Men

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Men

Postby Jakob » Sun Mar 07, 2021 1:49 pm

"There is no power of expansion in men. Our friends early appear to us as representatives of certain ideas, which they never pass or exceed. They stand on the brink of the ocean of thought and power, but they never take the single step that would bring them there. A man is like a bit of Labrador spar, which has no lustre as you turn it in your hand, until you come to a particular angle; then it shows deep and beautiful colors. There is no adaptation or universal applicability in men, but each has his special talent, and the mastery of successful men consists in adroitly keeping themselves where and when that turn shall be oftenest to be practised."

- RW Emerson, Essay on Experience


Very interesting truth. Men do not change, or grow. Whenever we see a man trying for something he doesn't have in him, it is just sad. "Potential" - you have the potential to be this - you aren't it now but if you try, you could be. To want lustre which isn't yours to have, give, be.

The ignoble effort of pleasing the world with something neither they nor you can appreciate, but which should be appreciated because it should be something you are able to do well.

Nietzsche's "Become what you are!" is a stupid advice. It suggests there is some kind of effort to be made, some threshold to cross, it offers a path of folly which literally leaves all true goals behind. One must, when having set foot on such a path, eventually turn back to what one already was. Better sooner than later! Be what you are - and if it can't be done on horseback with fiery banners, then simply resign to it. There is less shame in resignation than in vanity.

It may also be that one has to resign to ones royalty - this would be the Antibuddha.
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Re: Men

Postby Magnus Anderson » Sun Mar 07, 2021 3:03 pm

Jakob wrote:Very interesting truth. Men do not change, or grow. The best men are those who have committed to what they are early on and have never wanted to be something else. Whenever we see a man trying for something he doesn't have in him, it is just sad. I can speak from the experience of having been such a man during a few years, that it is a sad spectacle. "Potential" - you have the potential to be this, someone told me - you aren't it now but if you try, you could be. I fell for it, out of vanity. I wanted lustre which isn't mine to or have, give, or be.


You're probably trying to say that the best men have no unrealistic expectations. And I absolutely agree. But your wording is poor and easy to misinterpret.

Generally speaking, remaining who you are is not a good idea. But neither is trying to become something you cannot become nor something you shouldn't become.

Back when you were a child, you had the potential to become a grown-up man. You weren't a grown-up man at the time but you had the potential of becoming one in the future. And I suppose you agree actualizing such a potential is a good thing. What would be the point of remaining a child?

Nietzsche's "Become what you are!" is a stupid advice.


I disagree.

It suggests there is some kind of effort to be made, some threshold to cross, it offers a path of folly which literally leaves all true goals behind. One must, when having set foot on such a path, eventually turn back to what one already was. Better sooner than later! Be what you are - and if it can't be done on horseback with fiery banners, then simply resign to it. There is less shame in resignation than in vanity.


Well, I am no longer a child (not a literal one, at least.) That means that being a child is currently behind me. What exactly is wrong with that?

But yes, there is less shame in being realistic, even if that entails slow and perhaps almost non-existent progress, than making futile and misguided attempts.
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Re: Men

Postby iambiguous » Sun Mar 07, 2021 8:00 pm

We'll need contexts, of course.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: Men

Postby Meno_ » Sun Mar 07, 2021 8:12 pm

Start with love for unaborted children.

& perhaps the child we once were and perhaps even are.

By the same token, once AI takes over big time, we will be forced to become totally reliant again, and build altars to IT, and make sacrifices to IT
To please IT

And then there will not be parents to raise them, for they shall be raised by the pleasure of big brother.
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Re: Men

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Sun Mar 07, 2021 8:28 pm

Jakob wrote:"There is no power of expansion in men. Our friends early appear to us as representatives of certain ideas, which they never pass or exceed. They stand on the brink of the ocean of thought and power, but they never take the single step that would bring them there. A man is like a bit of Labrador spar, which has no lustre as you turn it in your hand, until you come to a particular angle; then it shows deep and beautiful colors. There is no adaptation or universal applicability in men, but each has his special talent, and the mastery of successful men consists in adroitly keeping themselves where and when that turn shall be oftenest to be practised."

- RW Emerson, Essay on Experience


Very interesting truth. Men do not change, or grow. Whenever we see a man trying for something he doesn't have in him, it is just sad. "Potential" - you have the potential to be this - you aren't it now but if you try, you could be. To want lustre which isn't yours to have, give, be.

The ignoble effort of pleasing the world with something neither they nor you can appreciate, but which should be appreciated because it should be something you are able to do well.

