On reason

Emerging from the cave

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” — George Bernard Shaw

The philosopher (regarded as the highest form of man), however, as Nietzsche understood him, is a man who creates new values, and thus leads mankind in a new direction. The philosopher has been the ideal form of man since the days of Socrates. A man that held the value of truth above all else. This idealism has been lost in modern times as most men live in societies that shelter them from natural law and incentivize men to consume rather than to create.

What a man is: that is to say, personality, in the widest sense of the word; under which are included health, strength, prudence, moral character, intelligence, and education. (2) What a man has: that is, property and possessions of every kind. (3) How a man stands in the estimation of others: by which is to be understood, as everybody knows, what a man is in the eyes of his fellowmen, or, more strictly, the light in which they regard him.

I need hardly say what one must do to be healthy—avoid every kind of excess, all violent and unpleasant emotion, all mental overstrain, take daily exercise in the open air, cold baths and such like hygienic measures. For without a proper amount of daily exercise no one can remain healthy; all the processes of life demand exercise for the due performance of their functions, exercise not only of the parts more immediately concerned, but also of the whole body.

For, as Aristotle rightly says, Life is movement; it is its very essence. Ceaseless and rapid motion goes on in every part of the organism. The heart, with its complicated double systole and diastole, beats strongly and untiringly; with twenty-eight beats it has to drive the whole of the blood through arteries, veins and capillaries; the lungs pump like a steam-engine, without intermission; the intestines are always in peristaltic action; the glands are all constantly absorbing and secreting; even the brain has a double motion of its own, with every beat of the pulse and every breath we draw.

When people can get no exercise at all, as is the case with the countless numbers who are condemned to a sedentary life, there is a glaring and fatal disproportion between outward inactivity and inner tumult. For this ceaseless internal motion requires some external counterpart, and the want of it produces effects like those of emotion which we are obliged to suppress. Even trees must be shaken by the wind, if they are to thrive. The rule which finds its application here may be most briefly expressed in Latin: omnis motus, quo celerior, eo magis motus.

Human nature is not a machine to be built after a model, and set to do exactly the work prescribed for it, but a living thing, which requires to grow and develop itself on all sides, according to the tendency of the inward forces which make it a living thing.

All natural beings have a natural end, a natural destiny, which determines what kind of operation is good for them. In the case of man, reason is required for discerning these operations: reason determines what is my nature right with ultimate regard to man’s natural end. The teleological view of the universe which the teleological view of man forms a part, which seem to have been destroyed by modern natural science. From the point of view of Aristotle and who dare to claim to be a better judge in this matter than Aristotle? The issue between the mechanical and the teleological conception of the universe is decided by the manner in which the problem Of the heavens, the heavenly bodies, and their motion is solved.

At times all that is required is a change of personality: very often what was a lie in the father becomes a conviction in the son.—I call a lie, to refuse to see something that one sees, to refuse to see it exactly as one sees it: whether a lie is perpetrated before witnesses or not is beside the point.

In short, skepticism keeps a man honest. One should not blindly follow traditional convention, rather one should study traditional wisdom to create leverage in their current environment.