July 7, 2009

"There is no passion in nature so demoniacally impatient, as that of him who, shuddering upon the edge of a precipice, thus meditates a plunge."

Acting on impulse... maybe you won't, but if you will, you will have first had the impulse.

8 comments:

traditionalguy said...

This article seems to be saying that our thoughts are impulses that errupt from a seething cauldron of inputs from outside of us. That would make us all easily programable by images and the beliefs of those surrounding us. Therefore we need to stay away from a life among screwed up people so that we do not suddenly start agreeing with their word/thoughts. Easier said than done.

hdhouse said...

Traditional guy seems to sum it up. The issue then boils down to the randomness of people who encounter us and, of course, the reverse.

Perhaps adding weight to the old saw about nothing good ever happens in a bar after midnight.

The Crack Emcee said...

I think the winning phrase here is, "Know thyself."

traditionalguy said...

Crack...I know you don't like "religion" much, but you still might enjoy a careful reading of Psalm 1.

rhhardin said...

They're heading off impulses to cancel NYT subscriptions.

Triangle Man said...

This is largely the premise of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and to a lesser extent "Seinfeld".

scottstev said...

There was an article in the New Yorker about an illness where the mechanism to inhibit these destructive urges is faulty.

The sufferers of this disorder start fights with strangers and utter racial epithets. They also self-mutilate and will attempt to bite their caregivers.

I can still recall incidents of my worst urges and every now and then, I'll cringe in horror of the hurt I could have caused as if I had actually followed through on those urges. I can't imagine how I'd live if I couldn't stop myself.

kentuckyliz said...

The Letter of James describes the tongue as the rudder to hell.

I have tamed my tongue a lot over the years.

Being a nasty comboxer helps release the pressure.