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Freud in Civilization and Its Discontents grouses a fair amount about what he calls this “strange” commandment to “love thy neighbor as thyself.” Failing to make any sense of it, he resolves his discomfort in a footnote:

“A great imaginative writer may permit himself to give expression — jokingly, at all events — to psychological truths that are severely proscribed. Thus Heine confesses: ‘Mine is a most peaceable disposition. My wishes are: a humble cottage with a thatched roof, but a good bed, good food, the freshest milk and butter, flowers before my window, and a few fine trees before my door; and if God wants to make my happiness complete, he will grant me the joy of seeing some six or seven of my enemies hanging from those trees. Before their death I shall, moved in my heart, forgive them all the wrong they did me in their lifetime. One must, it is true, forgive one’s enemies – but not before they have been hanged.'”

A blog seems far less drastic. Welcome to A Fire Under Embers.

Zachary Tumin

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