2-29-2012:  A “LEAP DAY” GIFT



Food For Thought


The Epic Reconciliation


Jay B Gaskill

Précis / Excerpts

“The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth’s shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.”

“And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.”

From Matthew Arnold’s poem, “Dover Beach (1851)

“Where am I? How do I know it? What should I do? “[We] experience, at times, a causeless fear and an undefined guilt, which they cannot explain or get rid of.…  “[T]he trouble comes from the three unanswered questions — and that there is only one science that can answer them: philosophy.”

From the speech, Philosophy – Who Needs It?” by the Russian et-pat, Alicia Rosenbaum, to the Graduating Class of the U S Military Academy at West Point (1974)

“Suicidal altruism and predatory greed are mostly caricatures, but they enjoy a lively place in our political discourse because each convenient insult contains a grain of truth.  They have become the secret epithets of choice, used by the leading ideologues of right and left, at least when they are among friends.  These are the very same camps whose members inhabit opposite sides in the culture wars, the positive-negative mirror-image true believers for whom all of the so called “moderates” represent traitorous quislings, cowering in their foxholes until it’s safe to join the winning side.

“But both altruism and the guilt-free pursuit of self-interest are equally necessary for human survival.  To locate their natural integration remains one of the essential tasks of modern philosophy and theology.

“But the achievement of balance can be a struggle against nature, as in the tightrope walker, or it can be sustained by a unifying gravity.  Dualisms collapse into dualities when the mind apprehends the larger context into which they fit.  The larger moral context provides the gyroscopic stabilization that sustains our balance over life’s rough patches.”

Altruism vs. Selfishness

The Epic Reconciliation

Sixteen Pages & Eleven Sections

The Quivering Blob

Those Darn Moderates

The Ancient Balance

The Modern Imbalance

The Seeds of Recovery

The Missing Moral Context

The Descending Flare

Reverse-Engineering (from Meta-Evil to Meta-Good)

A Secular-Religious “Trinity”

A Great Law for Humanity


This is a concise and original exposition of an important idea –about how we rebalance two seemingly irreconcilable human aims.  The full article is available as a free PDF download.  I think you will not regret the time spent reading this, and you may be grateful that you did.

Jay B Gaskill

Attorney at Law

Northern California

LINK — http://jaygaskill.com/ReBalance.pdf

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