• csalisbury
    2.6k
    Like probably >80 percent of people on here, I was drawn to existential literature as a teenager. It can be a way of social branding, but still, before that, there's some draw to smart people who thought Wait, But This Isn't Enough, Are We Really All Ok With This? This can shade into pessmism (Schopenhauer especially) or shade the other way into heroic self-assertion (Nietzsche, especially) & both of those things make sense, for a time.

    But they also butt against reality.

    I don't think there's anything wrong with looking at biographical detail. Schopenhaeur was a sour son of a bitch & Nietzsche was locked-in hard to his own self-mythologizing. He was essentially alone. That doesn't negate their literary and philosophical genius, but it does (or should) make you think twice about taking life advice from them. (Joyces' A Painful Case does a better job of this than anything I can do)

    It seems like Big, Magisterial Ideas often function like a smokescreen. The throbbing pain at the center of addiction asks that you do anything but feel it. The marquee addictions, like heroin, strut their function openly and unabashedly - the experiential Everything of them seems, for users, to speak for itself. And the idea of heroin addiction can always function, for those who haven't used them (like myself) as an 'at least I didn't go that far.'

    But big philosophical ideas can also blur the lines. They elevate and leave the central wound down below. The world gets smeary, 30s' softglow. Plus, it offers control. If you can do arguments, that's a kind of power.

    Still, the whole time you have to live. And, if you're hooked on ideas, the world is degraded in favor of those ideas (or good literary recaps) and you get more and more zoned-out. That's me in my 20s anyway.

    What I really want is techniques for how to live, and techniques for how to approach life as it is. That's hard - some inner instinct bucks and shies from that - but what else to do? It feels like the only thing to do is shave off everything that isn't touching on that, and find what works. But the addiction is still there, trying to make things as abstract as possible.

    I guess the thrust of the OP is - does anyone else feel this, or have some suggestions? I feel like I'm at least in the airlock, but definitely not ready for outer space.
  • god must be atheist
    2.2k
    It's so not me.

    Of course I offer it not as a downer or dissent, but just as an observation.

    I've heard people like you exist, but this is the first time I encounter one with your outlook. You and I are so different, that it's almost scary.

    Which is better? I don't think it's a question of better. It's a question of what we are, and that is not something that's likely to change any time soon.
  • csalisbury
    2.6k
    Hey, if it's not you, it's not you. But (he added) people who see nothing of themselves in an OP usually don't post about how that OP is definitely not about them. There's surely a lot of posts not about you. What about this post made it especially important to register that it didn't apply to you?
  • god must be atheist
    2.2k
    What about this post made it especially important to register that it didn't apply to you?csalisbury

    The differentness. I see many posts here. Some stupid posts. There is a lot of "stupidity" about me. There are some smart posts. There are philosophical, emotional, funny, sombre, crying, debating, provocative, deep, shallow, cutsie, sexy, and dumbfounding posts. I have seen those, and can identify with all of them. I see, even if not precisely, where the poster is coming from, and where he or she is heading.

    With your post I see none of that. It is completely strange to me, I have no way of identifying with it, I never experienced anything similar to what, it seems, your whole life essence must be.

    It is not just the strangeness, but the different strangeness. I have seen religious posts, and I can't identify, but I see perfectly where they are coming from and where they are headed to.

    AHA! I got it. I can comment on ANY post. There is something in every post that touches me, even if tangentially, and lightly, but touches me.

    None of that in your post. I am not saying the writing is foreign or nonsensical. Nonsensical, I can deal with. But yours has sense, and yet I can't deal with it.

    This is weird, I know, but hey. You live to be 66, like I, and you think you've seen everything, until a post like yours comes along.
  • ChatteringMonkey
    631
    Maybe, probably, this isn't exactly what you are looking for, but I think Nietzsche, if you can look past his elitism and self-mythologizing, is technically a very good philosopher. In fact he does exactly what you are getting at, shaving off the things that don't matter. That's what the (tuning)hammer was all about, to sound out idea's, so he could do away with the bad ones.

