The above quotation and the pictures really push buttons conditioned in me from childhood: my masculine buttons, idealistic buttons, Christianity buttons, right wing conservative buttons. It feels really good, makes me want to climb up on some soapbox and preach to the masses, then march off to fight some righteous war.
But notice, the main advice is to keep pure and strive toward one’s highest ideal. What the fuck kind of useless advice is that? It sounds good but it’s hollow. That’s what people have claimed as their excuse all throughout history. Look where that has gotten us.
What is the highest ideal? Take a survey: there is no consensus on this. There never will be. So, this advice is essentially meaningless, even on an individual level. But this and other phrases like it have an hypnotic power. They lure us with the promise of false certainty; they discourage free thought.
Turn to your own experience. What have you learned from your own experiences? How have you been impacted by them? What did you feel? And digesting everything, how do you make sense of it all? What are the patterns. THINK.