This is a rendition of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics for contemporary readers.
Brief, understandable pieces with a short practice to integrate the wisdom into your life.
No philosophical background necessary.
In this piece Aristotle lays down the criteria of who should even be studying practical wisdom. Hint: It’s not everybody.
YOUR KNOWLEDGE can be useless. The point of practical knowledge is proper action, and if your knowledge doesn’t lead to proper action then-
It’s as useless as a beautiful painting is for the blind.
Like a rubber chicken in guerilla combat.
Who is this lame person who cannot benefit from knowledge? Those who are slaves to their passions.
It would be useless to expose these people to practical wisdom. They are not led by their knowledge, but by their whims.
But those who have the power and strength of self restraint will gain from hearing wisdom. If the knowledge they learn conflicts with their habits, they will be able to restrain themselves from their usual behavior and apply the wisdom.
Those who can study and do, are those who do well to study.
So- where to begin?
The first step in absorbing knowledge into your blood and bones is to resolve to act according to your knowledge, and not be swayed by every desire that comes along. This is the first step, but certainly NOT the last step.
This should change how you think about knowledge, and what it means to know something.
Perhaps you know much less than you think.
This practice is here to help the knowledge penetrate. Don’t be unworthy of the study of practical wisdom.
Write down a proverb or maxim that you know is true yet don’t live by as well as you’d like to. Alternatively choose a way of living that you know is good that you fail to access.
Examples of maxims:
Honor thy father and thy mother
Set a timer for at least 3 minutes and write down all the reasons that are stopping you from embodying this wisdom in your actions. Don’t stop writing until the timer dings.
Join Alexander the Great and get more instruction from Aristotle.
I’m not sure why, but I read this and it feels appropriate. Everything by Visa is good.
I like this style a lot, well done