Consciousness of Strength
Health is relative. A wholesome person is one who lives with the consciousness of his strength. Morbidity consists in concentrating on our aches and pains. If there were enough energy at our disposal to balance our weakness, then we need not fear, for we then have sufficient strength to meet the commitments of living.
Let us be among those whose lives are determined by their strength rather than by their weakness.
It is filled with hopes and fears, and produces very trivial lasting or rich happiness. From thus we may learn, that if a man sees his solid image in a plain looking-glass, the part of the glass that reflects his prototype, is but one half as long and one half as broad as the man. We also exercise generousness to free others, to extend welfare and happiness to all beings, to in some way, as much as each one of us can, lessen the suffering in this world. The microscope, which magnifies small bodies to such vast bulks, is a tool of myriad use to philosophical system, since by it a new world is opened to the eye, of which humanity before never even suspected the creation.
Honor is Dearer Than Life Itself
A little of this is essential to old men, and according to the constitution and erstwhile manner of life, more may be born without incommodiousness, or indeed with advantage.
If people insist that honor is dearer than life itself, what they really mean is that existence and well-being are as nothing compared with other people’s opinions. Of course, this may be only an exaggerated way of stating the prosaic truth that reputation, that is, the opinion others have of us, is indispensable if we are to make any progress in the world. It is called the steam engine, a simple machine by which the thrust of steam is made to answer all the purposes of the joined strength of hundreds. Jonathan Haidt writes about changing opinions in The Righteous Mind:
… The main way that we change our minds on moral issues is by interacting with other people. We are terrible at seeking evidence that challenges our own beliefs, but other people do us this favour, just as we are quite good at finding errors in other people’s beliefs. When discussions are hostile, the odds of change are slight. The elephant [one’s intuitions on the issue] leans away from the opponent, and the rider [the rational mind] works frantically to rebut the opponent’s charges.
But if there is affection, admiration, or a desire to please the other person, then the elephant leans [or is already leaning] toward that person and the rider tries to find the truth in the other person’s arguments. The elephant may not often change its direction in response to objection from its own rider, but it is easily steered by the mere presence of friendly elephants (that’s the social persuasion link in the social intuitionist model) or by good arguments given to it by the riders of those friendly elephants (that’s the reasoned persuasion link).
There are even times when we change our minds on our own, with no help from other people. Sometimes we have conflicting intuitions about something, as many people do about abortion and other controversial issues. Depending on which victim, which argument, or which friend you are thinking about at a given moment, you judgement may flip back and forth as if you were looking at a Neckar cube.
And finally, it is possible for people simply to reason their way to a moral conclusion that contradicts their initial intuitive judgement, although I believe this process is rare.
The second procession condenses commentary subject and engenders forms inside the cosmic circle; sets the countless worlds floating in the electric space, and infuses the stupid, blind life-principle into every form. It is said, in general terms, that an echo is a thoughtfulness of sound, striking against some object, as an image is reflected in a glass. It is to be inferred from this, that the health of ship companies depends in a great measure upon state of affairs within the power of officers, and upon them much more than the medical branch, the physical condition of the men depends, in as much as prevention is better than cure, and the art of physic is at best but imperfect.