In my Philosophy Blog...

...(which I unfortunately haven't updated very much) I made this quotation from Bryan Magee's marvelous book "The Philosophy of Shopenhauer": all walks of life there are a few people who are compassionate, or generous, or honest, or intelligent, or wise, or gifted with some special talent. But there are more, far more, that are not. So the world is governed by false values: lip-service is paid to virtue and ability, but self-interest and cynicism rule. Human society is like a stage show in which most people are playing a part, a role, pretending to be someone they are not. But the show is an empty one, because life is fleeting, and for everyone in it the whole thing is soon swept into oblivion by death. The wise man sees all this for what it is, and is not taken in by it, and keeps himself uncontaminated by it.

My friend Niklas made the following comment: "This is a fantastic quote, it says in a few sentences what I feel is true about people. I like people who try to see through the stage show. I try my best to do it myself but sometimes you just get swept away by the shallowness of society. Lip-service is paid constantly. People look at the strongest individual in a group and then they try to emulate and copy that person's winning ways. Often with ridiculous results."

Isn't this very true?


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