Category Archives: virtue

Paul Tillich and I: The Courage To Be

Paul Tillich photo

Tillich 1You know this experience, sometimes when you are browsing in a bookshop you come across a book with a wonderful title. This happened to me as  student when I saw a book with this title:

“The courage to be ”

by Paul Tillich

I was going through a hard time and just the title alone helped me as no one I knew had ever said it takes courage to live well.So I bought this book and dipped in. I found it interesting and thoughtful.Sometimes I would just look at the front cover and repeat the title.I had discovered mantra meditation.in a sense.

This morning I was listening to a radio programme  about poetry in England and tidying up. Suddenly my old battered copy fell out of a shelf and into my hand.And I said, thank you. Because I had  lost this companion and now it’s restored to me when I need again to say the words to help me in a personal crisis.

The Courage to Be

And to recognise the power of words on the human mind and thus to take care of  self and others and what we say to them for they too are struggling humans as we ourselves are.

And to discover virtue is not faux piety which suddenly reminded me that Tillich had a weakness for women. He was no plaster saint. I am not saying. I approve.

Had he stayed in Germany he would no doubt have been imprisoned even killed like Dietrich Bonhoeffer.He would not have been silent

Books… they save lives. I was so grateful and still am for education, books, people who talk to me .Had I lived a few years earlier it would have been different.

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/595850/Paul-Tillich/7266/Development-of-his-philosophy

Tillich was expelled from Germany in 1933,the first non-Jewish theologian to have this honor bestowed on him.I never saw him but I love him for his writing.

Loneliness expresses the pain of being alone and solitude expresses the glory of being alone.
Paul Tillich
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/p/paul_tillich.html#y15kkZigwdviBd76.99

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I had finished with Arendt but came across another good article

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/aug/29/hannah-arendt-adolf-eichmann-banality-of-evil of Kant

Interesting as it gives a better definition of what she meant by thinking.And horrifyingly

Eichmann claimed to be a follower of Kant

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Courage

This is very interesting and the whole site is good

http://oates.org/index.php/journal/prior-editions/92-2001/288-schmidt-2001

Extract:

In examining the lives of these quiet heroes, Kohut concluded that they all manifested three features that gave their courage the qualities of groundedness and non-psychosis, but also allowed them to transcend the entrapment of the status quo. These three features were not necessarily equally present in these different individuals but they all seemed to manifest them in obvious measure so that it was clearly discernable by others. These three features are: 1) a sense of humor, 2) the ability to respond to others with empathy, and 3) a deep sense of peace. This latter attribute was especially noteworthy in spite of the intense inner struggle underway in them as they faced their choices and their agonizing consequences. Their personalities seemed filled with a profound sense of serenity, perhaps close to what we would call wisdom. These three elements, especially the sense of peace or serenity, always seemed evident to observers, even to their torturers, persecutors and executioners.

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