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Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life so. Aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something. Options
Daemon
Posted: Sunday, October 12, 2014 12:00:00 AM
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Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life so. Aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)
Dialectrum
Posted: Monday, October 13, 2014 1:01:14 AM

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Yes...be good for immorality.
Vit Babenco
Posted: Monday, October 13, 2014 1:45:50 AM

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Doesn't sound too politically correct.
Apsu
Posted: Monday, October 13, 2014 1:54:52 AM
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“When you're not feeling holy, your loneliness says that you've sinned. ”


― Leonard Cohen
Marta Grzesińska
Posted: Monday, October 13, 2014 2:30:02 AM

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That's a good one. I think I'll send it to some of my aunts.
Madas
Posted: Monday, October 13, 2014 2:32:04 AM

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Boo hoo! Unexpectedly have found one more pantagruelian. Boo hoo! Congratulations, H.D.T.
Susan Maharjan
Posted: Monday, October 13, 2014 2:39:38 AM

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Applause thanks thoreau..m with you...be good n always smile :)
blue_elf
Posted: Monday, October 13, 2014 3:15:57 AM

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I think we'll never run the risk of being too moral! We might head, though, for the other direction. We're heading towards the peaks of immorality, unfortunately. It may be a good advice from Thoreau but we should work primarily on our immoral thinking, attitudes etc.
moniquester
Posted: Monday, October 13, 2014 3:47:49 AM

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So much to learn. So little time. Simply being good is difficult enough! Being good for something is a debatable thing. Being good is how we attain Heaven! For that "something" I'll be good!!!

Be the change you wish to see in the world!-Gandhi
NeuroticHellFem
Posted: Monday, October 13, 2014 4:35:01 AM

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Madas wrote:
Boo hoo! Unexpectedly have found one more pantagruelian. Boo hoo! Congratulations, H.D.T.

A fellow nerd has read Gargantua & Pantagruel: it takes a lot of patience to wade through those endless 'pantagruelisms'. Walden is mentioned repeatedly throughout Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I don't know which was harder to get through: the slow bits of Gargantua & Pantagruel or the entirety of Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

Regarding the Thoreau quote: get a few drinks into me & I'm good for a whole lot, believe me!

When you make an assumption, you make an ass of u & umption! - NeuroticHellFem
Omkar
Posted: Monday, October 13, 2014 5:17:58 AM

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Daemon wrote:
Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life so. Aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)


wow. that took time to sink in. it is a wonderful thought that would do good if followed continually as time and the human society prevails. all right and wrong is born out of a view, one that would have been relevant once but now no longer is or holds true as its narrow scope hinders any further progress across any front, be it on a personal level in terms of the experiences one is allowed to witness without being branded as immoral or on social or institutional in terms of the rules and regulations imposed on the respective members. So, here is my attempt in simplifying it (based on my interpretation)- you are willingly imprisoning yourself to the just a small part of what life is (limited view of life portrayed by the society) by following the narrow views laid out by others. so aim above those dated, limiting and restrictive ideas, beliefs, values, this way you will be aiming above morality. So, do not just be good, as per their notion of good, cause real/greater good is above that. Seek out, identity, and strive for that good.

You are never stronger than when you land on the other side of despair.
Bully_rus
Posted: Monday, October 13, 2014 5:53:55 AM
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How much is too much? - that's the question. And everyone makes its own counting not only in moral matters…
monamagda
Posted: Monday, October 13, 2014 7:50:50 AM

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Quote in context:

From Thoreau' "Familiar letters - to Harrison Blake (At Worcester)
Concord, March 27, 1848

"Pursue, keep up with, circle round and round your life, as a dog does his master's chaise. Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still. Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life so. Aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something. all fables indeed have their morals but the innocent enjoy the story.
Let nothing come between you and the light."


Read more here: http://books.google.com.br/books
Momsey
Posted: Monday, October 13, 2014 9:12:29 AM
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Too moral is to always follow the letter of the law and even to go further and prescribe new and more stringent laws. Life is not to be lived according to the letter of the law.
Ozolinsh V.
Posted: Monday, October 13, 2014 11:24:27 AM

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That's the kind of a thought I find very appealing to me.
Madas
Posted: Monday, October 13, 2014 11:46:01 AM

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monamagda wrote:
Quote in context:

From Thoreau' "Familiar letters - to Harrison Blake (At Worcester)
Concord, March 27, 1848

"Pursue, keep up with, circle round and round your life, as a dog does his master's chaise. Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still. Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life so. Aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something. all fables indeed have their morals but the innocent enjoy the story.
Let nothing come between you and the light."


Read more here: http://books.google.com.br/books


Thank you for the context. It astonished me: almost the same words Rabelais uses in one of his forewords of "Pantagruel" books -about dog enjoying bone. To meet two pantagruelians in one day. Unbelievable.Boo hoo!
striker
Posted: Monday, October 13, 2014 2:01:11 PM
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wise words
Dosei Iantha Evans
Posted: Monday, October 13, 2014 5:48:29 PM

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...
Verbatim
Posted: Monday, October 13, 2014 6:09:21 PM
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Daemon wrote:
Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life so. Aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)



Thoreau always gave more credit to the individual than reasonably expected. To aim above morality would first require to thoroughly know its standard level,
lest one falls short of the jump.

To be good for something implies a) that one is good in agreeable terms with everybody else, to begin with,
and b) that one knows that something deserves it-- being good for that something. Well over most of our capabilities.

As it stands, Thoreau must have had a loftier purpose in mind than working in a pencil factory or doing a handyman's job for Emerson's household.Pray

He left that purpose up to us in all its generality.

Dosei Iantha Evans
Posted: Monday, October 13, 2014 8:01:22 PM

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Daemon wrote:
Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life so. Aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)


But, be "Horribly" good.Applause
Gustavo de S Consoni
Posted: Monday, October 13, 2014 8:21:08 PM

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he was known as a serious though unconventional scholar. Indeed, we can see it in this quote.
excaelis
Posted: Monday, October 13, 2014 8:53:26 PM

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I believe WS was suggesting something similar with 'Measure For Measure'.

Sanity is not statistical
Milica Boghunovich
Posted: Monday, October 13, 2014 9:08:02 PM
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Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life so. Aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

Nothing too much or too little! Finding the median (see Aristotle's Ncomachean Ethics) constitutes virtue - nobody is perfect. Being good only for oneself defeats the purpose of life.
johnfl
Posted: Monday, October 13, 2014 10:59:06 PM

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IMMORAL, MY KIND OF MORAL.Dancing
TB Turtle
Posted: Monday, October 13, 2014 11:06:25 PM

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His 'good something' was he was a great writer of fiction.
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