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Manufactured In America | Hapiness Is A Side Effect Of Meaning

Manufactured In America | Hapiness Is A Side Effect Of Meaning

Manufactured In America | Hapiness Is A Side Effect Of Meaning

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Lyrics

I had good grandparents
A good mother and father
A good sister
Good teachers
Good servants
Relatives, friends
Nearly everything good
And that I never lost control of myself with any of them
Although I had it in me to do that
And I might have
Easily
But thanks to the gods
I was never put in that position
And so I escaped the test
I was never put in that position
And so I escaped the test
That I wasn’t longer raised by my granddad’s girlfriend
I didn’t lose my virginity too early
And didn’t enter adulthood until it was time
Hell, I put off

That I had
Someone
As a ruler and father
Who could keep me from arrogance
To live in a palace without body guards
Without fancy dresses or torches or statues or such like show
That you can live much like a regular person
Not remiss in action or careless a ruler
When carrying out official obligations
That I had the kind of brother I did
One whose character challenged me to
Improve my own
One whose love and affection
Enriched my whole life
That my children weren’t born
Stupid or physically deformed
That I wasn’t more talented
In rhetoric or poetry
They could have consumed me
If I had seen progress
I might never have given them up

That I conferred on the people who brought me up
The honors that they seemed to want early on
Instead of putting them off
Since they were still young
With the hope that I’d do it later
That I knew Apollonius
And Rusticus
And Maximus
That I was shown clearly and often
What it would be like to live as nature requires

[Chorus]
Thanks to the gods
They did all they could
Through their gifts
Their help
Their inspiration
To ensure
That I could live
As nature demands
Thanks to the gods
They did all they could
Through their gifts
Their help
Their inspiration
To ensure
That I could live
As nature demands

And if I’ve failed
It’s no one’s fault but mine
Cause I didn't pay attention
To what they told me
To what they taught me
Practically, step by step
That my body has held up
For so long through such a life
That I never laid a finger
On Benedicta
Or Theodotus
Even later
I was overcome by passion
I recovered
Even though
I often quarreled with Rusticus
I never did nothing that I regretted later

And though my mother died young
She spent her last years with me
And if I ever wished to help a man in need
I was never told that I had not the means

That I was never put in that position myself
Of having to take something from somebody else
That I have the wife I do
Obedient
Loving
Humble
That my children had competent teachers
For the remedies shown me in dream
When I was coughing blood
When my head was spinning
(Spinning)
(Spinning)

When I had an inclination
To philosophy
I didn’t fall into the hands of any
Sophist

That I didn't waste my time
On writers of histories
Or in the resolution of syllogisms
Or occupy myself about the investigation
Of appearances in the heavens
For all these things require the help
Of the gods and fortune

[Chorus]
Thanks to the gods
They did all they could
Through their gifts
Their help
Their inspiration
To ensure
That I could live
As nature demands
Thanks to the gods
They did all they could
Through their gifts
Their help
Their inspiration
To ensure
That I could live
As nature demands
[Chorus]
Hard work and persistence
Self-reliance, always
Strength, perseverance, self-control
Hard work and persistence
Self-reliance, always cheerful
Strength, perseverance, self-control

Compassion
Unwavering adherence to decisions once he’d reached them
Indifference to superficial honors
Listening to anyone who could contribute to the public good
His dogged determination to treat people as they deserved
A sense of when to push and when to back off
His altruism
Not expecting his friends to keep him entertained at dinner
Or to travel with him

And anyone who had to stay behind to take care of something
Always found him the same when he returned

His searching questions at meetings
A kind of single-mindedness
Almost
Never content with first impressions or breaking off the discussion prematurely
His constancy to friends
Never getting fed up with them
Or playing favorite

And his advance planning
Well in advance
And his discreet attention to even minor things
His restrictions on acclamations
And all attempts to flatter him
His constant devotion to the empire’s needs
His stewardship at the treasury
Willingness to take responsibility
And blame
For both
His attitude to the gods
No superstitiousness
His attitude to men
No demagoguery
No currying favor
No pandering
Always sober, always steady, never vulgar or a prey to fads
No currying favor
No pandering
Always sober, always steady, never vulgar or a prey to fads

[Chorus]
Hard work and persistence
Self-reliance, always
Strength, perseverance, self-control
Hard work and persistence
Self-reliance, always cheerful
Strength, perseverance, self-control

The way he handled the material comforts that fortunehad supplied him in such abundance
Without arrogance and without apology
If they were there
He took advantage
If not
He didn’t miss them
No one ever called him glib
Or shameless, or pedantic
They saw him for what he was
A man tested by life
Accomplished
Unswayed by flattery, qualified to govern
Both himself and them
Both himself and them

His respect for people who practiced philosophy
At least, for those sincere about it
But without denigrating the others
Or listening to them
His ability to feel at ease with people
And put them at their ease without being pushy

His willingness to take adequate care of himself
Not a hypochondriac obsessed with his appearance
But not ignoring things either
With the result that he hardly ever needed medical attention
Or drugs or any sort of salve or ointment
This, in particular
(This, in particular)
(This, in particular)

His willingness to yield the floor to experts
In oratory, law, psychology, whatever
And to support them energetically
So each could fulfill his potential
He respected tradition without need to constantly congratulate himself for
Safe guarding traditional values
Not prone to go off on tangents
Or pulled in all directions
But sticking with the same old places
And the same old things
The way he could have one of his migraines
And then go right back to what he was doing
Fresh and at the top of his game
That he had so few secrets
Only state secrets
In fact
And not
All that many
Of those

The way he kept public actions
Within reasonable bounds
Games, building projects because he looked to what needed doing
And not the credit to be gained from doing it

No bathing at strange hours
No self-indulgent building projects
No concern for food, or the cut and color of his clothes
Or having attractive slaves
He never exhibited rudeness, lost control of himself, turned violent
No one saw him sweat
Everything was to be approached logically
And with due consideration
In a calm and orderly fashion
But decisively
With no loose ends
You could have said of him
That he knew how to enjoy and abstain from things that most find hard
To abstain from and all too easy to enjoy

But to be strong enough both to bear the one
And be sober in the other is the mark of a man
With a perfect and invincible soul
Ey
But to be strong enough both to bear the one
And be sober in the other is the mark of a man
With a perfect and invincible soul

[Chorus]
Hard work and persistence
Self-reliance, always
Strength, perseverance, self-control
Hard work and persistence
Self-reliance, always cheerful
Strength, perseverance, self-control
Love my family
Love my family
Love my family
Love my family
To Love my family
Love my family
Love my family
Love my family

To love my family
Truth and justice
Love my family
Truth and justice
Love my family
Truth and justice
Love my family
Truth and justice
Love my family
Truth and justice
Love my family
Truth and justice
Love my family
Truth and justice
Love my family

My brother Severus
It was through him I encountered Thrasea
Helvidius
Cato
Dion
Brutus

And conceived of a society of equal laws
Governed by equality of status
And of speech
And of rulers who respect the liberty
Of their subjects above all else
And from him as well to be steady and consistent
In valuing philosophy
And to help others
And be eager to share
Not to be a pessimist, never to doubt your friends’ affection for you

And when people incurred
His disapproval
They always knew it
They always knew it
And that his friends never had to speculate about his attitude to anything
It was always clear

[Chorus]
To love my family
Truth and justice
Love my family
Truth and justice
Love my family
Truth and justice
Love my family
Truth and justice
Love my family
Truth and justice
Love my family
Truth and justice
Love my family
Truth and justice
Love my family

To help others in need
To share
To help others in need
To share
To help others in need
To share
To help others in need
To share

Maximus
Self-control and resistance to distractions
Optimism in adversity
Especially illness
A personality in balance
Dignity and grace together
Doing your job without whining

Other people’s certainty that what he said was what he thought
And what he did was done without malice
Never taken aback or apprehensive
Neither rash nor hesitant
Or bewildered
Or at a loss
Not obsequious but not aggressive or paranoid either
Generosity, charity, honesty
The sense he gave of staying on the path
Not being kept on it
That no one could have ever felt patronized by him
Or in a position to patronize him
A sense of humor

[Chorus]
To love my family
Truth and justice
Love my family
Truth and justice
Love my family
Truth and justice
Love my family
Truth and justice
Love my family
Truth and justice
Love my family
Truth and justice
Love my family
Truth and justice
Love my family

To help others in need
To share
To help others in need
To share
To help others in need
To share
To help others in need
To share
My grandfather Verus
Character and self-control
My father
Integrity and manliness
My mother
Her reverence for the divine
Her generosity
Her inability not only to do wrong
But even to conceive of doing it
My great-grandfather
To avoid the public school
Hire good private teachers
And accept the resulting costs
As money well-spent
My first teacher
Not to support this side or that in chariot-racing
This fighter or that in the games
To put up with discomfort and not make demands

Do my own work
Mind my own business
And have no time for slanderers
Do my own work
Mind my own business
And have no time for slanderers

Diognetus
Not to waste time on nonsense
Not taken in by conjurors
Not to be obsessed with quail-fighting
Or other crazes like that
To hear unwelcome truths
To practice philosophy, study
To write dialogues as a student
And to choose the Greek lifestyle
The camp bed
And the cloak

[Chorus]
DEBTS
AND LESSONS
DEBTS
AND LESSONS
DEBTS
AND LESSONS
DEBTS
AND LESSONS
DEBTS
AND LESSONS
DEBTS
AND LESSONS
DEBTS
AND LESSONS
DEBTS
AND LESSONS

Rusticus
The recognition that I needed to train and discipline my character
Not to be sidetracked by interest in rhetoric
Not to write treatises on abstract questions
Or deliver moralizing little sermons
Or compose imaginary descriptions
Of ‘The Simple Life’ or ‘The Man Who Lives Only for Others’
To steer clear of oratory
Poetry
And belles lettres
Not to dress up just to stroll around the house
Write straightforward letters
To behave in a conciliatory way
When people who have angered us want to make up
Read attentively
Not to be satisfied with “just getting the gist of it”
And not to fall for each smooth talker

Apollonius
Independence and unvarying reliability
To pay attention to nothing
No matter how fleetingly
Except the logos
To be the same in all circumstances
Intense pain
Loss of a child
Chronic illness
To see clearly
That a man can show both strength and flexibility
His patience in teaching
To have seen someone who clearly viewed
His expertise and ability as a teacher as the humblest of virtues
And to have learned how to accept favors
From friends without losing your self-respect
Or appearing ungrateful

[Chorus]
DEBTS
AND LESSONS
DEBTS
AND LESSONS
DEBTS
AND LESSONS
DEBTS
AND LESSONS
DEBTS
AND LESSONS
DEBTS
AND LESSONS
DEBTS
AND LESSONS
DEBTS
AND LESSONS

Sextus
Kindness
An example of fatherly authority in the home
What it means to live as nature requires
Gravity without airs
To show intuitive sympathy for friends
Tolerance to amateurs and sloppy thinkers
His ability to get along
With everyone
To investigate and analyze
With understanding and logic
The principles we ought to live by
Not to display anger or other emotions
To be free of passion and yet full of love
To praise without bombast
To display expertise without pretension

Literary Critic Alexander
Not to be constantly correcting people
Not to jump on them when they make an error
But just answer their question
Or add another example
Or debate the issue itself
Not their phrasing
Or make some other contribution to the discussion

Fronto
To recognize the malice
Cunning and hypocrisy that power produces
And the peculiar ruthlessness often shown by people from “good families"

Alexander the Platonist
Not be constantly telling people
I’m too busy
Not to be always ducking my responsibilities
Cos of “pressing business.”

Catulus
Not to shrug off a friend’s resentment
Even unjustified resentment
But try to put things right
To show your teachers
Ungrudging respect
And your children
Unfeigned love

(Instrumental Bridge)

[Chorus]
DEBTS
AND LESSONS
DEBTS
AND LESSONS
DEBTS
AND LESSONS
DEBTS
AND LESSONS
DEBTS
AND LESSONS
DEBTS
AND LESSONS
DEBTS
AND LESSONS
DEBTS
AND LESSONS

DEBTS
AND LESSONS
DEBTS
AND LESSONS
DEBTS
AND LESSONS
DEBTS
AND LESSONS
DEBTS
AND LESSONS
DEBTS
AND LESSONS
DEBTS
AND LESSONS
DEBTS
AND LESSONS
This, I submit
Is the freedom
Of real education
Of learning how to be
Well-adjusted
You get to consciously decide

