Moderate men don’t try to control what happens. Why? They don’t mind what happens. They’re imbued with a beneficial indifference to life on the outside. They welcome what comes. They release what goes. They accept what is. “The poor you will always have with you,” Jesus said, “but you will not always have me.”
Moderation is only possible when I am fundamentally indifferent to my appetites and activities. I can employ self-discipline to fight with myself but where lies the merit and meaning in that unhappy business?
We cannot moderate our emotions if we’re unaware of them—or, worse, if we’re aware of them but hide them to support the dismal fiction of imperviousness, of a man who doesn’t hurt.
Whatever we do excessively, we do defectively. Thinking, for example. The less we think, the better we think. And (bonus!) the better our memory. Alzheimer’s is a state of exhaustion.
Every condition carries within it the seed of its opposite. In success, failure. In happiness, sadness. In gain, loss. In health, sickness. In birth, death.
Life is bipolar.
Donald Babcock: See how ducks cuddle in the swells.