is insignificant.
1.8: Man’s circumstance is infinite for Him. Men will never be able to grasp it all. The cycle continues.
1.9-10: It is stated that everything is done, and there is nothing new under the sun. There is no notion of beginning or end for the creations. Another perspective for the mindset everything is invented.
1.11 Here, however, the author talks about lost memories, so it could be considered that there is room for relative innovation in a certain time. I divide innovations into real and relative or temporary. The real ones only take place in the points of dead evolution, when the individuals resort to the innovation to adapt their circumstances to their wishes. The others are new versions (although not necessarily) of natural and evolutionary behaviors, so they have always existed. Non-Evolution: Real invention. Evolution: Relative invention.
They are, of course, risky postulates, especially to say that non-evolution is unnatural.
1.12: Related to 1.1.
1.13: A search or quest is assigned as a mission, and that search might be painful.
Let’s continue with these notes on Ecclesiastes. Vanity of vanities, All is vanity! There is no real benefit to all the work of man. No eagerness will make a man great among his fellows, because actions are diluted in time. And only the works of God will remain eternal and submissive to his will.
3.14-15: This refers to the perpetuity of God’s creation, which also extends to human hearts (3.11). This eternity conferred on men has not been assimilated by humanity. It seems to me that this eternity must be born from within, away from vanities. Ultimately, vanities are born from a lie. Meanwhile, real life arises from the truth contained in our hearts, and that’s why it’s so hard to release and understand.
2.17-18 I argue that life can only be abhorred by those who find no joy in their occupations. To abhor life represents, simply, the failure of our existence, the inability to unravel our self. God, more than with sacrifices, prayers and other actions, should be praised and admired with and from the heart. This is my perspective. Therein lies a meaning and challenge to our lives. The happiness of nature and disposition towards our occupations (2.24-26, 3.12-13).
Sometimes we don’t discover the joy that certain works contain simply because we find ourselves blinded by arrogance and disdain. Wonderful is the search for the bliss of small things, in order to begin the approach to the whole from these smaller things. No good occupation is contemptible. One must only seek the light.
However, when motivation cannot be discovered or justified, we must not provide space for affliction. When the flesh suffers, it is because the soul is already broken. So let us try to seek alternative paths, toward which we feel a benign inclination.
Even so, I recognize that even the heart falls down, our works crumble, and sometimes other wills cut off ours. I have no reflection on this case, for now. Here it would be very good to appeal to a resource like faith, but this is not a theological harangue but some small and humble personal notes on Ecclesiastes.