Tagged: philosophic life

New Year’s Resolutions for 2022

Anyone who has ever slipped backwards on ice or fallen down a flight of stairs knows the feeling: the trajectory of uncontrolled descent having passed the point of no return, you have no choice but to wait for the painfully certain outcome, helplessly. In addition to the two generic examples I have just mentioned, I also have a particularly personal memory — possibly...

On Being Liked

The dependent man tends to judge himself more highly to the extent that he is liked by others, and therefore feels a compelling vested interest in gaining approval, which is to say that he increasingly uses others’ acceptance of him as an emotional surrogate for the self-understanding that he lacks. This tendency naturally drives him ever farther from any considerations of the good,...

The Crowd

My attitude toward the crowd is neither sympathy nor a craving to be understood, but rather retreat: to my privacy, to my separate space, to the few companions whom I can teach or from whom I can learn, to the rare authors (nearly all dead) who deepen my intellect, to my developmentally beneficial errors and failures, to my unanswered questions, and to the...

Identifications

I live in a world they will never care to understand. They live in a world I wish I could not understand.

I have no memory of ever having felt lonely while alone — but many memories of feeling lonely in company.

I have always disliked myself most….

Anti-Elitism

Hatred of “elitism,” with its inherent suspicion of anything that seems to imply a standard of human superiority, follows inevitably from long immersion in political and moral egalitarianism. Democracy, the political product of the principle of equality run amok, is the fertile soil of egalitarianism’s most spiritually invasive weeds, gradually fostering a general, almost instinctive anti-elitism. In practice, this anti-elitism constitutes a most...

Philosopher’s Luck

The best things that could ever happen to a young person today: rejection, isolation, exclusion. To be left out is to be left alone, which is the most precious gift that can be bestowed in an age of suffocating social life. To be disliked or ignored is to be spared the horizon-limiting sameness of success, i.e., fitting in, thus preserving for him nature’s...

Contrasts in Living

Wanting to participate in the Great Conversation vs. wanting to be heard in the general chatter. Philosopher vs. professor, teacher vs. lecturer, epistolist or essayist vs. professional writer. Everything we do for pay or personal advancement is done with primary attention on the expressed wishes of our audience. Everything we do for the sake of the true, the good, and the beautiful is...

Overcoming vs. Hiding

To overcome something, you must face it, live with it, struggle through it, understand it deeply, and work out a way to surmount its debilitating or harmfully limiting effects. Merely avoiding the thing from the outset, by contrast, is not an alternative means of overcoming it, but rather a method of ensuring that you will never overcome it.  Failure, spiritual pain, loneliness, the...

On Anger

You may learn from your anger, but you cannot learn while angry. Anger is an intellectual ditch: no movement possible, all reality transformed into a dark hole in which the soul gradually buries itself in an attempt to justify its perspective by denying the possibility of light. The required spiritual change does not necessarily entail denying the condition that occasioned the anger, which...

What You Need

“Necessity is the mother of invention,” says the proverb. And so it is — or nearly so. For it would be more precise to say perceived necessity. That is, invention is born of the subjective sense of need, rather than only of actual, natural needs, a truth which may easily be observed by considering the kind of invention typical of our age, most...