    You decide on a measure (life-affirmation in Nietzsches case), evaluate different ideas by that measure, and discard the ones that don't stand the test. Seems to me you allready get this.
  • god must be atheist
    2.2k
    Maybe, probably, this isn't exactly what you are looking for, but I think Nietzsche, if you can look past his elitism and self-mythologizing, is technically a very good philosopher. In fact he does exactly what you are getting at, shaving off the things that don't matter. That's what the (tuning)hammer was all about, to sound out idea's, so he could do away with the bad ones.

    You decide on a measure (life-affirmation in Nietzsches case), evaluate different ideas by that measure, and discard the ones that don't stand the test. Seems to me you allready get this.
    ChatteringMonkey

    This is what I am talking about, Salisbury. ChatteringMonkey hammered the ideas into a recongnizable shape. "good philosopher", "do away with the bad ones", "decide", "evaluate", "discard". These are actions and judgments and solid, concrete things, even if conceptual. Your writing, Salisbury, did not hammer anything into anything; your perception and your reperesentation what you got out of ideas, how you see ideals, ideas, is not touched by hammering souls.

    You see, I am already hammering your style or outlook into shape. That's what you don't do. This is at least one difference.

    Another difference I can hammer out, is that you don't seem to NEED to hammer things into shape. That's even stranger than not hammering them into shape.
  • csalisbury
    2.6k
    It is not just the strangeness, but the different strangeness. I have seen religious posts, and I can't identify, but I see perfectly where they are coming from and where they are headed to.

    AHA! I got it. I can comment on ANY post. There is something in every post that touches me, even if tangentially, and lightly, but touches me.

    None of that in your post. I am not saying the writing is foreign or nonsensical. Nonsensical, I can deal with. But yours has sense, and yet I can't deal with it.
    god must be atheist

    That's good - I'm on brand in the OP.
  • Possibility
    1.5k
    Well I can relate to what you’ve written, in some ways but not all. That’s the beauty of diversity, though - isn’t it?

    This is what I am talking about, Salisbury. ChatteringMonkey hammered the ideas into a recongnizable shape. "good philosopher", "do away with the bad ones", "decide", "evaluate", "discard". These are actions and judgments and solid, concrete things, even if conceptual. Your writing, Salisbury, did not hammer anything into anything; your perception and your reperesentation what you got out of ideas, how you see ideals, ideas, is not touched by hammering souls.

    You see, I am already hammering your style or outlook into shape. That's what you don't do. This is at least one difference.

    Another difference I can hammer out, is that you don't seem to NEED to hammer things into shape. That's even stranger than not hammering them into shape.
    god must be atheist

    I can relate to this distinction - the need for solid, concrete things, as limited as they may be, is a comfortable way for many people to interact with the world. Some of us, so to speak, must collapse the world into particles, while others find ourselves interacting directly with the potentiality wave.

    For those who see particles, the world seems more solid and easy to navigate - except that they can be battered or blindsided by change. For those who perceive the wave, it’s more blurry and uncertain, marked by indecision and too many options - except that they’re less surprised by the world when it changes, because for them this change is pervasive. The former despairs at a world that refuses to behave as expected, while the latter despairs at the amorphous uncertainty of how to live in a world without expectations.

    What I really want is techniques for how to live, and techniques for how to approach life as it is. That's hard - some inner instinct bucks and shies from that - but what else to do? It feels like the only thing to do is shave off everything that isn't touching on that, and find what works. But the addiction is still there, trying to make things as abstract as possible.

    I guess the thrust of the OP is - does anyone else feel this, or have some suggestions? I feel like I'm at least in the airlock, but definitely not ready for outer space.
    csalisbury

    I think how we approach life will always be relative to where we are in our journey, so any techniques should be considered in that context. It helps to have a tether of some kind - at least at the outset. A concept that inspires your imagination as much as it informs your life, regardless of how the world changes. Then, like Descartes, you can question or dismantle everything else and rebuild a conceptualisation of reality from scratch.

