The philosopher Plato thought that the soul of man could be compared to a chariot and consisted of three parts: a dark horse which represented the appetites, a white horse that represented thumos, and the charioteer which symbolized reason, and worked to keep the two disparate steeds in balance.
Of the three parts of the soul, thumos is the hardest for us moderns to grasp. There’s no one word in contemporary language that is a real match for it. It's your spiritedness, your wildness, your thirst for adventure, your drive to be the best, your fire in the belly.
Though thumos is a little difficult to understand in the abstract, it’s easy to recognize when embodied, and no one in modern times embodied it more than Jack London. He referred to the journey of life as his “adventure path,” was ever in pursuit of “the tang of living,” and never stopped seeking the “primordial vigor of life.”
We've put together the ultimate collection of thumos-inspiring quotes from Jack. Click the link in our profile to read, and get a kick in the pants.
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