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A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 178

178 Resentment suffers from a wrong without possessing the means for retribution.


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


The real problem with resentment, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 179

179 The real problem with resentment is that it is always justifiable.  If it weren’t, the inspection could have cured one.  
The situation is so bad that one even has the right to take one’s eyes off of the higher aim.



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


The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 34

34 Our conscience must serve out its sentence as convicted, until habituation succeeds in its appeal.


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


Resentment , A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 180

180 Resentment may have less to do with other people than we think.  The feeling that one has been cheated is a probable outcome for those who continually empty themselves in the belief that this is how they become full.



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


cowardice or self-respect, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 181

181 There is a bog where the mud is knee deep.  Around the edge of this bog there is dry ground.  If I go around, is this cowardice or self-respect?  Easy enough to answer. Now, consider the same situation but where my worst enemy stands up to his knees in the middle of this bog, taunting me.  Now, if I go around, is this cowardice?
No ... as long as I lay the groundwork of the former example before I confront the morass of the latter ... as long as I know that cleanliness is the victory ... that the question itself can be dirty ... that one conquers in this way, like a clever general, by going around.



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


Can a cause be just and harmful?, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 182

182 Can a cause be just and harmful?  I wanted to become A but was told that my kind are barred from serving as B.  I am outraged and struggle my whole life to overcome the political and social obstacles and finally become B.  In fact, I am the first of my kind ever to become B.
My cause is just, and I am victorious, but I have now become the wrong person and remain unsatisfied: the pursuit of justice was a way of indulging the spoiled child of resentment.  The child demanded precisely that which had been refused and threatened to set the whole house on fire if unsatisfied ... but left unattended that smaller, weaker embryo, its inherited and privileged task ... which is now just a bedridden, cranky old man.


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


A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 183

183 We do not want a fair fight.  We want a higher rank.  If we are demanding a fair fight, maybe we should reconsider the whole affair, since only those with disadvantages appeal to fairness.


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


My demand for a level battlefield, A human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 184

184 My demand for a level battlefield is an admission that I have a weaker position than my opponent ... that I resent his superiority.  But what else can I do?  And besides, it is this rabid disease, resentment, which does, in its own crude way, level the field already: his sobriety is no match for my raging cause.
Now I have gained the upper hand at last but am too infected to enjoy my newfound superiority.  I march down from my advantage.  I banish kings and with them, their wars and victories, and in their place I crown my former cause.  In the name of justice, to protect the meek, that is to say, to license my resentment, I scour the countryside, slaughtering every mind born of high rank.



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


If we removed resentment, A human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 185

185 If we removed resentment from the argument, we could not say, “put yourself in my place,” or “if this had happened to our kind” — since the appeals to fairness hinge upon resentment.  No, if we removed resentment from the argument, the argument itself would be in danger of vanishing.  Nothing would be there ... only debris that we could have sailed on through if we had only kept our heads up.  Instead we laid anchor before the wreckage, involuntarily conferring value upon it ... and with our stopping, new regrets and with them new resentments ... and still more debris floating in from our horizon.



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


The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 35

36 Innocence-or-Sin? – a vehicle where one begins life’s journey with a foot on the brake.  

Ignorance-or-Experience? – the same vehicle, but one accelerates.  



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


A petty life, A human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 186

186 A petty life is so overwhelmed with the noble that it feels itself unworthy, unable to stand anywhere but in its shadow ... or in other cases, so humiliated, so indignant that it can do nothing but scream, set aflame — always to itself in the hope of scorching its enemy, regarding this self-destruction as “revenge,” or even “self-sacrifice.”



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


To take conscious control, A human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 187

187 Another person has only as much depth as I concede to him.  He can be a cardboard cut-out or the very God incarnate.  To take conscious control of this mechanism, to be able to switch at will between perceptions of the real and the illusory serves me well.  When another person proves harmful, I can say, “If I am sober, this thing is mechanical and therefore meaningless and I am free of all need for retribution.  It is a two-dimensional cardboard cut-out.  I’ll wait a while.  Time, like a breeze, will blow it away.”  On the other hand, when someone proves congenial, I can say, “You intoxicate me without fail.  Stay a while.”  



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


Requiting, A human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 188

188 Requiting those ignorant of what constituted the offense is cruelty.   And our compassion here serves us well: a stoical apology dispenses with idiots sooner than a refutation they cannot understand in any way other than as an affront.  I move on and away.
Never do yourself the harm of keeping as an enemy someone whose excellence in rivalry would have propelled you into a higher existence.

Never get revenge on anyone beneath you, nor above you.  Never revenge. 

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


in spite of oneself, A human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 189

189 The object is not to forgive in spite of oneself.  The object is a higher degree of clarity.  That thisstate “forgives” is coincidental and accounts for the misunderstanding.  To forgive or not to forgive was never the conflict.  The true conflict was one of level: whether one had the strength to climb above the lower conflict, to exist from a higher point of view.


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


Genius, A human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 190

190 Genius is power of direction.  It actually amounts to less power than talent or innate ability, as there are some talents so great as to be sent out of control.


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


A human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 191

191 Potential will pursue an end, at the expense of a higher end, only because one had the means at one’s immediate disposal.



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


Innocence-or-Sin?, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 36

36 Innocence-or-Sin? – a vehicle where one begins life’s journey with a foot on the brake.  
Ignorance-or-Experience? – the same vehicle, but one accelerates.  



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


The problem with irrelevant potential, A human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 192

192 The problem with irrelevant potential is that one needs to feel capable and suddenly finds that here — at the juncture of decision — one is not only capable but already congratulating oneself.


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


The righteous claim , The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 37

37 The righteous claim innocence, while the wise claim experience.  What?  Is it foolish to be righteous?


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


Potential , A human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 193

193 There is a difference between asking, “What is my potential?”  — and the question, “How can I elevate potential itself?”



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


the goal of ignorance, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 38

38 Sin is an obstacle to the goal of innocence?  But if so, then experience would be an obstacle to the goal of ignorance.... 



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


postponing a valuable act, A human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 194

194 There is a virtue in postponing a valuable act ... if in its place a lesser act has greater value as a habit.  Obvious enough, yet the seduction of an immediate victory is more than the average human can withstand.


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


The ability to create a goal, A human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 195

195 A possibility: One resists a victory which is merely available — resists the seduction of every cheap and easy display, knowing that the strength of its seduction lies in its availability and in a deficit of self-esteem. We often build up our weakness into our “elevated purpose.” Such “potential” is the bubble which bursts at its weakest point, the rapid deflation of the human spirit creating the illusion of “explosive power.”
The ability to create a goal, to resist every distraction, to hurdle cheap gratifications of pride, to regard them as obstacles and pitfalls, these too should have their claims to “potential” ... our potential intelligence.



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


cognitive dissonance, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 39

39 Eve may only have sinned because Adam was stupid.  Offer an idiot any fruit from the tree of knowledge and he will no doubt blame you for his cognitive dissonance.


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


my orientation to the world, A human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 196

196 I spin the globe on my desk.  North is up and south is down.  To what extent my orientation to the world has been set by the ethnocentricity of Europe I cannot begin to imagine.  Had America been discovered from the ports of Australia I would perhaps have to read the globe while standing on my head to see what I now see.  But a responsible assumption serves me well.  The need to appropriate an orientation outweighs the obligation to justify that orientation.  One must begin somewhere, but do we see that our beginning is necessarily smug?  ... that the beginning is a privilege granting too much license?  ... that before our personal science begins we have already made the choice: we either affirm reality by our opposing it — as one confronts an opponent and thereby grows stronger as a reality — or we oppose reality with a frantic desire to fly from it and thereby ...


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


True contempt, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 40

40 True contempt is an indifference that dodges an unworthy object and that to a third party often looks more like good manners than arrogance.


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


A human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 197

197 We do not roll smoothly toward thehighest goal.  In fact, we trundle over day-to-day pits and bumps that necessarily lower our sight away from any higher destination.



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


a display of our disdain, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 41

41 When we make a display of our disdain, we often show more rivalry than contempt.

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


a magnetic north, A human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 198

198 One needs a magnetic north, something to sail by ... and how many ships remain lost at sea because they know it is not a “true” north?


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


Above and Below the Level of Shame, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 42

42 Above and Below the Level of Shame: 
When one “has no shame” one has permitted a crude, unrestrained urge within a refined, restrained convention – without realizing what one has done.  One must now be taught the shame of having no shame.When one is more refined and restrained ... stronger than convention allows, one now becomes aware of the shame of “arrogant” behavior.  Again, one is taught the shame of having no shame ...


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


increase in strength, A human Strategy, , Matt Berry, aphorism 199

199 My guess: That increase in strength is always the object and that any decrease is always the obstacle.


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


An unrefined virtue, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 43

43 An unrefined virtue is a contradiction, and a refined vice is often a virtue again.


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


the art of high fate, A human Strategy, , Matt Berry, aphorism 200

200 The more I practice the art of high fate, the more I see that there is one thing that one must have ... strength in every sense of the word and in all events.  Whatever one wants to do, whatever one has to do — from duty, from desire, from reckless will — one must acquire every piece of strength along the way.


