With everyday that passes, I know less; even though, I study more. My thirst for knowledge seems to be converging on one simple truth: I know one thing and that is nothing.
Recently, I totaled my car. And because I am one of those struggling independent youth types (a working artist if you will), you know I only had liability. And because I am a cynic (yes just my luck), the blame was equally distributed between both parties. Simply put, I got screwed. But as much as the experience blew, it helped me realize how easy it is…. to just move on.
Yes… I had to buy a new car, and yes… it wiped out the little savings I had, but why should I let that get to me. I can always make more money, and life is going to move on whether I am in high spirits or completely miserable. (I like the former) So with the experience behind me I started to think. Why are people so overly dramatic? It seems that the majority of people let the big things get to them (that makes sense), but they also let the smallest of things get to them. It is my affirmation, that letting things bother you, big or small, is a waste of time and an eventual health risk.
Forgive the platitude, but worrying is like a rocking chair it gives you something to do but does not get you anywhere. I suggest that people start thinking like this: Let things go quickly, Find solutions as opposed to dwelling on immutable misfortunes, and lastly, just move on. I know saying this easy, and actual practice…well… that is a bit harder. However, if you start small, eventually you may find that life is not as serious as we all make it. Remember, yes another cliché, if you take life to serious you will never get out alive. So do me a favor, the next time something unfortunate happens: go about it logically. Find a solution if needed and just let it go.
At what age do dreams die? Late teens, early twenties, or later if you are extremely fortunate. The truth is: society, when we come of age, stomps out an individual’s dream in the name of “growing up” or “reality”. Well, I am very disturbed by this extinguishing of dreams performed by society. Because I posit that the problem is not with the dream/s. The problem is with the dreamers.
We have a society that is a hodgepodge of content, bitter, and apathetic people. And they have fallen ill to these symptoms because they “grew up”. In other words, because they are now doing things just for money or survival. Now don’t get me wrong, we all need money to survive and we should all work. My problem is not with that aspect; my qualms are with the mentality of the average person. They just live idly, complaining about how things turned out, or cynically. With that said, the majority (no longer) have no real hopes or dreams. Though they have wants and desires (materialistic things) or goals for their children (to live vicariously); they fail to have that dream that makes waking up everyday worth it.
Now, I will clarify a few things. Not all people have their dreams die. Actually those fortunate few live their dreams, and it seems the rest of the population exists mainly just to continue to support their dreams. (Examples are Business owners, actors, athletes) These few work hard to have their dreams continue to burn, and it seems as if those that lose their flames give them up to the “few” to build bigger dreams (larger fires). Anyway, I think most know where I am about to go. Did you catch those key words…”work hard”.
That is it. I posit that we should not blame dreams. We should blame the fact that people “dream indolently. That means they dream, but do not work for their dreams or go after them assiduously. I believe that if society would re-instill work ethic that we would no longer have the mass genocide of dreams that is now taking place. Hopefully, someday, the people can begin to dream again and actually work towards those dreams.
Well, I can dream right….
What is truth other than perception? We live this life so determined that what we perceive is true. Yet, the truth (forgive the word choice) is that what is true is open to interpretation. I may wholeheartedly believe in something and that belief may just be a miss perceived notion. So, how many lights do you see?
Progression is a concept that is all too often overlooked or just blatantly ignored. Life abides by this concept and by understanding “progression” we may better understand life. To expound and clarify, I am defining progression as moving forward on life’s timeline. Now here is where I will mix philosophy and economics.
Currently our economy is suffering. And every economist, financial adviser, politician, and their brother is trying to explain how it happened and how we should fix it. Well, Mr. Fix it, so far you are doing a great job. (Sarcasm, in case it didn’t translate) The truth is we have never been in this situation and current theories cannot account for all the unique variables. So what should we do? I say, Move forward.
We need change, I agree. However, protesting on Wall Street with no clear plan is not the answer; it is not progression. (Now before everyone decides to flip out, listen first) Our economy is based on consumerism. That means the more things people buy, the faster are economy grows. With everyone jobless and protesting, how can the economy grow? It can’t. So what I propose is people can protest, but they also need to work. And if that means they do not make as much as they think they should, well so be it. The first step to improving the economy is making money to produce that “disposable income” that can be used to perpetuate that consumerism. (credit does not count)
By this point in time, most informed people are probably pissed at me. But, if people take on jobs, even those beneath them (and yes jobs exist, just not the ones people want); we will start on that slow road to actual recovery (not that government subsidized recovery).
