Tagged: soul

Thoughts on Being a Slave

What the slaveowner knows.– A society of strong and virtuous men would never make a great cause out of liberalizing so-called “recreational drug” laws (nor would they ever have to make a cause out of it), since they would be too busy enjoying all the more essential forms of liberty to care much about such things. By contrast, if a society does make...

Letting Go

The need to believe, once detached from all rational hope, becomes a dangerous breeding ground for many vicious and growth-stunting spiritual traps: confirmation bias, idolatry, paranoia, moral compromise, intellectual dependency — and ultimately cynicism, nihilism, and despair, as the disparity between what one needs to believe and what one increasingly realizes will never materialize becomes overwhelmingly obvious. Here is the solution to this...

Duty Ethics vs. Virtue Ethics

Doing as one is supposed to do (obeying rules or duties) is a substantially different thing from doing as one ought to do (acting virtuously). The former type of action is suitable for dependent children, the mentally deficient, or in general those who for some reason have either opted or been forced to relinquish their authority to decide for themselves, whether universally or...

The Body

Modern scientific materialists are inclined, we might even say predisposed, to ask, “What is this thing you call ‘the soul,’ and why do you believe that you still need this notion, or for that matter that you have any right to assume it?” But we might just as easily turn these questions around on the moderns, and ask what they mean by “the...

Reflections On Independence

The blind leading the blindfolded.— We allow the state to decide for us, not because we believe the state knows what is best — practical results consistently prove beyond any doubt that the state does not know — but because we have been convinced that we do not know, and therefore that the easiest course of action is to leave the complex decisions,...

On Pleasure and Learning

Philosophic hedonism.— The soul naturally inclines toward beliefs, solutions, behaviors, and aims that promise the greatest pleasure. Education is primarily the process of unlearning the childhood weakness for mistaking the quickest or most immediate pleasure for the greatest pleasure. The educated person is thus the one who habitually forgoes the near or easy pleasure in favor of the distant, rarefied one, and the...

Learning to Read

One path of a good reader, perhaps the most common modern path:

1. Find depth of meaning in the mediocre books of youth, which usually means the popular books deemed serious in your time, or among those of your “type.”
2. Realize that one’s “found” meaning was in fact deeper than the thoughts of one’s favorite authors, which in effect…

We, Being Pure: Part One

Fyodor Dostoevsky is one of the unquestionable giants of world literature: essential to the development of the nineteenth century anti-romantic novel; one of his century’s two great prophets and critics (Nietzsche being the other) of the then-growing nihilism that was devouring European intellectual life, and has since — as he (like Nietzsche) predicted — settled like volcanic ash over the entire civilized world;...

Circles and Self-Corrections

The cosmos self-corrects, and that certainly includes the human portion of the cosmos, to the extent it may be regarded separately. One might object that to say the cosmos self-corrects is to suggest that “The Whole” itself is flawed, which might reasonably lead one to ask, “Flawed against what standard?” Nevertheless it is so, although I prefer to say incomplete rather than flawed...

Preferences

I prefer feeling anxiously alone to feeling safely swaddled within a crowd. I prefer ideas that leave me uncomfortable in my weakness to ideas that satisfy my weakest inclinations. I prefer looking at things squarely to rounding off the edges of my vision for the sake of stability. I prefer the constant hum of disquiet that comes of acknowledging the vast unknown to...