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Thursday, September 29, 2016

aphorisms from The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry


Most believe that their own morality is vulnerable to another’s immorality, but this enmity is precisely where morality finds its strength.  The real weakness ... the real danger to their morality lies with their own honesty.  That is, most believe that the enemy of morality is immorality, whereas it is really the actualization of their morality.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

A Human Strategy by Matt Berry, aphorism 356


There are many small events we think of as having beginning points and which require order.  But even such a truly ordered beginning” would be dependent upon acquired experience, and so what is called here a “preparation” or a “beginning” is really a continuation ... an ongoing repetition whose course and destination one already knows.  Reality itself has no beginning point that the mind does not put there.  

So it is an error to believe that all must be in order before one “begins” a new stage in life.  The ambiguous truth is that nothing finds chaos “organized” like a set habit.  On the one hand, an established habit is a perception of order, not the order, and on the other hand, nothing organizes chaos as efficiently as a habit does.  We cannot sever the one observation from the other: order is one part alteration of environment and nine parts repetition-blindness.  And this is why we never really “begin.”  We are blind to the continuation and see only the points where consciousness is jerked into new contexts.

Contrary to perception, it is not chaos, but order itself, the interlocked habits and customs, that stand in the way of a great “beginning” ... a new stage in life.  

This unperceived order is too great for us to overthrow with a single decisionWe must break with the present if we expect to see the old, this event constituting the new vision.  The mind tends toward order and so daring chaos returns new sequences of thought, new patterns of behavior, higher states of consciousness, and if nothing else, then the identification of undesirable conditions.  Clarity is our goal, not our means.  An experiment is confusion subject to procedure at best, a bold guess when procedure itself is suspect.

It is indeed poignant to observe those who think they are waiting for the next orderly beginning, while existing within conditions whose outcome in consciousness is their old order.  Because they are waiting for events to clear, they will never see that their clarity is only their undisturbed presumption.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 185


A genuine humility demands that one sacrifice one’s prominence in the public eye.  He who remains anonymous achieves perfection.  With humility, we have no examples to follow but the successful pretenders.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

A Human Strategy by Matt Berry, aphorism 358


If I spin with my universe, it could be said that I do not spin at all ... as an illusion or as a reality.  

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 187


He sees the folly of a neighbor’s vanity, and then in an effort to surpass the neighbor, he becomes more humble – this being the most common form of vanity, leaving the majority of this vain species compatible.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

movement, aphorism 359, A Human Strategy by Matt Berry


My heart beats.  I breathe.  Are these movements?  The sun rises every morning and I arise.  Are these movements?  

It is not “I” who makes these “movements.”

Friday, September 16, 2016

Pride and humility, aphorism 188, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry


Pride and humility are opposites?  But so are “masters” and “servants.”  As an observed event master and servant are conditioned by each other and are no more opposites than a stream is the opposite of its own banks.  Righteous humility is not the opposite of arrogance but the redirection of a frustrated pride.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Humiliation, aphorism 189, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry


Humiliation occurs just after the realization that one has lost one’s weapon, and just before one improvises a new one.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

something that we cultivate, aphorism 361, A Human Strategy by Matt Berry


Life is not made up of problems that we think through, but of relationships toward things: customs.  To put it another way, life is something that we cultivate ... something that yields fruit ... and with cultivation, quantity of days at minimum effort is more fruitful than the maximum effort of a single day.  Only that which increases has value, and only that which can be sustained increases.

All growth requires a trusting passivity, just as a seed requires certain elements of nature — sunlight and water, but mostly, time spent in one place, in the undisturbed, fertile soil ... in a germinating stillness.  The only movement one needs is that which keeps the elements in place.

Friday, September 9, 2016

humiliation, aphorism 190, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry


Just as necessity is the mother of invention, humiliation is the mother of righteousness.  

When we are humiliated what is it that we need if not our pride again?  And if we can resurrect our pride by making a victory of the failure, we might reverse the value standard and make the humiliation into our humility.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

a mirror of his reality, aphorism 362, A Human Strategy by Matt Berry


The human is a mirror of his reality.  Reality is not static.  How can we then set up, as a goal, a “static self”?  It is as clear as our fixed geometry — as secure as our complacency.  The world is in flux.  Awareness joins that flux by gripping its debris.  Only by participating in real change does one affirm reality.  It is anything but clear.  Anything but safe.

Friday, September 2, 2016

the moment of comparison, aphorism 363, A Human Strategy by Matt Berry


We grow in silent increments but manifest ourselves in the moment of comparison.  Great events measure the ability; they do not nurture it.  The blunder in life is to mistake this measuring for the growth itself.  To say it in another way, grand events manifest the accumulation of all our smallest moments more than they account for our totality.  Who we are does not make us; that which makes us does not reveal our growth ... but like clouds which gather energy silently and invisibly, and in an instant, bond, flash and split the tree ... but who cares for the history of that force as much as its demonstration?

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Victory by display begins when, aphorism 192, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry


Victory by display begins when the survival of one’s pride depends upon a means other than mechanical force. Humility is often an ardent passion for a dominant posture sufficient to compensate one’s incapacity for actual dominance.  Now, the righteous man displays his humble garb as does a peacock its feathers.