Reflections

Vices for Virtues, Thanks Nietzsche.


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I am guilty of reading too much solely the stoics. I also feel I lack a strong opinion in many matters but in my defense I can say that I’m certainly working in developing it. I’m guilty of so many vices, maybe that is the reason, no, that is definitely the reason of why I stumbled into stoicism and loved it so much. Vices are terrible. Let’s name a few:

  • Cowardice
  • Lust
  • Laziness
  • Guilt
  • Malice

You get the idea. Stoicism works as a purifier.  Today, fortunately, I opened Nietzsche as soon as I woke up to get my brain going. He’s terrific in making you think deeply and creatively. I was reading Thus spoke Zarathustra and what he said was just magnificent. He said that our vices are our virtues or potential virtues.

Once you had passions and called them evil. But now you have onlyyour virtues: they grew out of your passions.You set your highest goal in the heart of those passions: then they became your virtues and joys. And though you were of the race of the hot-tempered, or of the lustful, or of the fanatical, or the vengeful; in the end, all your passions became virtues, and all your devils, angels. Once you had wild dogs in your cellar: but they changed at last into birds and charming singers. Out of your poisons you brewed soothing ointments for yourself; you milked your cow of sorrow – now you drink the sweet milk of her udder. And nothing evil grows out of you any longer, unless it be the evil that grows out of the conflict of your virtues.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Nietzsche.jpgLovely? What a fantastic point of reference and understanding isn’t it?

Our vices become our virtues.

What we need to work the most on, is showed to us bluntly.

If you are a coward (ouch, that sounds pretty harsh) you need to work in your courage and you will develop it if you set the right intentions and work, out of cowardice you’ll construct character and courage.

It is only when we consciously do this that we grow.

It’s hard, it is very hard to look at ourselves honestly and work on what needs to be worked.

Judgment is easier, we see this a lot in society. It’s easier to maintain our personal images intact and judge other people, but I believe that everytime we judge we are actually saying something not of the other person but of ourselves.

The best revenge comes from not being as the one that injured you, at least that gives you the power to work on something within your control, which, stoically, things under your control are the only things you should be worried about.

Indeed.

Human psychology is extraordinarily complex. People will not change unless heavy distress falls upon them. It’s easier to judge and keep our vices to ourselves but then something happens in life, be it age or accident that impedes to keep  hiding the pests. The longer we wait, the harder they’ll be to convert.

A constant work therefore must be done to use our vices as foundations for virtues and so live stoically and proudly.

Nice Monday.

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Reflections

Be careful with your beliefs


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I’ve been thinking lately about what do people mean to say when they say that your 3.-Ciseri_L-Esule.jpgthoughts manufacture your reality.

A very interesting concept right? I mean, is it true that I can have anything I want just by thinking about it?

It’s pretty obvious that you are not going to make and ice cream in front of you just by imagining it, but at the same time, you can think your way into having one (working and the buying one or so).

As we live, we have to believe in stuff in order to function. Our belief systems determine how we are going to respond to anything that happen to us, so they are extremely important for our survival. We have in our heads a pre manufactured idea of who we are and how is it that we have to act in the world to survive , but we have to be aware that our belief systems are not the ultimate truth but they are sort of tools that we use mentally to thrive.

There is a saying in ancient eastern philosophy that says that in the end, all knowledge will be proven false. This is a very deep quote and not easy to understand at all, but let’s try to see where it takes us to.

So, every knowledge will be proven to be false.

I want to relate this idea to the idea in stoicism that teaches us that things themselves are 225px-Magritte_TheSonOfMannot the problem. Stoicism argues that there are no problems, there are just situations or phenomena but that our judging of it is what makes the problem a problem. So, all knowledge will be proven false? well in a way this makes sense because our “knowledge of things”can be proven false by a higher knowledge and that knowledge by even a higher knowledge  and who knows, knowledge and phenomena being infinite, we are never really going to come to a conclusion.

As human beings we use what we know to act in the world. But there are times in life when we have to literally forget what we know in order to understand life in a higher paradigm. Has that ever happened to you?

A time where you have an  aha moment in which you understand something that was literally in front of you but you hadn’t seen it in that way and therefore you move to a higher paradigm? 

Those experiences makes us  realize that what we thought was true, isn’t anymore and is during those moments that you let other thoughts  mold your life. In this sense I do believe that our  thoughts beliefs, determine what is possible and what isn’t.

So, with this new understanding, what can we do with it?

Well, i would argue that it is our duty to see life as truthfully as possible and to do that , we have to accept constantly that our belief systems are not the final truth.

Why is this important?

This is important because your belief systems determine what is possible and what is eyenot. If you think, even unconsciously, that you are never going to be able to become a lawyer, you will never become one and it’s the same with everything in our lives. Changing Belief systems change the very person that we are. We are always going to maintain our core essence but we have to realize that we must change through life to become whatever it is that we are going to become.

The choice is yours. Don’t get played by other people telling you to take your place and shut up. The choice to become the creator of life is yours, embody that and the possibilities are infinite.

 

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