More Intellectual Virtues

Black Trillium
Marion Zimmer Bradely, Julian May, Andre Norton

The quest both individual and collective is to achieve balance. It is a psychological quest. The key is knowledge: its possession and disposition.

"And when you have this knowledge, what do you do with it?"

"What do you mean?" Haramis asked.

"Would you use knowledge to hurt and destroy, to manipulate and bend others to your will?"

"Of course not!" Haramis replied indignantly. "That's wrong. People are supposed to be free to make their own choices, not used as puppets for the amusement of those stronger or more intelligent than they are. But why should I have to do anything with knowledge? Why can't I simply study and learn and rejoice in the knowledge and vision I achieve? Why should I have to use it?"

"Because you are what you are, and it shows. I can see it, Orogastus can see it, and any other with a knowledge of magic can see it." The Archimage's voice grew intense. "Haramis, you understand words. Most people never realize that words are important, that they matter, that to say a thing is to give it at least a shadow existence—and to name truly is to give it life. You hear, you listen, and you remember, and that is a rare gift. Without it, you would never understand magic, most of it would literally be inconceivable to you. Kadiya possesses great ardor and determination, and Anigel has compassion and a loving heart, but these gifts while they are great in their own right, are not what is required for the full use of magic. [...]
The image of interlocking strengths and weaknesses reminds me of Veronica Roth's factions.

And so for day 2416