L. de K. Vovenarg
Introduction to the knowledge of the human mind
Pascal says: “All the rules of decent behavior have long been known, stopping for a small – for the ability to use them.”
Any principle is contradictory, any term is interpreted in different ways. But, having comprehended the person, it is possible to comprehend all.
The first book. ABOUT THE MIND AT ALL
Some mix the properties of the mind with the properties of the character, for example, the ability to speak clearly, but to think confusedly, and think that the mind is contradictory. But the mind is only very diverse.
Reason is based on three basic principles: imagination, meditation, memory.
Imagination is the ability to imagine something with the help of images and with their own help express their ideas.
Meditation is a gift that allows you to concentrate on ideas, to think and combine them. This is the starting point of judgment and assessment. Memory is the guardian of the fruits of imagination and reflection. Memory by power must correspond to the mind, otherwise it leads either to the paucity of thought or to its excessive breadth.
Fertility. Fruitless minds can not understand the subject as a whole; minds are prolific, but unreasonable can not understand themselves: the fervor of feelings makes their thought work hard, but in a false direction.
Wisdom is manifested in the speed of the work of the mind. It is not always
Insight is the ability to comprehend phenomena, to ascend to their causes and to anticipate their consequences. Knowledge and habits improve it.
Clarity is an adornment of discretion, but not everyone who has a clear mind is judicious. The discretion and distinctness of the imagination differs from the judiciousness and distinctness of memory, feeling, eloquence. Sometimes people have incompatible ideas, which, however, are linked in memory by upbringing or customs. Peculiarities of the customs and customs create differences between people, but also limit their properties in certain frames.
Common sense is reduced to the ability to see any object in its proportionality to our nature or position in society; it’s the ability to perceive things from their useful side and sensibly assess. For this it is necessary to look at everything simply. Reason must prevail over feeling, experience – over thinking.
Depth is the goal of all meditation. A deep mind must hold the thought in front of his eyes to examine it to the end. Wisdom always comes at the price of depth.
Delicacy is sensitivity, which depends on the freedom of custom. Subtlety is a kind of wisdom in matters of feeling; sometimes without delicacy.
The breadth of the mind is the ability to assimilate many ideas simultaneously, without confusing them with each other. Without it you can not become a genius.
Naity is an instantaneous transition from one idea to another, which can be interfaced with the first. This unexpected twists of Joke’s mind are superficial generations of influx.
A good taste is the ability to judge things related to feeling. This is the ability to feel the beautiful nature. The taste of the crowd is not true. The arguments of the mind can change our judgment, but not the taste. About syllable and eloquence. Not always the one who thinks well can express his thought in words; but the splendor of the syllable with the weakness of the idea is uniform nonsense. Nobility is given to simplicity, accuracy and naturalness. Some are eloquent in conversation, others are alone with the manuscript. Eloquence animates everything: science, business, poetry. Everything obeys him.
On the ingenuity. To invent is not to create material for inventions, but to give it a form, like an architect – marble. A sample of our search is nature itself.
About talent and reason. Talent is inconceivable without activity, it also depends on the passions. Talent is a rarity, because it requires a combination of various merits of the mind and heart. The talent is original, although all the great people followed the patterns: for example, Corneille – to Lucan and Seneca. Reason should mean a set of reasonableness, depth and other qualities, but usually only one of these abilities is called by reason – and they are arguing which one.
About the character. The character contains in itself everything that distinguishes our mind and heart; it is woven of contradictions.
Seriousness is a particular characteristic of a character; she has many causes and varieties. There is the seriousness of a calm mind, the seriousness of an ardent or noble mind, the seriousness of a timid person, and many other of its varieties. The severity of absent-mindedness affects the eccentricities.
Resourcefulness is the ability to use the opportunity in conversations and deeds. It requires intelligence and experience.
About absent-mindedness. There is absent-mindedness, resulting from the fact that the work of the mind is slowed down at all, and sometimes it happens that the soul is focused on one thing.
