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April 25, 2006

fellow sufferer

The most effective consolation in every misfortune and every affliction is to observe others who are more unfortunate than we: and everyone can do this. But what does that say for the condition of the whole?

History shows us the life of nations and finds nothing to narrate but wars and tumults; the peaceful years appear only as occasional brief pauses and interludes. In just the same way the life of the individual is a constant struggle, and not merely the metaphorical one against want or boredom, but also an actual struggle against other people. He discovers adversaries everywhere, lives in continual conflict and dies with sword in hand.

As a reliable compass for orienting yourself in life nothing is more useful than to accustom yourself to regarding this world as a place of atonement, a sort of penal colony. When you have done this you will order your expectations of life according to the nature of things and no longer regard the calamities, suffering, torments and miseries of life as something irregular and not to be expected but will find them entirely in order, well knowing that each of us is here being punished for his existence and each in his own particular way. This outlook will enable us to view the so called imperfections of the majority of men without surprise and certainly without indignation: for we shall always bear in mind where we are and consequently regard every man first and foremost as a being who exists only as a consequence of his culpability and whose life is an expiation of the crime of being born.

From this point of view one might indeed consider that the appropriate form of address between man and man ought to be, not monsieur, sir, but fellow sufferer. However strange this may sound it corresponds to the nature of the case, makes us see other men in a true light and reminds us of what are the most necessary of all things: tolerance, patience, forbearance and charity, which each of us needs and which each of us therefore owes.


Posted by amin at 1:48 PM

April 22, 2006

establish your law in this walled place

Sit down, Master, on this rude chair of praises, and rule my nervous heart with your great decrees of freedom. Out of time you have taken me to do my daily task. Out of mist and dust you have fashioned me to know the numberless worlds between the crown and the kingdom. In utter defeat I came to you and you received me with a sweetness I had not dared to remember. Tonight I come to you again, soiled by strategies and trapped in the loneliness of my tiny domain. Establish your law in this walled place. Let nine men come to lift me into their prayer so that I may whisper with them: Blessed be the name of the glory of the kingdom forever and forever.

Leonard Cohen - Book of Mercy

Posted by amin at 7:20 PM

April 18, 2006

the mission of art

Art . . . expresses in its most elevated flight the most advanced social tendencies; it is a precursor and a revealer. Now, in order to know whether art is fulfilling its role as initiator, whether the artist is truly at the vanguard, it is necessary to know where Humanity is going, what the destiny of the Species is.... Art must by its constant action really itself to human destiny. The beautiful is the more perfect in the extent to which it reflects better the ideal of the good.

Posted by amin at 1:14 AM

April 6, 2006


The typical product of envy and resentment, postmodernism has extracted its vitality from parasitic critiques of far greater achievement, rationalizing the shabbiness of its own product by devaluing (deconstructing) the greatness of what is beyond the reach of its adherents.

Mario Cutajar

Posted by amin at 5:52 PM

April 2, 2006

advice for achieving your goals

* defining success
* finding your passion
* getting started
* setting your goals
* cultivating character
* being determined
* being competitive
* working with others
* working hard
* leading others
* taking risks
* projecting your image
* getting feedback
* being fearless
* surviving setbacks
* managing stress
* staying successful

Jena Pincott - Success

Posted by amin at 9:03 PM