[revisiting..adding to.. page while reading erich fromm‘s escape from freedom]

since original referred to hubris of art.. calling this hubris of rights


there is peace and no necessity to work; there is no choice, no freedom no thinking either. man is forbidden to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.. from the standpoint of man.. this is the beginning of human freedom.. acting against god’s order means freeing himself from coercion..

i don’t buy that.. if god was going to be coercive.. adam and eve wouldn’t have had that choice to make in the first place .. i believe his warning (or whatever you call it) had more to do with the corruption knowledge can bring.. ie: thinking you are gods.. powering/lording it over others others.. et al.. which we seem to have pretty substantial proof that that is true

knowledge as a means of power.. as an end in itself (whatever).. is a disturbance to our ecosystem

god proclaims war between man and woman, and war between nature and man.. man has become separate from nature, he has *taken the first step toward becoming human by becoming an ‘individual

i’m thinking it’s more about man and woman *taking first step toward feeling entitled-to-be-worshiped/hubris-of-rights/et-al


wikipedia small

Hubris (/ˈhjuːbrɪs/ from ancient Greek ὕβρις) describes a personality quality of extreme or foolish pride or dangerous overconfidence, often in combination with (or synonymous with) arrogance. In its ancient Greek context, it typically describes behavior that defies the norms of behavior or challenges the gods, and which in turn brings about the downfall, or nemesis, of the perpetrator of hubris.

The adjectival form of the noun hubris is “hubristic”. Hubris is usually perceived as a characteristic of an individual rather than a group, although the group the offender belongs to may suffer collateral consequences from the wrongful act. Hubris often indicates a loss of contact with reality and an overestimation of one’s own competence, accomplishments or capabilities.

C. S. Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity that pride is the “anti-God” state, the position in which the ego and the self are directly opposed to God: “Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere fleabites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind

In ancient Greek, hubris referred to actions that shamed and humiliated the victim for the pleasure or gratification of the abuser. The term had a strong sexual connotation, and the shame reflected upon the perpetrator as well.

Violations of the law against hubris included what might today be termed assault and battery; sexual crimes; or the theft of public or sacred property.


In ancient Athens, hubris was defined as the use of violence to shame the victim (this sense of hubris could also characterize rape). Aristotle defined hubris as shaming the victim, not because of anything that happened to the committer or might happen to the committer, but merely for that committer’s own gratification:

to cause shame to the victim, not in order that anything may happen to you, nor because anything has happened to you, but merely for your own gratification. Hubris is not the requital of past injuries; this is revenge. As for the pleasure in hubris, its cause is this: naive men think that by ill-treating others they make their own superiority the greater.

Crucial to this definition are the ancient Greek concepts of honour (τιμή, timē) and shame (αἰδώς, aidōs). The concept of honour included not only the exaltation of the one receiving honour, but also the shaming of the one overcome by the act of hubris. This concept of honour is akin to a zero-sum game. Rush Rehm simplifies this definition of hubris to the contemporary concept of “insolence, contempt, and excessive violence”.

In Greek mythology, when a figure’s hubris offends the gods of ancient Greece, it is usually punished; examples of such hubristic, sinful humans include Icarus, Phaethon, Arachne, Salmoneus, Niobe, Cassiopeia, and Tereus.

In its modern usage, hubris denotes overconfident pride combined with arrogance. Hubris is often associated with a lack of humility. Sometimes a person’s hubris is also associated with ignorance. The accusation of hubris often implies that suffering or punishment will follow, similar to the occasional pairing of hubris and nemesis in Greek mythology. The proverb “pride goeth (goes) before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall” (from the biblical Book of Proverbs, 16:18) is thought to sum up the modern use of hubris. Hubris is also referred to as “pride that blinds” because it often causes a committer of hubris to act in foolish ways that belie common sense. In other words, the modern definition may be thought of as, “that pride that goes just before the fall.”

Examples of hubris are often found in literature, most famously in John Milton’s Paradise Lost, in which Lucifer attempts to compel the other angels to worship him, is cast into hell by God and the innocent angels, and proclaims: “Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven.” Victor in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein manifests hubris in his attempt to become a great scientist by creating life through technological means, but comes to regret his project. Marlowe’s play Doctor Faustus portrays the eponymous character as a scholar whose arrogance and pride compel him to sign a deal with the Devil, and retain his haughtiness until his death and damnation, despite the fact that he could easily have repented had he chosen to do so.


[originally added page while reading seth’s icarus]

i learned another new word from Seth Godin, in the Icarus Deception, hubris.

i don’t think he’s talking about it the way wikipedia does, or the dictionaries do, but perhaps that’s the point. redefining things as equity, as awaken-ness, as ownership of the day,  as …

hubris of art

Hubris is the enemy of this ruling class. Hubris means that you have the voice to challenge authority and the guts to stand up and speak out. It’s not surprising, then, that the only part of the Icarus story we’re left with is the warning about hubris. The hubris of art, though, is precisely what we need right now.

Some ways Seth describes hubris in Icarus:

The industrial economy has demanded that we be true. It pushed our parents to ensure that we would be true, and their parents before them. The economy was hungry, hungry for the compliant worker, the one who would fit his round head into the round hole, his square hands into the square holes. And why not? To do otherwise is to mess up the machine. We must no longer care about messing up the machine.

..industrialists amplified the shame of hubris to keep us in line.

We’ve built layers of propaganda to reinforce the false humility of the worker who settles for less and for the student who doesn’t ask difficult questions and for the artist who hides her art out of fear of offending someone.


unself consciousness