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aphorisms from The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry

184

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.


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


A Human Strategy by Matt Berry, aphorism 356

356
There are many small events we think of as having beginning points and which require order.  But even such a trulyordered 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 conscio…

The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 185

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.


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


A Human Strategy by Matt Berry, aphorism 357

357

The world is round, but I spend my life searching for a corner.


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


The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 186

186

On humility, the only man who preaches what he practices is in the confessional.  


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


A Human Strategy by Matt Berry, aphorism 358

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.  


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


The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 187

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.



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


movement, aphorism 359, A Human Strategy by Matt Berry

359
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.”


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


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

188

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 butthe redirection of a frustrated pride.


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


my own time, aphorism 360, A Human Strategy by Matt Berry

360

I am not trying to overtake my own time.  In fact, I am trying very hard not to move at all.


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


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

189

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


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


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

361
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.


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


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

190
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.


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


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

362

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.


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


pride, aphorism 191, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry

191
When one’s pride hangs by a thread, that thread constitutes one’s pride.  

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


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

363

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?


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


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

192

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.


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