[Chorus]
What has meaning
And what doesn’t
What has meaning
And what doesn’t
What has meaning
What has meaning
What has meaning
What has meaning
W-W-What has meaning
What has meaning
What has meaning
What has meaning

You get to decide
What to worship
Because here’s something else
That’s weird
But true
In the day-to-day trenches of adult life
There is actually no such thing
As atheism
There is no such thing
As not worshipping
Everybody worships
The only choice we get
Is what to worship
And a compelling reason
For maybe
Choosing some sort of god
Or spiritual-type thing to worship
Be it JC or Allah
Be it YHWH or the Wiccan Mother Goddess
Or the Four Noble Truths
Or some inviolable set of ethical principles
Is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive

If you worship money and things
If they are where you tap
Real meaning
In life
Then you will never have enough
Never feel
You have enough
It’s the truth

Worship your own body
And beauty
And sexual allure
And you will always feel ugly
And when time and age start showing
You will die a million deaths
Before they finally grieve you
On one level, we all know this stuff already
It’s been codified as myths
Proverbs
Clichés
Epigrams
Parables
The skeleton of every great story

[Chorus]
What has meaning
And what doesn’t
What has meaning
And what doesn’t
What has meaning
What has meaning
What has meaning
What has meaning
W-W-What has meaning
What has meaning
What has meaning
What has meaning

The whole trick is keeping the truth
Up front
In daily consciousness
Worship power
You will end up feeling weak
And afraid
And you will need ever more power over others
To numb you
To your own fear
Worship your intellect
Being seen as smart
You will end up feeling stupid
A fraud
Always on the verge of being found out
But the insidious thing about these forms of worship is not that they’re evil or sinful
It’s that they’re
Unconscious
They are default settings
They’re the kind of worship you just gradually slip into
Day after day
Getting more and more selective about what you see and how you measure value without ever being fully aware that that’s what you’re doing

And the so-called real world
Will not discourage you from operating on your default settings
Because the so-called real world
Of men
And money
And power
Hums merrily along on the fuel of fear
And anger and frustration and craving and worship of self
Our own present culture has harnessed these forces in ways that Have yielded extraordinary wealth
And comfort and personal freedom
The freedom all to be lords of our tiny skull-sized kingdoms
Alone at the center of all creation

This kind of freedom
Has much to recommend it
But of course there are all different kinds of freedom
And the kind that is most precious
You will not hear much talk about much in the great outside world of Wanting and achieving and displaying
The really important kind of freedom involves
Attention and awareness and discipline
And being able truly to care about other people
And to sacrifice for them
Over and over
In a myriad heavy unsexy ways every day

That is real freedom
That is being educated
And understanding
How to think
The alternative is unconsciousness
The default setting
The rat race
The constant gnawing sense
Of having had
And lost
Some infinite thing

I know that this stuff probably doesn’t sound fun and breezy or grandly inspirational the way a commencement speech is supposed To sound
What it is, as far as I can see
Is the capital-T Truth
With a whole lot of rhetorical niceties stripped away
You are, of course
Free to think of it whatever you wish
But please don’t just dismiss it as some finger-wagging Dr. Laura sermon
None of this stuff is really about morality
Or religion
Or dogma
Or big fancy questions
Of life after death
The capital-T Truth
Is about life
BEFORE death
It is about the real value of a real education
Which has almost nothing to do with knowledge
And everything to do
With simple
Awareness
Awareness of what is so real and essential
So hidden in plain sight all around us, all the time
That we have to keep reminding ourselves
Over and over
This is water

This is water
This is water
This is water
This is water
This is water
This is water

It is unimaginably hard to do this
To stay conscious and alive in the adult world
Day in and day out
Which means yet another grand cliché turns out to be true
Your education really IS
The job of a lifetime
And it commences
Now

[Chorus]
What has meaning
And what doesn’t
What has meaning
And what doesn’t
(You get to consciously decide)
What has meaning
What has meaning
What has meaning
What has meaning
W-W-What has meaning
What has meaning
What has meaning
What has meaning

I wish you way more than luck
I wish you way more than luck
I wish you way more than luck
I wish you way more than luck

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