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[Compare "lightness of character" in the paragraph above to"light-minded" in the first paragraph of this section. These labelsare peculiar and may be Cicero’s attempt to describe "separatedsubstances" – the technical term used by Aristotle and later by Aquinasfor angels. A light mind, or a separated substance, is much related to instinct,that is, to "the internal substance beholden to the external appearance ofthe species, present at birth." (Section 8.) The internal substance isseparated from "external factors," and while external factors mayinfluence our actions, they cannot control them, for that would be to negatefree will. (Section 13.) Consider the paragraph above which states that one must"take to separate a genuine from a speciousfriend." Here are all the key words: Reason, Care, separation, genuine andspecious. A light-minded flatterer is "specious" – from the Latinroot , which means "appearance." A distinction must bedrawn between angels which are unmoved movers and angels which are"fallen" and only an appearance. As far as selecting a friend,"We should … look out for simplicity, a social disposition, and asympathetic nature, moved by what moves us." (Section 18.) The substance ofany friendship is Virtue, and the command of Virtue is the unmoved movement ofangels. Consider the first sentence of this section: "Well, then, if it istrue that to give and receive advice – the former with freedom and yet withoutbitterness, the latter with patience and without irritation – is peculiarlyappropriate to genuine friendship…" (etc.). It may seem that this kind ofexchange between two friends is a reciprocation, but in truth it is asimultaneous movement of the inescapable "gravity" of affection. Thereis nothing to be exchanged but every inclination to be moved simultaneously bythe attraction of Virtue. To care for another person is, at the highest level,to respect the unmoved Nature of that person. It is the same as one’s ownunmoved nature! The extension of Virtue as Care is a channel or"minor" key of understanding by which a "major" movementtowards freedom, in the opposite direction, is enacted. In the same sentenceCicero renders "patience" as a quality to be applied to "advicereceived." This refers to receiving the advice of Care as the friendshipattains to Virtue. It may be that to attain to Virtue requires an act of faith,since Faith follows the natural course of the universe as a whole. The movementof Faith is fully in line with the development of Reason: both are drawn by thepower of Virtue. Care only enters the picture as the reflected light of theself, on the threshhold of the fullest expression of Reason and Nature. But allof this goes far beyond the peripheral and much more local context offlatterers, in which the light mind tends to amplify that which the deludedindividual most wants to hear or see: "Your servile flatterer alwaysexaggerates what his victim wishes to be put strongly." (Section 26.)Delusion is a close cousin of Discord, which is the changeableness of the mortalworld. Thus the light mind is a sort of fallen angel that has no stake in thetruth of the Self, and every claim to false appearances, without"principle, standing, and solidity." There is no Virtue in suchappearances, and the victim of the flatterer or power-monger is completelydevoid of "clear-sight." His Reason is completely lacking, and so,like a "short-sighted credulous old man," he is easily deceived.(Section 26.)]
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Cicero proposes, in , to follow second century B.C.
English byname TULLY Roman statesman, lawyer, scholar, and writer who vainly tried to uphold republican principles in the final civil wars that destroyed the republic of Rome.