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Hope is a species of fear, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 89

89 Hope is a species of fear.  It increases to the precise degree that our chances for success diminish.
One most fervently appeals to Hope when one’s resources are at their lowest, when one is closest to the certainty of hopelessness.  Hope is thus more closely related to hopelessness than to its own proposed object.


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


Public “Morals” and the Solitary Hunter, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 263

263 Public “Morals” and the Solitary Hunter: A true integrity respects the myriad offspring of existence ... both predator and prey.  It never tries to reconcile two opposing, but necessary arguments.  It maintains an ecological balance that will be destroyed if a species is allowed into an incompatible habitat ... for example, if our highest ambition were to stalk its prey within the meadow of “accepted morality.”  To tame the wilderness ... to make an organic process “moral” ... is to grope with a pale, hairless hand into the very depths of nausea.  When will we understand our world?  The lamb shall never lie with the lion ... although the lion may very well lie with some lamb.


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


our dissatisfaction with sufficiency, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 90

90 If our dissatisfaction with sufficiency should result in hope, then our hope would be a form of ingratitude.  Conversely, if satisfaction with sufficiency should result in gratitude, then our gratitude would preclude hope.God's creation is either sufficient or insufficient.  If sufficient, any hope is ingratitude.  If insufficient, our hope is extorted by God.God created the world.  God does not deceive.  God, being good, desires our successful outcome.  God being omnipotent, His creation must then be sufficient for us to bring about our own successful outcome.If sufficient, man does not need hope.  A man only hopes to the degree that he doubts the sufficiency of God’s creation.  If he has no doubt, then he does not hope.  The love for and the certainty of the sufficiency of God's creation kills hope.Many claim that the mechanist attempted the murder of their God ... and not that of their hope.   And in actuality, if God's creation is sufficient, then they themselves kil…

Morality, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 264

264 Morality: “Concerned with accepted rules and standards of human behavior.”
The word, “accepted,” is where every external morality ends, for once we have proven the moral point to ourselves we have nothing more to do with its social “acceptability.”



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


a conviction of hopelessness, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 91

91 Someone who reaches a conviction of hopelessness may only be honest with those same conditions with which the self-deceiver anesthetizes himself with hope.  Usually, however, the hopeless man either has no resources sufficient to his task, believes he has none, or he has not the inner resources to transcend his inherited morality and its condemnation of ambition.  In short, he cannot find within himself the right to appropriate real goals ... self-affirming goals.  To suffer from hopelessness, one must have been incapable of either self-deceit or wicked thoughts.


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


Amorality, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 265

265 Amorality: Concerned with testing and measuring the rules and standards of human behavior, as far as is humanly possible, beyond the interests of one’s group and forever holding judgment between peace of mind and the struggle for honesty ... not to mention all of the other conflicting interests dwelling within one’s private laboratory ... “private,” because it is the only laboratory possible.



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


The Natural Selection of Hope, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 92

92 The Natural Selection of Hope: In a desperate but apparently futile predicament, it is the one who insists upon mechanical efficiency that is the pessimist and the one who cares nothing for it that is the optimist.  And so out of one hundred optimists and an equal number of pessimists, each of the optimists blindly and therefore confidently “knows what to do.”  In the random scattering of their efforts, each in his stubborn endurance provides a yield for the law of natural selection: one optimist makes it ... while all one hundred pessimists have not so much as lifted a finger, for they have not yet made a distinction between their complacent belief in certainty and their certain ignorance of total conditions ... and dead men telling no tales, the lesson of blind optimism now appears invincible.  Likewise, Hope is often a product of self-deceit: it is a mental escape from an apparently hopeless situation.  It nonetheless has the beneficial function of leaving the hopeful readied, al…

Amorality is an attempt not to be “evil,” A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 266

266 Amorality is an attempt not to be “evil,” just as much as it is an attempt to disregard the inherited “good” — yet better understood as the attempt not to be an accident.  Amorality is the attempt at a real self-control.  It is the pursuit and application of those mechanical forces which account for human conduct.

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


It’s not enough to be cheerful, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 93

93 It’s not enough to be cheerful; you also need the flames of hell at your back to really get the respect.  There is nothing more insipid than untested cheerfulness. 

