A valuable book may be torn to pieces without diminishing the human spirit, just so long as the words have already been read and understood. To feel the loss of the book — at its material destruction, even though one had already digested its contents fully and had aligned oneself toward its overall direction — is evidence that one values the non-human being over human becoming, the static thing over the dynamic process. In response to the fear of our unknowable future we would rather freeze ourselves into a single stage of growth at the expense of the entire metamorphosis.
Don’t overestimate the value of clarity. To be beaten one’s whole life through is not half the misery of realizing it. But then, from a different angle, do not overestimate the pursuit of happiness. In the inevitable failure of such arrogance, clarity emerges again, in the distinction, as supreme. Never in the beginning, but always in the end, our education was worth any cost and one is never merely happy to realize this. A Human Strategy ** The Mechanics of Virtue ** Post-Atheism