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


Gandhi and Hitler, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 44

44 Gandhi and Hitler:  These are two points upon a spectrum measuring the display of dominance.  This does not suggest that one is less and the other is more driven to dominate – we speak here of thedegree of hypocrisy.  One is more capable of hypocrisy and the other less, Hitler being the less capable and therefore the more reprehensible.  



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


The archer, A human Strategy, , Matt Berry, aphorism 201

201 The archer aims above and to the left but strikes the center ... so do I have a single eye on strength but strike a high fate.



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


aphorism 45, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry

45 Gandhi is superior to Churchill by the same principle which finds Churchill superior to Hitler – unless of course we’re British imperialists, in which case Churchill is superior to Gandhi by a new sort of principle which relieves us from having to finish the comparison.



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


increasing strength as my standard, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 202

202 If I use increasing strength as my standard, all habits fall within two categories: descending or ascending.  There is no “in between” ... no standing; those who do not climb weaken.


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


Virtue, aphorism 46, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry

46 Virtue, a) That which converts itself into a virtue by one’s having converted another to it.  This works by that same principle by which one who has just eaten raw garlic does not have bad breath if the other is also served raw garlic. b) The consequence of living without public masks, due to inadequate intellect and poor manners. c) What one feels when observing a rival’s obvious shortcoming. d) A single point of virtue so intoxicated with its own sharp perfection that the bearer can no longer discard anything attached to it – which is to say, that he can no longer tell good from bad for the pride that he takes in this single point of excellence.  He often appears as a knight in shining armor shoveling out a horse’s stall, proud of his mastery of the art of the shovel.



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


of highest value, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 203

203 Strength is value.  That which I carry everywhere, especially into new circumstances, and which also moves things is of highest value.  And with the strongest, things move even after death.



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


the social crusade, aphorism 47, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry

47 When we forbid ourselves a vice for the pleasure it gives us, we can still take vicarious pleasure in condemning it in another.  We often begin the social crusade because righteousness wants to get closer to sin.


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


my strength, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 204

204 In the end, it is my strength ... not my words, not my badges, not my reputation ... but my strength that holds my head up.


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


Matt Berry, The Mechanics of Virtue

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Matt Berry, A Human Strategy

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The object of our desire, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt berry, aphorism 48

48 We give more attention to what we want than to the fact that we want.  The object of our desire is often a dispensable conduit.  The human spirit appearsfickle.  It will have an enemy, but only as long as this is not its rival’s enemy – in which case, enmity itself can become “evil,” if in holding to the moral position it can imagine itself at a superior rank.  We will gratify our enmity, declaring war in the name of Justice and in the next breath condemn a rival’s enmity in the name of Peace and Compassion.  The human spirit appears fickle; however, we are quite consistent as dispensing machines.



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


my strength , A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 204

204 In the end, it is my strength ... not my words, not my badges, not my reputation ... but my strength that holds my head up.



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


The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 49

49 Self-love is not always the same as self-advantage and this is the fault of self-love.

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


a point of reference, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 205

205 Does object A rise or fall?  But one must have first secured a point of reference before one can even pose the question.  And in case it has not already become obvious to the reader, the point of reference I propose is increasing strength.  Until one secures that point of reference, object A may not even appear to move at all.


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


The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 50

50 Our moral expression is often only a label we use to hide our fear of breaking with a custom, herd, or rank

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


A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 207

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the preservation of our weaknesses, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 206

206 What has accounted for our “strength” thus far?  That tremendous force we spent on the preservation of our weaknesses.



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


the shop’s door, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 51

51 If one is too big for the shop’s door, one must stoop to submit an application.  If one is small enough for the shop, one can enter with one’s head high.


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


my existence alleviated, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 207

207 Do not give me painkillers.  True, I also want my existence alleviated ... but I will do so by growing stronger ... by bearing the weight of my reality.



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


megalomania , The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 52

52 Is it megalomania if one knows that vanity is an indispensable partin the human machine?  For if one takes delusion out of the equation, one no longer has the rational claim to megalomania.  If one however uses this argument as proof that the definition no longer applies to oneself, the machine has only re-introduced the delusion. 