    My own tether began as a ‘spiritual’ connection to the world, but has since been distilled many times over. I am now absolutely certain only that something exists, and that something relates to that existence. That’s enough for me, now. Even @god must be atheist’s expression that he cannot relate to your post is a relation in itself, and informs a more accurate understanding of reality that transcends your subjective position within it: that it’s inclusive of both particles and waves, as it were.

    I guess what I’m saying is, your inner instinct to buck any established techniques on how to live is a recognition of this pervasiveness of change, but it needn’t stop you from structuring how you approach your life and then continually restructuring as new information comes to light. The idea that we have to be consistent in life is bollocks - we are a work in progress, after all.

    If it helps, my own technique for how to approach life is to strive to increase awareness, connection and collaboration, despite the risks, recognising that the majority of the universe (including myself) will act instead to ignore, isolate and exclude.
  • armonie
    82
    やって可
  • schopenhauer1
    4.5k
    Like probably >80 percent of people on here, I was drawn to existential literature as a teenager. It can be a way of social branding, but still, before that, there's some draw to smart people who thought Wait, But This Isn't Enough, Are We Really All Ok With This? This can shade into pessmism (Schopenhauer especially) or shade the other way into heroic self-assertion (Nietzsche, especially) & both of those things make sense, for a time.

    But they also butt against reality.

    I don't think there's anything wrong with looking at biographical detail. Schopenhaeur was a sour son of a bitch & Nietzsche was locked-in hard to his own self-mythologizing. He was essentially alone. That doesn't negate their literary and philosophical genius, but it does (or should) make you think twice about taking life advice from them. (Joyces' A Painful Case does a better job of this than anything I can do)

    It seems like Big, Magisterial Ideas often function like a smokescreen. The throbbing pain at the center of addiction asks that you do anything but feel it. The marquee addictions, like heroin, strut their function openly and unabashedly - the experiential Everything of them seems, for users, to speak for itself. And the idea of heroin addiction can always function, for those who haven't used them (like myself) as an 'at least I didn't go that far.'

    But big philosophical ideas can also blur the lines. They elevate and leave the central wound down below. The world gets smeary, 30s' softglow. Plus, it offers control. If you can do arguments, that's a kind of power.

    Still, the whole time you have to live. And, if you're hooked on ideas, the world is degraded in favor of those ideas (or good literary recaps) and you get more and more zoned-out. That's me in my 20s anyway.

    What I really want is techniques for how to live, and techniques for how to approach life as it is. That's hard - some inner instinct bucks and shies from that - but what else to do? It feels like the only thing to do is shave off everything that isn't touching on that, and find what works. But the addiction is still there, trying to make things as abstract as possible.

    I guess the thrust of the OP is - does anyone else feel this, or have some suggestions? I feel like I'm at least in the airlock, but definitely not ready for outer space.
    csalisbury

    Schop was a grandiose writer. That was the habit of philosophers in the 19th century. They forgot how to write with self-referential wit. That is what we do all day nowadays. You can probably capture the man's real daily life philosophy better in his personal letters. However, if anything, DESPITE Schop's grandiosity of theory, his theory well conforms to the naive psychology of everyday living- the textured one you are writing about here (or I believe you are getting at). His reality is the one of constant restless change, but change of mental states between really very basic things (what I further label as survival, comfort/maintenance-seeking, entertainment-to-avoid-boredom-seeking). That is it. Other than that we deal with contingencies that we face. I see the airy clouds of philosophy touching reality right there in his description of human nature, and the contingency of the universal cause-effect that we experience. What else do you want in a philosophy?

    Nietzsche is a blowhard pompous ass. He wants you to embrace the suffering. Camus wants you to embrace the absurd. Schopenhauer isn't so forgiving. He complains and laments and says there's no real way out. He does dabble in ideas of Enlightenment through asceticism, but he probably knows that only a few can even get to that very rarified mental state (if it exists at all). Thus we are left in his schema with compassion and complaint-of-situation. That is what we have.
  • NOS4A2
    3.7k


    Nicely written.

