given at the Aesthetic Realism Foundation
4. Good Will Is a Oneness Of
Confidence and Self-Doubt
There is a beautiful self-doubt a man wants and needs to have because
wants to see whatever there may be in himself that may have a weakening
affect on himself or another person. He has to learn how to criticize
desire to have contempt. He needs to question himself and say with
and pride, "I was wrong," or, "I don't know," because being fair to
person is such a large matter. Arrogance about this will make a man
less of himself and also be mean. Mr. Siegel said to me in an Aesthetic
In order to be pleased with oneself one has to
ask many things
of oneself...do you think your effect on people now is good?
EDF: I feel it is.
ES: Can that be taken as having a little doubt?
ES: What you are going for, and I recommend you not
hurry it, is that
you feel your effect on people particularly women, is good. When a
isn't sure of himself he complains of others. When you are unsure make
others [seem] cruel. That's the answer. Does Miss Stanton give you
ES: Do you think you are sure your effect on her would
do her good?
EDF: No I' m not.
I was unsure but I didn't want to criticize myself. I
wanted to conquer
a woman and was quick to act hurt and defensive when she objected. I
Mr. Siegel what it would mean to be sure and he said:
It would mean that everything that happens to you
confirms an opinion.
If one thing happens after another and everything confirms the one
you are sure. It's continuity under various circumstances.
And then Mr. Siegel said what I'm so happy to feel
Mr. DeFilippis is fortunate in so far as he has
a chance to
look at his purposes and be a critic of himself.
Being able to criticize myself and continuing to learn how, in classes
taught by Ellen Reiss, has had a tremendous affect on me. It has
me to have a life I'm proud of and to be happily married to Maureen
who is a writer and who is studying to teach Aesthetic Realism. I love
Maureen for the good affect she's had on me in the 12 years of our
for encouraging me to be stronger and more sure of myself, to be a more
thoughtful and kinder person.
As I studied the life of Ty Cobb I saw how pained he was
didn't hear criticism of his contempt. He was, wrote Fred
and notoriously a difficult person to live with." Cobb was married
His first marriage which included five children, ended in a divorce
40 years. His second marriage sometime later lasted only two years.
like myself and many men, did not see wanting to know the feelings of a
woman as necessary.
The uncertainty he felt about himself I think can be
seen in these words:
I was like a steel spring with a growing and
in it. If it is wound too tight or has the slightest weak point, the
will fly apart and then it is done for.
Cobb retired from baseball in 1928. He was 42 and independently wealthy
having a fortune which he made as he put it "...pitting myself against
the odds found in the financial world." He had what many men have felt
would make them sure of themselves. Yet for all his wealth and fame,"
Cobb never achieved contentment. In his long
was restless, often irascible, repeatedly involved in unpleasantries
public and private...Much of the time in his last years he spent being
bitter, resentful and lonely.
It was the tragedy of Ty Cobb's life that he didn't know his contempt
ill will caused him so much pain, and self-doubt. In a conversation
movie comic Joe E. Brown some months before he died in 1961, Cobb
about his life:
I was aggressive, perhaps too aggressive, maybe
I went too
far. I always had to be right in any argument I was in, and wanted to
the first in everything.
Some days later he continued with regret:
Joe, I do indeed think I would have done things
And if I had, I would have had more friends.
Eli Siegel was the person in this world who had the most good will for
people. And, through the study of Aesthetic Realism, men can learn how
to really be confident and have honest self respect and pride.
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