“Everybody is a genius. but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid” – – Albert Einstein

All the notes were taken directly from the source mentioned.

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People depend on constant communication with others to keep their minds organized. We all need to think to keep things straight, but we mostly think by talking.

The id, the instinctive part of the psyche (from the German representing nature, in all its power and foreignness, inside us); the superego (the sometimes oppressive, internalized representative of social order); and the ego (the I, the personality proper, crushed between those two necessary tyrants)

Jung, although profoundly influenced by Freud, parsed the complexity of the psyche in a different manner. For him, the ego of the individual had to find its proper place in relationship to the shadow (the dark side of the personality), the anima or animus (the contrasexual and thus often repressed side of the personality), and the self (the internal being of ideal possibility).

All my new clinical clients along a few dimensions largely dependent on the social world when I first start working with them: Have they been educated to the level of their intellectual ability or ambition? Is their use of free time engaging, meaningful, and productive? Have they formulated solid and well-articulated plans for the future? Are they (and those they are close to) free of any serious physical health or economic problems? Do they have friends and a social life? A stable and satisfying intimate partnership? Close and functional familial relationships? A career or, at least, a job that is financially sufficient, stable and, if possible, a source of satisfaction and opportunity? If the answer to any three or more of these questions is no, I consider that my new client is insufficiently embedded in the interpersonal world and is in danger of spiraling downward psychologically because of that.

If other people can tolerate having you around, in other words, they will constantly remind you not to misbehave, and just as constantly call on you to be at your best. All that is left for you to do is watch, listen, and respond appropriately to the cues.

The words we employ are tools that structure our experience, subjectively and privately but are, equally, socially determined.

It iss not whether you win or lose. It is how you play the game! How should you play, to be that most desirable of players? What structure must take form within you so that such play is possible? And those two questions are interrelated, because the structure that will enable you to play properly (and with increasing and automated or habitual precision) will emerge only in the process of continually practicing the art of playing properly.

Humility: It is better to presume ignorance and invite learning than to assume sufficient knowledge and risk the consequent blindness.

Carl Jung regarded the Fool as the archetypal precursor to the figure of the equally archetypal Redeemer, the perfected individual.

To maintain good relationships with your colleagues means, among other things, to give credit where credit is due; to take your fair share of the jobs no one wants but still must be done; to deliver on time and in a high-quality manner when teamed with other people; to show up when expected; and, in general, to be trusted to do somewhat more than your job formally requires.

Under normal conditions, it may be nonetheless said that the ability to conform unquestioningly trumps the inability to conform. However, the refusal to conform when the social surround has become pathological incomplete, archaic, willfully blind, or corruptis something of even higher value, as is the capacity to offer creative, valid alternatives.

It is for this reason that the great genie, the granter of wishes. God, in a microcosmis archetypally trapped in the tiny confines of a lamp and subject, as well, to the will of the lamp’s current holder. Genius is the combination of possibility and potential, and extreme constraint.

Follow the rules until you are capable of being a shining exemplar of what they represent, but break them when those very rules now constitute the most dire impediment to the embodiment of their central virtues.

You are not only something that is. You are something that is becoming and the potential extent of that becoming also transcends your understanding. Everyone has the sense, I believe, that there is more to them than they have yet allowed to be realized. That potential is often obscured by poor health, misfortune, and the general tragedies and mishaps of life. But it can also be hidden by an unwillingness to take full advantage of the opportunities that life offers better by regrettable errors of all sorts, including failures of discipline, faith, imagination, and commitment.

The ancient Greek philosopher Socrates believed that all learning was a form of remembering. Socrates posited that the soul, immortal in its essence, knew everything before it was born anew as an infant. However, at the point of birth all previous knowledge was forgotten and had to be recalled through the experiences of life.

Each of us, when fortunate, is compelled forward by something that grips our attention-love of a person; a sport; a political, sociological, or economic problem, or a scientific question; a passion for art, literature, or drama something that calls to us for reasons we can neither control nor understand (try to make yourself interested in something you just do not care about and see how well that works).

The soul willing to transform, as deeply as necessary, is the most effective enemy of the demonic serpents of ideology and totalitarianism, in their personal and social forms. The healthy, dynamic, and above all else truthful personality will admit to error. It will voluntarily shed let die outdated perceptions, thoughts, and habits, as impediments to its further success and growth. This is the soul that will let its old beliefs burn away, often painfully, so that it can live again, and move forward, renewed. This is also the soul that will transmit what it has learned during that process of death and rebirth, so that others can be reborn along with it.

You will pursue a target that is both moving and receding: moving, because you do not have the wisdom to aim in the proper direction when you first take aim; receding, because no matter how close you come to perfecting what you are currently practicing, new vistas of possible perfection will open up in front of you.

First, if something happens every day, it is important, and lunch was happening every day. In consequence, if there was something about it that was chronically bothersome, even in a minor sort of way, it needed to be attended to.

Every trivial but chronic disagreement about cooking, dishes, housecleaning, responsibility for finances, or frequency of intimate contact will be duplicated, over and over, unless you successfully address it. Perhaps you think (moment to moment, at least) that it is best to avoid confrontation and drift along in apparent but false peace.

Freud understood that the human personality was not unitary. Instead, it consists of a loose, fragmented cacophony of spirits, who do not always agree or even communicate. Freud catalogued an extensive list of phenomena akin to repression the active rejection of potentially conscious psychological material from awareness which he termed defense mechanisms. These include denial (the truth is not so bad), reaction formation (I really, really, really love my mother), displacement (the boss yells at me, I yell at my wife, my wife yells at the baby, the baby bites the cat), identification (I am bullied, so I am motivated to be a bully), rationalization (a self-serving explanation for a low-quality action), intellectualization (a favorite of the early, funny, neurotic Woody Allen), sublimation (I can always paint nude women), and projection (I am not touchy; you are just annoying).

Failing to look under the bed when you strongly suspect a monster is lurking there is not an advisable strategy.

interpersonal events specifically do not exist as simple, objective facts, independent of one another. Everything depends for its meaning for the information it truly represents on the context in which it is embedded, much of which is not available for perception or consideration when the event in question occurs.

Who wants to dig down into the depths of pain and grief and guilt until the tears emerge?

No ideals? No judge. But the price paid for that is purposelessness. This is a high price. No purpose? Then, no positive emotion, as most of what drives us forward with hope intact is the experience of approaching something we deeply need and want.

You will not benefit from the learning that inevitably takes place when things do not go your way. Success at a given endeavor often means trying, falling short, recalibrating (with the new knowledge generated painfully by the failure), and then trying again and falling short often repeated, ad nauseam.

So, what might you do what should you do as an alternative to hiding things in the fog? Admit to your feelings. This is a very tricky matter (and it does not simply mean give in to them).

A naive person trusts because he or she believes that people are essentially or even universally trustworthy. But any person who has truly lived has been or has betrayed. Someone with experience knows that people are capable of deception and willing to deceive.

I will trust you. I will extend my hand to you despite the risk of betrayal, because it is possible, through trust, to bring out the best in you, and perhaps in me. So, I will accept substantial risk to open the door to cooperation and negotiation. And even if you do betray me, in a not-too unforgivable manner (assuming a certain degree, shall we say, of genuine apology and contrition on your part), I will continue to extend my hand. And part of the way I will do that is by telling you what I am feeling.

I should not say at least not ideallyYou have been ignoring me lately. I should say, instead, I feel isolated and lonely and hurt, and cannot help but feel that you have not been as attentive to me over the last few months as I would have liked or that might have been best for us as a couple. But I am unsure if I am just imagining all this because I am upset or if I am genuinely seeing what is going on.

And it is very possible that you are wrong about just what is causing you to feel the way you do. If you are, you need to know it, because there is no point in propagating errors that are causing you and others pain and interfering with your future. Best to find out what is true best to disperse the fog and find out if the sharp objects you feared were lurking there are real or fantastical.

Extracting useful information from experience is difficult. It requires the purest of motivations (things should be made better, not worse) to perform it properly. It requires the willingness to confront error, forthrightly and to determine at what point and why departure from the proper path occurred. It requires the willingness to change, which is almost always indistinguishable from the decision to leave something (or someone, or some idea) behind.

How do you know that it is not, therefore, your problem? Why do you notice this issue and not some other? This is a question worth considering in depth.

If you want to become invaluable in a workplace in any community just do the useful things no one else is doing. Arrive earlier and leave later than your compatriots

Organize what you can see is dangerously disorganized. Work, when you are working, instead of looking like you are working. And finally, learn more about the business your competitors than you already know. Doing so will make you invaluable a veritable lynchpin.

Matter you can go to your boss and say, Here are ten things that were crying out to be done, each of them vital, and I am now doing all of them. If you help me out a bit, I will continue. I might even improve. And everything, including your life, will improve along with me.

It is a strange and paradoxical fact that there is a reciprocal relationship between the worth of something and the difficulty of accomplishing.

It is a strange and paradoxical fact that there is a reciprocal relationship between the worth of something and the difficulty of accomplishing it.

It is impossible to hit a target, after all, unless you aim at it. In keeping with this: People are more commonly upset by what they did not even try to do than by the errors they actively committed while engaging with the world.

That is responsibility. Constrain evil. Reduce suffering. Confront the possibility that manifests in front of you every second of your life with the desire to make things better, regardless of the burden you bear, regardless of life’s often apparently arbitrary unfairness and cruelty.

You know the risks if you choose to maximize now at the expense of later. Imagine that you are about to utter something thoughtless and angry. You think, Take no prisoners, and say whatever comes to mind, no matter how unjust and cruel. You experience a release of positive emotion and enthusiasm along with that, as well as the satisfying venting of resentment. Immediately thereafter, however, you are in trouble, and that trouble might stick around for a very long time.

And no one with any sense tells their beloved son or daughter, Look, kid, just do exactly what feels good in the moment, and to hell with everything else. It does not matter. You do not say that, because you know full well that the future is coming for your child as surely as it comes for you. The mere fact that something makes you happy in the moment does not mean that it is in your best interest, everything considered.

Here is what the future means: If you are going to take care of yourself, you are already burdened (or privileged) with a social responsibility. The you for whom you are caring is a community that exists across time.

I do not believe you should pursue happiness. If you do so, you will run right into the iteration problem, because happy is a right-now thing. If you place people in situations where they are feeling a lot of positive emotion, they get present-focused and impulsive.4 This means make hay while the sun shinestake your opportunities while things are good and act now.

Graduation Day marks the event. It is a celebration. But the next day that is over, and you immediately face a new set of problems (just as you are hungry again only a few hours after a satisfying meal). You are no longer king of the high school: you are bottom dog in the work force, or a freshman at a postsecondary institution. You are in the position of Sisyphus. You strove and struggled to push your boulder to the pinnacle, and you find yourself, instead, at the foot of the mountain.

What is a truly reliable source of positive emotion? The answer is that people experience positive emotion in relationship to the pursuit of a valuable goal.

The wise part of you will be comparing that pursuit to the possible goal of acting in the best interest of your community of future selves and your community of other people.

You act and betray yourself, and you feel bad about that. You do not know exactly why. You try to avoid thinking about it, because it is less painful and easier in the short term not to think about it. You try with all your might to ignore it, but all that does is increase your sense of self-betrayal and further divide you against yourself.

So, you reconsider, perhaps, and you confront your discomfort. You note your disunity and the chaos that comes with it. You ask yourself you pray to discover what you did wrong. And the answer arrives. And it is not what you want. And part of you must therefore die, so that you can change. And the part that must die struggles for its existence, puts forward its rationale, and pleads its case. And it will do so with every trick in its possession employing the most egregious lies, the bitterest, most resentment-eliciting memories of the past, and the most hopelessly cynical attitudes about the future

You start to monitor yourself, ever more careful to ensure you are doing the right thing listening to what you say, watching yourself act, trying not to deviate from the straight and narrow path. That becomes your goal.

You might object: Why should I shoulder all that burden? It is nothing but sacrifice, hardship, and trouble.

Then, when you wake up in the middle of the night and the doubts crowd in, you have some defense: For all my flaws, which are manifold, at least I am doing this. At least I am taking care of myself. At least I am of use to my family, and to the other people around me. At least I am moving, stumbling upward, under the load I have determined to carry.

And if what you are doing in your day-to-day activity is not enough, then you are not aiming at the construction of a proper cathedral.

Because if you were, then you would experience the sense of meaning in relationship to your sufficiently high goal, and it would justify the misery and limitations of your life.

if you do not object when the transgressions against your conscience are minor, why presume that you will not willfully participate when the transgressions get truly out of hand?

And there is no doubt that the road to hell, personally and socially, is paved not so much with good intentions as with the adoption of attitudes and undertaking of actions that inescapably disturb your conscience.

conservatism, socialism, feminism (and all manner of ethnic- and gender-study isms), postmodernism, and environmentalism, among others. They are all monotheists, practically speaking or polytheistic worshippers of a very small number of gods. These gods are the axioms and foundational beliefs that must be accepted, a priori, rather than proven, before the belief system can be adopted, and when accepted and applied to the world, allow the illusion to prevail that knowledge has been produced.

The moral of the story? Beware of intellectuals who make a monotheism out of their theories of motivation. Beware, in more technical terms, of blanket univariate (single variable) causes for diverse, complex problems.

It is much more psychologically appropriate (and much less dangerous socially) to assume that you are the enemy that it is your weaknesses and insufficiencies that are damaging the world than to assume saintlike goodness on the part of you and your party, and to pursue the enemy you will then be inclined to see everywhere.

If you aim at nothing, you become plagued by everything.

I typically encouraged my clients to choose the best path currently available to them, even if it was far from their ideal. This sometimes meant tolerating at least a temporary decrease in ambition, or in pride, but had the advantage of substituting something real for something available only in fantasy.

It is far better to become something than to remain anything but become nothing. This is despite all the genuine limitations and disappointments that becoming something entails.

The master, who is the rightful product of apprenticeship, is, however, no longer the servant of dogma. Instead, he is now himself served by dogma, which he has the responsibility to maintain as well as the right to change, when change is necessary.

The first speaks to the necessity of aiming at the highest possible unity; the second to the danger of worshipping false idols (by confusing the representation, or the image, with the ineffable it is supposed to represent); the third means that it is wrong to claim moral inspiration from God while knowingly committing sinful acts; the fourth means that it is necessary to leave time to regularly consider what is truly valuable or sacred; the fifth keeps families together, mandating honor, respect, and gratitude from children as just reward for the sacrifices made by parents; the sixth prevents murder (obviously) but, by doing so, also protects the community from potential descent into constant and potentially multigenerational feuding; the seventh mandates the sacredness of the marriage vow, predicated on the assumption (like the fifth) that the stability and value of the family is of paramount importance; the eighth allows for honest, hardworking people to reap the benefits of their efforts without fear that what they have produced will be taken from them arbitrarily (and, thereby, makes civilized society a possibility); the ninth maintains the integrity of the law, reducing or eliminating its use as a weapon; and the tenth is a reminder that envy and the resentment it breeds is a destructive force of the highest power.

I was narrow, sharp, and focused, and did not waste time, but the price I paid for that was the blindness demanded by efficiency, accomplishment, and order. I was no longer seeing the world. I was seeing only the little I needed to navigate it with maximum speed and lowest cost.

William Blake, the English painter, printmaker, and poet,



Artists are the people who stand on the frontier of the transformation of the unknown into knowledge. They make their voluntary foray out into the unknown, and they take a piece of it and transform it into an image.

