Cholera and phobia, results of civilizing malaise

15 Jun

It may seem sugary or even childish, Freud says the opposite, that we adopt more reflective and tolerant attitudes in the face of difficulties.

The Greeks knew that without self-control men could surrender to two paralyzing poles: deimos and phobos (terror and fear).

Adam Smith, whose thinking influenced modern economics including Marx, also wrote The Theory of Moral Sentiments, that self-mastery is fundamental in the face of a terrifying situation, and sets out two modes of self-mastery.

He theorizes that “acting in accordance with the dictates of prudence, justice and appropriate beneficence, seems to have little merit if there is no temptation to act otherwise”.

We should be educated to the ability to undertake self-control in the face of pathós (affections of the soul) where we must highlight our greatest virtues, or we will succumb to vexatious processes and hateful vices, and, incredible as it may seem, it already dominates most social media, reaching to the highest courts in the country.

According to the author, the second group of passions over which we should exercise self-control, lead to the context of “the love of peace, pleasure, applause and many other selfish satisfactions”.

So if we compare those of the first with those of the second group, it might seem easier to master them, as these inclinations allow us some minimal time for reflection; at least, more than when we are attacked by fear and anger (first group), however we experience the context of immediate reactions or paralysis, without realizing that these extremes touch each other.

If we give in to all impulses, if we give little time or space to reflection, silence and even the cultivation of interiority, what we express is almost always lacking in empathy, and at the opposite extreme, anger and barbarism remain.

Emotional intelligence has developed methods that suggest how to control your emotions and help you more easily recognize when it improves your relationships and empathy.

Smith, Adam. The Theory of Moral Semtiments, first Ed. 1759.




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