Paying attention. Why are people so impatient? So self-absorbed and self-destructive? We carry our flaws and mis-understandings like badges to be proud of. It is much more offensive to pretend to be interested in something, to patronise someone than it is to simply be honest about the fact that you don’t care or aren’t in the mood. Give some feedback rather than achieving a new level of self-importance.
I enjoy walking around the city. Feel like I’m getting in touch with my world. Absorbing random culture. Funny how words, a fine achievement of universal human expression, can often become good thinking’s most insidious inhibitor. Also funny how some people get impatient if your language isn’t the same as theirs. Never mind the opportunity to share and learn and teach. Clearly, they’ve lost hope in the ability of humanity to grow.
Consequentialism. What is the right thing to do? Whatever results in the most good. But how do you measure that? In the short term or the long term? Who can actually take everything into account? Is death or murder always a bad thing? All these philosophical questions of what would you do in some hypothetical situation are deeply flawed. If they have any point, it should be that everyone is different and there is no single right answer. The most important thing in life is to learn, to live, to decide for yourself. Your rules needn’t make any sense to anyone else. When we are young, we let others fill in gaps for us. We gradually take over control of various aspects. We often don’t change after that. We keep the subtle mistakes and inept explanations for the rest of our lives. Don’t be afraid of boldness, because the alternative is wilful slavery.
The process remains the same. My biggest regret is respecting people who didn’t deserve my respect. I lost myself. Sometimes it’s better to do the unsocial thing. To believe your own instincts. Sometimes, you actually do know what’s best for yourself. You’re left feeling empty. You abused yourself and have no-one else to blame. But you’re angry, too. No-one saved you. Nobody noticed or did anything. You’re shocked about this new understanding of human nature. But don’t let the few ruin the rest of your life for you. You could be the first of a new kind. To feel pain and not throw it back into the world is perhaps the greatest thing a person can do. Pain is tension. It doesn’t have to be unpleasant. It’s like humour, it’s more intense if it was a surprise. That’s what we do. We absorb the world and make it nicer, more beautiful, more habitable.
Opposite symptoms. Things seem to be getting worse. Keep in mind, maybe this is only because you’re learning more about the truth. You feel like you’re getting dumber. This is the ultimate sign of real learning. When you push something, you feel it push back. So your measure of success is that reaction force. It’s all we have. Have a healthy relationship with yourself and with your external reality. Intra and inter. We know where we belong. We can feel it. Makes you wonder. What is the ultimate tragedy? And what is its antithesis? Do all possibilities get explored? This question is inherently strange. We have the power. Infinite possibilities at our fingertips. Think things you’ve never thought before. A single mind can create worlds. Unintimidated by anything. Chances are you’re already shying away from things all around you, right in front of you. How sparse shall your habitat be? Who exists in your version of life? Who makes the cut and who are the main players? What is the most precious thing in the world to you? How can anything be of worth if it never lasts? If its destiny is to be forgotten forever? Some vague concept of a meaningful feeling that transcends death? Like love, or joy, or wonder? What do we have in common with our ancestors? Are we the first of a new kind of being? Was it all worth it or do we regret ever having become this aware of our own existence? The words of a troubled and lonely youth. But without this staggering through the darkness, there would be no sincerity to the butterfly, the powerful sense of identity that emerges on the other side.
I let it lose meaning. A powerful and terrifying sense that your soul has been split permanently. You wake up to your life and don’t know what to do. Afraid to smile. Because then they would win. I can’t be happy until people comprehend what I’ve been through. Until I define it for myself.
We go through all these random phases. And we start using certain phrases. One of mine as of late is: “I’m smart enough to know that…” I can’t remember any others. Just think this phenomenon is kind of bizarre, because it occurs to everyone and doesn’t seem to follow any particular pattern.
When you get too good at synthesising artificial emotions, how can you tell who the real you is? Peter Sellers was his characters, or did we never see him at all? Ideally, we’d like to see every part of you shine and prosper. So begin now.