Our base condition, our root condition, our normative condition, is ecstasy. That’s what we've been designed to experience. An ecstasy of such a profound character and nature, that to experience it even for a moment, is to fulfill a life. It is to have achieved the purpose of a life.
Virtue without deliberateness is not virtue at all - it is habit. Virtue that is based on the habituated response of the good person to social conditioning is not virtue, because it is not the will of a free being. It is not the willing submission of a free being.
The first virtue which is the parent of all virtues is gratitude. Why this should be the case becomes apparent when you consider the opposite. The first vice, which is the parent of all vices is ingratitude and resentment. If I am convinced that the world has done me in, and that what I have...