Artists teach people to see. It is very hard to perceive the world, and we are so fortunate to have geniuses to teach us how to do it, to reconnect us with what we have lost, and to enlighten us to the world.

It is a psychological truism that anything sufficiently threatening or harmful once encountered can never be forgotten if it has never been understood.

The Rape of Nanking, 7 about Japanese atrocities in China in 1937.

Actions based upon the desire to take responsibility; to make things better; to avoid temptation and face what we would rather avoid; to act voluntarily, courageously, and truthfully these make what comes into Being much better, in all ways, for ourselves and for others, than what arises as a consequence of avoidance, resentment, the search for revenge, or the desire for mayhem.

Can anyone escape the pangs of conscience at four o’clock in the morning after acting immorally or destructively, or failing to act when action was necessary?

You know that when something does not go well, you should analyze the problem, resolve it, apologize, repent, and transform. An unsolved problem seldom sits there, in stasis. It grows new heads, like a hydra. One lie one act of avoidance breeds the necessity for more. One act of self-deception generates the requirement to buttress that self-deceptive belief with new delusions. One devastated relationship, unaddressed, damages your reputation damages your faith in yourself, equally and decreases the probability of a new and better relationship.

If you are suffering from memories that will not stop tormenting you, there is possibility possibility that could be your very salvation waiting there to be discovered.

How do you find the mystery in the other person over the long run? Can you muster up the will and the romantic imagination and the playfulness to manage that, each time you are together intimately, for the next three thousand occasions?

People and their relationships are too complex to reduce to a single aspect but it is still reasonable to note that a good marriage is accompanied by mutual desire, mutually requited.

Your failure to specify your desires means your unfortunate lover will have to guess what would please and displease you, and is likely to be punished in some manner for getting it wrong.

If you really loved me, you will think or feel, without thinking I would not have to tell you what would make me happy. This is not a practical approach to a happy marriage.

Naive people are possessed of the delusion that everyone is good, and that no one particularly someone loved would be motivated to cause pain and misery, either for revenge, as a consequence of blindness, or merely for the pleasure of doing so. But people who have matured enough to transcend their naivete have learned that they can be hurt and betrayed both by themselves and at the hands of others. So why increase the odds of being hurt by letting someone in? It is to defend against such betrayal that naivete is often replaced by cynicism, and it must be said in all truth that the latter is an improvement over the former. But such substitution is not the final word in wisdom, and thank God for that. Trust in turn trumps cynicism, and true trust is not naivete. Trust between people who are not naive is a form of courage, because betrayal is always a possibility, and because this is consciously understood.

Let someone else know your wishes, you have then granted them a dangerous source of power. The person whom you have made your confidant is now in a position to fulfill your desires, but could equally deprive you of what you want, embarrass you for wanting it, or hurt you in some other manner, because you have now made yourself vulnerable.

The first of those requirements is truth. You cannot maintain trust in yourself if you lie. You cannot maintain trust in yourself, likewise, if you act in a manner that would require a lie if it was discovered. Similarly, you cannot maintain trust in your partner if he or she lies, or betrays you in action or in silence. So, the vow that makes a marriage capable of preserving its romantic component is first and foremost the decision not to lie to your partner.

There will come a time in your life when you have done something you should not have done or failed to do something that you should have done. You may need advice. You may need support. You may need exactly what your partner could provide, if only you dared to allow them to help.

Instead, the couple can decide that each and both are subordinate to a principle, a higher-order principle, which constitutes their union in the spirit of illumination and truth.

The entire biological course of our destiny, since reproduction progressed past the mere division of cells, appears driven by the fact that it was better for two dissimilar creatures to come together to produce a comparatively novel version of themselves than to merely clone their current embodiment.

You are not going to get along with your partner not easily, unless you agree to be tyrannized and silent (and even then you will take your revenge)because you are different people.

And not only are you different from your partner, but you are rife with inadequacies and so is he or she.

There are three fundamental states of social being: tyranny (you do what I want), slavery (I do what you want), or negotiation.

It is a good thing, however admirable act because a person bothered by something they do not wish to talk about is very likely to be split internally over the issue at hand. The part that wants to avoid is the part that gets angry. There is a part that wants to talk, too, and to settle the issue. But doing so is going to be cognitively demanding, ethically challenging, and emotionally stressful.

If you can get past tears, you can have a real conversation, but it takes a very determined interlocutor to avoid the insult and hurt generated by anger (defense one) and the pity and compassion evoked by tears (defense two). It requires someone who has integrated their shadow (their stubbornness, harshness, and capacity for necessary emotionless implacability) and can use it for long-term benefit. Do not foolishly confuse nice with good.

For all you know, you are fighting with the spirit of your wife’s grandmother, who was treated terribly by her alcoholic husband, and the consequences of that unresolved abuse and distrust between the sexes are echoing down the generations.

You will be tempted by avoidance, anger, and tears, or enticed to employ the trapdoor of divorce so that you will not have to face what must be faced. But your failure will haunt you while you are enraged, weeping, or in the process of separating, as it will in the next relationship you stumble into, with all your unsolved problems intact and your negotiating skills not improved a whit.

You either negotiate responsibility for every single one of these duties or you play push and pull forever while you battle it out nonverbally, with stubbornness, silence, and half-hearted attempts at cooperation.

Talk to your partner for about ninety minutes a week, purely about practical and personal matters. What is happening to you at work? What is going on, as far as you are concerned, with the kids? What needs to be done around the house? Is there anything bothering you that we can address? What do we have to do that is necessary to keep the wolf from the door next week?

How do we want these times to be structured? How can we make the morning awakening pleasant? Can we attend to each other politely and with interest and perhaps without electronic distractions while we eat? Could we make our meals delicious and the atmosphere welcoming?

What matters, however, is not whether you fight (because you have to fight), but whether you make peace as a consequence. To make peace is to manage a negotiated solution.

I have observed that twice is better than once, but once is much better than zero. Zero is bad. If you go to zero, then one of you is tyrannizing the other, and the other is submitting.

Maybe there is a list of ten things you will do in a day, and sex is number eleven. It is not that you do not think sex is important, but you do not ever get past number five on the list of ten.

Here is a rule: do not ever punish your partner for doing something you want them to continue doing. Particularly if it took some real courage some real going above and beyond the call of duty to manage.

Devote yourself to the higher ideal upon which an honest and courageous relationship is necessarily dependent, and do that with the seriousness that will keep your soul intact.

You have your reasons for being resentful, deceitful, and arrogant. You face, or will face, terrible, chaotic forces, and you will sometimes be outmatched. Anxiety, doubt, shame, pain, and illness, the agony of conscience, the soul-shattering pit of grief, dashed dreams and disappointment, the reality of betrayal, subjection to the tyranny of social being, and the ignominy of aging unto death how

What is the world made of? To answer this, we will need to consider reality the world as it is fully experienced by someone alive and awake, with all the richness of subjective being left intact dreams, sensory experiences, feelings, drives, and fantasies.

The hypothalamus is a small region, sitting atop the spinal cord regulates many of the fundamental responses that find their expression in the conceptualization of danger and potential.

One of its two modules is responsible for self-preservation (hunger, thirst, and, most important for our purposes, defensive aggression in the face of threat) as well as reproduction (sexual arousal and basic sexual behavior). The second is responsible for exploration.

Let us take your problems apart, even though many of them are real. We will try to figure out which ones are your fault, because some of them are going to be. Some of them, alternatively, are just the catastrophe of life. We will delineate that very carefully. Then we will start having you practice overcoming whatever it is that

I would propose: Let us take your problems apart, even though many of them are real. We will try to figure out which ones are your fault, because some of them are going to be. Some of them, alternatively, are just the catastrophe of life. We will delineate that very carefully. Then we will start having you practice overcoming whatever it is that you are bringing to the situation that is making it worse. We will start to make some strategic plans about how you might confront the parts of your life that are truly just tragic, and we will get you to do that in a truthful, open, and courageous manner. Then we will watch what happens.

