Patrick Watts

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contempt and conviction

A cold heart is the price one pays for harboring conviction, the conviction might be secular or religious, but the result is the same, you’ve got it all figured out, you know he’s stupid, and because of your conviction, you think you can treat him badly. Conviction goes with convict and also with convenience. You treat people like they are your inferiors because it’s convenient for you to do so, but only the short term, not the long term.

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expectations

There are only a few things worse than dealing with a person who can only see her idealized future outcome. She’s not happy until you lie to her about what the future result will be, and of course, the future result is what she’s expecting, and what she’s expecting will not happen, but she doesn’t know that she doesn’t know. A happily deceived person is waiting for a day that never comes.

the future

There are people who put effort into programming you to think you’re deficient, stupid, cowardly (whatever the insult might be) ….. this would be the wrong kind of effort. To not imitate them and to not invite them would be the best revenge. It would be wise to focus on the people who have treated you well, and it would be foolish to continue paying time to those who have treated you with cruelty.

paranoia

“Be assured those will be thy worst enemies, not to whom thou hast done evil, but who have done evil to thee. And those will be thy best friends, not to whom thou hast done good, but who have done good to thee.” (Tacitus)
“Men are more ready to repay an injury than a benefit, because gratitude is a burden and revenge a pleasure.” (Tacitus)
“If you would know who controls you see who you may not criticise.” (Tacitus)
“It is a principle of nature to hate those whom you have injured.” (Tacitus)
“It is exactly the fear of revenge that motivates the deepest crimes, from the killing of the enemy’s children lest they grow up to play their own part, to the erasure of the enemy’s graveyards and holy places so that his hated name can be forgotten.”

(Christopher Hitchens)

ill-will

“Be assured those will be thy worst enemies, not to whom thou hast done evil, but who have done evil to thee. And those will be thy best friends, not to whom thou hast done good, but who have done good to thee.” (Tacitus)

“Men are more ready to repay an injury than a benefit, because gratitude is a burden and revenge a pleasure.” (Tacitus)

“If you would know who controls you see who you may not criticize.” (Tacitus)

“It is a principle of nature to hate those whom you have injured.” (Tacitus)

“It is exactly the fear of revenge that motivates the deepest crimes, from the killing of the enemy’s children lest they grow up to play their own part, to the erasure of the enemy’s graveyards and holy places so that his hated name can be forgotten.” (Christopher Hitchens)

Neurosis cured only by death

“I remember a very impressive case of this, a girl about twenty-five years old who had a compulsion neurosis. She proved to be absolutely inaccessible. She lived things, she did things, but she did not know what she was living. I said: “Cannot you see what you do, damn it?” But no, nothing touched her, so she had no relation to the world at all, she lived in a sort of mist. Finally I said: “Well, it is no good, I cannot waste my time any longer; if you will not try to see what you are doing I must give it up.” And it happened that three or four months later she shot herself, and since she was a stranger here I was called in to give evidence, I saw the corpse. She had shot herself through the heart in the street and had not lost consciousness for a minute or two. The expression on her face was completely altered. For a long time I stood watching her face and asking myself: “What kind of expression is that?” It was most extraordinary, the expression of someone who was convinced, say, that a thing was black and to whom it was very important that it was black, but to whom one had finally proved that it was red; and now it was as if she suddenly realized it was red. It was a look full of bewilderment and a sort of pleasant surprise. I saw what had happened: at the moment when she shot herself, while she was still alive, yet felt it was done and irrevocable, she understood what life was for the first time.” C.G. Jung, Visions, 6 May 1931 + C.G. Jung & Individuation, Craig Nelson

edification

There are those who want to know,
so that they may know; that is curiosity.
There are those who want to know,
so that they may be known; that is vanity.
There are those who want to know,
so that they may sell their knowledge;
and that is wretched self-seeking.
But there are those who want to know,
so that they may edify others; that is love.
And also those who want to know,
so that they may be edified; that is wisdom.

– St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Sermons on the Song of Songs XXVI
[my collated translation]