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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


government , The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 121

121

A government that leads the people is not a government by the people. A government by the people lacks initiative.



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


running for those spectacular celebrities, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 297

297

Repetition is the only thing one can grip; the surface, the only thing one can let go. Yet we fly from repetition as though from a boring neighbor ... running for those spectacular celebrities who ignore our existence before they suddenly leave us.



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


The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 122

122

... but a politician only needs to fool enough of the people, enough of the time.



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


Boredom, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 298

298

We have finally discovered that the word “freedom” has floated away from the center, and in its place we find the word, “Boredom.”  

Boredom is a satiety which nevertheless still lacks something ... a want of excitement, by which we preserve an advantage: deadened “needs” permit us to introduce stimuli with delicate, retractable instruments.


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


The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 123

123

A moral proverb can easily set the tide of opinion washing high over the expediency of its own utterance, finding a sufficient number of heads bobbing in agreement.



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


a ring of authenticity, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 299

299

Nonetheless: Whatever falls from the highest state of excitement has a ring of authenticity that cannot be muffled out, not even by the intention behind the utterance.




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


If we consider democracy the maintenance of dissent, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 124

124

If we consider democracy the maintenance of dissent, then the attack on democracy succeeds when the enemy is unambiguous ... obvious.  A consolidation of the party in power is secured.  Democracy is most secure when the people are not quite sure what to do next.  Ambiguity requires debate; unambiguity discards it altogether.


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


living my life, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 300

300

As far as living my life is concerned, the discovery of mechanical force over my own thoughts has been the only Truth worth my efforts.




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


The Hung Jury, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 125

125

The Hung Jury: He appeared to raise the standard of judgment by slaving it to unanimous decision.  But a lynch mob is a unanimous decision.  What he really wanted was to increase our estimation of his verdict to such a height that we would not look so low as the method itself.



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


the secret of the universe, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 301

301

What could be more useless than to comprehend the secret of the universe? A man would almost think that he could then do away with dinner.



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


When society does all of the thinking, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 126

126

When society does all of the thinking for the infant, it is a privilege and a gift – and now any independent thought in the adolescent becomes a case of ingratitude.


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


A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 302

302

I can handle more than my mind can grasp.



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


an immoralist, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 127

127

The only way for timely success as an immoralist is to bait one’s hook with the success of a past immoralist.  One does not say, “I....,” one says, “Nietzsche....”  There is such a thing as a conventional immorality, and as it goes with conventional opinions, it is not threatened in the least by its being a contradiction.


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


Will Power, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 303

303

“Will Power” is a constructed response ... a bracing ourselves against a natural response which we perceive as harmful.  However, more effective than such “Will Power” is the substitution of one stimulus, if not an entire context, for another.  And where one cannot substitute, one can at least disperse the power of a harmful stimulus by introducing competitive stimuli.  But it takes a little will power to perceive this and a tremendous amount to hold it in place long enough for any grafted stimulus to integrate itself and contribute to the full circulation.




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


one’s culture, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 128

128

A public morality has the individual reacting on behalf of his culture, this way, then that, according to present conditions.  One cannot then anticipate the turn required by one’s culture if one holds to a private moral interpretation.  Immorality, observed as a public event, occurs when one fails to turn with the others.  For the private thinker, however, immorality occurs precisely when one turns from one's most cherished moral precepts.  The public takes a turn; the private moralist continues with his straight and narrow, and commits a crime against society.




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


I should, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 304

304

We hold our noses to even our best uses of the word, “I should,” until ... unless they put on the well-pressed uniform of “I know, and therefore, I must.”


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


a metaphor for the entire human problem, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 305

305


Taste is a stimulant; nutrition is essential — unequal in the power of appeal — but also unequal in the effect, and that should be enough to tip the scales.  But it does not.  The former remains as appealing as the latter remains effective.  Perhaps we can enlarge this into a metaphor for the entire human problem: our ideas of life are as stimulating as the mechanics of life are essential.


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


public morality, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 129

129

When my private honesty speaks of public morality, I must yield to the public’s having the last word on my inappropriate, disrespectful, and unforgivable behavior – for they can no longer hear me.



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


mechanical forces, A Human Strategy. Matt Berry, aphorism 306

306


Ultimately, we must have faith that mechanical forces govern our lives completely.  We cannot know all, but must have a nose for the way.  To deny past tendencies, the overall direction of past discoveries ... to face our destination but walk backwards ... that was the consequence of our previous faith.