    Words are a medium that reduces reality to abstraction for transmission to our reason, and in their power to corrode reality inevitably lurks the danger that we become corroded too. One might need to encounter reality in some field where words should play no part at all.
  • Son of a Bitch
    2.6k
    What I really want is techniques for how to live, and techniques for how to approach life as it is. That's hard - some inner instinct bucks and shies from that - but what else to do? It feels like the only thing to do is shave off everything that isn't touching on that, and find what works. But the addiction is still there, trying to make things as abstract as possible.

    I guess the thrust of the OP is - does anyone else feel this, or have some suggestions? I feel like I'm at least in the airlock, but definitely not ready for outer space.
    csalisbury

    When I hear you say you want to approach life as it is, what I am really hearing you say is that you want to be able to adapt to life’s changes. Right?

    My advice (which I haven’t been the best at following myself) is to keep the principles by which you live by simple. But it’s important to have some principles, and it’s even okay to bend or break them sometimes when things get harry, or if you just mess up and need to forgive yourself.

    My first principle is: don’t be too hard on yourself.
    Principle #2: don’t be too hard on the people you love.
    Principle #3: Try to forgive those who have done you harm in life. (This one’s the hardest, but if you can’t do it yet, then first principle.)

    Find a few principles to live by.
  • frank
    5.2k
    But the addiction is still there, trying to make things as abstract as possible.csalisbury

    Martial arts? They emphasize "no mind."
  • csalisbury
    2.6k
    Martial arts? They emphasize "no mind."frank

    That's a good idea. I'd have to overcome a few things (1) bad experiences with martial arts as a kid (karate & jiujitsu in dusty spaces) (2) Irrational stigma that lumps martial arts with things like owning snakes, being into knives and so forth (which, at its core, is the idea that martial arts is part of a class of things that people use to compensate for a feeling of leaky masculinity. That's true sometimes, but is wildly reductionistic. I blame the media. (3) Social anxiety blended with actual physical contact.

    Which is to say : that'd have to be something I work toward. Presently, I'm dipping my toes in meditation. It's working a little better than it has in the past, but it's hard to find the discipline to regularly do it.
  • csalisbury
    2.6k
    Schop was a grandiose writer. That was the habit of philosophers in the 19th century. They forgot how to write with self-referential wit. That is what we do all day nowadays. You can probably capture the man's real daily life philosophy better in his personal letters. However, if anything, DESPITE Schop's grandiosity of theory, his theory well conforms to the naive psychology of everyday living- the textured one you are writing about here (or I believe you are getting at). His reality is the one of constant restless change, but change of mental states between really very basic things (what I further label as survival, comfort/maintenance-seeking, entertainment-to-avoid-boredom-seeking). That is it. Other than that we deal with contingencies that we face. I see the airy clouds of philosophy touching reality right there in his description of human nature, and the contingency of the universal cause-effect that we experience. What else do you want in a philosophy?

    Nietzsche is a blowhard pompous ass. He wants you to embrace the suffering. Camus wants you to embrace the absurd. Schopenhauer isn't so forgiving. He complains and laments and says there's no real way out. He does dabble in ideas of Enlightenment through asceticism, but he probably knows that only a few can even get to that very rarified mental state (if it exists at all). Thus we are left in his schema with compassion and complaint-of-situation. That is what we have.
    schopenhauer1

    I want to tread delicately here, because I don't want us to get too into Schopenhauer. I disagree with him on almost everything, though I think his philosophy is ingeniously put together, and perfectly consistent. It is probably impossible to better convey the certain stance toward the world it takes (maybe Beckett?) Anyway, this isn't an argument or anything. Take it as axiomatic for this thread: Schopenhauer's philosophy is off the table here. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong, but it's just not what I want to focus conversation on.

