The difficulty of proposing the proper end is an observation about the obstacles, pitfalls and difficulties that men suffer, religious or not, in establishing our goals ... and that it is not "going to chance" -now we would say the lack of pre-planning, lack of preparation-. Jaime Balmes points out that many of those who ...

Difficulty of proposing the due end

Difficulty of proposing the due end

The difficulty of proposing the proper end is an observation about the obstacles, pitfalls and difficulties that men suffer, religious or not, when setting our goals ... and that it is not "going to chance" -now we would say the lack of prior planning, the lack of preparation. Jaime Balmes points out that many of those who have come to occupy prominent positions or achieved extraordinary achievements, have not done so according to definite plans but because of the chance that moves us like the wind to the grains of sand.

See here the fragment we alluded to:

" I'm not talking about the ultimate goal here; This is happiness in the afterlife and religion leads us to it. Deal only with the secondary, (1) how to reach the right position in society, carry out a business, get out of a difficult situation, win the friendship of a person, beware of shots of an adversary, to undo an intrigue that threatens us, to build an artifact that proves, to propose a system of politics, of finance or administration, to tear down an institution that feels harmful, and other similar things.

At first glance, it seems that whenever a man works, he must keep in mind the goal that he proposes, and not as he wants, but in a clear, determined, fixed way. However, observation teaches that it is not so; and that there are many, very many, even among the active and energetic, those who walk a little less than at random. (3) (4)

It happens a thousand times that we attribute to men more plan than they have had. Seeing them occupy a very high position, be it by reputation, or by the functions they exercise, we are inclined naturally to suppose them to be a fixed object, with detained premeditation, with a vast combination of designs, with a long foresight of obstacles, with insightful knowledge of the true nature of the end and its relations with the means that lead to it. Oh, and how much cheating! Man in all social conditions, in all circumstances of life, is always man, that is, a very small thing . (5) Little knower of himself, without usually forming clear ideas about the quality or the scope of his strength, sometimes believing himself to be more powerful, sometimes weaker than he is in reality, find himself with very often doubtful, perplexed, without knowing where he is going or where he is going. Moreover, for him it is often a mystery what is best for him; so that doubts about their strengths increase with doubts about their self-interest . " (1)

Jaime Balmes , The Criterion , in its chapter XXII-2. Practical Knowledge.

The difficulty of planning is more in the maintenance of the same -the take it to safe harbor-, submitted as it is to chaotic forces, that the technical difficulty of planning or laziness in initiating it. The man "often finds himself doubtful, perplexed, without knowing where he is going or where he is going.They are two attitudes that involve the use of two different types of intelligence. In the first case, we resort to logical intelligence, typical of the analytical and linear reasoning in which we have all been instructed. In the second, we draw on the mystic intelligence that is a holistic and curved intelligence, which we use intuitively because nobody has ever told us about it or taught us to develop it. Disorder speaks of that other intelligence, today completely unknown, but common in the life of the ancient Greeks, which combined intellectual knowledge and skills such as sagacity, ingenuity, creativity, flexibility of spirit, audacity, vigilant attention, intuition, experience or the sense of opportunity. "(2)

True, we need both. And it is more than likely that while the first is very noticeable, the second approach will go unnoticed.

Meditate on it.

Follow health, logic ... and mystically, of course.

Miguel Villarroya Martín , February 8, 2016/Madrid. Spain/


(1) The author is deeply Catholic and therefore subordinates all material ends of Man the only principal for it, according to his belief: achieve happiness in the afterlife. Even if you do not believe that, do not miss the advisability of following the instructions of Jaime Balmes to achieve the rest of the earthly goals.

(2) Disorder strong>, by Daniel Solana. LID Editorial/Collection: Business Action/ISBN: 9788483562246. The image used corresponds to its cover of the 1st Edition. November 2015.

(3) Many of the things that happen to us - even the extraordinary ones - happen to us by chance, without our having looked for them. In a complex and chaotic world as in which we are the words of Balmes give in the center of the target and is that many of the achievements, apparent consequences of the implementation of strategic plans, are due to chance.

(4) Going to chance : Spectacular concept and happy expression that identifies, for better or for worse, the course of many men. > Balmes criticizes this behavior but in light of our current state of Knowledge about Complex Reality, a certain go to the chance seems appropriate.

(5) Small in front of God, it is understood, but even so Balmes is optimistic about the capacity of the Man to dominate the Creation. (Or Nature, if you like this expression more.)

(6) Man neither knows his own strengths nor manages to articulate sometimes what he wants to achieve, the author tells us.

To avoid this bad situation can be deduced then, for the man with common sense, the following two tasks:

a) The increase of knowledge of himself and his capabilities. Analysis, introspection, reflection and assumption of the current state of each will be the first step to obtain the earthly benefits. It is clear, of course, of updating their abilities through training and work. Y:

b) The clarification of what you want to achieve. We have already commented more times, even in this same issue of this magazine, you can not reach, except by chance, a target that does not distinguish clearly and to which we do not aim.

In addition to the handling of disorder or Chaos that surrounds us, we add.

(7) Everything therefore absolutely current, as you see in spite of the years that have elapsed, in the work you can find teachings that will serve you today. Reread the Balmes text again. It will do you good. Digital versions of this work can be found on the Internet, although our suggestion is to buy copies of editions annotated by different current experts. But however you learn from this philosopher.A digital edition of The Criterion can be found at:

(8) The photograph of Jaime Balmes used, fact that we appreciate, we have taken from the Wikipedia where it appears as public domain . It is a lithograph of the printer N. González and is stored in the National Library of Spain. In this link you can also see a biography of that author.

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