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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


A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 217

217 One can take the fear of another and mistake the reaction within oneself for courage.  


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


the appearance of virtue, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 60

60 Not only is the appearance of virtue often rewarding, but intelligent honesty does not resemble virtue at all.


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


sincerity, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 59

59 It is easier for the higher ranks to be sincere; consequently, they rarely know how much their sincerity costs them.



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


A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 219

219 There is more to fear from the coward than the courageous.

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


the writer’s ability, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 61

61 There is nothing more beneficial to the writer’s work than honesty, nor more detrimental to the writer’s ability to get to his work.



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


Fear is egotistical, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 220

220 Fear is egotistical ... as if the bee actually hated my existence more than it loved the flower behind me.

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


A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 218

218 The occasion for cowardice increases with knowledge.



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


Ninety-nine percent of courage, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 221

221 Ninety-nine percent of courage is “going through the motions”; that is, it is an acquired habit of resisting, brought about through unceasing squabbles with the mundane.  Real danger is so rare that one cannot justify one’s reaction as the majority of either one’s courage or one’s cowardice.  Ninety-nine percent of real cowardice is thinking the whole thing over again ... and again, because one is bored.


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


contradictions, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 62

62 Only those who are incapable of seeing their own contradictions remain sincere.  If the majority of our species hold that we are naturally sincere, then....


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


What if?, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 222

222 Every “What if?”  is a cowardice ... yet as such it is the prerequisite to a genuine courage.  Only then can we shout our personal “Even if!”

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


honesty, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 63

63 When honesty approaches our critical distance, sincerity emerges in a stout defense of our self-esteem.


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


the courage to hold our ground, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 223

223 What we need is adequate lighting — courage, that close relative to dull-wittedness.  Cowardice illuminates, without fail, but to the point that we are blinded with this all too brilliant thought ... like the rabbit which stops before oncoming headlights.  Even if we somehow manage to move, we still recoil from an all too lucid conscience afterward, as if it had been a duty to be run over by an oncoming cultural presumption, calling it the “courage to hold our ground.”  To fear is to create an absurd double-bind.  To fear is to victimize oneself with one’s own intelligence, and all the while, appearing as the supreme example of “moral courage.A deeper courage would have made its stand against the word, “Duty.”


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


a single mask, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 64

64 Holding to a single mask throughout all contextsis a mental illness.


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


A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 224

224 The irony of an effective courage: Can I go around?



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


Fearlessness , A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 225

225 Fearlessness does not necessarily entail courage.  If one is intelligent enough and skilled enough one can often eliminate all cause for fear in a venture.  Courage is of a different sort: it lies in those who refuse to give up their highest goal yet know that this stand is doomed.  



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


The permanence of victory is the thing ..., A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 226

226 Am I a coward or am I a hero?  Either badge can be sewn onto my coat.  The permanence of victory is the thing ... and that seems to have less to do with courage than with having the personal force to endure a basic strategy.


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


the inexperience of the enemy, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 227

227 I can keep a giant at a safe distance by brandishing a needle, until he is inured with the first few pricks.  Hence, if we are to be intelligent, we cannot also be too bold.  Often the real strength of our weapon lies in the inexperience of the enemy.  Which is it, courage or cowardice that gives him that experience? We either have the courage for what victory demands, or its cowardly betrayal for a mask of courage.

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


A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 228

228 We should not debate courage and cowardice so vigorously that victory can not get a word in.

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


a simple fear or humiliation, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 229

229 The problem is not that we are simplistic creatures governed by too few mechanisms, but that the basis of the objections to our simplicity are too often proofs of the assertion and not refutations.  The objection always hinges on a simple fear or humiliation.  However, once we dismantle our insecurities and study the parts, learn how each works together into a whole, then the complete machine, with all of its hinges, wires and circuits, appears more than complex.  When it so much as walks, for example, it resembles more the flying god than that simple hinge which can only squeak when an insecurity is pulled.


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


Inhibition, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 65

65 Wouldn’t a private honesty which did not compromise itself in public be indistinguishable from uninhibited behavior?  And wouldn’t such a person be indistinguishable from an idiot?  And then we must consider the alternative: inhibited behavior would be indistinguishable from dishonesty – one does not do what one thinks.   However,  Inhibition is required in any attempt at self-controlConscious thought ... the attempt to understand and guide action is anything but uninhibited.
Do self-control and wisdom requirepublic dishonesty?


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


Courage or wisdom?, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 230

230 Courage or wisdom?  When this becomes the choice, can’t we convince ourselves that pursuing wisdom is, if only within the inner sanctum of the heart, a species of courage?  ... that the common species of courage promotes nothing but fools admired for their luck — and in proportion to the improbability they faced, making it an honor to be as foolish as possible? Yet we cannot withhold our admiration!  ... even when a “cowardly” prudence would have dispensed with the danger more efficiently. 
There are those who did not comprehend the danger they faced, and therefore received the glory of being stupid enough.  There are those who did not comprehend the higher aim enabled by restraint and therefore received the glory of not being smart enough.  But it takes a higher species of courage even to see the victory of prudence: an intelligence that leaves our knuckles white with clutching the mundane and never letting go of maximum efficiency ... not even for the sensation of heroism as it…

A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 231

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Courage and Wisdom, A Human Strategy, Matt Berry, aphorism 231

231 But I suppose I have to interrupt here and admit that there is no difference between the terms “Courage” and “Wisdom” ... and also that they are not so prodigious of an undertaking as previously thought ... that perhaps they fall under the name of that other obscure phenomenon, of which I still can only speak of metaphorically: timing the mind to the ticks of the surface world ... cultivating a will to synchronize ... tapping the cogs of the illusory to the cadence of the actual.  Both “Courage” and “Wisdom” then would be a type of yielding.



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