What he enjoyed now was his advance. He consumed the minimum and avoided all that was sugary and artificial, all of the fleeting pleasures. Only the ideas that had lasted longest concerned him. The simple, passing pleasures of the others disturbed him and he steeled himself against them. Still, sometimes, he reminded himself of his mediocrity. After all, he was one of the others, the many others. He had been shaped by the same institutions. It was important to remember the places he had come from and overcome. Still, he did not lapse often. As much as he could, he choose not to require the others. He trained alone; he choose what was difficult; he made his life in such a way as to need the others less. He went the longest, hardest way whenever possible because how else, he thought, could he become extraordinary?

Living your life as every other man and relying upon transcendence was a joke. Mental acts were a joke. The men who thought ideas but didn’t act were gutless cowards. The world didn’t need any more writing or writers. He had the deepest contempt for each of them. His contempt was bottomless when it came to the men who thought and talked and wrote, but failed to act. He much preferred the men who had committed themselves to the average. He admired their unthinking, unreflective commitment to the institutions, the purity of their groupishness, their domestication. He sometimes in weakness longed for the comfort of their lives. They belonged to institutions, while he no longer could.

To be without institutions was to be deeply insecure, homeless. Though he was learning of other, older institutions, he could never belong to them with the commitment a man has to the institutions into which he was born. Having rejected that birthright he would always now feel somewhat outside. For a man belongs best to the way of life that has chosen him. It does not work the other way around.

So he did not belong and would have no comfort. That was what he had chosen. Part of overcoming was embracing lonesomeness. Because other men and their institutions were a fact of the species, solitude wasn't possible. A man could never be alone. His break with other men was never quite complete. It couldn’t work. And that's where the lonesomeness came from. It could only be tragic. And it was hard to choose tragedy. Few had the courage for it. But tragedy was good. That's what the Greeks said. It was how the gods punished great men. The Greeks were alright. Yeah, the Greeks were alright.

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