I think the more voluntary confrontation is practiced, the more can be borne. I do not know what the upper limit is for that.

Sins of commission, the things you do knowing full well they are wrong; and sins of omission, which are things you merely let slide you know you should look at, do, or say something, but you do not.

What motivates these kinds of deceit? We lie, outright the sin of commission knowing full well that we are doing so, to make things easier for us, in theory, regardless of the effect upon other people. We try to tip the world in our own personal favor. We try to gain an edge. We endeavor to avoid a just punishment that is coming our way often by passing it to others. We commit the sin of omission, alternatively (and perhaps more subtly), in the belief that what we are avoiding will just go away, which it seldom does. We sacrifice the future to the present, frequently suffering the slings and arrows of outraged conscience for doing so, but continuing, rigidly and stubbornly, in any case.

Someone who lies, through action, inaction, words, or silence, has made a choice about what element of becoming (what element of still-unformed but potential chaos) is or is not going to manifest itself. This means that the deceitful individual has taken it upon him or herself to alter the very structure of reality.

The liar acts out the belief that the false world he brings into being, however temporarily, will serve at least his own interests better than the alternative.

Each time he succeeds, however, his arrogance will increase, as success is rewarding and will inspire efforts to duplicate and even increase that reward. This cannot help but motivate larger and riskier lies, each associated with a longer fall from the heights of pride.

People employ deception in this fourth set of circumstances because they are resentful and angry about their victimized positions in the hell and tragedy of the world.

The arrogance is in believing that the unfair treatment was specifically personal, existentially speaking, rather than being an expected part of existence itself, given its unknown natural, social, and individual dangers.

The first conspiracy between deceit and arrogance might be regarded as a denial or rejection of the relationship between divinity, truth, and goodness.

If you take your turn at the difficult tasks, people learn to trust you, you learn to trust yourself, and you get better at doing difficult things.

The final form of sins of omission is associated with lack of faith in yourself perhaps in humanity in general because of the fundamental nature of human vulnerability. There is a scene in the book of Genesis in which the scales fall from the eyes of Adam and Eve, and they realize they are vulnerable and naked both part and parcel of self-consciousness. At the same time, they develop the knowledge of good and evil. These two developments coincide because it is not possible to hurt other people with true effectiveness until you know how you can be hurt yourself. And

To hell with it is a multifaceted philosophy. It means This is worth sacrificing anything for. It means Who cares about my life. It is not worth anything, anyway. It means I do not care if I have to lie to those who love memy parents, my wife and children because what difference does it make, anyway? What I want is the drug. There is no easy coming back from that.

we also know that we can do good, if not great, things. We have the best chance of doing the latter if we act properly, as a consequence of being truthful, responsible, grateful, and humble.

If you confront the limitations of life courageously, that provides you with a certain psychological purpose that serves as an antidote to the suffering.

How and why it may be necessary to encounter the darkness before you can see the light. It is easy to be optimistic and naive. It is easy for optimism to be undermined and demolished, however, if it is naive, and for cynicism to arise in its place. But the act of peering into the darkness as deeply as possible reveals a light that appears unquenchable, and that is a profound surprise, as well as a great relief.

To realize this is uncanny. That realization is the great contribution of the psychoanalysts, who insisted above all, perhaps, that we were inhabited by spirits that were beyond not only our control but even our conscious knowledge.

A few years later, I debated another philosopher, Slavoj ekknown much more widely for his Marxist predilections than his religious convictions.

Should I really bring an infant into a world like this? Is that an ethical decision? The followers of the philosophical school of antinatalism, of whom the South African philosopher David Benatar is perhaps the leading advocate,5 would decisively answer no to both of those questions.

Take on the task of being the most reliable person in the aftermath of the death, during the grief-stricken preparations for the funeral and the funeral itself, and for the care of family members during and after the catastrophe.

You might love people despite their limitations, but you also love them because of their limitations.


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