even the most superficial and the most boring people (laughter) seemingly have this hunger. They have a hunger for true joy and true fulfillment. Everyone feels this. It’s somehow baked into our souls.
BROOKS: So I’ve been thinking about that problem. And a thinker who’s helped me think about is a guy named Joseph Soloveitchik who’s a rabbi who wrote a book called “The Lonely Man Of Faith” in 1965. Soloveitchik said there are two sides of our natures, which he called Adam one and Adam two.
Adam one is the worldly, ambitious, external side of our nature. Adam two is the humble side of our nature. Adam one asks how things work. Adam two asks why we’re here. Adam one’s motto is success. Adam two’s motto is love, redemption and return. And the tricky thing I’d say about these two sides of our nature is they work by different logics. The external logic is an economic logic. Input leads to output. Risk leads to reward.
The internal side of our nature is a moral logic and often an inverse logic. You have to give to receive. You have to conquer desire to get what you want. In order to fulfill yourself, you have to forget yourself. In order to find yourself, you have to lose yourself.
BROOKS: And, you know, I do think the learning is important. You have to know with intentionality – like if forgiveness – you have to have some thoughts about what forgiveness is. But just knowing it is not enough. We all know what to do a lot of the time. But that doesn’t mean I know it. It has to be followed up with two other faculties.
One is loving it enough to actually do it, to be motivated to do it. And then having sort of a moral yearning – that even if it’s not pleasant, you’re still going to do the thing because you believe that it’s right. And learning that depth of love and that depth of passion is what we need to really propel us and motivate us to do good.