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The Farmer Triad of Virtues: Moderation

To be edited.
Est modus in rebus / sunt certi denique fines.
There is a measure to all things, there are certain boundaries.

To gain an insight into Moderation, let´s take a closer look at the word´s Latin origin. “Modus” is one of the words with abundance of readings. Measure, bound, limit, manner, method, mode, way – the importance of this, in my opinion underestimated Virtue, goes way further than “knowing your measure” (common Czech euphemism for not getting drunk).

The root “mir” in “Umírněnost”, direct equivalent of Moderation, used to carry two meanings, and it still does in other Slavic languages, 1. peace and 2. world. It points out to the ancient idea that world is, in its substance, an ordered place, the organised cosmos, Greek “cosmos” being something orderly arranged, a pattern. War was seen, in its essence, as something breaking the divine peace/order (Pax Romana).

Moderation is the complex, subtle force and joined effort of many that keeps the world from falling into chaos. I think moderation is undervalued among our virtues, because it implies mutual dependence. It manifests in person´s health and well-being, for sure, but also in the well-being and “health” of whole societies. Pagans, when contemplating moderation, mostly pour the libation to the notion that excessive drinking isn´t beneficial to your health, well, ya know, I do a little bit of exercise, lets move on to something more exciting, like Courage or Honour.

And it´s true there´s nothing glamorous or exciting about putting every deed of yours on the scales of Maat. By being moderate in your words, thoughts and actions you promote the sacred order and save yourself from lessons given to those who forget the ancient Greek "Nothing in excess". To me, moderation is the meta-virtue, tying all the threads together.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 2nd, 2008 01:23 am (UTC)
How would you apply this virtue concretely to your life?

Your reviewer might ask you questions like these, I suspect.

> the same ethos that rules American military operations – the belief of bringing order and peace, sacred in their nature, to the world.

Order and peace *via democracy*, maybe. I'm not sure if it could really be called sacred. Quasi-sacred perhaps, if you accept the idea of nationalism as a "quasi-religion." It may be the ethos enabling American military propaganda, but probably not behind American military operations IMO.
Oct. 2nd, 2008 09:25 am (UTC)
I omitted the American thing. The end will need to add something more... mmm, let me think.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )