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Unformatted text preview: , or acting "intimate" in
any way, is usually disgusting, an offense against "good taste" based on the "bad taste" it arouses in the
observer. In memory we are often disgusted at what we did in the heat of desire, but usually memory itself
does not prevent us from repeating the act; desire itself must slacken. Thus the old are often intensely
disgusted at the conduct of the young, and it is never wise for a young couple to live with older people. For in
the early days of married life the intensity of the intimate feelings needs seclusion in order to avoid disgusting
others. It is no accident that Dame Grundy is depicted as an elderly person with a "sour look"; her prudishness
has an origin in disgust at that which she has outlived. Sometimes the old are wise--not often enough--and
then their humor, love and sympathy keeps them from disgust.
Love counteracts disgust. The young girl who turns in loathing from uncleanliness finds it easy and a pleasure
to care for her soiled baby. In fact, tender feeling of any kind overcomes--or tends to overcome--disgust; and
pity, the tenderest of all feelings and without passion, impels us to march into the very jaws of disgust. The
angry may have no pity,--but they are not less unkind in commission than the disgusted are unkind in
omission. Thus a too refined breeding leads people away from effective pity and that sturdiness of conduct
which is real philanthropy. Indeed, too much of refinement increases the number of disgusting things in the
world; he who must have this or that luxury is not so much pleased with it as disgusted without it. Raising
standards in things material cannot increase the happiness or contentment of the world, for it merely makes
men impatient and disgusted at lesser standards. We cannot hope to increase happiness through the material
improvements of civilization.
Self-disgust and shame are not identical but are so kindred that shame may well be studied here. Shame is
lowered self-valuation, brought on by social or s...
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This note was uploaded on 09/26/2011 for the course PSYCHOLOGY 110 taught by Professor Kannan during the Spring '11 term at Anna University.
- Spring '11