A Story by arhorn

“...Another thing I asked is about humility. Is humility valuable? My answer is yes, but often only in relationship to other people. If you are not humble, then you can be wrong very wrong and not correct yourself to your own detriment. But I feel in practice humility is often most effective in relationship to other people, especially when working in a group where the whole seeks to be greater than the sum of its parts. 

"When the objective is the be the best individual one can be, humility can most certainly hold you back. It can say 'I can, but might the costs outweigh the profits?' In practice for the one on his or her own humility’s only purpose is doubt. In relationship to others humility can and should create interpersonal strength unless the humility creates overbearing doubt. 

"In fact, might I go so far as to say that humility that creates doubt is bad humility and humility that creates human cohesion is good humility? Doubt is not intrinsically bad, but it sure does screw a lot of things up. Doubt often causes inaction. Inaction often creates more trouble than action. Not to say that the right path is constant action. Sometimes inaction can be skillful and deliberate. The inaction I am referring to is more the area of waiting. When one waits for the world to come into place, they often let themselves pass by. And they begin to believe that they are not in control. 

"When one has skillful action or skillful inaction, it is good, but inaction for the purpose of waiting is bad. But for those that does not know what that means, action is a very good starting point for a policy to live your life. 

"Such a philosophy helps people to actually respond to the greatest advice of the English language: 'What are you waiting for? You have one life to live. And you will live it, every moment of it an infinite number of times.'”

“Why are we going to live it an infinite number of times?” Kathleen asked. She stares up at the ceiling and plays with her hair with one hand as she holds Jeremiah's hand with the other. They are laying on the bed in his room. The ceiling fan rocks back and forth with the breeze from the open window.

“Well.” He uneasily concentrated in his wrinkled cheek. “Imagine if you had a shoe box with a set of billiard balls in it. And now imagine that you knew how each ball was positioned in the box. Then you give the box to a machine that shook the box an infinite number of times and the machine shook the in the exact same way each time. Over time, eventually the billiard balls will return to the original position that they began with, and the cycle would begin again. This would take a very long time, and as an observer, you would not be able to tell when this would be, but it would happen. Now assume that the universe is nothing more than one big shoe box full of very small billiard balls we call atoms. The universe will return to every one of its configurations"including the one at this very moment"an infinite number of times. And hence we will live our lives, as we lived and live them the same way an infinite number of times--”

At that moment, the boy's mother opens the door. “I told you in my house the door stays open.”

“Sorry about that I forgot.”

“Hey Kathleen, how is school?”

“I'll be starting the new semester in a week, and I'm really excited.”

“Okay, well, talk to you kids later.”

Jeremiah's cheek wrinkled again. “I don't remember what I was talking about.”

After a moment of silence she said, “An alternative to an afterlife. Right?”

“Oh yes, thank you. Well yes, it is. The purpose is to be life-affirming. Afterlives are often death-affirming. This theory attempts to give the message of 'live-in-the-moment' or 'live each moment like it was your last,' in a way that is easier to conceptualize, easier perhaps to be persuaded by. It has a spirit of heaven and hell that scares people that scares people into doing the right thing one should do with one's life.”

“Interesting. What about the humility thing. Do you think that you have achieved that?”

Again, he wrinkled his cheek and he stared down for a few moments. “Honestly,” he said, still clearly trying to concentrate on his own thoughts, “I think I haven't done a terrible job. I think I have.”

© 2012 arhorn

Author's Note

Is the philosophy clear? Could the philosophy be simplified or shortened? Is the end satisfying?

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This is great. It brings good memories to mind! I have spent a lot of time in the contemplation of life many similar ways. To doubt the value of others in a world in which we are dependent on the word of our neighbors and peers serves no value. The way I see this argument is best described is by the process of understanding other peoples perspectives and using those ideas to better yourself. Being humble is everything!

Posted 7 Years Ago

This is absolutely beautiful! You have singular sentences that are better than anything I have ever written. This quick glimpse is very satisfying and provides excellent food for thought. It is so truly honest.

Posted 8 Years Ago

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2 Reviews
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Added on March 11, 2012
Last Updated on April 3, 2012
Tags: Philosophy, Nietzche



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