Temperance bearing an hourglass; detail Lorenzetti's Allegory of Good Government, 1338
Exploring Philosophy, Virtue

A Tale of Temperance

In recent history, the virtue of temperance has been associated with strict asceticism. A joyless lifestyle, filled with self-deprivation and suppression. But temperance was never meant to be an extreme. When we look further back in time, we find its essence and purpose. Quotes from Aristotle, Aquinas, Seneca & more.

Friedrich Justin Bertuch, 1806, Bilderbuch für Kinder
Circumstance

A Note to the Wounded

And to the wounded- there will be further battles, but we shouldn’t live in fear of returning to the trenches. Quotes from Aristotle, Keats, Lewis & Chapin.

'A tree with a path and a bay' 1976, by M.A.C.T.. Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY
Exploring Philosophy, Meaning, Virtue

C. S. Lewis and the Law of Nature

In his book ‘Mere Christianity’, C.S Lewis speaks about the ‘Law of Right and Wrong’ or the ‘Law of Nature’. “…human beings, all over the earth, have this curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain way, and cannot really get rid of it.”

Pablo Picasso, 1904, The Frugal Repast. The Met. © 2018 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Circumstance, Meaning, Virtue

A Policy of Appeasement

“Blessed is he, who has learned to bear what he cannot change, and to give up with dignity, what he cannot save.” We take on the responsibility of appeasing someone’s feelings, foolishly attempting to control something we can’t. Quotes from Schiller & Huxley.

William Merritt Chase, c.1887, Young Woman Before a Mirror
Circumstance, Meaning, Virtue

Listening to Low Self-Esteem

Jane Austen in 1814 said; “We have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be”. Instead of believing that feelings of low self-esteem must be cast away immediately, first hear what they have to say.

Léon Spilliaert, 1907, Silhouet van de schilder
Circumstance, Meaning, Virtue

Willing to Understand

Meister Eckhart (1260-1328) is quoted as saying “A human being has so many skins inside, covering the depths of the heart. We know so many things, but we don’t know ourselves! Why, thirty or forty skins or hides, as thick and hard as an ox’s or bear’s, cover the soul. Go into your own ground and learn to know yourself there.”

Edvard Munch, 1896, Separation
Circumstance, Virtue

The Moment Before We React

When we are mistreated, most of us react, and reactions are emotional. We get angry, upset and we grasp the wrongful treatment with both hands, like a crab might his dinner.

Coloured lithograph, 1870, after J. Bakewell, 1771.
Circumstance, Meaning, Virtue

Turning Against the Ideal

We look up at the ideal we fall so short of, embittered. If only that target wasn’t so high, or better again, if it didn’t exist at all, we wouldn’t appear so dreadful! In doing so, we bring the heavens crashing down to join us in the slums. Now we are level.