Pity – a retraction

The question, or “problem” was my lack of indifference to others’ suffering. The conclusion was an anxiety about my own power. (What else?)

Disregarding the actual fact of quite substantial indifferences on my part, the task is to re-evaluate “pity” (lack of indifference) from the affirmative perspective. Confusedly, I wrote this:

Do I perhaps want to eliminate others’ suffering so as to rejoice in their flourishing – simply because there is a sheer instinctive joy in this? Life’s dealings scarcely correspond to that. How often is a sheer instinctive joy at others’ flourishing evident in children’s behaviour for example? Furthermore, the sheer instinctive joy at others’ flourishing does not take place when I am suffering – there’s even less of that than there is of pity.

Sheer instinctive joy is fine. That I am unable to experience this when I myself am sick is precisely a symptom of my weakness, a sick will, a resentful psyche. Instead, my last ounce of strength, my final living instance, my healthy instinct, rejoices in strength – its own first, then others’. As for the shameful slander against children; their response to others’ flourishing produces the following response: “but look at me, look at my flourishing too”. Truly noble!

Finally, I question my “venting power through violent domination. Murder? Blood lust! A violent and domineering affirmation of life?” Questions too can be weak and fearful, spiteful – and dare I say, violent? Slanderous questions expressing… an anxiety about one’s own power, the mote in one’s own eye?

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