Phoenix

July 29, 2008

To keep an orchard healthy, we must plant new trees, and prune the existing trees. Unhealthy trees must be chopped down lest they infect the others. In Omega we find Alpha.

Jesus said that to save one's life, one must lose it. Nietzsche, in a similar manner, states that the birth of the overman comes only through the death of man. Therefore, the process of self-improvement is a morbid one, in the sense that to improve the self requires the abolition of certain aspects of the self. To improve the self, we must do more than to accumulate additional virtue and excellence; we must also purge ourselves of our shortcomings.

Oftentimes, we fall into routines and patterns which are inconsistent with our proper development. Consider, for example, that one wishes to lose weight. There are, of course, those new things one must take up in order to achieve this. One does well to adopt a workout routine, and to learn more about proper nutrition. These are things one can gather to oneself to succeed in weight loss.

Yet, in addition to these augmentations, to lose weight one must rid oneself of those qualities which are detrimental to the objective. Does one have the habit of eating when under stress? That must be purged. Does one eat when bored? Nervous? Happy? These too must be extirpated from the body.

Heraclitus indicates that the same Logos is responsible for creation and destruction. Creation requires destruction, and improvement requires creation. Thus improvement requires destruction. Just as I have previously pointed out that breath requires inhaling and exhaling, to improve the self requires creating the self anew, and destroying the self too.