    I think the only other thing I want to say here is that, again, I strongly recommend Joyce's A Painful Case It's from his collection of short stories, Dubliners, and not too long.
  • csalisbury
    2.6k
    For those who see particles, the world seems more solid and easy to navigate - except that they can be battered or blindsided by change. For those who perceive the wave, it’s more blurry and uncertain, marked by indecision and too many options - except that they’re less surprised by the world when it changes, because for them this change is pervasive. The former despairs at a world that refuses to behave as expected, while the latter despairs at the amorphous uncertainty of how to live in a world without expectations.Possibility

    I think this is a perceptive and accurate way of looking at how people think. I think most of us are woven together with threads from both parts. @god must be atheist sees a fluid aspect in how I think about ideas, but there are a lot of ways in which I'm very particle-y. I'm flattered to be seen as blurry, but that probably derives in part from a particle-y distinction between waves and particles, where the former appeals more to me.
    I think how we approach life will always be relative to where we are in our journey, so any techniques should be considered in that context. It helps to have a tether of some kind - at least at the outset. A concept that inspires your imagination as much as it informs your life, regardless of how the world changes. Then, like Descartes, you can question or dismantle everything else and rebuild a conceptualisation of reality from scratch.

    My own tether began as a ‘spiritual’ connection to the world, but has since been distilled many times over. I am now absolutely certain only that something exists, and that something relates to that existence. That’s enough for me, now. Even god must be atheist’s expression that he cannot relate to your post is a relation in itself, and informs a more accurate understanding of reality that transcends your subjective position within it: that it’s inclusive of both particles and waves, as it were.

    I guess what I’m saying is, your inner instinct to buck any established techniques on how to live is a recognition of this pervasiveness of change, but it needn’t stop you from structuring how you approach your life and then continually restructuring as new information comes to light. The idea that we have to be consistent in life is bollocks - we are a work in progress, after all.

    If it helps, my own technique for how to approach life is to strive to increase awareness, connection and collaboration, despite the risks, recognising that the majority of the universe (including myself) will act instead to ignore, isolate and exclude.
    Possibility

    I very much agree with all that (I too am certain of something, and think it best to leave in abeyance what that is, as it seems you do). I'm definitely looking to slowly build a structure. Regarding the last paragraph: what you describe as a technique strikes me as something closer to a goal (or a guiding value, or a theme etc). I share these values, but how to realize them?
  • Possibility
    1.5k
    I very much agree with all that (I too am certain of something, and think it best to leave in abeyance what that is, as it seems you do). I'm definitely looking to slowly build a structure. Regarding the last paragraph: what you describe as a technique strikes me as something closer to a goal (or a guiding value, or a theme etc). I share these values, but how to realize them?csalisbury

    Yes, I can see your particle-ness showing here - my wish to build a comprehensive structure is for my relations with others more than for myself.

    It’s quite common for people to view this technique as an end goal, or as something imposed on our actions from without. My view is that it’s an underlying impetus for all existence, and that we unlock its potential in the rest of the universe insofar as we realise it in ourselves. In other words, we reduce ignorant and exclusive behaviour such as racism by our capacity to increase our own awareness of why they act this way, increase our connection to them through this understanding, and increase our collaboration with them in ways that then increase their awareness, connection and collaboration with diversity. It takes longer and is risky, but it contributes far less to suffering than isolating or excluding racism, in my view.
  • Valentinus
    814
    Having to choose between something abstract and something less so may not be the pivot. One aspect of Taoism that speaks to this situation is that all of our narratives are just stories told while being present to something that is not a story. It is an observation of a circumstance. It is either true or not. If one accepts it as true, then it is a condition one is adapting to, not a desire or requirement that is being recognized as the highest thing.

    As a turning point, accepting the condition is not the embrace of a replacement to what has been set aside. You start by doing without something that was always a part of the previous starts.

