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Monthly Archives: August 2013

For the things we have to learn before we can do, we learn by doing.

– Aristotle

Book II, 1103.a33 : Cited in: Oxford Dictionary of Scientific Quotations (2005), 21:9.


It is the mark of an educated man to look for precision in each class of things just so far as the nature of the subject admits; it is evidently equally foolish to accept probable reasoning from a mathematician and to demand from a rhetorician scientific proofs.

– Aristotle

Book I, 1094.b24

If there is some end of the things we do, which we desire for its own sake, clearly this must be the good. Will not knowledge of it, then, have a great influence on life? Shall we not, like archers who have a mark to aim at, be more likely to hit upon what we should? If so, we must try, in outline at least, to determine what it is.

– Aristotle

Book I, 1094.a18

Money was intended to be used in exchange, but not to increase at interest. And this term interest, which means the birth of money from money, is applied to the breeding of money because the offspring resembles the parent. Wherefore of all modes of getting wealth this is the most unnatural.

– Aristotle

Book I, 1258.b4

There can be no doubt that children should be taught those useful things which are really necessary, but not all things, for occupations are divided into liberal and illiberal; and to young children should be imparted only such kinds of knowledge as will be useful to them without vulgarizing them. And any occupation, art, or science which makes the body, or soul, or mind of the freeman less fit for the practice or exercise of virtue is vulgar; wherefore we call those arts vulgar which tend to deform the body, and likewise all paid employments, for they absorb and degrade the mind. There are also some liberal arts quite proper for a freeman to acquire, but only in a certain degree, and if he attend to them too closely, in order to attain perfection in them, the same evil effects will follow.

– Aristotle

Book VIII 1337.b5 , 1885 edition

For though we love both the truth and our friends, piety requires us to honor the truth first.

– Aristotle

To walk while the Earth trembles,
To dance while the Earth quakes.

The Ground erupts and convulses;
Thrusting, spewing forth chaos,
Uncertainty and death; No longer
Does the Earth speak to the I, as
something known; All intimacy
Has dried and sunk into
Darkness and oblivion.

Lost is the I who once saw,
Lived, slept in the towering
Cities of Man; His home
Was but a shell, a cloak
Which concealed from him
How snug his naivete
Had verily become.

Our I had slipped; been over
Powered, and lowered into the
Present; the time-full realm–
The merely temporary.
Had lost its ability to overcome
The power and intoxication
Of the moment–To raise itself
Up above, necessary but, merely
Egoistic aims of security and
Certainty–above and towards
The Timeless.

For “Time crumbles all things;
everything grows old and is
forgotten under the power of time.” 1

How can the I come to meet:
“The broad, incalculable sweep of time
(which) lets emerge everything that is
not open as well as concealing (again)
in itself what has appeared.”? 2

What I can, in the midst of
Glory and success, perceive the
Death and meaninglessness of
Its achievements; That
Everything will again be
Swallowed up by time?

What sits below and beyond
All such timely Ego creations?

“One has to pay dearly for immortality;
one has to die several times while one is still alive.” 3

A snake must sheds its skin
To remain alive, potent, vital.
An Individual must change
Its skin; must shed its
Opinions of itself, its place
And its societies mores.
Must experiment.

What I can dance this dance?
What I can, seeing its own
Decay, take hold of its own
Dissolution–as a power–Shed
The old, and transform
Into the new?

What I can, being so integrated,
So self-centered, see into its
Own depths and transform its
Being without having been
Forced by the necessity
Of the outer world?

