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Showing posts from September, 2020

Rising above human affairs

I wonder if there has ever been an age where we were as bad as now at rising above human affairs. We are in a race to the bottom where powerful interest groups battle for the status as "most victimized ever" and for the privileges assigned to that status - and while we battle we let the planet slowly die.

"What a despicable thing a human being is if he does not rise above human affairs! All the time that we are struggling with our passions, what is so wonderful about our achievement, even if we prevail? We are outdoing monsters: why should we be conceited because we are not as bad as the worst people? I cannot see why anyone who is more robust than the others in a hospital should be pleased with himself:  strength is quite different from good health. Have you broken free from moral vices? Your face does not have a feigned expression, your speech is not designed to please somebody else, nor are your feelings concealed, nor do you harbor greed, which denies itself what it …

Even weak passions can be very damaging

"A crowd of emotions, even moderate ones, is more powerful than any single emotion would be, even at full force. He feels a desire for money, but a moderate desire; ambition, but not burning ambition; anger, but not unrelenting anger; restlessness, but not too nervous and uneasy a restlessness; lust, but not frenzied lust. It would be easier to deal with someone who had a single thoroughgoing fault than with one who has every fault, even though he has them in lesser degree. Besides, the degree of emotion makes no difference: regardless of degree, it knows nothing of obedience and heeds no advice. No animal, whether wild or tame and gentle, is swayed by reasoned argument: their nature is deaf to persuasion. In the same way, even the smallest emotions heed us not, hear us not. Lions and tigers never shed their savage nature: they may seem tame at times, but when you least expect it, their latent savagery is kindled again. We can never trust that our faults have been subdued."

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