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Unformatted text preview: . In his early youth his passions outran his
inhibitions, and he tasted of this type of experience with the same gusto with which he delved into books. As
he reached early manhood he fell in love and pledged himself to chastity. Though he fell out of love soon his
pledge remained in full force, and though he cursed himself as a fool he held himself aloof from sex
adventure. When he was twenty-seven he again fell in love, had an impetuous and charming courtship and
married. He loves his wife, and there is in their intimacy a buoyant yet controlled passion which values love
for its own sake. He enters into his duties as father with the same zeal and appetite that characterizes his every
O. is no mystic, proclaiming his unity with all existence, in the fashion of Walt Whitman. Rather he is a man
with a huge capacity for pleasure, not easily disgusted or annoyed, with desires that reach in every direction
yet with controlled purpose to guide his life. As he passes into middle age he finds his pleasures narrowing, as
all men do, and he finds his appetites and tastes are becoming more restricted. This is because his purpose
becomes more dominant, his habits are more imperious, his energy less exuberant. In thought O. is almost a
pessimist because his knowledge of life, his intelligence and his sympathy make it difficult to understand the
need of suffering, of disease and of conflict. But in emotion he still remains an optimist, glad to be alive at
any price and rejoicing in the life of all things.
Apropos of this contradiction between thought and mood, it is sometimes found reversed. There are those
whose philosophy is optimistic, who will not see aught but good in the world, yet whose facial expression and
actions exhibit an essential melancholy.
In every category of character there are spets, individuals whose main reactions are built around one
great trait. Thus there are those whose egoism takes the form of pride in family, or in personal beauty, or some
intellectual capacity, or in being independent...
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- Spring '11