    It sounds like a mystical statement but is simply an experiment that is begun or not. And if begun, easily abandoned.
  • csalisbury
    2.6k
    It’s quite common for people to view this technique as an end goal, or as something imposed on our actions from without. My view is that it’s an underlying impetus for all existence, and that we unlock its potential in the rest of the universe insofar as we realise it in ourselves. In other words, we reduce ignorant and exclusive behaviour such as racism by our capacity to increase our own awareness of why they act this way, increase our connection to them through this understanding, and increase our collaboration with them in ways that then increase their awareness, connection and collaboration with diversity. It takes longer and is risky, but it contributes far less to suffering than isolating or excluding racism, in my view.Possibility

    Ah, I think I should clarify here. When I say 'end goal' that does suggest something imposed from without. A better way to say what I mean is: I'm searching for techniques to cultivate the 'underlying impetus'. That can look like removing blocks, or also ways of attending more attentively to our own awareness. The difficulty I've run into is: It's very easy to get separated from this underlying impetus, or to naturally decrease in awareness. Certain methods of trying to undo this can exacerbate the problem. My feeling, these days, is the more concrete you get, the closer you get to the spiritual.
  • csalisbury
    2.6k
    My first principle is: don’t be too hard on yourself.
    Principle #2: don’t be too hard on the people you love.
    Principle #3: Try to forgive those who have done you harm in life. (This one’s the hardest, but if you can’t do it yet, then first principle.)
    Noah Te Stroete

    Those are good. 1 & 3 are the most difficult for me.
  • Son of a Bitch
    2.6k


    I should make it clear that my God certainly wouldn’t want me to forgive pure evil. That would be like forgiving Hitler or Satan. In cases of pure evil, one should fear not and stand against it in righteous indignation.
  • Possibility
    1.5k
    A better way to say what I mean is: I'm searching for techniques to cultivate the 'underlying impetus'. That can look like removing blocks, or also ways of attending more attentively to our own awareness. The difficulty I've run into is: It's very easy to get separated from this underlying impetus, or to naturally decrease in awareness. Certain methods of trying to undo this can exacerbate the problem. My feeling, these days, is the more concrete you get, the closer you get to the spiritual.csalisbury

    I’m not sure what you mean by that last sentence.

    There are a number of ways we tend to conceptualise reality anthropocentrically, that I think interfere with our openness to cultivating this impetus - so I’ve been looking at building a structure that addresses these misconceptions. One of the main blocks is our interpretation of Darwinian theory, which suggests that evolution is goal-oriented towards survival, dominance and procreation, and therefore we should be also. This blocks our understanding of pain, humility, loss and lack as important factors in cultivating the impetus at all levels of awareness. Another is the various forms of dualism that distinguish between mind/body, physical/mental, material/spiritual or actual/potential, that isolate ‘cause and effect’ from our understanding of the will and its freedom, among other things.

    As for techniques, I’d say begin with an internal base of integrity, patience and self-awareness. Learn how you got here, what makes you tick, what you’re afraid of, and what motivates you. Be honest with yourself, and most of all be aware that change (if you want it) takes time, energy and attention. From there, strive to always relate to the world (including yourself) with kindness, gentleness and generosity. When this is difficult, fall back to re-establish integrity, patience and self-awareness. When it gets easier, challenge yourself to initiate compassion for all, and to build the potential for peace with the past, joy in the present and hope for the future. Again, when this is a struggle, fall back to kindness, gentleness and generosity, or begin again with integrity, patience and self-awareness.
  • god must be atheist
    2.2k
    A better way to say what I mean is: I'm searching for techniques to cultivate the 'underlying impetus'. That can look like removing blocks, or also ways of attending more attentively to our own awareness. The difficulty I've run into is: It's very easy to get separated from this underlying impetus, or to naturally decrease in awareness. Certain methods of trying to undo this can exacerbate the problem. My feeling, these days, is the more concrete you get, the closer you get to the spiritual.
    — csalisbury

    I’m not sure what you mean by that last sentence.
    Possibility

    I see this as a sign that @Csalisbury lives her life (I assume she's a woman, for simplicity's sake... her pic) in the negative imprint. By negative I don't mean "bad" or "undesirable" or "pessimistic"; I mean photonegative, so to speak. What spiritual is to you and me, @possibility, is tangible reality to CSalisbury; and what is miasma, conceptual flow to you and me, nothing concrete, is also the bread-and-butter of the real, concrete world for CS. However, in her life, what you and i consider concrete, solid, and established, is the spiritual, the figmentational, the imaginary, the conceptualizable but not touchable for CS.

