There is a visceral satisfaction in going to war with and exposing a false prophet. The sensation associated with that satisfaction is equal to that enjoyed by the false prophet herself — perhaps identical, but what do we know of such things?
Which pleasure I hear you ask? Ah, but that very same pleasure of conscience arising from the secret labyrinth of her soul where she admits to herself that indeed she is leading people astray, but where she justifies her actions on grounds that the people are happy despite themselves by the order she grants them or restores to them, an order which they long and pray for — the truth notwithstanding, of course.
But, I hear you philosophers ask: how can pleasure in a course of action serve as proof that the action itself, its reasons or its outcome are good?
Philosophers — I count on you to miss the wood for the trees for the pure, innocent, clear eyed pleasure in a good argument.
What you miss here is that prolonged disorder followed by a period of order is pleasurable and whether order in itself is good or bad is a question from a conceptual framework which is alien to life — and pleasure is sign-post of life, not of morals. And life is fundamentally amoral.
Some of us raise the floor because we do not recognise a ceiling, while others strive to break right through the ceiling.
Some of us raise the ceiling and not turning back to see the floor, while others pull the floor from under us.
Do you see the pattern?
— A word about doing things without taking into account others’ interests.
A failed man is as good as his humility — and that humility is as beautiful as its appearance as a calm repose in the face of his failure, not as a pain in whose presence he crumbles, or goes in on himself, or looks away in disgust or anger or hatred or fear . . .
Who would have thought that from humility can grow a towering, oak-like strength with shimmering branches of calm, which we associate with wisdom and maturity — we find its most beautiful appearance in men, generally irrespective of age.
But it is common in older men, in whom ambition is tempered by the enlightenment and foresight which the paradoxical marriage of death with long life ushers in.
Men who age badly carry a wounded humility or, its sibling, a defensive vanity — and nobody sees or knows it better and more deeply, nobody feels it more fully and is more affected by it than the women who love them.
Don’t believe me — get out of your shell and start connecting deeply with people, start speaking to people about something other than superficial, political and ideological categories and concepts which dominate our common discourse.
Start to feel people and look past their words and propositions, observe their emotions, their reactions, their behaviours, their choices . . . Feel people.
A: What would you say is love in practice?
B: To be so open to and trusting of someone, and often when you least want to be, as to enable them to judge you on their own terms — and for you to receive their judgment as though it came from someone you can be open and trusting towards, and often when they least appear so to you.
It is for this reason that, for many, love has the whiff of self-denial and self-negation about it. Its natural opposite is not hatred or fear, but the pride which mingles in both.
There are four activities during which people show the content of their soul and in many ways their beauty: when they are working, when they are eating, when they are sleeping and the fourth one we may leave to the imagination.
Only lovers have the outrageous courage, the untempered temerity, to observe and savour those activities in others. Yet, most people who might look at us in that way strike us creeps, as though they intrude precisely where they shouldn’t.
Why should that be so? — Because our vulnerability is reserved for those we know and trust, and although others may come across it in our day-to-day activities, they reserve no right to it which we do not give of our own accord.
There are two types of wealth creators which some of us confuse. We likely do so due to being overexposed to one at the expense of the other.
However, we must find comfort in distinguishing them, because each one sets a different tone and character to the relation between a business and the people it services.
The first type identify a need or issue and bring people together to create a service, product or solution. This type have a vision of how they want the world to be, which structures their actions and decisions, often tending them towards long-term gain.
The second type also find a need or issue and bring people together to create a service etc., but this type wants to maximise it to extract the most value. They are often reactive to events and emotional in approach, which often restricts their decisions to their short-term and limited gain.
They sound similar in their efforts and actions — many of us would see them as the same — but they differ in what drives them. One is driven by a vision of things while the other is driven by the current context and the emotional state(s) underpinning it.
However, both are great wealth creators who service us, albeit in differing ways and — we may say with a slight degree of confidence — with different consequences to the moral tone of the world in which we live.
Without demonising the one or evangelising the other, the moral view of their activities paints the first type as philanthropic and second type as exploitative.
What drives us and how it does so is as important as — and in some case more so than — what we do.
When you resolve to attempt something big, most people will doubt and mock you, especially at first, then they will laugh at you before turning against you.
But, do not take this personally, because it is never about you. Firstly, they are often those who would never attempt what you are about to attempt. Secondly, and so that you do not hate them and thereby join them, they relate to you as they relate to themselves: they hold themselves back from attempting something big. That is all they have to offer — it is their best.
Focus your attention on those who are ready to believe in you and to join you in your attempt.
Some of them have become alienated and in hiding — they await leadership.
Others are held back by the hatred, fear or shame to which they fell prey when they first attempted something big and came across most people. These people cannot see that the limit is not in them, but in most people who project on them — the continued hatred, fear and shame which eats at them, when it doesn’t do so in most people who projected on them shows where the limit truly lies and who is creating this limit anew.
Oh, you great souls, keep going and if you cannot do it for yourself, do it for those who — like you — are hiding, gnawing at or perpetually reopening senseless wounds.
You raise us all up, let us breathe fully and make life worth it, again — keep going!