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


The highest personal law of life, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 208

208 The highest personal law of life: to achieve a higher rank.  Survival is our lowest law, but it remains: though it is very difficult to think of survival as life, even this lowest of laws still increases me.  


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


to demand another’s honesty, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 53

53 It is as courageous for me to demand another’s honesty as it is to march a young boy off to the train station, waving resolutely as I send him into battle.

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


A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 209

209 Nothing is more lacking in drama than the slow, steady habit which accumulates strength.



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


repetition, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 210

210 Our strength is measured by the number of times we return to that repetition which necessarily increases our value ... precisely when an exceptional humiliation urges us to the contrary.



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


increasing strength, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 211

211 Question: If increasing strength serves as my magnetic north, what then would serve as compass?  Answer: My unbounded ambition ... my vanity.


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


The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry

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Matt Berry, A Human Strategy

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Matt Berry, A Human Strategy

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Matt Berry, A Human Strategy

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Matt Berry, A Human Strategy

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Matt Berry, A Human Strategy

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Matt Berry, A Human Strategy

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Matt Berry, A Human Strategy

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Matt Berry, A Human Strategy

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Ideas multiply,The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 54

54 Ideas multiply by mitosis.  They do not generate themselves spontaneously out of nothing.  An “original” maxim, however whole and independent it appears to a third party, is only half of its original state.  The author sometimes hides the other half for artistic effect, but the sincere moralist goes one step further and hides it from himself.



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


Before I choose, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 212

212 What I seek is control, not over my destiny, but over the value of my destiny.  I stand at a fork in the road and stare down each lane for as far as I can see, never considering that I have just overlooked another option available to me.   Before I choose between destination A and destination B, what would happen if I took one step back to a prior fork in my road: Do I strive to be at a particular destination at a particular time?  Or do I march by a Magnetic North, a direction determined by the requirement for increasing strength, path or no path, disregarding destinations of time and place, until I am stopped?
With the former, I march toward a time and place; whom I become is secondary.  With the latter, becoming is primary.



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


a severe honesty,The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 55

55 Vanity is not honesty, but there is no severe honesty without the admission of one’s own vanity ... even as a motive for one’s honesty:  a severe honesty is motivated by the vanity of being more honest than most.  
Vanity does more for honesty than honesty can do for itself.



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


my error-making organ, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 213

213 From statistic to tragedy: I can never eliminate the number of accidents from my life.  What I can do, however, is elevate the event by keeping my error-making organ in check, thereby employing each calamity in the service of higher recognitions, realizing a higher fate.



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


our own vanity,The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 56

56 Our honesty shines its brightest light just short of that point where our own vanity will be found out again.


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


Maturity, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 214

214 Maturity is best understood not as a tapering down to nothing upon the approach of old age, but with the entire conception of Past and Future stood on end, like an hour glass, where after we have allowed each day to go by, one by one, through this narrow actuality, we learn to demand less and less of the upper chamber, our future, as time passes so that we may accept more and more of the actuality toward the end.  This is an improvement over our former happiness, when we looked into the upper chamber, our dreams wide and full, demanding more, always more, and caring not for experiences to the contrary as they passed into the lower chamber of our memories.



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


my highest ideal,The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 57

57 Just when the siren of my highest ideal seduced me, honesty violently saved me again from the most beautiful and graceful complacency.  Honesty, the last ideal ... and the lowest.

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


Memory, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 215

215 Memory is the absence of pre-existing impressions, and especially that of repeated impressions.  We do not have the impression or repetition in mind when we remember; our not having them is rather the thing.  In fact, sometimes we need to part with them before we can see them at all. What happens?  Impressions leave gaps in the slate of mind and create a new template with which we view and re-organize the world according to our harder, more enduring past.  I say “re-organize” because we must change the world to make sense of it: the world is understood only so far as it can be forced into our “templates.”
How does this “memory” lend control?  Can I blindly grope forward, away from the bright stimuli of the present ... construct a template for the better interpretation and organization of my future ... while having no idea whatsoever what that future will be?  ... since I have no means of understanding how to make or even how to comprehend the requirements of that future except th…

The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 58

58 Polite or honest?  We swear for honesty, for that is polite.



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


A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 216

216 One sets up a high goal, for which one then develops potential.  Easy enough, if one disregards the small matter of one's inability to see beyond the threshold of one's current potential.  One's ultimate vision is very often robbed by containing itself to what is required for the execution of the original goal.  To compound one's potential one must constantly surrender the goal to the next highest vision, which only that goal could have enabled.  It is an eternal surrender of misunderstood ends to honest means. 


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