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


the public’s most cherished moral ideals, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 130

130


One can be found guilty of actualizing the public’s most cherished moral ideals; for innocence, as the public understands it, one need only cherish.


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


The struggle for freedom and the struggle after freedom, A Human Strategy. Matt Berry, aphorism 307

307


The struggle for freedom and the struggle after freedom is won are so dissimilar as to make a man feel he was mistaken to seek freedom in the first place.  When faced with “What was it that I really wanted?”  he can no longer explain his frustration, except to say that he no longer seems to have needed so much ... only this next thing that is withheld from him, the acquisition of which will teach him the same lesson again: he does not need this either.  Freedom is not a real goal, but the misunderstanding reduces him toward sufficiency.  He becomes a concentrated force.


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


When a man becomes a nonconformist, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 131

131

When a man becomes a nonconformist and opposes society, we would almost want to call him a whole man but that he has also polarized himself against a part of himself.



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


a self-affirming goal, A Human Strategy. Matt Berry, aphorism 308

308

If I waddle somewhat toward a self-affirming goal, my desires and whims follow like a brood of ducklings. If I stop to gather them in, they scatter ... and I chase after.



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


righteous nonconformity, aphorism 132, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry

132

With righteous nonconformity I am no longer tractable to what the public expect, but to what they ought to expect.


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


freedom, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 309

309

Too often “freedom” is another word for “ignorance.” It serves as a palliative for our shock at seeing the gears and levers behind our nature.



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


The Moral Fanatic, aphorism 133, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry

133

The Moral Fanatic: Mustering up the courage to actualize one’s morality is often the beginning of immorality. In fact moral actualization is often that backdrop of Evil without which there might have been no display of Good. Solitary actualization usually offends the public, and the moral display of removing this offense often succeeds by default ... and Good then triumphs over Evil.



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


a genuine method for happiness, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 310

310

One finds a genuine method for happiness but saddens all others by trying to convert them to the same. Perhaps happiness is in the private rebellion of finding ... just as sadness would lie in having to be granted permission to search.



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


the exalted human experience, aphorism 134, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry

134

Historical honesty and the exalted human experience are opposed.  When Plutarch reports, and is in turn carried higher by Amyot, and yet higher by North, and then reaches its final orbit through Shakespeare ... the historian objects ... in vain.  When the town charlatan passes off despicable behavior as being “ordained by God,” he can within a very few generations not only surpass history within his own culture, but among the complacent at large as well.  Out of this dung, hidden well beneath the surface, the lush but thorny bush yields berries that can only be picked with the most delicate fingers and every honest attack leaves the assailant bloodied.



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


The proud mind, aphorism 134, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry

134

The proud mind denies the existence of the stimulus in an argument, and so does not see or feel the force of the necessary response, creating the illusion that it is not the perceiver but the world that is twisted.

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


an inherited error, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 135

135

There might be a limit to the price a society is willing to pay in order for an inherited error to persist.  And it might be embarrassing to debate whether that limit is a bargain or a great expense.  Society of course regards even the utmost sacrifice as only a “small price to pay” for the preservation of accepted notions of moral decency.  Herd behavior appears to place a greater value on preserving cultural inertia than upon holding to the value it claims for “Truth.”


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


any claim to honesty, aphorism 135, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry

The Nature of this Book and Some Problems

135

This is not a book which proceeds from point A to point B.  I am more concerned with the natural phenomenon of “spontaneity.”  I need to stress the words “natural phenomenon.”  The words “transcendence” and “spontaneity” are too frequently excuses for flights away from reality ... so I like to temper such words with the acknowledgment that spontaneity and transcendence are governed by natural laws and that they are limited to the private human experience; they are not “supernatural events” nor dependent upon external “authorities.”  I am not afraid to disinfect the misunderstanding by sponging the issue with the behaviorist’s word-set ... while preserving the exalted sensation as a goal.  I am also not afraid of my life, my direct experience with my small reality being of more importance and of greater validity than all of the greatest literature combined.  I need not appeal to another “thinker” before making the attempt to live.  I live. …

passionate observers, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 136

136

There is no such thing as a public morality which can withstand private application.  Nor a public moral victory which is not dampened by private honesty.  The glory burns only upon a stage constructed by and for passionate observers.  In any actualization independent of public display, it destroys the agent's emotional health and breaks with the public's own notion of decent behavior.


