Self Development; Oscar Wilde

“Because to influence a person is to give him one’s own soul. He does not think his natural thoughts, or burn with his natural passions. His virtues are not real to him. His sins, if there are such things as sins, are borrowed. He becomes an echo of some one else’s music, an actor of a part that has not been written for him.

The aim of life is self-development. To realize one’s nature perfectly — that is what each of us is here for. People are afraid of themselves, nowadays. They have forgotten the highest of all duties, the duty that one owes to oneself. Of course they are charitable. They feed the hungry, and clothe the beggar.

But their own souls starve, and are naked.

Courage has gone out of our race.

Perhaps we never really had it.”

Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray and Other Stories

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One Response to “Self Development; Oscar Wilde”

  1. cuthbert Says:

    Einstein Newton. Glover Lee Yip Man. Braque Picasso. Hendrick BB King. does influence imply facsimile? Can osmosis even be prevented save for the impermeable membrane of utter seclusion.
    soul mates but different. our natural thoughts coincide, some of your passions even our main passions coincide. we aspire to the same virtues. their is a commonality of sin. he becomes an interpretation, amplification and glorification of someone else’s music. their script intertwines. we develop in concert. nothing is perfect when it comes to the affairs of man – here for what? who says we are here for anything. we find meaning. the meaning of a Luna moths’ adult life, emerging as it does from a pupa solely to mate before dying some 7 days later. one thing we don’t lack as a species is selfishness. pain begets fear. often pain in our deepest relationships hardens us, and the genius yes but that the reactionary public school boy Wilde would take the epicurean view doesn’t surprise me. but maybe i misread it. maybe he doesn’t suggest a binary either or position

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