Tuesday, April 30, 2013

"Asylum from the regard of others."

    In Walking Stewart's work on Moral Motion he writes about what he calls "an asylum from the regard of others."  He goes on for a while through several colons and semi colons,  and then he says this: "whereas, if I keep silence, I shall risk no criticism, and feel no mortifications of self love, by encountering an argument that may prevail and cause the impeachment of my judgment."  This 'asylum' is the pause to reflect, a moment to ponder the consequence of keeping silent, and a moment to ponder the consequence of adding to a discourse, and "mortification of self love" is a growling dog that makes you watch your step.. 
 
       For Walking Stewart a principle cause of unhappiness, or failure of Moral Motion, was being afraid or unable to risk "the impeachment of my judgment."  It lead to "servility," the "down cast stare," the "extinction of intellectual existence," and tyranny by "brutes of the forest." In the current era there are technical innovations, such as the one I so enjoy, that can pretty much do away with the "impeachment of my judgment" part of Walking Stewart's thesis.  Which I guess means that what I do here is a form of "self love" that can easily be made dangerously immune from any sort of mortification through the judgment of others, and therefore I would do better to think of these pages as an asylum rather than an intellectual existence.  But, if like me, you are haunted by Walking Stewart's materialism, worth remembering there is no record of his ever having spent a morning planting Beans, rather to "beguile himself of uneasy thoughts" he'd play the organ.

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