Now back to the Wall Street protests, I said it before, a movement for change is great, but without a concrete goal, a protest is not change; it is just a lot of bitching. So what I propose, after those jobs are taken on, that people actually think about what they would like to happen when they continue their protests.(that means concrete, concise points to address with proposed, thoroughly thought out solutions) We cannot expect to, all of a sudden, change politics or have the government make the economy better, but maybe we can have them start to change some of those policies which are crippling us (welfare, career politicians, healthcare, government spending, etc).
All in all, we need to move forward (that means forgetting the past and continually comparing the present to it); protesting and not working is stagnation and that is deleterious. So even if you disagree with a lot of what I say, I hope we can at least agree on progression being superior to stagnation.
“Peace cannot be forced into existence, nor can it be obtained through struggle. Peace cannot be paid for in gold or sold by those who claim to have it. It has nothing to do with one’s social status; one’s profession is of no consequence. In order for you to accept yourself as you are and live with your soul at peace, you must simply teach yourself to let it be, only then will you discover freedom.”
Hello My Coinless Friend,
Earlier, you said something that prompted me to ruminate on your situation. You said your problem stems from a lack of pride. This void gives you the ability to shrug off any and all criticism, but leaves you, yourself, not trying to grow and strive for anything. And though, this is a dilemma, I believe it is a secondary problem, a symptom, if I may. The true disease is something else.
Let me begin, with us, on common ground.
Life itself, has no meaning
But what has meaning, is what life creates. 1
Yes, dreams, aspirations, hopes, things of that nature.
During their lifetime men embrace different forms of these.
The stronger their embrace, the stronger their power to live through this life
For example, look at any man with any dream, no matter the size
For the sake of that dream, He can withstand the pain and harshness of this life
So with this said, your disease is you lack a dream
You lack that cog that makes life bearable, livable, and purposeful.
Perhaps if you procure an aspiration you may strive instead of stagnate.
I know that the solution, itself, is a difficult one, especially for you. But I implore you to make an attempt. For the worst case, you fail and go on this way. However, the best case, you separate yourself from that debilitating apathy or at least lessen it.
Another Coinless Comrade
1 I said it before, we live for what we believe is true or what we make as true: religion, pleasure, a goal, etc.
Old notes. (provided by Donovan Misawna)
The Being consults itself through the perception of the given state e.g. it so happens excitement bursts forth from a recalled moment brought forth by the reminder of another. Thus, the dialectic emerges between the Being and the Other-Being, and between the two or however many a mood prevails that carries towards the centralization of the moment. The many can find themselves oscillating dramatically and looming from the Other-Being. In this process the mind is trans-morphing itself in a mimicry style.
Trans-morphing is when a Being’s feeling through perception and somatic alertness is altered in a state of overwhelming polarity. The Being arrives at a significantly diverse sensation then it was previously engaged in. How did it get to such an oscillating flux of bias? Where was it going and why? Has it even comported itself through a trans and what has morphed? Such questions face us in the presence of trans-morphing. It is interesting to see the perception of consciousness expediting itself. For while it had originally comported its gallery of universals to signify the sociality of the present-at-hand, it needed to pass through the process of dividing the immaterial with the material world, which would explicate its radical shift towards expedition. Being could not establish a difference between the “real” world and the real, thus it arrived at a radical shift of mood. Which essentially means the moment at hand is really the arrival of the mood-out-of-itself, which means it missed the real and found itself in the unreal or the “real” of it’s own mood or rather it found a place to ’put one’s feet up at.’ This is the neutrality of everydayness which characterizes heart.
Heart may seem like a deceiving concept in the way we use it, but it serves its purpose as the unreal “real” of the mood-out-of-itself. In a state of heart, which can be similarly compared to Heidegger’s care, is the supposition of being-within ’this’ the world-hood. In being-within a Being is able to mimic the essence of the world-hood through the state of mood-out-of-itself. When we say “mood-out-of-itself” we merely suggest that the natural ’mood’ contained within a moment is fallaciously led astray into what it never knows to be itself. Heart is the socio-ontologic method in identifying ’matters’ of the world-hood. These are not to be confused with concrete beings of perception, for they remain unannounced to the Being. Yet a certain mood, whether it be inauthentic or not, riddles the mood of the Being; we shall see this occurrence meet up with us later through moods of conscience, anxiety, desire, etc.
“I am not in the mood for that.”
“I am in a working kind of mood”
Heidegger saw the being as the primeval essent juxtaposed to nothingness. The essent was to be the ultimate study in Being and Time, through phenomenological ontico-ontological techniques he was able to map the maker of the essent or Dasein. He used mood as a tool to break into the potentiality of essents, which is, the nothing; the negation of being.
We are more interested in the tool itself the ’mood.’
The movement is negatory which is what logic extrapolates itself towards, which in itself can never be absolute, but rather, it is seen as a going-towards. This is not an absolution it is rather a portion complete of itself e.g. phenomenology as Husserl practiced it compared to Patocka’s version, one is phenomenology and the other claims to be exceed the practice to become phenomenology, but updated. This is impossible, Patocka exceeded phenomenology it is true; however, by exceeding it he closed it off. He was never in the realm of phenomenology nor could he have been unless he practiced Husserl’s version, otherwise he has closed himself off in ‘phenomenology’ and destroyed the field itself. This is why science is so dangerous, because it is in constant movement, by being in this movement, which is negatory, we get quick destructions of bodies of work, which close themselves off only to be destroyed by getting an aggressive concession.
It is foolish to think Patocka is within Husserl’s phenomenology or that he is even in phenomenology in general–never can he be ’in’ once he has transcended movement.
The movement is no longer a moment but a momentary movement of itself away from the ’in.’ This fleeting glimpse of phenomenology is potent in Patocka’s work but they just become even groundless if they claim ’phenomenological’ heritance.
The best of man is like water,
Which benefits all things, and does not contend with them,
Which flows in places that others disdain,
Where it is in harmony with the Way.
So the sage:
Lives within nature,
Thinks within the deep,
Gives within impartiality,
Speaks within trust,
Governs within order,
Crafts within ability,
Acts within opportunity.
He does not contend, and none contend against him.
(provided by TaoTeChing.org)
After reading this verse my mind emphatically recalls an interview I once saw with Bruce Lee. In it, Bruce Lee utters those legendary lines, ” be like water”. The same reaction I had to that interview, I have to this verse, I love it. The metaphorical comparison between water and the sage’s paradigm is incredible. I will not make an absolute claim of greatness, but I will say it is the best metaphor I have come across.
With that said, my love does not equate to complete agreement with the verse. Maybe it is an issue with semantics, maybe it is an issue with point of view, but either way; I do not agree that water (or the sage) does not contend. Though water is flexible and can bend to any shape, water is also fierce. Water wears away rock and shapes its environment. With this added, water can benefit all, but it does not have to. So, is the verse asking us to just be flexible like water or is it asking us to truly emulate it? I have no answer for the question, but I will give my opinion.
It is my belief that the point is to truly mimic the behavior of water. Water knows when to be fierce and when to be flexible. And I apologize if this comes off vague, but water also does not choose its action or think about them. It just is, and by being: it is fierce when needed and flexible when required. Within that lies an ineffable beauty. When we can mirror water, our lives will be one with the way (Tao) and one that is so natural and easy that the metaphor or words I could use to enlighten us will give no real/tangible insight. Then again, since I do not imitate water myself, I could be completely off base with my hypothesis. And maybe, no man should be like water, but rather just be like man. Anyway, feel free to comment.
Nature is complete because it does not serve itself.
The sage places himself after and finds himself before,
Ignores his desire and finds himself content.
He is complete because he does not serve himself.
(provided by Taoteching.org)
Verses from the Tao seem to have one of two effects on me: The first is, I am utterly awed by the entangling of simplistic and convoluted wisdom into the poetically written stanzas. The second is, and unfortunately this verse is an example of it, leaves me questioning if the Tao is anything more than an attempt at witty prose. And these such lines lack the needed thought and meditation to support the, so-called, sage’s wisdom.
I will admit that the latter is best described as an outlier. The former is my usual opinion on the Tao, but this verse just comes off so vague. And I can not bring myself to just scapegoat the translation, though I am aware of its possible culpability. Regardless, what can one really get out of “Nature is complete because it does not serve itself.” What does complete really mean? How does it accomplish this by not servicing itself? Etc… This line seems like it was intended to bend to the interpreter’s will, but I refuse to bend/twist it to some personal interpretation. As do I, with the rest of the verse. Though, I will say, I enjoy the second line for its comedic value. (It reminds me of bad line from a Middle Ages-esque movie)
In conclusion, the third line is the only clearly stated thought, but it lacks the logical reasoning to prove its intended wisdom. Unfortunately, this verse belongs on a fortune cookie and not in one of the most renowned eastern philosophical texts, but that is just my opinion. Feel free to add, negatively or positively.