Nietzsche's "Become what you are!" is a stupid advice. It suggests there is some kind of effort to be made, some threshold to cross, it offers a path of folly which literally leaves all true goals behind. One must, when having set foot on such a path, eventually turn back to what one already was. Better sooner than later! Be what you are - and if it can't be done on horseback with fiery banners, then simply resign to it. There is less shame in resignation than in vanity.

It may also be that one has to resign to ones royalty - this would be the Antibuddha.


K: that men or women for that matter, don't change is bullshit....

we change all the time, not only from simply growing older, but from
changes in our environment and from events and news about our world
and ourselves...

I recently got some news about myself that has change me in a very dramatic
way......and this kind of stuff happens all the time....

I am not the same person I was 10 years ago and you are not the same person
you were 10 years ago... time has a way of changes us...

now the interesting question is the second half of your question,
should we engage in some sort of willing change...we are going to change so
perhaps we should be the motivator of our own change.. in other words,
we become the change we want to make, becoming active in our own changes
by being the drivers of our changes.....

becoming who you are isn't stupid and in fact, this is part of what we need to do....

becoming as a conscience decision, and we should make it as a conscience
decision, not to let change be random or subject to the whims of
naturally occurring actions that touch our lives...

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Re: Men

Postby attano » Sat Mar 13, 2021 1:45 am

Emerson wrote:" Our friends early appear to us as representatives of certain ideas, which they never pass or exceed. They stand on the brink of the ocean of thought and power, but they never take the single step that would bring them there".

For what is worth, I could not relate that to any person or group of people I have come across.
I suspect this kind of appearance is very much in the eye of the beholder - not surprised they eventually never take that step.
Personally, I would argue they occasionally overstep...

Emerson wrote:A man is like a bit of Labrador spar, which has no lustre as you turn it in your hand, until you come to a particular angle; then it shows deep and beautiful colors. There is no adaptation or universal applicability in men, but each has his special talent, and the mastery of successful men consists in adroitly keeping themselves where and when that turn shall be oftenest to be practised."

Maybe one can say that, and yet it comes through as kind of shallow. Usually one finds angels and demons in the very same place, in that respect it is really a matter of facets.

Jakob wrote:Nietzsche's "Become what you are!" is a stupid advice.

Probably it is, but I guess he never said that. I can remember "how one becomes what one is". That is not an imperative, not even an advice. And I would also stress "what", instead of "who".

Jakob wrote:It suggests there is some kind of effort to be made, some threshold to cross, it offers a path of folly which literally leaves all true goals behind. One must, when having set foot on such a path, eventually turn back to what one already was. Better sooner than later! Be what you are - and if it can't be done on horseback with fiery banners, then simply resign to it. There is less shame in resignation than in vanity.

One may very apply the same though to the nosce te ipsum... And, regardless, I doubt that it's possible at all, in two respects: it is doubtful that one is only one person (and always the same), and then it is doubtful one can have any real knowledge of that. Not doubting that can be very well vanity, which does not necessarily implies it is a bad thing to do. (Yet, in a time of non-binary and gender-fluid people, that is probably no longer true).

Jakob wrote:The ignoble effort of pleasing the world with something neither they nor you can appreciate, but which should be appreciated because it should be something you are able to do well.

I believe most of them do appreciate that. Whether either of them don't, I guess it may be the consequence of being treading on that "path of folly". Which is not a choice, it just happens - and that too is not necessarily bad. The most refined minds are only rarely destined to success, and it never depends entirely on them.
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Re: Men

Postby Jakob » Tue Mar 16, 2021 4:57 pm

Magnus Anderson wrote:
Jakob wrote:Very interesting truth. Men do not change, or grow. The best men are those who have committed to what they are early on and have never wanted to be something else. Whenever we see a man trying for something he doesn't have in him, it is just sad. I can speak from the experience of having been such a man during a few years, that it is a sad spectacle. "Potential" - you have the potential to be this, someone told me - you aren't it now but if you try, you could be. I fell for it, out of vanity. I wanted lustre which isn't mine to or have, give, or be.


You're probably trying to say that the best men have no unrealistic expectations. And I absolutely agree. But your wording is poor and easy to misinterpret.

Wel no. I was actually just trying to say what I said.
Are you an esotericist now, apart from a literary critic?

Generally speaking, remaining who you are is not a good idea. But neither is trying to become something you cannot become nor something you shouldn't become.

If you are a wretch, then remaining what you are is a bad idea but still your only option.
If you are great, remaining what you are is a good idea and your only option.

Back when you were a child, you had the potential to become a grown-up man. You weren't a grown-up man at the time but you had the potential of becoming one in the future. And I suppose you agree actualizing such a potential is a good thing. What would be the point of remaining a child?

I see where you interpreted it differently than Emerson meant it. We were talking about character.
Yes, every nanosecond we are biologically something else.

