Tagged: desire

Half-Minute Wisdom: Moral Education

In fact pleasures and pains are the things with which moral virtue is concerned. For pleasure causes us to do base actions and pain causes us to abstain from doing noble actions. Hence the importance, as Plato points out, of having been definitely trained from childhood to like and dislike the proper things; this is what good education means. — Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics II.iii,...

Humans As Matter

We are born almost exclusively matter. Our aim is to become almost exclusively soul. This trajectory of nature, our teleology, though rarely perceived and barely understood by those few who do perceive it, must be the touchstone of all our self-understanding and all our judgments and choices. Today, however, men strive to maintain and perpetuate their most fully material condition, regarding the gradual...

My Morality

Everything that makes life worth living is something we do not have. That is how it makes life worth living. If we had it, there would be no reason to continue. This means that desire is the evidence of everything meaningful in our lives. The voices of the modern world tell us every day that we should “live for our desires,” but they really...

Questions

Increasingly, we are becoming a world without questions. A world that cannot ask questions, both in the sense that the most humanly necessary questions are subject to restrictions and public mockery precisely to the extent that they are humanly necessary, and in the sense — far more decisive in the long run — that we no longer have the desire to ask these...

Loaves and Fishes

Objective wealth.– Wealth, understood not in its typical, purely relative sense, but as an objective state of being, is not a measure of how much you possess, but of how little you need; not of what you earn, but of what you save; not of how much you can spend, but of how little you waste. Needless to say, poverty may properly be...

Power and Immortality

The dream entertained by men of a totalitarian mind is an illusion that will quickly dissipate, if not during their lifetimes then very shortly thereafter. For all such men are craving immortality, as indeed we all are, but their peculiar notion of everlasting life entails creating a society so all-encompassing in its centralized control — which is to say under their personal control...

Surface and Depth

The great modern error, resulting from the spiritual dialectic of modernity: desire as depth. Thesis: Reason is a calculative response to the imperatives of passion; hence the passions comprise the original “state of nature.” Antithesis: If passion is our original nature, then reason, which dilutes or repurposes passion, is a corruption of nature. Synthesis: Desire is reality; reason is merely the deforming mask...

Thoughts To Live By (In An Age Opposed to Thought and Life)

Everything that makes life worth living is┬ásomething we do not have. That is how it makes life worth living. If we had it, there would be no reason to continue. This means that desire is the source of everything meaningful in our lives. The voices of the modern world shout at us every day, from every rooftop, that we should “live for our...

Alien Logic, Part Three

An alien perspective.– During my early years in Korea, I taught children, mostly elementary school students, at a private academy. Sometimes, with the younger groups, particularly if there were some rambunctious boys in the class, I would exploit my foreignness and their low English levels by teasing them with the claim that I was an alien. After a few incredulous guffaws from the...

On Loneliness and Understanding

As I write this, it is still the early hours of a temporally indefinable election aftermath in the United States. In this age, there is perhaps no sharper focus in which a thoughtful person may observe his own soul than an election time, as there is never a moment when the extent of such a person’s isolation is clearer than when everyone around...