09 Sep It is easier for them to put up with others than to tolerate them-selves. (A. SCHOPENHAUER)
Generally speaking, every man can be in the most perfect harmony only with himself, not with his friend or even with his betrothed. For differences of individuality and temperament always produce a discord, although only slight. Therefore genuine tranquility of the heart and perfect peace of mind, the highest blessings on earth after health, are to be found only in solitude and, as a permanent disposition, only in the deepest seclusion. If, then, a man’s own self is great and rich, he enjoys the happiest state that can be found in this miserable world. Indeed, let us be frank; however intimately anyone may be tied by friendship, love, and marriage, in the end he quite honestly looks only to himself and at most to his child.
Now it follows from all this that he is best off who has depended on himself and can be all in all to himself. It is a certain feeling of self-sufficiency which restrains those of intrinsic merit and wealth from making the considerable sacrifices that are demanded by intercourse with others, let alone from seeking such associations by obviously denying themselves.
The opposite of this makes ordinary people so sociable and accommodating; since it is easier for them to put up with others than to tolerate them-selves. In addition, it should be remembered that in this world what has real value is not esteemed and what is esteemed has no value. The proof and consequence of this is that seclusion of every man of eminence and distinction.
In accordance with all this, it will be genuine wisdom of life in the man who in himself is worth anything if, in case of need, he limits his requirements in order to preserve or extend his freedom and, in consequence, he has as few dealings as possible with his fellow-men, for relations with them are unavoidable.
Parerga and Paralipomena