It suggests there is some kind of effort to be made, some threshold to cross, it offers a path of folly which literally leaves all true goals behind. One must, when having set foot on such a path, eventually turn back to what one already was. Better sooner than later! Be what you are - and if it can't be done on horseback with fiery banners, then simply resign to it. There is less shame in resignation than in vanity.


Well, I am no longer a child (not a literal one, at least.) That means that being a child is currently behind me. What exactly is wrong with that?

Exactly nothing.

But yes, there is less shame in being realistic, even if that entails slow and perhaps almost non-existent progress, than making futile and misguided attempts.

Exactly.
Dont try to be what you are not.
You will never be what you are not.

In as far as you already are what you are, you can't become it, as you already are it.
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Re: Men

Postby Jakob » Tue Mar 16, 2021 5:14 pm

attano wrote:
Emerson wrote:" Our friends early appear to us as representatives of certain ideas, which they never pass or exceed. They stand on the brink of the ocean of thought and power, but they never take the single step that would bring them there".

For what is worth, I could not relate that to any person or group of people I have come across.
I suspect this kind of appearance is very much in the eye of the beholder - not surprised they eventually never take that step.
Personally, I would argue they occasionally overstep...

He probably was in a bit of a cynical mood, as it depends on the definitions we use - as Magnus demonstrated, we can easily interpret it in such a way as for it to stand refuted at face value, such as interpreting what we are as the chunk of molecules that we are.
Cynical moods however do sometimes produce most useful statements.

Emerson wrote:A man is like a bit of Labrador spar, which has no lustre as you turn it in your hand, until you come to a particular angle; then it shows deep and beautiful colors. There is no adaptation or universal applicability in men, but each has his special talent, and the mastery of successful men consists in adroitly keeping themselves where and when that turn shall be oftenest to be practised."

Maybe one can say that, and yet it comes through as kind of shallow. Usually one finds angels and demons in the very same place, in that respect it is really a matter of facets.

I find it the opposite of shallow; shallowness I rather find in the idea that we can be everything we want.

I think it is a brave observation. And unpleasant to those that imagine they could and may be, by following some star, become what they would rather be than themselves.

Jakob wrote:Nietzsche's "Become what you are!" is a stupid advice.

Probably it is, but I guess he never said that. I can remember "how one becomes what one is". That is not an imperative, not even an advice. And I would also stress "what", instead of "who".

I may have to give you that one. But I did say "what" -- who one is can definitely change. It changes with the changing environment, first of all.
"Who" one is can be a reflection fo what "what" one is means at a certain time and place.

Jakob wrote:It suggests there is some kind of effort to be made, some threshold to cross, it offers a path of folly which literally leaves all true goals behind. One must, when having set foot on such a path, eventually turn back to what one already was. Better sooner than later! Be what you are - and if it can't be done on horseback with fiery banners, then simply resign to it. There is less shame in resignation than in vanity.

One may very apply the same though to the nosce te ipsum...

I disagree - 'know thyself' does not sooner amount to the same as 'become thyself' as to what Emerson said. On the contrary I would say, but that is semantical interpretation.

And, regardless, I doubt that it's possible at all, in two respects: it is doubtful that one is only one person (and always the same), and then it is doubtful one can have any real knowledge of that. Not doubting that can be very well vanity, which does not necessarily implies it is a bad thing to do. (Yet, in a time of non-binary and gender-fluid people, that is probably no longer true).

I observe that one always is the same character. When circumstances change, this character shines forth with more and less power/lustre.
Knowing oneself means to know in which circumstance ones lustre is greatest. Commit to your best side. That was known as vanity, but it could be seen as the opposite. It may even just be service.

Jakob wrote:The ignoble effort of pleasing the world with something neither they nor you can appreciate, but which should be appreciated because it should be something you are able to do well.

I believe most of them do appreciate that. Whether either of them don't, I guess it may be the consequence of being treading on that "path of folly". Which is not a choice, it just happens - and that too is not necessarily bad. The most refined minds are only rarely destined to success, and it never depends entirely on them.

What is it that you believe most of them appreciate? I think you went to fast for me there.
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Re: Men

Postby Magnus Anderson » Wed Mar 17, 2021 8:07 pm

Jakob wrote:Dont try to be what you are not.
You will never be what you are not.


I am not sure you realize that what you're saying is misleading (even if true.)

When you go to the gym and you try to lift some weights in order to become physically stronger, you are trying to become what you are not (specifically, strong.) Many people even succeed at it.

So when you say something like "Don't try to be what you are not" you are making it look as if it is a bad idea to work on yourself and become something better than what you currently are. And that is the problem. By speaking in such a manner, you are spreading a harmful idea (even if unintentionally.)

