Does a contemplative life bring us closer to the divine, as Aristotle believed? Is it the highest form of human life or is it self-centered and lived at the expense of others? Can one lead a contemplative life while living in the real world? Philosophers, artists, mystics, and students have long pursued lives of solitude, contemplation, and creative exploration, only to encounter a recurring set of practical obstacles and vexing moral questions. In this episode of Continuing the Conversation, Annapolis host Louis Petrich and tutor Jonathan Badger explore a conversation that honors the pursuit of “the eternal present” in Somerset Maugham’s The Moon and Sixpence (based on the life of the painter, Gauguin), while exploring its attendant questions with equal concern and gravity. This episode also includes conversation on works by Goethe, Rousseau, Thoreau, and Aristotle.