Wake up! An admonition

I have observed of late with a frown that many people too soon adapt to events that have the potential of being world-sundering. I have had reason to revisit the claim I made in 2011 about ‘strategies of retention’:

Understanding the reasons why a practice is causing somebody disquietude will involve more than helping her to achieve theoretical insight, though this will be one exercise among others. It will also require guiding her through the various strategies she’s employed in order to hold onto a life that she still values and desires yet that cannot conceivably work. At the same time, the practice will be directed to getting her to develop new practices that carry the potential of realising worthwhile final ends. (‘Putting Lives in Order,’ TPM 57)

In some cases, it is necessary for a being to adapt to his external circumstances. Cold weather provides an occasion for one to learn hardiness while exceptionally warm weather allows one to exercise forbearance, patience, and whatever virtue is the contrary of lassitude. Other everyday cases also come to mind: incivility could be met with a smile, the chattering of a fellow with a dumb ear or with a Zen-like blow to the head.

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