Instead of saying "Don't try to be what you are not, you will never be what you are not", you should be saying something like "Don't try to be something you cannot be".
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Re: Men

Postby attano » Sun Mar 21, 2021 11:09 pm

Jakob wrote:He probably was in a bit of a cynical mood, as it depends on the definitions we use - as Magnus demonstrated, we can easily interpret it in such a way as for it to stand refuted at face value, such as interpreting what we are as the chunk of molecules that we are.

Fair enough.
"Interpreting what we are" is an interesting subject, it may be said to subsume a good chunk of XX century philosophy. And I am little comfortable with that, I have no great opinion of hermeneutic of being or other fancy stuff like that.
Actually I even have a problem bridging "interpretation" to "we", and I would consider "are" more like a figure of speech.
Hence probably my poor liking of this quote.

Jakob wrote:Cynical moods however do sometimes produce most useful statements.

Amen to that.

Jakob wrote:I find it the opposite of shallow; shallowness I rather find in the idea that we can be everything we want.
I think it is a brave observation. And unpleasant to those that imagine they could and may be, by following some star, become what they would rather be than themselves.

Ok, obviously the idea that one can be everything one fancies is more superficial. However, I guess this might be one case where being deceived could turn out to be more helpful than the absolute distrustfulness (I am referring to GS 344).
My focus here was in the implicit assumption, maybe not so conspicuous, that one has one "best asset" and ought to harness that in order to be successful. I suppose this is generally believed, mostly in countries where Protestantism is or has been hegemonic. On a pragmatic level, I guess we may all agree on that. And yet it sounds like a platitude to me. So, even if I am not objecting to the statement, I still consider shallow this 'model' of a man as a catalogue of qualities, disconnected from each other, one of which would be "the gift" and the rest second rate. Instead, I would rather move from the hypotheses that at the root of these 'gifts' there is something 'despicable'.
That said, intellectual honesty compels me to acknowledge that, if we look at the I as a "republic of souls", then assuming a connection between the various talents in a man is not really necessary.

Jakob wrote:I may have to give you that one. But I did say "what" -- who one is can definitely change. It changes with the changing environment, first of all.
"Who" one is can be a reflection fo what "what" one is means at a certain time and place.

Yes, you did use "what", not "who". I was just stressing that difference with reference to the idea that it is indeed vane to think one can be 'who' one wants - on which we are agree.

Jakob wrote:I disagree - 'know thyself' does not sooner amount to the same as 'become thyself' as to what Emerson said. On the contrary I would say, but that is semantical interpretation.

Yes. My jump to the "know thyself" is not cogent, possibly unwarranted. It is just the idea of moving towards something that is ‘substantial’ and immutable that I find objectionable.

Jakob wrote:I observe that one always is the same character. When circumstances change, this character shines forth with more and less power/lustre.
Knowing oneself means to know in which circumstance ones lustre is greatest. Commit to your best side. That was known as vanity, but it could be seen as the opposite. It may even just be service.

Here too we do not necessarily disagree. There are a pragmatic and a metaphysical levels in play. I am not really in disagreement on the pragmatic level, I am more reluctant to embrace the implicit theory of personality.
To discuss on this we should check on definitions for "character", "talent"... even "thyself". Right now, frankly, I would pass on that. Anyway, as for vanity being of service, I guess it is again a case of potential helpfulness of self-deception.

Jakob wrote:What is it that you believe most of them appreciate? I think you went to fast for me there.

Yes, I go kind of fast, and it is not Godspeed. I cut a lot of corners because lately I am being more lazy than usual.
So, you wrote about “the ignoble effort of pleasing the world with something neither they nor you can appreciate”. Instead, I guess most people like pleasing and being pleased – again, it could be vanity. This is not as simplistic as it sounds, in fact I was considering a group of aphorisms (265-276) in BGE.
The bottom-line, in mildly neutral terms, is that those who have a certain sensibility are doomed to loneliness or aloofness.
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Re: Men

Postby Meno_ » Sun Mar 21, 2021 11:26 pm

Attano says:


"The bottom-line, in mildly neutral terms, is that those who have a certain sensibility are doomed to loneliness or aloofness."
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Re: Men

Postby Meno_ » Sun Mar 21, 2021 11:28 pm

Meno_ wrote:Attano says:


"The bottom-line, in mildly neutral terms, is that those who have a certain sensibility are doomed to loneliness or aloofness."




Yes, except not so mild, nor neutral.
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Re: Men

Postby attano » Mon Mar 22, 2021 12:02 am

Meno_ wrote:Yes, except not so mild, nor neutral.


Hmmm... You may have a point there.
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