This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
Unformatted text preview: formula, and
either through innuendo, insinuation or direct attack, the "subordinate" statement becomes the most sincere
and significant. But there are those who can admire their conqueror, not only through the masochism that
lurks in all of us, but because they have lifted their ideal of achievement and character higher than their own
possibilities and seek in others the perfection they cannot hope to have in themselves. In other words, where
competition is hopeless, in the presence of the greatly superior, a feeling of humility which is really
admiration to the point of worship comes over us, and we can glory in the quality we love. To admire is to
recede the ego-feeling, is to feel oneself in an ecstasy that becomes mystical, and in that sense the
contradiction arises that we feel ourselves larger in a unification with the admired one.
Each age, each country, each group and each family set up the objects and qualities for admiration, in a word,
the ideals. Out of these the individual selects his specialties in admiration, according to his nature and
training. All the world admires vigor, strength, courage and endurance,--and these in their physical aspects.
The hero of all times has had these qualities: he is energetic, capable of feats beyond the power of others, is CHAPTER IX. 80 fearless and bears his ills with equanimity. Beauty, especially in the woman, but also in man, has received an
over-great share of homage, but here "tastes differ." We have no difficulty in agreement on what constitutes
strength, and we have objective tests for its measurement; but who can agree on beauty? What one race prizes
as its fairest is scorned by another race. We laugh at the ideal of beauty of the Hottentot, and the physical
peculiarity they praise most either disgusts or amuses us. But what is there about a white skin more lovely
than a black one, and why thrill over blue eyes and neglect the brown ones? What is the rationale for the
admiration of slimness as against stoutness? Indeed, there are races w...
View Full Document
- Spring '11