Poor humanity. Like a trapped beast, it rages, but no matter what it does, the result always seems to be the opposite of what was planned.
This suggests that the next frontier in human evolution consists of understanding our world better, possibly through self-discipline that also keeps us from choosing emotional and symbolic actions over realistic ones.
Plato observed that opposites attract, or at least create one another in human affairs:
The ruin of oligarchy is the ruin of democracy; the same disease magnified and intensified by liberty overmasters democracy –the truth being that the excessive increase of anything often causes a reaction in the opposite direction; and this is the case not only in the seasons and in vegetable and animal life, but above all in forms of government.
The excess of liberty, whether in States or individuals, seems only to pass into excess of slavery.
Yes, the natural order.
And so tyranny naturally arises out of democracy, and the most aggravated form of tyranny and slavery out of the most extreme form of liberty?
He writes about what was described to me as “the middle path” by those who study spirituality. It means that one consciously avoids extremes because they are almost always wrong, and aims for a middle instead. The catch is that this does not regulate goals, only degree of application. One does what is right, always, but chooses the most balanced and least risky way to get there.
The dark secret of humanity is that few engage in analytical thinking. They react emotionally and seek out a position that makes them feel better, instead of thinking about what goal they should have in the long term, and then acting toward that. As long as this process is with us, we will never do more than self-destruct.
Tags: opposites, plato, the middle path