Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Something to think about

No. 8

"A man without passion, the pledge of great loftiness of spirit which by its very superiority redeems a man from the yoke of vagrant and vulgar externals. There is no greater mastery than the mastery of self, and its passions, for it amounts to the triumph of free will, but even where passion overcomes the individual, it must not dare to touch his office, especially if it be a high one; this is the best way to spare yourself grief, and yet the shortest way to a good reputation."

from The Art of Worldly Wisdom
Baltasar Gracian (1601--1658)
trans. Martin Fischer

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Passion: any power emotion, such as love, hatred, joy, greed, anger; also boundless enthusiasm.

Is it really so good to be without passion? Does a passionless person possess that "great loftiness of spirit"? Is being passionless or without "boundless enthusiasm" a good state to be in on one's job or at any time? Does it really "spare" one from grief or ensure a "good reputation"?

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