    This is, if it is this way indeed, not a common phenomenon of perceiving the world. Perhaps that's why she digs to me incomprehensible poetry, because to her that's hard reality; and I imagine she considers music that is of this world, which speaks to her not in hidden but enticing emotional tones like to you and me, but music speaks to her in concrete elements of her world.

    I thought I was weird and unique inasmuch as I don't think in words, but in concepts. But @CSalisbury tops me. I've never seen anyobody else like her. Maybe others like her have just not revealed to me this part of their essence.

    Vive la differance.
  • A Seagull
    621
    'What I really want is techniques for for how to live and techniques for how to to approach life as it is'.

    My suggestion: Learn about the world. Focus on the facts. Read philosophy if you want to, but realise that these are only ideas about the world and not the world itself; they may be useful or they may not.
  • csalisbury
    2.6k
    I think you may be building me up into an ideal and it may have something to do with
    I assume she's a womangod must be atheist
  • csalisbury
    2.6k
    All of what you say makes a great deal of sense to me. I think part of my stumbling block is that over the years I've related to many of the terms you use as abstractions. I mean, like concepts whose discursive functions I understand, but may not have the immediate resonance they may have for others. I feel like you may understand a whole world of things when you talk about integrity, patience, self-awareness. While I could probably talk persusaively for a long time about those things, and seem to demonstrate an awareness, it's difficult for me to figure out how to bring those virtues into my life. As an analogy : If we were talking about music instead, and you were a talented musician, you could describe various virtues of a good piece, and I could probably carry on a conversation. But the difference is, when you sit down at the Piano you allow these concepts and ideas to guide you. They have a resonance that reaches beyond their concepts, and reaches out and into your musical skill. But when I sit down, while I can imagine what I would like, I don't even know how to play a chord. (Now this is an exaggeration, I'm not that entirely out to sea when it comes to spiritual development, but close!)

    Another way to say this, from the lens of overcoming ego, is that the driving force of my ego is something like 'demonstrating I understand something, by talking about it' (I think this is a common problem for ex-precocious-kids, you spend a lot of time being paraded in front of adults, so that the performance of understanding becomes more important than understanding, even the main goal. My hunch is that many (most?) philosophers were ex-precocious kids.) My ego tries to hoodwink me, as much as others. I feel that it's important for me to focus on the 'chop wood, carry water' aspect of things, if that makes sense?
  • fdrake
    4.2k
    I guess the closest thing to finding a home in words is Google's empty search bar.
  • ZzzoneiroCosm
    985
    Like probably >80 percent of people on here, I was drawn to existential literature as a teenager..... What I really want is techniques for how to live, and techniques for how to approach life as it is.csalisbury

    Existentialism evolved - at least in the mind of one man: Colin Wilson (made famous and fashionable by his first book, The Outsider, in the 1950s, when he was 25 years old) - into The New Existentialism; a philosophy rooted in, and foil to, the Sartrean Nausea: centered on the notion of peak and plateau experiences as documented (later in the century) by Abraham Maslow.

    This is one path out of existential darkness and still an existentialism.
  • god must be atheist
    2.2k
    I think you may be building me up into an ideal and it may have something to do with
    I assume she's a woman
    — god must be atheist
    csalisbury

    You're right. Bad arguments start with bad assumptions.

    You are, now I realize, a cross-dressing, lesbian, post-op transvestite space alien necrophiliac hunchback robot.(*_*)

    I know I erred. But please believe me, for me this is not the first, and not the worst of instances of wrongly recognizing gender identitty.

    Furthermore, (*_*) it takes one to know one.
  • csalisbury
    2.6k
    I guess the closest thing to finding a home in words is Google's empty search bar.fdrake

    I remember in high school one time my mom, as some kind of punishment, disconnected the internet for a week. For most of that week, at night I would have this totally disproportionate feeling of fear, of being absolutely alone and in danger. I imagine its probably similar to what a bird would feel if it couldn't find materials to make a nest.
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