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


the public moral authority, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 267

267 The only constancy with the public moral authority is its claim: “The rule is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.” The rules themselves however are anything but constant. With private becoming, as I progress from stage to stage I also progress from “rule” to “rule.”
The method of becoming has a constancy of its own, something which manifests itself as a “moral principle” ... or at least as a physical tendency toward the private recognitions of higher and higher “moral principles.”



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


Your Royal Highness, The Intellect, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 94

94 Your Royal Highness, The Intellect....  As requested from the carpeted dais, a different version of the story to accommodate your obvious displeasure with the previous....



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


our public moral system, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 268

268 Strength is not in supporting blindly our public moral system.  That is weakness.  Strength is the adjustment of morality according to our private confirmation.  However, what public morality has ever tolerated the adjustment of one of its own members without an involuntary defense: that of re-interpreting this as an “attack” and as originating from outside the bounds of the inherited morality?  (Let us not forget that an externally imposed moral system will always appropriate the “entire” realm of morality to its own ends, which is usually nothing more than its own survival.)  We in turn defend ourselves on our moral ground, which we regard as an attempt at moral legitimacy: our coldest observations of our nearest realities.  We can not be immoral then, they say, for we lack passionate self-abandonment.  No, we are worse than immoral, for we have no concern whatsoever for their morality.



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


The Invisible Footprints of Bliss, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 95

95 The Invisible Footprints of Bliss: A keen insight into human machinery provokes exasperation.  It contrasts our rank against others, sets off what is against what could have been, and finds that our freedom is more often the consequence of desire than the existence of choice.  When ignorance, however, paints itself into a corner, it does not know it for the matching color.



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


the human tendency to apply the labels “good” and “bad.”, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 269

269 We consider science to be amoral.  It does not act according to self-interest.  It sees what it sees regardless of whether it is “Good” or “Evil.”  Its observations are grounded by solid reasoning and not distorted with human vanity, fear, or fancy.  There is no place for the loss of pride when the scientist is in error, nor for the abundance of pride when his experiment is proven correct.   However, science is still a type of morality and can never be fully severed from the human tendency to apply the labels “good” and “bad.”  Consider: if empirical science precludes the “Ideal,” it must then preclude “perfect objectivity” as well.  In fact, the very rigidity of the scientific discipline implies our imperfection in this regard — not to mention our method of “trial and error.”  We are subject to sensory distortion, human drives, “paradigm shifts,” cultural borders, etc.  Next, consider that the scientist is still a herd animal ... a member of his own community, the members of whi…

the truth seeker, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 96

96 The struggle for a stability advantageous to the truth seeker often appears to be the worship of futility.  Complacency and stability are two sides to a single human event: habituation.  What we need is what we resist and what we resist is what we need.


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


what I mean with the word “amorality,”, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 270

270 If the reader truly understands what I mean with the word “amorality,” then the reader will understand that the choice of this word is of the least importance, while that which I attempt to represent is of the greatest.  There is a problem with morality: that is, there are two claims to the throne.  The usurper has crowned himself and laid down his self-serving laws, appropriating the title, “Morality.”  He is widely known by this name and has gained the approval of the entire realm, so that when the rightful claimant speaks of his private realm, and the laws pertaining to it, also under the name of “Morality,” no one understands.  They presume the definition as set by the usurper’s culture, by which they either defend or attack.
We rightful claimants must find a new name — one which suggests our honest claim and direct descent from sovereign nature — one which suggests that our private laws are not built upon the same cornerstone as that of the public laws ... so that when we fi…

a moment of vulnerability, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 97

97 It is easy in a moment of vulnerability to place one’s care into the hands of the excessively complacent, transmuting their bold display into our comforting trust in their “competence.”  


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


What one is holding on to, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 271

271 My “Good” is a progression from lower states of clarity toward higher states.  By experimenting with conditions, I do not chain myself to any particular “understanding” but to the physiological progression itself.  Any given “understanding” will soon be discarded in favor of the next, higher interpretation.  What one is holding on to, by way of a few iron habits, can also be called the right to the future.  The entire process demands greater and greater acquisitions of self-control.  This self-control itself turns upon the aim of greater clarity ... and again, for the sake of finding the way to even more control.
Now, if you, dear reader, also seek the same progression, then you understand me, for you live me.  And your understanding me is only confirmation that you have understood yourself.  And this constitutes the interdependence of our immortality.  Each of us must first draw our own line, scratching out the boundary claimed by our own external authorities (from whom we never…

The Joy of Running the Christian Maze, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 98

98 The Joy of Running the Christian Maze: A pagan, we are to believe, is unworthy of any happiness he may have until convinced of his unworthiness.  Only then can he redeem this newfound unworthiness by acknowledging his debt for the happiness of being cured of his former, unmerited happiness.


