The stupid never make clever mistakes; such are the preserve of clever men, who complicate matters by also making stupid ones.
Wednesday, 9 May 2007
When one speaks of social decline or decadence, one is referring to the prevalence of people who are corrupt or decadent; and thus, it is not unlikely that the further a society declines, the fewer people there are who can speak of its decline, since those who are corrupt or decadent do not see it that way.
The more we study great men, the more we learn of their great inconsistency in character and behaviour, and of the often inscrutability of their causes and motives. Such might be true of most or all men, but because we study only great men in depth, we are inclined to see such degrees of inconsistency and inscrutability as marks of greatness alone.
One will occasionally have inexpressibly profound feelings about something – one feels one knows the hidden truth about it, but cannot quite grasp it. This may well be the beginnings of a profound thought, but then again it may not, and one ought not to flatter oneself into believing that it is.
It is in poor taste to say that a man is made happy once he has been disabused of the guards of his happiness — his illusions. One disabuses a man of his illusions because one wants him to see the world as it is, or as one sees it. The last thing one has in mind is his happiness.