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A seminal moment for me in my life was when I was in a cloudforest in Ecuador some years ago.

There, I read the Glass Bead Game by Herman Hesse. It’s an extraordinary book and a long one. With a twist at the end.

The essential message of the book is that society, whether civil society or ecumenical society or military society – it tends to create molds. What is acceptable. And the danger of those molds is that they may be founded on preposterous arguments blended with very good ones.

And, an aspect of those molds is that, what you actually find is, is that often, otherwise very good everyday people can be utterly immoral and completely myopic, and not remotely creative or insightful when blinded by the authority of their own complacency or ignorance, of what is essential.

It always comes down to insecurity; petty small minds that lack vision can judge and project their own psychopathy onto others; and never see it.

And the only way to handle that is to outgrow your own belief in insecurity. Indeed, in the process, one attracts the nemesis of that, but then, if there is maturity functioning in oneself, then the wisdom of my teacher’s line is not lost on one:

Affluence without wisdom is self-destructive.

Lincoln said if you want to see the character of a human being give them power. Power is utterly meaningless without humility before the nature of nature. That’s a truth. Look at Napoleon. Incredibly capable, but he couldn’t see into Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. He couldn’t see beyond his own important insecurity. What a fool.

Wisdom is more important than abundant violent economies. If truth be told, wisdom is the foundation of flourishing peaceful economies; the ones that have outgrown pointless conflicts are home to the implicate angled symmetry of our best nature.

© Copyright 2021 Nathan Curry

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