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Welcome to Balthasar Gracian's "The Art of Worldly Wisdom" mailing list and website. In the 1600s, Balthasar Gracian, a jesuit priest, wrote 300 aphorisms on living life effectively called "The Art of Worldly Wisdom." The book stays relevent to modern day society and has been used such as Machiavelli's "The Prince" or Sun Tzu's "The Art of War" as a guidebook for everything from business to sports.

This website is updated daily with a new aphorism that is also sent out via email and RSS to our subscribers. For further reading consider this Balthasar Gracian biography or this searchable version of "The Art of Worldly Wisdom".

Aphorism #155
The Art of getting into a Passion.

If possible, oppose vulgar importunity with prudent reflection; it will not be difficult for a really prudent man. The first step towards getting into a passion is to announce that you are in a passion. By this means you begin the conflict with command over your temper, for one has to regulate one's passion to the exact point that is necessary and no further. This is the art of arts in falling into and getting out of a rage. You should know how and when best to come to a stop: it is most difficult to halt while running at the double. It is a greatproof of wisdom to remain clear-sighted during paroxysms of rage. Every excess of passion is a digression from rational conduct. But by this masterly policy reason will never be transgressed, nor pass the bounds of its own synteresis. To keep control of passion one must hold firm the reins of attention: he who can do so will be the first man "wise on horseback," and probably the last.

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