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


A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 272

272 When the word “Expediency” becomes redundant, superfluous and irrelevant — when it remains as vestige ... as evidence of a previous misunderstanding of reality, it will also serve as proof that the word “Morality” no longer designates “tractability” nor “stupidity” ... but has gained legitimacy and our genuine respect.  



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


The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 99

99 The conditions producing the effect of written happiness may not be happy at all.


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


What the public morality calls “amoral”, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 273

273 What the public morality calls “amoral” is nothing more than the highest morality possible ... never mind that it is the only morality possible.  What the public calls “moral” is only “wishful thinking” or a harness.  
It is only when the individual cuts himself from the group, becomes a whole unto himself ... when he takes responsibility for his own life and accepts the bounds of his own reality ... it is only at this point that he becomes moral.  



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


The Volley of Ideas, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 100

100 The Volley of Ideas: Another's frustration enters one's own game, bounces back and forth between three walls, and often finds its way out all the faster if one does not close in a fourth wall with a suggestion of one's own.


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


Morality does not depend upon, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 274

274 Morality does not depend upon whether or not one permits self-honesty within the equation — everyone does that — but whether or not one permits the destruction of a merely presumed morality for a genuine one by actualizing it.  For those who do not find the innocence in their morality their untested naïvety, we can only communicate our amorality, that being as far as their thought can go to meet our actualization without provoking their own.  



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


to do nothing with confusion, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 101

101 I know that it is important at times to do nothing with confusion but wait for habituation to re-establish my equilibrium, but I rarely have the patience for this sort of “neglect.”


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


The brain is the fulcrum upon, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 275

275 The brain is the fulcrum upon which a trinket lifts the infinite.



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


one ultimate reality, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 276

276 There must be, of course, only one ultimate reality.  (I am speaking of a physical and not a conceptual ultimate reality.) However, the human brain is not equipped to perceive that single reality.  Instead we have multiple and therefore fragmented perceptions upon this single ultimate reality ... perceptions from which we then reconstruct, on our own terms, a “mental whole.”  This mental whole is not the same as the physical ultimate reality.  However, the evolution of the mental whole is more than just a series of errors: it serves as a kind of signposting ...  a finding one’s way toward higher and higher perceptions.  Thismental whole, this reconstruction of the universe through the resolution of contradictions, is my “spiritual” process and is dependent upon a naturalphenomenon which I like to call, “Repetition.”


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


One of the animal behaviorist’s tricks, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 102

102 One of the animal behaviorist’s tricks is to take something from or add something to the harmony of a creature.  He leaves one creature alone, throws the other out of harmony, and then compares the two.  He can then calculate what this missing or added thing does or does not do.  After such an experiment, the scientist is in a better position to describe the parts that contribute to its normal state.  
I consider an ethologist the desirable model for an individual's quest for truth.  If the reader can accept this premise, then it follows that an introspective truth seeker is neither himself capable of permanent happiness nor of honestly proposing the discovery of truthas a means toward happiness.  For truth, the seeker constantly throws himself out of balance, recording the push out of and the return toward equilibrium, comparing states and securing knowledge – whose method entails a cycle from order to chaos to orderAgain and again, he experiments withharmony and does not …

The Manifestations of Reality, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 277

277 The Manifestations of Reality:
A.As incomprehensible immediate sensory impressions.
B.As impressions held in the memory in two important forms and thereby rendered comprehensible and useful:
1.As an instance, a fact isolated from a whole. As involuntary snapshots of reality. As scientific method: facts subjected to empirical confirmation and sound reasoning, creating a sort of periscope from which we might see around the limitations of our senses.  Thus, we see beyond “common sense,” learning that it is the Earth which revolves around the Sun and not the reverse.2. As a type, a repetition of instances forming a single, cerebral impression, isolated from a whole. With the instances preceding consciousness through evolution or forgotten through repetition-blindness, the events manifest themselves cerebrally as “Reasons,” “Ideals,” “Laws,” “a priori,” “Causation,” “Truth,” “Universal,” etc.Such repetitions, when flayed by the “surface” view — that is, when restricted to “fact” and “formu…

Work Ethic, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 103

103 Work Ethic, 1) the stamina consequent of the fear of being thought lazy; 2) a moral gymnastic where the inability to throw off the master becomes a virtue again; 3) a unique accounting system where being less greedy amounts to more than one’s contribution to the master’s productivity.

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


Reality , A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 278

278 Is repetition real?  Or is it only a poor memory which makes repetition appear real?  Are the eyes truthful, when their immediate scrutiny never finds a repetition? Is there some other region of the brain which makes the instance … the very real particular only appear real, memory performing greater judgment than the eyes?  ... every particular, in some minute aspect, deviant and foreign to the repetition.  And yet the engineer predicts ... Yet these mutually exclusive aspects of reality belong to a universe which can only be one.  That we cannot fathom the inconsistency can just as easily be explained by admitting to a limitation of the human mind as by our capitulation to the concepts of “infinity” or “eternity.”
Reality is one thing.  It is the mind that must split, contrast, see the particular at one moment and then the repetition in the next ... for it craves both the material and its law from which it might re-construct that one thing.



A Human Strategy ** The Mechanics of…

Leisure Ethic, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 104

104 Leisure Ethic, 1) a sphere of awareness that remains impenetrable to any concerns of the work ethic; 2) an energy and health so great that any task becomes a game again; 3) an evil seen only from the perspective of the work ethic. 



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


my rise to a very real sovereignty, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 279

279 For my not having been born Emperor, I have been fortunate.  I simmered ... I plotted ... I changed the rules and object of the game ... and in the end found compensation in my rise to a very real sovereignty.  My cunning had stumbled upon the only thing which could remain pure without being at the same time smug.
But all those around me see only a crown without jewels and studded with only the “smallest” concerns: fish for breakfast, “cerebral hygiene,” and a handful of petty habits.  They laugh and propose my “coronation,” not rejecting a higher nobility as much as showing disgust for reality.  Their reality, it seems, is beneath them.


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


masters who suffer, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 105

105 When a fish tears the hook from its mouth, there are fishermen who cry out in pain.  And there are also masters who suffer ungrateful servants. 


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


the handful of petty habit, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 280

280 There is a man I know who thinks that an earthquake in Chile which killed 30,000 people is more calamitous than the handful of petty habits which will kill him before the year is up.


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


rich in spirit, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 106

106 They are the poor in spirit who seek the approval of the advantaged – and are thus on the right path toward serving them.  Those who refuse to seek the approval of the advantaged are poor workers ... and to the precise degree that they are rich in spirit.


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


the tiger in me, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 281

281 I just turn the key and the tiger in me leaps out, does whatever damage it pleases, and then trots back to its cage with that majestic presumption that I will feed it again for tomorrow’s romp.  And I do ... because I am nothing without this key.



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


the rich man, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 107

107 When the poor are squeezed by necessity, they have no words but only a blank stare for the rich man who is dissatisfied with sufficiency.  And for the rich man to be dissatisfied with sufficiency, he must have noeyesfor the poor.



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


to organize chaos, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 282

282 I suspect that my ideas will grow together, not so much as evidence that the universe is ordered, but that the brain tends to organize chaos into a single, orderly perspective.  It would roll up my many jewels into a single velvet cloth ... as the evidence and redemption of my experience.



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


a lazy principle, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 108

108 Does his work ethic rest on a lazy principle?  The one who imagines that leisure is easy may only be too lazy to struggle with his inherited work ethic.  The workaholic often has the smaller labor of shirking the business of freedom.  It is easy to maintain the inertia set by our masters; it is harder work to slow down.

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


a point of departure , A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 283

283 The captain who tacked east and west against the north wind could never be seen in his northward bent ... but at last he struck the iceNow suppose that this collision cracked open the side of the ship and a prisoner held within the dark hull for the entire journey stepped out upon the ice, held up his fists to the sky and rejoiced.  This cerebral actuality, this beginning, this single point has no historical accounting with which to recognize a tendency.  It is not seen as a destination and will soon become a point of departure for the memory.


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


Public morality, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 109

109

Public morality: having all of the answers without the bother of asking any of the questions.



