The Consolation of Philosophy

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What advice does Philosophy give the prisoner?

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Philosophy doesn't so much give advice as she teaches him the true nature and origin of personal happiness. Her objective is to give Boethius a true understanding of the goodness and sovereignty of God. Make no mistake, Boethius has his own ideas and beliefs of God and human nature, all which are based on Christian theology, but the author creates a dialogue between the two that is captivating.

Philosophy's teachings include that wisdom can be frightening and is often despised by those who haven't been blessed with it; the same goes for the "truth" that people often either don't see or don't want to admit. She tells him this is normal.......... just a part of life.

In Prose number 5, Philosphy tells him that in his true country "one is its lord and one its king." I believe that God is meant in both instances; as he is the Lord and King of our final home in heaven. I don't see this as advice as much as I see it a reinforcement of what he already believes.

In Book 2 she speaks of "and this too shall pass," and the "silly notion that happiness is based on good fortune." What gives us true happiness; can it be bought; she's a very smart woman. She argues against seeking fame; think the Bible here.......... we continue in the path of Christianity. Our search for goodness often leads us to things that are anything but good, the search for false goodness because often what we yearn for is for anything but the right reasons.

She goes onto tell him to stop being a weakling, that life is a gift but that it's not free from difficulties. Prose 11 in Book 3 sums the entire exchange up beautifully; All seek preservation, which means that all seek unity, which means that all seek the good, which means that all seek God--even though they may not know it, but get detoured in their ignorance.


The Consolation of Philosophy