In Shakespeare's "Hamlet" Polonius says, "Though this be madness, yet there
is method in it." "Madness" is a word that was first used not to denote anger but
what might seem at first strange or even meaningless behavior. Yet, on closer
inspection, what at first might seem this way is in fact the result of a carefully
reasoned plan. So from Shakespeare came this idiom into our language: "Give
me a moment to explain; there is a method to my madness."
There has been a method, a plan behind the talks I have given in here over the
past five years. At the very first of this class we talked about what I called the
principles of "ordinary life." One of the lines I used during that time was that I
wanted my teaching to leave you with honey in one hand and feathers in the
other. That is to say, I wanted my talks to make you think soup for yourself with a philosophy of life that worked for you.