Aphorisms: Progress

39. Individual progress -- meaning expansion of physical and intellectual power -- is only possible through pain. Pain is the result of going against one’s natural instinct.

40. Instincts exist as those basic responses which historically have kept men alive, to procreate and continue, and as such are strong in all living men.

43. Man’s instincts are his history, the history of how he was able to survive.

48. But consciousness and language allow man to meditate upon those instincts, challenge them, and refine them. This man has not done well enough, or stopped doing. His instincts, which do much to keep him alive when danger is greatest, are also what keeps him from evolving forward, becoming something greater, overcoming what is most dangerous and painful.

58. Man is stuck. Man continues to shape the world around him to evolve it through his technologies, but regarding his own development, pushing beyond the limits imposed by his instincts, he shies away. Pain and uncertainty frighten him. His instinctual reflex against pain and difficulty reinforce his decision to keep away from those challenges. He uses his technologies to keep those challenges distant from him.

71. Man’s dominance of the world means his instincts are now rarely called upon to save him. Dangers are rare and fleeting. His instincts are out of practice. His threshold for pain, for danger, for difficulty, is lowered. The slightest discomfort turns him away from a task. More than ever man chooses to avoid pain, and through his far-reaching and distant control of the world he is able to do it.

72. When his instinctual history is called upon in even the slightest way his reflex is to quickly flee from the difficult and painful. Man has forgotten, or maybe never learned, the difference between a pain that most certainly kills and a pain that only comes close to killing. Hence man turns away from all pain. He does not try to think through his instinctual response and evaluate the pain, in order to conquer it. And as such, man misses the progress possible by passing through the pain that is almost deadly, which when overcome produces a higher form of life.

83. Man now lives with the false promise of a painless life, filled with laughter and happiness; a constant vacation without ever a day of labor; only the sweetest of foods and moments; never-ending pleasures; a beauty that cannot fail; and the distraction of things, things, things, always in abundance. Man’s encounter with even the most minor difficulty and pain produces an extreme reaction. His instincts are out of practice.

98. What is animal in man is now mostly obscured. Man’s instincts are his outer bonds, and they remain unexplored. Man does not progress.


  1. Anonymous7.2.10

    101: We start to run at 6:30 PM. The long days of light are gone, but we'll continue to run, so bring a headlamp if you'd like. Each lap around the park is 2.6 miles, but that can easily be cut down to less if you need.

  2. Anonymous7.2.10

    104: This commentary on pain is worthless. All there is are rainbows, joy, miles, changes in elevation, libation, and fornication.

  3. 107: Mangina is the affliction whereby he does not go to the Indian. Instead he goes home and plays with dolls, lights candles, and cries holding a picture of jesus or buddha.

    110: The headlamp is a real lifesaver. It tells a woman you clip coupons. To think that whole group would lemming into the frozen pond, spectacular.

  4. 146. And to the seekers of pleasure He gave the names "Faggot" and "Barebacker." And to them, He said, the Lord would provide a great gift that was both terminal and incurable.

  5. Anonymous7.2.10

    151: Man should not pay for nuts when nuts are freely available at no monetery cost to him. This theme is repetitive, meaningful, and the result, life-sustaining.

    164: Pain is protein for man's soul.


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