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On Wisdom: Practice: The Golden 
mean Post by :qpham Category :Poems Author :Unknown Date :May 2012 Read :2535

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On Wisdom: Practice: The Golden mean

1. Aristotle proposed a simple rule for acting wisely: moderation in all things except knowledge. He excepted knowledge because it was the one quality for which he could find no excess. But for every other quality, he said, there is a deficit and an excess, and wisdom lies in finding the mean between them.

2. So, for example, courage would be the mean between cowardice and foolhardiness, humility the mean between arrogance and self-effacement, frugality the mean between stinginess and profligacy, and so on.

3. Aristotle did not have a mathematical mean in mind, but one that varied with each person and circumstance, and so the rule, though simple in statement, is complex in application.

4. A person who is prone to cowardice, for example, might have to compensate by aiming higher up the scale in order to achieve the mean of courage, while one prone to profligacy might have to aim lower down to achieve frugality. Self-knowledge, therefore, is necessary if one is to achieve true moderation.

5. Experience is also necessary, since adjustment towards the mean is a matter of trial and error, acting inappropriately and learning from one's mistakes.

6. One can also learn from models of moderation, and from reading and conversation. But only self-knowledge and experience will bring one to an intuitive sense of moderation, as well as an appreciation of its wisdom.

7. The rewards of moderation are health, happiness, and success--all, of course, in moderation.

8. One quality in addition to knowledge that might be excepted from the rule of the Golden Mean is love of being. For while the excess of love is obsession, and one can be obsessively religious, the love of being itself is boundless, informing all other love and providing the vitality that underlies all strength, all activity, and all happiness.

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On Wisdom: Table of Contents
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On Wisdom: Practice: The Golden 
rule On Wisdom: Practice: The Golden rule

On Wisdom: Practice: The Golden 
1. The Golden Rule can be stated either positively or negatively: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," or "Do not do to another what you would not want done to you." It is another form of the commandment, "Love thy neighbor as thyself." 2. The basis for the rule is our need for harmony and symmetry, which leads us to

On Wisdom: Principles: 
death On Wisdom: Principles: death

On Wisdom: Principles: 
1. Experience without death is as unimaginable as experience without time. 2. Death is the sunlight that makes all things visible, the end that measures time, the music that moves us to compassion, the nothingness that brings us peace. 3. Life and death are one gift, as are joy and sorrow. One cannot esteem one without esteeming the other, just as one