(Official Translations: Arabic, English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Standard Mandarin)
VIRTUE THROUGH VICE
Author: Iullius son of Iuppiter
Original published date: Couldn't be found
Republished with alterations: 2019
To give you an understanding of what it is I write, I wish for you to know what I believe about these matters. I believe that any vice can be used to create virtue if one only works to do so. I do not believe to conquer a vice one can only fight directly against it, but rather I believe they should work around it.
Vice: A temptation, desire, or inclination, for something which may prove detrimental to society or oneself. So for below, understand I am referring to those which are used as Vices, and not their normal forms. Most of the vices can be tamed using the others.
Of these I believe are the Eminent Four:
Pride: This is something I am prone to myself. It is to believe oneself better then one is. Self confidence is not pride itself, but pride may sometimes appear to be self-confidence. Though the term pride may be used in another way which doesn’t mean the vice.
Wrath: Not innately wrong. Wrath occurs when one is unjustly angered about something they should not be, or which does not deserve that much anger.
Greed: A desire for more which is undeserving of oneself. I believe Envy and Gluttony to merely be subordinate forms of greed. Envy to desire more in comparison to another, and gluttony to merely be a desiring of more food for pleasure.
Indiscipline: Under this I rank sloth and fickleness. Seemingly opposites. Indiscipline is where ones will to act or not to act is weak, and there is a desire which is often quick to ignore anything but that which is most pleasing to oneself at the time. Those who are heavily lacking in discipline will either be quick to move from point to point, with little or no regard for its results. Or who don’t want to move from any point at all and prefer little activity. Sometimes all it takes for a fickle person to become a slothful person is a single shocking instant that took away their energy. That is why I consider them of the same count. I will treat fickleness and slothfulness separately when challenging them, but consider them of the same overarching vice.
One must understand conquering pride is not always possible. It is such an innate feeling for those who have it in abundance, that its loss might be more disastrous than good and they may turn to indiscipline.
To conquer pride one must attempt to reach the worth you placed upon yourself. You believe yourself worthy of being a king? Prove it. You believe you are worth more than a homeless man? Prove it. Consider your worth only as your contributions to society, not to yourself. Because what you are to you does not matter. Consider yourself worth much or little, if you strive for everything you can to be worth something to society, then you are worth something. Take this from a man who six gods attacked, one of those being their king and my father. And who was well on the way to creating a kingdom of my own. Even the smallest child, trying their hardest, is worth something. But if you have in your possession great riches, and use them only to belittle others and increase your wealth, and could be replaced by any other man, you are worth little. So prove your worth to society, use that wealth, or your skill, or your intelligence, maybe even your pride itself, to aid or inspire others so that they see you for what you want them to see you for. So that your pride in yourself is fulfilled. If you truly have pride, then people will not believe you are worth as much as you think you are, unless you prove it to them through actions.
To sate pride with another vice is hard, but pride can be used to sate or calm other vices. But, since pride can be sated with achievements more then any but greed, it remains fixable
A difficult one to fix, because wrath in itself is a natural sensation. Anger towards injustice. Wrath as a vice comes when it is not an injustice to the extent of the anger. When a minor insult brings a fistfight. Those who are wrathful would do well to use it like adrenaline. Feel that anger, but then feel that it has caused the body to work harder and faster in those moments of wrath. If it is in a fight, use it to make oneself stronger, but remain aware of your actions. It is in a non-athletic situation where wrath can be especially problematic. As wrath itself may be scorned, regardless of the actions taken, which only incites more wrath. If this occurs, think ahead, look to where you can use your wrath. Where you can spend it in the future without the end result being more problematic than what you have currently. Wrath and indiscipline are the most problematic of the vices, because Pride and greed can be sated by achievement. But Indiscipline and Wrath must be bargained with. Make deals with your anger. If it is a person who angers you, make yourself better than they are.
How to tame it with other vices:
Pride: It is beneath you to be wrathful over this, control yourself, and control your wrath, and you shall come out on top.
Greed: If I strike out, I cannot gain what I desire because I will not be worthy of it. And those who are unworthy may face just punishment.
Sloth: Wrath wastes too much time
Fickleness: Just find something else to do.
To tame greed, earn it. Much like pride. Use that feeling of wanting more to get it. But do this by reasonable means. You want great wealth, learn what you need to learn, then work, and work, to achieve that goal. Some people spend years in preparation, then achieve wealth quickly. I have only to tell you that in doing so, remember others. Keep them in your mind as you spend, give to them what you might have found useful. Pieces of what they need. Do this, and most will be less likely to take more from you. In this way you not only please yourself, but others.
To help tame greed through other vices:
Pride: I do not need this, I am worth more than this and it would only reduce me for me to take it unnecessarily.
Indiscipline: This is not worth getting. I want to spend my time on other things.
A lack of will has been solved by other means. Such as practicing will. It is in a way the root of most wrong acts. And for this I see indiscipline as the most dangerous of all the Vices. But I shall focus on that which I have stated already, Sloth and Fickleness.
Sloth: You can’t tame sloth. For sloth is not an action, but a lack of meaningful action. Some people are only slothful in specific parts of their lives, like work, or eating, or enjoying themselves. Yes, I do consider the act of never enjoying oneself a potential act of sloth. Because for humans it is dangerous to go without joy for too long, and can lead to a worse act of sloth.
To aid sloth with other vices:
Pride: If I do not act, I will be worth less then I am or should be.
Wrath: I must act to calm my anger/achieve its goals.
Greed: If I do not act I will not get that which I desire.
You must, rather, merely choose to act with the intention of not acting afterwards. Why do you sit down? You’re tired. That’s fine. Get up anyway. Do everything you need to do in the shortest amount of time possible, be the most efficient being ever, and you will have more time to do that which you want, or often, do very little at all.
Fickleness: Fickleness is very hard to tame. Because it is the most active of the vices. Like a very hyper dog or a child, it moves from point to point, interest to interest, or even morality to morality, very quickly. To defeat fickleness, you must force yourself to find something with which to cling to as a constant. This could be another vice even. Then, when about to hop to something you shouldn’t, tell yourself it could damage that which you must keep as a constant. If you are too fickle, you may not get to keep being fickle. It is ok to be fickle to enjoy oneself, but in doing so, you must prove yourself useful. Always find a way to stick to that constant, or your fickleness will become un-tamable. And you will end up doing something which prevents you from doing it at all in the future.
To aid Fickleness with other vices:
Pride: Acting this erratically will make me less than I am, like a moth, who follows any light to his own demise.
Wrath: If I do not focus on relieving the injustice of my rage I will not finish it.
Greed: If I flutter back and forth so much I will never get what I want and may not keep what I have.
These instructions may not work for everyone, but by using this guide, some may be able to get a better hold on what to do with their vices. Sometimes resistance is important to handle a vice, many times it is, but I believe redirection of a problem may be better than facing it directly every time. If a person has issues in following these, I am willing to discuss it with them. Or takes issue with my guide, please, inform me.