Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sincerity - the new normal

Insincerity is not only a weakness, a loss of strength that can be tangibly felt, a cowardice and a disgrace, but also a dangerous evil. As we have seen, insincerity on a large scale - at a national level - has devastating effects. They are being played out globally as we speak in the aftermath of the credit bubble and will continue to be played out for some time.

Truth and fidelity are the pillars of the temple of the world; when these are broken, the fabric falls, and crushes all to pieces. Owen Feltham

Now the temple is all to be built again. The people are dazed, some are angry, all are chastened by this catastrophic, unmistakable manifestation of the power of insincerity. Some are talking about ‘the new normal’: about living within one’s means, building savings the old way, expecting a reasonable return on one’s investment, prudent and moral management. The new normal is seeming to be what we are, and being what we seem to be. The new normal is sincerity.

Now the best way in the world to seem to be anything is really to be what we would seem to be. Besides that it is many times as troublesome to make good the pretence of a good quality as to have it, and if a man have it not it is ten to one but he is discovered to want it, and then all his pains and labor to seem to have it is lost. John Tillotson

I sat at a table where were rich food and wine in abundance, and obsequious attendance, but sincerity and truth were not; and I went away hungry from the inhospitable board. Thoreau

The whole faculties of man must be exerted in order to call forth noble energies; and he who is not earnestly sincere lives in but half his being, self-mutilated, self-paralyzed. Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Loss of sincerity is loss of vital power. Christian Nestell Bovee

An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind. Buddha

Of all the evil spirits abroad at this hour in the world, insincerity is the most dangerous. James Anthony Froude
Photo by Wikimedia: The reverse of the great seal of the United States on the 1$ bill featuring an unfinished pyramid and the ‘eye of Providence’. The Latin phrase above means ‘God has favoured our undertaking’ (literally ‘he/it favors the things having been begun’) and the one below means ‘a new order of the ages’.

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Discover The Tale of Genji, the 11th Century classic of Japan (click image)

Discover The Tale of Genji, the 11th Century classic of Japan (click image)
Kiyomizudera Temple has a large veranda looking out over Kyoto and beyond