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


a fool or a liar, aphorism 136, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry

136

One day I woke up and found that everyone I had ever met was either a fool or a liar. Another day, much later, I found that this had been my first real step toward myself.



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


A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 309

309

Too often “freedom” is another word for “ignorance.” It serves as a palliative for our shock at seeing the gears and levers behind our nature.



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


disciples , The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 137

137

A moralist’s disciples persist only as his pallbearers.



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


a genuine method, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 310

310

One finds a genuine method for happiness but saddens all others by trying to convert them to the same. Perhaps happiness is in the private rebellion of finding ... just as sadness would lie in having to be granted permission to search.



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


mercenary ideals, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 138

138
The goal recruits mercenary ideals.  And the righteous identity is a goal....


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


A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 311

311

The most empowering discoveries in my life have revealed a loss of freedom.



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


uncompromising behavior, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 139

139

What is uncompromising behavior?  The strength one finds in compromising all but the present object of one’s monomania.


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


A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 312

314
The one who does not want control but wants to live is doomed.

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


my spiritual justification, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 140

140

But the ideal is the goal? But if so, then it is that sort which compromises the range of attainable goals. I am frustrated with the inability to confer value upon myself through the attainment of ambitious goals, and so I compensate this frustration by constructing a superior identity within my imagination. My new sense of superiority requires that I argue against ambition. Now to the precise degree that I indulge in the narcotic of my spiritual justification, I compromise my future ability to confer value upon myself through ambitious achievements.



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


self-destruction, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 141

141

One means of self-destruction is our sacrificing the end for the thrilling display found through increasing the force or velocity of the means. We did not realize that we had two ends, one of time and space and one of an identity achieved thereby, the latter of which often remains hidden to the intellect and which may in fact be the impetus to the former.



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


the means, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 142

142 The end does not justify the means; it determines the means.



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


stout realist, aphorism 313, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry

313

Every stout realist admits himself a slave to necessity, but for him alone is there a choice between types of slavery.



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


a behavioral cause, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 143

143

The end proposed decides the beginning. In consciousness, it is the end that arrives first. We travel as inchworms. The end has set itself forward, and it is the beginning that then curls up and joins the ending. We say that a cause produces an effect and therefore “precedes” it, but we realize that the proposed effect is a behavioral cause, a stimulus that is itself an additional means by which we plant the “goal” down and then muster all necessary “means” toward it.



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


aphorism 314, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry

314

The one who does not want control but wants to live is doomed.



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


advance in science, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 144

144

A great advance in science breaks with a custom and thus constitutes a public immorality, which then, after this new custom is set, becomes the next scientific impediment. A great discovery in science is an Evil that threatens the present Good while establishing the conditions from which it emerges again as the next Good. Pure Evil then would be indistinguishable from an acceleration of scientific discovery no longer hindered by the friction of a “moral Good.”



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


aphorism 315, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry

315

Mediocrity is unrestricted force.



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


Science, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 145

145

Science has the human limp forward, but it is his strong leg that accounts for his Evil appearance. Had he two bad legs ... had he stood still, he would have appeared perfectly normal ... Good.



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


the absence of limits, aphorism 316, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry

316

We seek the absence of limits ... crave to feel ourselves free of all constraints. Of the grain of sand, we would see infinity ... of this passing moment, eternity. Somehow we are to blink away the wall of reality.

However, suppose one sought freedom in the opposite direction, groped hand over hand along the wall, so as to be sure of its inexorability ... to have something unyielding from which to push off.

One cannot push off from unlimited freedom. Freedom as I have experienced it requires a limit, for this limit renders control. We need a courage to face reality and not a flight that we call our “freedom.” However disappointing it may feel, this limit ... this control is something like freedom.



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


In the Mirror, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 146

146

In the Mirror: A conclusion in urgent need of a premise is usually a stimulus whose gratification leads to disaster or atrocity.



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


control over thoughts, aphorism 317, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry

317

There are those who see mechanical control over thoughts as a loss of freedom, and so reject the idea. There are others, fewer, who see the same, but affirm it. All dwell however within the same reality. The only difference between them is the speed of their progress.



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