Guides to our own self-destruction

Without you, what am I to myself but a guide to my own self-destruction?
– St. Augustine, Confessions (Book IV)

But my ill fate push’d me on now with an obstinacy that nothing could resist; and tho’ I had several times loud calls from my reason and my more composed judgment to go home, yet I had no power to do it. I know not what to call this, nor will I urge, that it is a secret over-ruling decree that hurries us on to be the instruments of our own destruction, even tho’ it be before us, and that we rush upon it with our eyes open.
– Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe

Had I continued in the station I was now in, I had room for all the happy things to have yet befallen me, for which my father so earnestly recommended a quiet retired life, and of which he had so sensibly described the middle station of life to be full of; but other things attended me, and I was still to be the wilful agent of all my own miseries; and particularly to increase my fault and double the reflections upon my self, which in my future sorrows I should have leisure to make; all these miscarriages were procured by my apparent obstinate adhering to my foolish inclination of wandering around, and pursuing that inclination, in contradiction to the clearest views of doing my self good in a fair and plain pursuit of those prospects and those measures of life, which Nature and Providence concurred to present me with, and to make my duty.
– Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe

But that I was born to be my own destroyer, could no more resist the offer than I could restrain my first rambling designs, when my father’s good counsel was lost upon me.
– Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe

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