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


The universal and the particular, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 284

284 The universal and the particular are two different manifestations of one reality.  That is all.  It is the human experience that makes a duality of nature.  It could be said that (1) the Ideal, (2) the cerebral consequence of repetition, and (3) the particular are three separate manifestations ... if it were not that the Ideal is merely an appropriation of the natural phenomenon of repetition ... a natural error (and every human’s illusion) being that this manifestation is independent of the human experience preceding it — whereas countless instances have in the meanwhile played upon the senses, have worked in the memory … have fallen into tendencies with the same precision with which types of sand are separated in a gold miner’s pan ... have appeared identical from deficiencies in human perception … even disappearing due to repetition-blindness … have gained the force of habit and conditioning, yielding a sensation of a distinct “substance” at the withdrawal of these accustomed …

truths , The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 110

110

There are truths that one can only accept within the solitude of a hotel room.


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


The complete realist, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 285

285 The complete realist sees from an “ideal” vantage point.  The idealist, of course, does the same.  The only difference: the realist recognizes that he brings his instances into the moment by way of a single, integrated recollection — whereas the idealist will not recognize that he does the same.  And why not?  ... because the other world, the predominance of mind, and even order itself seem to be at stake.


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


Among the many who vie for leadership, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 111

111

Among the many who vie for leadership within a herd, he who constructs an ultimate but protean “enemy” will not only secure his own herd but will find that he also absorbs neighboring herds.  He proposes an enemy which transcends all provinces.  Satan – the enemy who opposed the world and before the world began....


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


our demoted god, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 286

286 Once upon a time, when Instance made love to Repetition ... unto the great Cerebral, the one and only God, two children were born, with equally convenient names, Fact and Ideal.  Now Fact took after Instance, and Ideal was the spitting image of Repetition.  Both grew in perfect harmony:
“It’s all yours,” said the Fact to the Ideal. “And yours too,” said the Ideal to the Fact. “After you,” invited the Ideal. “No, after you ... I insist.”
Now our God, like we mortals, had two organs for perception and was pleased at the sight.  In one eye He was nearsighted, seeing only Fact.  In the other, He was farsighted, seeing only the Ideal.  And so it was that from this perfect distance and direct point of view, He could see in perfect harmony, Fact and Ideal, as they frolicked side by side.  
I must tell the reader that it was out of love and not mistrust that He drew nearer to embrace His children.  God was completely innocent, for upon arrival, only Fact had remained, only the immediate …

the concept of friendship, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 112

112

It is not that our friendship does not extend “this far,” but that the concept of friendship suddenly found itself beyond its own causes.  Certain conditions that were present at the formation of our friendship no longer exist.  Demanding adherence to the concept is not one of these original conditions.  Demanding adherence is a new condition.  We once shook hands in peace and friendship, and we must continue.  We work together under the same conceptual heading ... but colder ... as love becomes duty.


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


There are no magic words, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 287

287

There are no magic words, just as there are no instant values. The confusion arises when we think we are scientists etching a complex formula on a chalkboard, when in reality we should be simple farmers weeding and cultivating a garden of preferred habits and stimuli.



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


a harmony by way of a wall, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 113

113

To force two relationships into one standard is to sacrifice one of the relationships, if not both. But to have two standards for two relationships forced into one context is also to sacrifice one of the relationships, if not both. Thus, two relationships, two standards, and two contexts maintain harmony ... a harmony by way of a wall. Without walls we would not have the concepts of “neighbor” or “relationship.”



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


The habit-path, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 288

288 The habit-path: The difference between our species and a water shrew is that we can “classify” experience and apply an old lesson to a completely new environment.  The water shrew, as the ultimate realist, is too perfect ... too “honest” to continue an old presumption into the new circumstance ... not for very long anyway.  When something new is brought into its environment, it does not play false to the immediate world — but only because it is true to its history.  It nonetheless very quickly comes upon the difference and begins its correction.  Ittries out new paths through the new environment over and over again in order to perfect the new, highly efficient habit-path.  In short, the water shrew is the perfect scientist; its presumptions are soon encountered, and immediate sense perception takes over and corrects all previously learned lessons.

