A&O – The Golden Mean – nothing in excess

ART & ORGANISM

The Golden Mean

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“Appearing in Greek thought at least as early as the Delphic Maxim nothing to excess and emphasized in later Aristotelian philosophy, the golden mean or golden middle way is the desirable middle between two extremes, one of excess and the other of deficiency.[1]

 

 

EXCESSES, DEFICIENCIES, The Golden Mean 

  • CHANGE — there are countless everyday microstressors that keep us balanced, maintaining homeostasis — but the “subclinical stress” they can invoke when sufficiently accumulated can make us more susceptible to acute stressors.  That is, all change evokes more-or-less of a stress response (to real or perceived inability to meet biological needs) which can at its extreme seem an existential threat. 
    • For example, “In the course of centuries the naïve self-love of men has had to submit to two major blows at the hands of science. The first was when they learnt that our earth was not the centre of the universe but only a tiny fragment of a cosmic system of scarcely imaginable vastness… the second blow fell when biological research destroyed man’s supposedly privileged place in creation and proved his descent from the animal kingdom and his ineradicable animal nature… But human megalomania will have suffered its third and most wounding blow from the psychological research of the present time which seeks to prove to the ego that it is not even master in its own house, but must content itself with scanty information of what is going on unconsciously in its mind.”  — Sigmund Freud (1916. Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalyis (1916), in James Strachey (ed.), The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud (1963), Vol. 16, 284-5.) (from ORICL lecture on “Science and Spirituality”)

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EXAMPLE from INDIVIDUATION and SOCIALIZATION: