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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My Focus Needs More Focus

Flitting like a bumblebee from blossom to blossom--my reading flung wide over the entire field, I'll never make it back to the hive:

from When I Am Playing with My Cat How Do I Know That She Is Not Playing with Me?
Saul Frampton

But with the hardening of religious attitudes that inevitably resulted, Stoicism began to snowball, almost in a kind of ideological feedback loop. For what made is so difficult to displace as an attitude was the fact that it was seen to be quintessentially noble, honourable--male--and no self-respecting sixteenth-century man who called himself a man would beg to differ, as is affirmed in an emblem from Henry Peacham's Minverva Britannica (1612): 
Amid the waves, a mightie Rock doth stand,
Whose  ruggie brow, had bidden many a shower,
And bitter storme; which neither sea, nor land,
Nor JOVES sharpe-lightening ever could devoure:
This same is MANLIE CONSTANCIE of mind,
Not easly moov'd with every blase of wind.

And if so, it speaks volumes as to the state of men today because this is the formation of the modern era.  But the question is begged--is this necessarily true of men and thus an observation about intrinsic character and build, or does it become true because we have uttered it.  Are there places and times in history where this ideal was not honored nor did it have meaning?  Does it matter?  Does the attitude persist today under other guise?  (I think so)  And is it, in general, helpful or harmful to society and to the advancement of humanity?  So many questions from so short a passage.  Well worth one's time for no telling what might be uncovered to pique one's interest and curiosity.



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