Imagine you had a fairly hostile father who was not very well controlled in his aggression – decent person other than that. Naturally, your reaction is, “I am never going to be aggressive”. As a consequence, you’d have built a moral structure within yourself and that becomes part of your personality.
However, there’s possibility floating outside of your personality that you’ve stripped the idea of aggression & malevolence any ethical utility whatsoever.
One of Friedrich Nietzsche’s (in my opinion, one of the greatest thinkers of all time) critiques of ancient morality is that most of what passes for morality isn’t morality. It’s just cowardice.
Untrampled sexuality doesn’t constitute a virtue, neither does unavoidable virginity. In fact, I think that’s terrible because it masks itself with virtue.
Look at it this way; it’s not that you’re a good person and you won’t hurt me. It’s that you’re afraid to hurt me because you don’t want to admit that you’re capable of doing so. This then translates as you being moral because you can mask essential fear and cowardice in a guise of morality.
This happens far more often than you’d think because harmless and moral are by no means the same thing. Hyper-simplified morality stops you from tapping into the deeper recesses of your psyche.
This could be due to the fact that these traits are primal forces and surprisingly you don’t want anything to do with them that you stay away from situations which could cause them to manifest.
However, the problem is by denying the worst in yourself in that manner, you preclude the possibility of the best because it’s difficult to be a “good” person without integrating the capacity for aggression and malevolence.
Without the capacity for aggression and malevolence, you can’t say no because ‘NO’ means there isn’t anything you can do to me that will make me change my mind.
Conversely, it means I’ll play for higher stakes that you will. Lest you have aggression and malevolence integrated, there isn’t a chance you’ll firmly say no and even if you did, no one will take you seriously because they’d know it was just a show. People will run over you in business, workplace, football field, et cetra.
So, what do you do with the parts of you that are aggressive and malevolent? Do you just crush them and put them behind you, so to speak?
I reckon you should admit to their existence and bring them into the game (albeit judicially). The idea is you invite the bad guys out to play. For example, an aggressive football player or business person (disciplined aggression) would have access to all sorts of energy an ordinary person wouldn’t have.
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Author: The Broken Native
The Broken Native is a social runner, a budding poet, loves football, and basketball, reading, music (all things Indie and flirts with a bit of Jazz), and Philosophy.
And, er…ahem…he appreciates a glass of cold gin and tonic.