1: Aristotle
2: Sophocles
3: Nietzsche


“A person is thought to be great-souled if he claims much and deserves
much [as Socrates did in the Apology when he said he deserved the greatest
honor Athens could bestow], . . . He that claims less than he deserves is
small-souled. • • . The great-souled man is justified in despising other peopIe
-his estimates are correct; but most proud men have no good ground
for their pride .••• He is fond of conferring benefits but ashamed to receive
them, because the former is a mark of superiority and the latter of
inferiority •••• It is also characteristic of the great-souled men never to
ask help from others, or only with reluctance, but to render aid willingly;
and to be haughty towards men of position and fortune, but courteous
towards those of moderate station .•.. He must he open both in love and
in hate. Since concealment shows timidity; and care more for the truth
than for what people will think; ••. He is outspoken and frank, except
when speaking with ironical self-depreciation as he does to common people
•••. He does not bear ‘a grudge, for it is not a mark of greatness of
soul to recall things against people, especially the wrongs they have done
you, but rather to overlook them. He is . • • not given to speaking evil
himself, even of his enemies, except when he deliberately intends to give
offence .••. Such then being the great-souled man, the corresponding
character on the side of deficiency is the small-souled man, and on that of
excess the vain man.” (Nicomachean Ethics IV.3. Rackham translation
Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 1947).

– Aristotle

…There is no morality that alone makes moral, and every ethic that affirms itself exclusively kills too much good strength and costs humanity too dearly. The deviants, who are so frequently the inventive and fruitful ones, shall no longer be sacrificed; it shall not even be considered infamous to deviate from morality, in thought and deed; numerous new experiments of life and society shall be made; a tremendous burden  of bad conscience shall be removed from the world–these most general aims should be recognized by all who are honest and seek truth.

– Nietzsche (The Dawn, 164)

The average ego, the average individual, remains fixed in the
group, although in the course of development he is compelled
to give up the original security of the unconscious, to evolve a
conscious system, and to take upon himself all the complications
and sufferings which such development entails. For the primary
security of the unconscious he exchanges the secondary security
of the group. He becomes a group member, and the average
man spends at least half his life–the essential part of his devel-
opment–adapting to the group and allowing himself to be
molded by collective trends.

The role played by the collective in the human culture is decisive.
Society, with its conscious postulates, sets up an authority,
a spiritual tradition which, spoken or unspoken, forms the background
of education. The individual is molded by the collective
through its ethos, its customs, laws, morality, its ritual and religion,
its institutions and collective undertakings. When one
considers the original submergence of the individual in the collective,
one sees why all collective orientations are so binding
and are accepted without question.
Besides this tendency of the collective to form average members
and to educate the ego up to the cultural norm represented
by the elders, there is another tendency which is in the direction
of the Great Individual.

For the group member, the Great Individual is primarily the
carrier of projections. The unconscious psychic wholeness of
the collective is experienced in the person of the Great Individual,
who is at once the group self and the unconscious self of
each member. What is present in every part of the group as the
unconscious creative totality of the psyche, namely the self, becomes
visible in the Great Individual or, at a higher level, is
actualized in his life. The collective parts are still childishly dependent,
with no ego center, no responsibility or will of their
own to mark them off from the collective, so that the Great Individual
is regarded as the directive force, as the very center of
life, and is institutionally honored as such.

It is therefore completely inadmissible to reduce him to, or
derive him from, the personal father figure. We find that, just
as in the early history of man the Great Individual becomes the
carrier for the projection of archetypal images such as the self,
the mana figure, the hero, and the father archetype, so also in
the course of ontogenetic development the figure representing
authority, who in our civilization is the father, frequently becomes
the carrier for these projections. But it is by no means
only the father archetype that is projected upon him; very often
it is quite another image, for instance that of the magician, the
wise old man, the hero or, conversely, of the devil, death, and
so on.

The Great Individual who breaks away from the anonymity
of the primordial collective is, on the heavenly plane, the god-
figure, while on the earthly plane he is the medicine man, chief,
and god-king. Sociological and religious developments are here
closely bound together; they correspond to psychic changes, and
the psychic differentiation by which the ego detaches itself from
the undifferentiated unconscious is expressed in sociological
changes as well as in a theological differentiation of man’s view
of the world,

-Erich Neumann (OaHoC, p.426-8)