In the modern world, self-control buys a good life indeed. Having self-control to spare is rare enough nowadays that the marketplace lavishes huge rewards on society's scary new self-control elite, those lords of discipline who not only withstood all that boring stuff in graduate school, but keep themselves thin by carefully regulating what they eat after flogging themselves off to the gym at the crack of dawn. It's as if they got the news ahead of the rest of us-no doubt by waking up earlier-that self-control may well be the most important trait of the twenty-first century.
Flowers . . . put up no resistance to attack, suffer evil rather than inflicting it, imitate carnal love, multiply without fighting, and die without complaining. . . . They have realized the dream of Buddha: to desire nothing, to tolerate everything, to be absorbed in oneself to the depths of the unconscious will.