As human beings we inhabit structures. We inhabit walls. We put ourselves inside confinements and boxes. These confinements and boxes are in two senses. The walls inside ourselves are carried by our internal dialogue, the self-talk that goes on, on an ongoing basis that leeches attention out of the moment that confronts you. The external walls are those walls that are built to protect us from things as they are. The world as it is.
Whatever they do to you: they can imprison you, break your legs, hang you upside down by your toenails. They can torture you for a hundred years until you die. One freedom they can never take away from you is your right to define the character of the world around you. And that’s all that matters. Because all of us are going to end in the grave, including the Melemas of the world. So what does matter? All that matters is your capacity to affirm the world. Nothing else matters.
Virtue without deliberateness is not virtue at all – it is habit. Virtue that is based on the habituated response of the good person to social conditioning is not virtue, because it is not the will of a free being. It is not the willing submission of a free being.