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This blog makes liberal use of AB's journals, letters, travel notes, and other sources.

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Wednesday, 25 June 2014


Friday, June 25th., Amberley, Sussex.

I walked in the morning along my now-fixed Storrington Road, which suits me very well for thinking because it is not distracting, and then I began to write. 900 words before lunch, 500 before tea and 500 after tea: after which I went for a walk on the Downside with Dorothy.

Hearing a "Twilight of the Gods" record on Thursday night, I had a mood for really lifting up the love scene between Harriet and Luke today in "The Vanguard": but I doubt if actually I did lift it up very much. 

For some time now I have been of the view that 'morality' is meaningless. This based on the obvious fact that exceptions can easily be found for any moral principle, so what is the point? However, the other day I was listening to a lecture about control of the mind, something which has always been close to my heart, and was presented with an argument for moral behaviour I had not previously considered. To whit, that it is sensible to strive to comply with certain basic moral precepts because the act of so doing has a beneficial and restorative effect on the mind; conversely, that a failure to act 'morally' has a corrosive impact on the mind, making serenity impossible. There may be something in this.

The lecturer suggested that there are five precepts common to religious and secular ethical systems: not to harm others; not to steal; to be temperate in language; to be sexually continent; to avoid intoxication/addiction. Each was elaborated and reference made to examples from a variety of sources including the Buddha and St. Augustine. It was suggested to the audience to each make a personal 'moral inventory' as a first step. I shall give this some thought.

Additionally for June 25th., see 'Another first night'

Another oath broken. After some fantastic experiences at my own first nights, I had sworn never to attend another. But when I told the authorities of Covent Garden that I should not be present at the first performance of the Goossens-Me opera "Judith", there was such horrified, outraged protest that I accepted a box on the spot.

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