So, I aim, in my better moments, to produce. And of that which I can produce, I have decided that the production of the producer is first and foremost for its own sake and also for the sake of any earthly prosperity that is made possible by forces I cannot control. Call it fortune or misfortune. But whichever comes my way, whichever way the wind blows, my production will be best for the production of the producer. I call that which is the end of the production of the producer virtue. It is like gold.
A problem emerges. I aim at the best from less than the best. I have not what would be best to produce, my constitution hardly permits an adequate model, and I lack the very powers that are necessary for production, virtue. This is quite of a quandary.
To add to the difficulty time ticks. The ticking in particular is all that I assert. That there is something above and beyond it called Time I know not. But each moment passes either well lived or poorly and given my poverty of spirit I am hardly the one to sovereignly determine how the moment is passed. Yet, there is no other to do the maintenance here. No other feeds the demon. No other slays the demon.
So, what is to be done to initiate the process that will increase the probability of the good life for he who, in his inadequacy, wills it? His expectations about how much it will cost are off. His expectations about how long it will take to produce are off. His expectations of what it will feel like are wildly mistaken. He knows, by knowing his own inadequacy, all of this without knowing the accurate expectations with which to trade inadequacy for adequacy.
What of living without expectation? What of aiming at best, knowing it to be inadequately formulated, without condition? What of total commitment without qualification to the best, to virtue though it is inadequately understood?
What of a plan to ignore expectation and be without? First, it is best given the inadequacy of he who is expecting. Second, it is likely to not hold given he who is going in for the ignoring. What needs he?
He needs patience. He needs willingness to wait for clarity while moving forward. He needs willingness to begin moving forward again always toward what is best whenever what is best has willingly been relinquished. But patience he hardly has. Yet he can act like he has it. He can will patient-lie activity though the old he that wants to not be ignored rages.
Aristotle’s is the insight. Virtuous character comes from acting virtuously. That is, the inner virtue is formed by willing that which would naturally follow from a virtuous character. Will and virtue are not the same. And virtue is NOT willed. Virtue is a product of willed activity. And once the power is achieved it enables the more difficult activity and enables it to be done better.
Patience. Even for he who aims high there are going to be mistakes. Even for he who sets out to reform what has been poorly done. The aiming high is one thing. The staying in the high aim is another. I know of no other than patience that enables the staying and persevering in that which feels unnatural because the old is not yet new.
Forget expectation. Forget when. Forget signs. Just aim and keep aiming, patiently. And if aim is given up be patient enough with the one who failed to work with hime until he re-aims. He has no other. And you are stuck with him. Be patient.
One of the, if not the, most magical moments is the moment when the new sprout emerges. Hark back to the dropping of the inert and dry seed some time ago. Retrace the days that were spent canvassing the ground looking for signs. Remember the moment of, “There is no way. I guess it didn’t work.” Then, return to the green sprout pushing its new head so as to crack the soil and thrust up new life. That is what patience brings. It brings from the soil of soul just as much as the soil of earth. Patience is so good.