Our higher cognitive functions have two modes: a drive to bias nature towards certain outcomes, and an appreciation of structural symmetry in the arrangement of the universe. In standard three-part models of the soul, bias maps well onto the middle part. Symmetry maps well onto the "upper" part in ancient accounts, but not modern ones. This reflects a real change in how people think. It is a sign of damage. Damage wrought on people's souls – especially among elites – by formal schooling and related pervasive dominance relations in employment. Continue reading
An Euremembered Story
One of the students at a magical school is a werewolf. Every full moon, he transforms into a dangerous monster that attacks anyone around him. He sneaks out once a month to undergo this painful and terrifying involuntary transformation in secret, because he doesn't want to hurt anyone. But he is terribly lonely.
He has friends, but they don't know that he is a werewolf. He wishes they would come with him and help him through his terrible night, but it would be dangerous to them. It's not something he can ask of them. It's okay to be lonely and hurting. It's not okay to injure your friends.
Can he simply tell them his secret and let them make the choice? That would be wrong too. If it were guaranteed to fail at obtaining help, it would just make his friends feel selfish and guilty about abandoning him in his night of pain. If it were guaranteed to succeed, then it's coercing his friends into doing something dangerous for them, that may not be worth the good it does for him. And if two options are immoral, a coin flip between them is also immoral.
Can he hint at it? Can he let people see him going out off the school grounds, away from people, to lock himself into a hidden shack for his transformation? No, for the same reason. If telling people is immoral, so is giving them evidence.
So he keeps his secret. He actively keeps his secret. Every full moon, he prominently goes to the school healer's office, and sneaks out the window. If someone asks, he was sick.
And a few other students wonder why their friend gets disappears from the dormitory one night every month. Then they wonder why he gets sick every month. He won't tell them. He won't even hint at it. He gets angry and tells them to mind their own business.
So they do what a true friend does: