October 26th, 2007


Walking the Path Again: Virtues (moderation)

In reviewing the virtue of moderation last night, I noticed something interesting: I had trouble really defining it, cosmologically.

Now, I have no trouble understanding many of the other virtues from a cosmological standpoint: integrity is about the maintenance of relationships, piety is about reaffirming (or recreating) the cosmos, perseverance is about drive toward what is right, and hospitality is the central aspect of our ritual work.

I have spent a lot of time in these essays discussing how each of these virtues fits the Rta (or the orlog). I am a bit curious as to why I didn't relate moderation to the Rta as quickly as I have the others. I am feeling very much, at this point, like I have missed a key of moderation, a particular point that will cause me to see the Rta in this virtue.

So far, I think about it, basically, "as creating the fertile ground from which things can grow." There's a sense of quiet excellence that is formed from moderation, one that shines more brightly and more enduringly than the fast-burning excellence that lacks a long-range plan. Moderation creates a position from which things may grow healthfully, rather than recklessly.

I am not sure I like my moderation essay. I need to think more about how moderation affects the cosmos, and how the cosmos exhibits moderation, before I can say that I'm comfortable with the thoughts expressed in the essay.

Perhaps moderation, to me, is a synthesis between the chaos of potential and the ordering of the cosmos. It is maintainable, focuses on the ordinary, and creates excellence from a strong, supported place.

"Sail the main course, sail it in a simple, sturdy craft.
Keep her well stocked with short stories and long laughs;
Fast enough to get there, but slow enough to see,
Moderation seems to be the key!
    -Jimmy Buffett, "Barometer Soup"