Lipton’s Journal/February 14, 1955/590

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The curve is life, the straight line is society. We believe we solve in a straight line—that is reason’s assumption. The slovenly is the inchoate mass. To be simply a solver or simply a sloven is to deny oneself. One must be both. One must love disorder and love order, hate order and hate disorder.

Yet, here is where I disagree with the Greeks and all the other Golden Meaners—there is no such thing as the Golden Mean in Life. It is only by welcoming the extremes of one’s personality, tempering those extremes only—assuming of which I’m not certain that life here is better than life-after-death—tempering those extremes only by the knowledge that one must not be destroyed by them, that one goes on, one grows, one finds creative-destroying fulfillment. For no philosopher (artist, scientist, merchant man, chief) is ever simply a creator, no real good one. The essence of creativity is that it accepts the destruction implicit in its assertion.