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aphorism 318, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry

318

What we would never believe: Picking the lock is an admission that one has been chained. One feels humiliated. Consequently, one denies the existence of one’s chains.


What we often believe: Dealing with human mechanics is an admission that one is not as free as one would like to believe. Consciousness is threatened with humiliation. Ironically, this threat itself is a stimulus whose response denies the machinery.



A Human Strategy ** The Mechanics of Virtue ** Post-Atheism


postponing a valuable act, A human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 194

194 There is a virtue in postponing a valuable act ... if in its place a lesser act has greater value as a habit.  Obvious enough, yet the seduction of an immediate victory is more than the average human can withstand.


A Human Strategy ** The Mechanics of Virtue ** Post-Atheism


The ability to create a goal, A human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 195

195 A possibility: One resists a victory which is merely available — resists the seduction of every cheap and easy display, knowing that the strength of its seduction lies in its availability and in a deficit of self-esteem. We often build up our weakness into our “elevated purpose.” Such “potential” is the bubble which bursts at its weakest point, the rapid deflation of the human spirit creating the illusion of “explosive power.”
The ability to create a goal, to resist every distraction, to hurdle cheap gratifications of pride, to regard them as obstacles and pitfalls, these too should have their claims to “potential” ... our potential intelligence.



A Human Strategy ** The Mechanics of Virtue ** Post-Atheism


cognitive dissonance, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 39

39 Eve may only have sinned because Adam was stupid.  Offer an idiot any fruit from the tree of knowledge and he will no doubt blame you for his cognitive dissonance.


A Human Strategy ** The Mechanics of Virtue ** Post-Atheism


my orientation to the world, A human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 196

196 I spin the globe on my desk.  North is up and south is down.  To what extent my orientation to the world has been set by the ethnocentricity of Europe I cannot begin to imagine.  Had America been discovered from the ports of Australia I would perhaps have to read the globe while standing on my head to see what I now see.  But a responsible assumption serves me well.  The need to appropriate an orientation outweighs the obligation to justify that orientation.  One must begin somewhere, but do we see that our beginning is necessarily smug?  ... that the beginning is a privilege granting too much license?  ... that before our personal science begins we have already made the choice: we either affirm reality by our opposing it — as one confronts an opponent and thereby grows stronger as a reality — or we oppose reality with a frantic desire to fly from it and thereby ...


A Human Strategy ** The Mechanics of Virtue ** Post-Atheism


True contempt, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 40

40 True contempt is an indifference that dodges an unworthy object and that to a third party often looks more like good manners than arrogance.


A Human Strategy ** The Mechanics of Virtue ** Post-Atheism


A human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 197

197 We do not roll smoothly toward thehighest goal.  In fact, we trundle over day-to-day pits and bumps that necessarily lower our sight away from any higher destination.



A Human Strategy ** The Mechanics of Virtue ** Post-Atheism


a display of our disdain, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 41

41 When we make a display of our disdain, we often show more rivalry than contempt.

A Human Strategy ** The Mechanics of Virtue ** Post-Atheism