In the ''eighth day,'' says St. Augustine, we shall rest and see, see and love, love and praise. In this world of shadows, that trajectory still holds; as Pieper and de Grazia Both agree, leisure (rest) makes possible contemplation (seeing) in which is found a foretaste of our only lasting happiness (love and praise). Ten years after the publication of Leisure, Pieper went on to outline in this book the fruit of leisure. Though his discussion of joy as distinguished from happiness lacks something (our love of Lewis betrays us here), there are few who can explore the fundamental elements of human being more lucidly than Pieper. Perhaps this is so because Pieper was convinced of the ''divine meaning underlying all beings...everything holds and conceals at bottom a mark of its divine origin...one who catches a glimpse of it 'sees' that this and all things are 'good' beyond all comprehension; and seeing this, he is happy. Here in sum is the whole doctrine of the contemplation of earthly creation.''
An Eighth Day View:
"The ultimate of human happiness is to be found in contemplation".
In offering this proposition of Thomas Aquinas to our thought, Josef Pieper uses traditional wisdom in order to throw light on present-day reality and present-day psychological problems. What, in fact, does one pursue in pursuing happiness? What, in the consensus of the wisdom of the early Greeks, of Plato and Aristotle, of the New Testament, of Augustine and Aquinas, is that condition of perfect bliss toward which all life and effort tend by nature?
In this profound and illuminating inquiry, Pieper considers the nature of contemplation, and the meaning and goal of life.