This is a rendition of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics for contemporary readers.
Brief, understandable pieces followed by a short practice to integrate the wisdom into your life.
No philosophical background necessary.
The masses equate happiness with pleasure and choose the life of fatted cattle. Security, food and mating. Nothing more.
Their good life is one long ‘Moo’.
The more refined and active people long for a life of honor.
Let us examine honor for a moment.
Honor is a social good. It does not stand on its own feet. No man is honorable alone. For honor is not something that is ours, but rather resides in how others relate to us. It is not part of our essence per se; it is a response of other people to our perceived actions.
When a man is honored, there is a crowd in the shadows bestowing their admiration and approval. Gazing into the darkness, we may discover more about the crowd than of the honoree.
The more discerning minds that seek honor understand it is a social good. Hence, they seek to be honored by the prudent and virtuous. They discriminate between honor worth chasing and honor that is beneath them, even repulsive.
Only an ape would bask in the glory bestowed on him by worms.
But whose honor would a divine man seek?
Theoretical inquiry is not complete until the abstract ideas have been clothed in concrete reality. If you want this knowledge to truly influence your life, do the following practice. Be serious about living well.
Imagine you are greatly honored for doing/being X.
What X would you feel proud of, and what X would make you disgusted with yourself?
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So you're using it as a mussar sefer?