Our great advantage, on the other hand, is our “dishonesty” to the immediate world ... our unrealism ... our ability to say, “This is l…

disinterested objectivity, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 114

114

Objective Morality:  I take what I observe in others to guess what others must see in me.  I thus understand how my subjective notions of successful display are not always successful from another’s point of view.  It is now in my best interest to hold to disinterested objectivity.



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


Should I defend myself or defend the Truth?, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 289

289

Should I defend myself or defend the Truth?  I am the captain with one foot in each of two boats and it is my chief task to persuade, convince, threaten, cajole my separate crews to remain coordinated ... keep the course true so that I am not forced into one boat at the expense of the other.  *


*

A: But the truth never strays!

B: Which truth?  There are ‘truths’ that take you away from yourself just as there are ‘truths’ that bring you back.




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


fools, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 115

115

In every disagreement one of the two or both are fools, and both cannot be wise except in the case of agreement, but that is not to say of course that in agreement both are necessarily wise. In fact when both are in agreement, the probability is greatest that any existing error will remain. So, two wise individuals who come to agreement suddenly frown, for in losing their cause for debate they have also lost their instrument for error detection.

And observing them, two idiots agree wholeheartedly that it is an indisputable error for someone to set his aim on wisdom and yet give free rein to this obvious flaw of implacability. Doesn't everyone agree that it is an error to want anything other than the happiness of peace, harmony, and universal agreement?



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


For every lie, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 290

290 For every lie I kill, I find another innocent truth grazing in the meadow.



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


the reality of his discovery, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 116

116
What slows the private effort?  That he stops to prove to his herd the reality of his discovery.

What slows the herd?  That he stops to prove to his herd the reality of his discovery.

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


A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 291

291

I am not constructing a system for truth, but discovering the stippled image of my task and training my reflexes to serve this task.



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


rational harmony within a group, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 117

117 For rational harmony within a group, it takes all to raise the standard, only one to lower it. From the viewpoint of an inherited morality, it takes all to maintain the standard, and the one who attempts to raise it, lowers it.



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


the human spirit, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 292

292

Why this fear that we will somehow lose the human spirit? Have we not admitted that we can never see around ourselves? ... that despite all our efforts we are no less attached than before? No, the human flame is brighter than our objectivity is dark. It may flicker under the breath of our coldest arguments, yet every word arrives by that which our fire consumes.



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


a harmonious reason, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 118

118

If the conductor of a harmonious reason has carried the mind once, he will thereafter tend to carry that mind, even if it is now only by a cymbal clash of “Thou shalt....”



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


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I am the universal system, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 293

293

I am the universal system, but the stuff of which it is made, my certainties, will not have it so.  Predator and prey, at times I stalk the infinite ... for that brief moment until it swallows me whole again.


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


the miser and the spendthrift, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 119

119

One can choose to be wise instead of becoming rich, but one cannot choose to become and remain rich instead of becoming wise – because it takes wisdom to acquire wealth andto hold on to it.  Both the miser and the spendthrift do not gain that same acceleration of wealth that is optimized through moderation and prudence.

Now there are those of course who resolutely deny that a rich man can be wise, but this is only due to their resenting the possibility.  In the end, such moralists did not give up wealth for wisdom; they gave up wealth and wisdom.




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


Man is organic., A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 294

294

Man is organic. He only need remain rooted in the soil where he finds himself. He grows his meaning. Like the Amazon, he estimates more species than he can hope to name.

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


gratifying the needs of the public, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 120

120

There is a point where the need for marketing newspapers overtakes the real event.  In successfully gratifying the needs of the public, the moral within the story may then have greater value than any honest reconstruction can attain.



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


A human is an expanding equation, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 295

295

A human is an expanding equation.  We tend to think a lot of ourselves, and so this equation usually totals up to more than what we actually are.  However, in the aftermath of a great disaster, the error is usually discovered.  We reduce and simplify the equation, in human fashion, that is to say, to the extreme.  Our equation is then less than our actuality ... which is also to say that our actuality is then more than our equation.  Existing now well beyond our own definitions, we become the objects of our own wonder, so how could we then settle for such a small, inadequate equation of ourselves?  The equation expands.




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


we are blind, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 296

296

 “Declare war and leave victory as the only way out” — proof that one’s eyes have not yet opened.  One is always at war ... has always been at war.  We have more thoughts inimical to our own advantage than even the most insecure nation.  We are not only bored — we are blind.



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