The second book. ABOUT PASSIONS
Locke teaches: any passion originates in pleasure or suffering. Since pleasure or suffering is caused by different people for different reasons, everyone understands different things under the good and evil. However, there are two sources of good and evil for us: feelings and reflections. Impressions of feelings are instant and unknowable. Passions generated by thought are based either on the love of being, or on the feeling of one’s own imperfection. In the first case, there is gaiety, meekness, moderation in desires. In the second, anxiety and melancholy appear. The passions of great people are a combination of the two.
Laroshfuko says that in love we seek only our own pleasure. But you need to distinguish between self-esteem and self-love. Selfishness allows you to love yourself beyond the person (in woman, in glory and in other things), and self-esteem puts us in the center of the universe. Pride is a consequence of self-esteem.
Ambition is the result of the desire to expand the limits of one’s personality, it can be both a virtue and a vice.
Glory muffles our sorrows better than anything else, but this is not a virtue or merit, but only a reward for them. Therefore, do not hurry to condemn the desire for fame. Passion for fame thirsts for external greatness, and passion for science – greatness from within. Art paints nature, science is truth. Knowledge of an intelligent person is not too extensive, but thorough. They need to be applied to practice: knowledge of the rules of dance will not benefit the person who never danced. But any talent must be educated.
Miserliness is the offspring of an absurd distrust of the circumstances of life; passion for the game, on the contrary, is born of an absurd faith in the case.
Paternal love is no different from love for oneself, for the child in everything depends on the parents and is associated with them. But children have self-esteem, that’s why children love fathers less than fathers-children.
Pets please our pride: we imagine that the parrot loves us, appreciates our affection – and we love it for this preponderance over it.
Friendly friendliness gives rise to the imperfection of our essence, and the imperfection of this very liking leads to its cooling. We suffer from loneliness, but friendship does not fill emptiness. In his youth, they are more gentle, in old age they are stronger. A person who is ashamed of friendship with people who have stained themselves is a poor soul.
About love. It is quite possible and love, free from gross sensuality, but the eye is infrequent. A person falls in love with the image he created, and not in a real woman. In general, in love, the main thing for us is inner qualities, soul. Do not confuse love with friendship, for friendship is governed by reason, and love – by feelings. You can not judge a person by his face, which is more interesting to look at, which faces he likes more than others.
Compassion is a feeling in which sadness is mixed with affection. It is selfless, the mind does not control it.
About hatred. Hatred is a deep discouragement that turns us away from what it is caused – jealousy and envy come into this feeling.
A man respects everything he loves, including himself.
The main feelings of a person: desire, discontent, hope, regret, shyness, mockery, confusion, surprise. But they are all weaker than love, ambition and stinginess.
Man can not generally manage passions. they can not be reassured, and they are not necessary, because they are the basis and essence of our soul. But it is necessary to struggle with bad habits, and whether we will win them – for all the Lord’s will.
The third book. ABOUT GOOD AND EVIL AS MORAL CONCEPTS
Goodness should be considered only that which is beneficial for the whole society, and evil is that which is fatal to it. The interests of an individual have to be sacrificed. The purpose of the laws is to protect everyone’s rights.
Virtue is a preference for the common interest of personal interest; and selfish interest is the source of all vices. Virtue does not bring happiness to people because they are evil, and vice does not bring good.
The greatness of the soul is the desire to perform great deeds, good or evil. Therefore, other vices do not exclude great virtues, and vice versa.
About courage. There are many varieties of courage: courage in the struggle with fate, patience, courage, firmness and others. But they rarely meet all at once.
True-heartedness is fidelity, not knowing suspicions and tricks. Temperance speaks of mental balance. Prudence is a sensible precaution. Activity – a manifestation of restless strength, laziness – calm impotence. Severity – hatred of pleasure, severity – hatred of vices. Wisdom is an understanding of the essence of goodness and love for it.
Virtue is good and beauty together; For example, drugs are good, but not beautiful, and there is much that is beautiful, but not useful.
Mr. Cruz says that beauty is what our mind perceives as a complex but inseparable whole, this diversity in unity.