The Problem with Virtuous People
A quick Google search for “morality quotes” will bring up more than 33 Million results.
This gives us a peek at the perceived level of immorality in our modern world.
My mother-in-law always says that people are flawed. She’s a devout Christian that actually goes to church and tries to live by the virtues described in the Bible.
She is a ‘good’ person with good intentions. I’ve never heard her talk badly about someone, harbor resentment, or try to intentionally harm anyone.
But the Christian Bible often contradicts itself.
I often wonder how she interprets these contradictions, and if she walked around with a hidden camera, would she ever exhibit vicious rather than virtuous behavior?
Some believe that the Bible speaks authoritatively about morality and religion. However, it does not give an accurate dictation of factual history or science.
Others believe that every single word is fact and law. Changes were made to adjust to the current time in history, but the core values remain the same.
But who was responsible for the Bible’s original translation from Hebrew/Greek?
And who has created the different translations available today?
What were their motives and intentions?
Could they have been flawed, and not virtuous in how they translated the ancient text into modern language?
There’s no way to be certain. But we cannot deny that human error, emotion, and ego play a role in our daily lives. They seem to have always played a role in the decisions that were made throughout the course of history.
Is ‘Creation’ inherently perfect?
Everyone seems to be perpetually looking for a solution to the problem of morality. They want to create peace, harmony, unity, and understanding.
But what if the problem is that we think there is a problem?
What if our own judgment of other walks of life – is the reason we experience lack & judgment in our own lives.
Do you know what true happiness looks like?
I spent some time in Southeast Asia in 2018, living amongst the locals, eating at local eateries, and just observing.
It seemed like the people were poor, dirt poor, but happy.
Vietnam was particularly unique. They have one of the lowest national tourism budgets in the world – meaning they don’t put much into attracting tourists. Because of this, the culture doesn’t seem to have very much Western influence.
Being there felt like being in another time in history. Everything I believed about life was a mixture of ignorance and ego.
You can’t just return food because it’s undercooked or has a hair in it. There’s no one to call and complain to when the power goes out during a storm. You don’t need a license to bike across the country. And everyone avoids getting in trouble. It’s as if they fear the men standing outside government buildings with machine guns. Lol, I was only there for a couple of months, but this fear of the powers that be is very apparent across most of SE Asia.
Who I am, in relation to everyone else, became less definitive and less relevant to the basic necessities of life.
Do you know what true Virtue looks like?
The problem with virtuous people is that they are defined by the judgment of others.
“Kindly let me help you or you’ll drown,” said the monkey.
As he placed the fish up a tree.
What is good for one person, may not be good for another.
A prison can be torture from one angle and salvation from another.
Who determines who is the nicest person in the world?
Is the Pope not egotistical? To assume such a high position and agree that he deserves such high status is comparable to the rest of the leaders, oligarchs, and dictators of the world. What must he have done to get there? To stand out of the crowd? To make a name for himself?
At the minimum, he’s in conflict with the Buddhists, Muslims, and other religious leaders of the world.
He is defined by the judgment of others.
Virtue Causes More Pain & Suffering
Wisdom must come from the abandonment of selfish craving and all desire.
To be concerned with the transformation of your mind and the minds of others – is the opposite of virtue.
If I am in need of improvement, the person who’s doing the “improving” is also the person who needs to be improved.
In other words, this way of thinking creates a vicious cycle.
The reason why we want to be better is the reason why we aren’t better.
Sometimes doing the right thing for others, is amazingly destructive.
There is a difference between a virtuous action and a virtuous person. Even the noblest of men and women have a dark side.
“The highest virtue is not virtuous. Therefore it has virtue. The lowest virtue holds on to virtue. Therefore it has no virtue.”
The highest virtue is not conscious of itself, and therefore its real virtue. The lowest virtue is so self-conscious that it’s not true virtue at all.
If we say we want to improve, we ought to know what’s good for us. But obviously, we don’t. If we did, we’d already be improved.
If you are really honest without yourself, you will see that you cannot improve yourself or anything in the world with selfish intention.
You cannot be more loving without feeling genuine love.
If we stop taking action trying to improve everything, we’ll begin to see that our own nature will take care of itself.
The sweetest people are often the most unhappy, and pessimistic people when you really get to know them.
They spend their entire lives trying to please everyone else, while not caring for themselves but caring for how others perceive them to be. Sure self-lessness can feel like true altruism, but what happens when a selfless action becomes something of resentment and regret?
What if the person the action was intended to benefit, doesn’t want to improve or change at all?
A selfless act may not be received by the other person as selfless at all.
What seems like a good thing today, may turn out to be a disaster tomorrow.
The Holy Inquisition was once regarded as we regard the practice of psychiatry.
Virtuous vs Vicious People
Virtuous people differ from vicious people in their perception of the world.
True virtue can be found in the healing benefits of a plant. It’s not trying to be anything for anyone, not even for itself, it just is.
It’s intrinsically good for the planet, and thus, virtuous by nature.
A tree is not excelling at being a tree, it simply exists. Even a tree that does not produce the most fruit, produces something that will benefit the rest of the environment.
It’s almost as if virtue is a form of magic.
It just happens, and the process is entirely harmonious and balanced.
Virtue in Dating
Instead of looking for the best man in the world, look to know yourself.
You may overlook the man who meets your long list of requirements because some of those requirements contradict others.
Maybe the perfect man for you is not at all what you think. The right man may instill the discipline and masculinity you never saw in your own father?
Maybe the right man will teach you how to bite your tongue and indirectly help you to become more feminine.
Accepting the people and circumstances we attract as a reflection of who we are in that moment is the most virtuous way to approach dating.
This doesn’t mean you have to date all the men that will flock to you.
A woman who really wants a man does not actively pursue him.
She is patient and allows him to flow to her.
This happens automatically.
Let’s take the example of a stream.
Those who realize the current is flowing downstream, will not try to swim upstream.
In other words, the most intelligent person will notice the direction of the stream. They’ll navigate themselves around the coming braches and obstacles to help the flow of the current move them toward safety.