Be silent in a group of people for a long time and see what each of them projects onto you, how they see you even though you gave them nothing.
You can understand a lot by silence, how universe reflects and deflects itself onto you.
Who you are and who you become depending on who sees you.
The things of this world
exist, they are;
you can't refuse them.
To bear and not to own;
to act and not lay claim;
to do the work and let it go
is what makes it stay.
∆ Tao Te Ching: A Book about the Way and the Power of the Way
Being normal is a nervous place, because you can never finish performing your relation to it; on the other hand, being comfortable is also another way of thinking about what normativity provides, because if you pass as normal then you can scoot under the radar. The whole question of how you lubricate the social order never stops being difficult, and it never stops being a matter of shame, because when one confronts one’s own ambivalence and incoherence one feels in a bad faith relation to the model of ethical solidity we expect from ourselves. But what if we just trained ourselves to accept that all of us are incoherent, subject to a variety of aversive and connective impulses that we are always managing? The social then would be a totally different space of intimacy and anxiety.
∆ Lauren Berlant, The Broken Circuit (interview)
According to Friedrich Nietzsche, Western culture, Western religions, and Judeo-Christian morality have all served to pacify human beings into weak, herd-like beings, masking their potential as strong, creative, and subjective individuals with their own values and with authorship over their own life stories. So for Nietzsche, “know thyself” means something more like recognizing and embracing your individuality, your own unique perspectives, to purposefully go against the grain and against the flow of the herd—philosophically, morally, culturally, aesthetically, politically, and otherwise. The Nietzschean notion of authenticity is not merely a matter of looking inward and seeing your own essence, as if that essence were something fixed and necessary; it is a matter of embracing your own creative power to author a life story for yourself that is uniquely suited to you, actively and because of the perspectives and metaphors that you choose to create with which you actively and creatively define yourself.
ultimate purpose of self-observation
what is the purpose of taking the time to understand such a complex system, or even attempting to document the moving variables, if not learning how to live with more exquisite aliveness, more poignancy, more joy, more bliss, and more growth, more expansion — into the essence of our true selves?
I’ve never really lived my life according to what I thought would be the most fun — not explicitly anyway. That was never a question that framed my decisions: how can I have fun right now? Instead, I always asked: what can I do right now to facilitate a better future? What do I need to sacrifice for longer term gains?
Given that, I’ve had a hell of a lot of fun along the way but I just don’t want to think so much anymore. Who isn’t disenfranchised with work as we know it?
I am not saving anything else for later. I am just trying to enjoy today and where I am.
I’ve been thinking about freedom and revolution and living outside of modern society. Most people that I know within my generation are politically and socially engaged, but nobody’s “free”. And the reality is that nothing is extricable from money, not even love, because money is the vehicle by which these luxuries are able to occur.
If I was going to give all this up — “exposure”, venture capital, a quadruple hyphenate in a bio, death via capitalism — where would I even go? Which march far afield is there to join?
I often think about Fight Club. Our war is a spiritual war... and a physical one.
I’m starting to think that maximising fun is the closest I might feel to freedom.