The labels romantic and classical bring in to focus some of the central themes of our personalities and help to gain a clearer sense of who we and other people are.
Some of the things that divide romantic vs classical personalities:
1. Intuition vs analysis – romantics relish things that seem to slightly defy rational explanation…enthusiastic about feelings and wary of the intellect as a guide to life…one shouldnt always think too much…or probe a decision or mood too hard…they like instinct…one shouldnt always attempt to take apart emotions
Classicists are wary of intuition…theyve learned how misguided and deluded own feelings may be and look skeptically upon them.
2. Spontaneity vs education – romantics are wary of teaching and instruction…think things should be spontaneous rather than taught…idea that one thinks rationally about what career to choose or whom they should marry strikes the romantic as misguided intrusion of education into things which should be spontaneous and natural…they like the notion of a calling and love at first sight…they think children seem to have more direct access to the kind of truths and sensibilities that adults have lost.
Classical temperaments dont always respect current education system but the abstract idea of education is important…training is vital to avoid making too many mistakes in emotional or professional lives.
3. Honesty vs politeness – romantic person is devoted to saying what they think or feel…allergic to idea of being fake or having secrets…authenticity is vital
Classical person has great respect for politeness as an important lid that suppresses what might destroy us…they believe deeply in harmony with other people…much prefer to have civil relations with someone rather than tell them frankly whats on their mind…they accept an important role for secrets and white lies
4. Idealism vs realism – romantic is excited by how things might ideally be and judges what currently exists in the world by a standard of better, imagined alternative…most of the time, current state of things causes disappointment and anger as they consider the injustices, compromises and timidity of the powerful…often furious at governments and outraged by corrupt and self interested conduct in society
Classical person pays special attention to what can go wrong…very concerned to mitigate the downside..aware most things could be a lot worse…before condemning a govt they consider standards of govt across history and may regard current arrangement as bearable under the circumstances…high ideals make them nervous
5. The rare vs the everyday – romantics rebel against the ordinary…keen on exotic and rare…anxious about higher things being put under pressure to become useful and commercial…want heroism, excitement and end to boredom
Classical people like daily life…familiar enough with extremes to welcome things that are a little boring…can see charm of staying home and doing laundry
Both romantic and classical orientations have important truths to impart – neither is wholly right or wrong…need to be balanced.
A good life requires a balance of both, at this point in history, when the spirit of the age is pretty romantic, it might be the classical attitude whose claims and wisdom we need to listen to most intently.