The Scandal of Our Own Pleasure

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Pleasure, believe it or not; is a moral imperative. One’s own pleasure. Yours. Your own.

If you’re watching or reading an Altruist based story like Lord of the Rings, you will know what the author believes: that the joy in life comes primarily from others and hence, the character “Smeagal” (spelling?) or “Golem,”  finds great evil in considering the ring “His Precious,” “His Own.” As if owning something and only wanting it for yourself were somehow inherently wrong. I ask myself, well wait, are there any other instances in the story of someone holding or enjoying something precious to them, only for themselves, not associated with direct absolute evil? Not really. Most of the acts in the movie that is, only feature…  

…love, romantic love, which may be an exception in itself, or perhaps there is no other scene where one person is seen enjoying an object that after all could only be for oneself.

Is it wrong to want for yourself, and only yourself and consider this a moral imperative? Everybody is so busy and in such a rush to please others. Perhaps more deeply should be looked: if everyone was selfish wouldn’t the world collapse? Of course it would and this extreme example is intended to bide time into deflecting the real issue: of course it’s only right that we ban together. But hey everybody wake up, we live in an ultra technological nation state, decentralizing megolopolis where food will eventually be so cheap that hunger itself will be in question. America already has the lowest (worst) yet absolute lowest food cost proportionally. It’s becuase of aboslute hypocrisy and horrible compartmentalization on the part of our Victorian age government; that we even have to question need or hunger, the technology is there to feed twice 8 Billion. And we know it. 

Pleasure is the point of life everyone. What if everyone were selfish? Well, maybe at least then people wouldn’t be so depressed, their happiness once they get past “the Bling ;)” –would take center stage and they might care about themselves and hence, have the self-esteem enough to want actually, selfishly want to help others for non-fake reasons like fear and conformity–and finally… finally act on behalf of the world. Because of the love of their life and what happens to others is ultimately what happens to you. It is not Altruism, it is intelligence. 

I am the most selfish person I know. I am also one of the most collectively concerned. It is because I am intelligent enough to realize that the wool has been pulled over our eyes to make us slaves to another’s greed. What about our greed? What about yours?

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The distance between an idea and its living reality is perception and possibility.

The distance between an idea and its living reality is perception and possibility. This distance is what prevents convergence of point of view, forever enslaving us to endless wars with ourselves.  People must get in touch with the deeply implicit, subtle embedded cultural and familial assumptions and behaviors behind their point of view–in order to see around their point of view.

What you thought was a wall, is actually four walls with no encasing “house.” But the thing is, you think of it as a real house. And you see it as a collection of things, but you may have forgotten a telescope and windows.

This “non-house” includes these four walls with four doors.

The doors lead to no where but other non-houses with other non doors. But you are distracted from this fact because there may be many things in these “rooms,” but only things you have already found. You start to feel you are discovering things when you’re really unearthing things. Both are important.

The thing is that all the walls and doors exist, but since they go no where, they might as well really just not. This is the same with playing only chess with yourself: you are acting without an external purpose, and will only repeat already discovered walls and doors.

The illusion of this house is the root of our doom until consciousness makes it our invariable salvation.

 

Morning of Resignation and Synthesis

 You must access the luminous part of your mind.

Get intoxicated, or be sober when you wake up.

But make sure these moments are seized, and that this happens to you. You aren’t living really, otherwise.

That you see that seeping dollop of light pouring through the poor power of your blinds.

It is not a moment of rational discovery, but of instant rapture.

The mind realized something.

You don’t entirely know yet, what it is. That is the discovery. Often it happens when you step out, take a risk, the mind finds a way.

Otherwise, all is linear growth.

In these moments, it’s not that anything becomes possible, it’s that so much more is realized in that instant than any other in the previous weeks, months or whatever…

It’s because the brain has pulled something together, overnight or during your daydreams…

I woke up one morning and could tell time.

As a kid.

Same thing happened to tying shoes.

It sounds like the first track on The Division Bell. As far as music, I could list volumes of songs.

An advancing series of simple piano notes.

I can see snow.

And possiblities.

Dreams of New York, me trudging through the Jersey Heights cliffs to see the Empire State backed to a stolid grey. Clouds that look like movement.

It’s right under your nose. The key to unlock it; the answer to the problem, the way to get rich, the way to crack the cement wall and tunnel out.

And you must act though.

You have to grab that moment and run with it.

Study, your job, my paintings… This is when the realization must be realized.

It’s what all human evolution is based on: anomalous mutations that happen to get a break.

Or they don’t and wait for the next mutation to come around.

Memoir and Predictions on the Near Future

I think the most salient element of my life has been being too ahead for my age and place. Not in every realm, surely not in most realms, nor it seems even some or more of my own realms… But indeed, I was very mature for my age, very young and was in a neighborhood and upbringing that nurtured thinking.

Let me restate: that nurtured thinking better in comparison to the rest of the country. I grew up in Fairfax County, one of the absolute richest in the  U.S.

I had no idea of this until recently and I took it all for granted.

I must also state that I, because of my gifts for art and thinking, in being too ahead in this way, paid the price and devolved to some extent. To the point where people thought of me as a real asshole. My own echo-chamber I can see now, was the enemy to some good extent.

In the more recent part of my life, the echo-chamber grew a personality trait of a maladaptive, misanthropic vision for humanity as insulation against the anti-intellectual onslaught I wasn’t ready for. This began in high school as my mother’s death became for the first time a real possibility in my mind. It is easy to let oneself adapt to their surroundings through pure defense, when seeing the other point of view, no matter how base you might consider it to be, is an effective deterrent and can even unravel problems.

It was my parents who taught me to think.

Far different a thing to teach one how to think, the most important thing for children aside from the how, is just to think at all.

When I say thinking, I do not mean picking up a book once a day, or any isolated bourgeois cocktail party equivalent–but nothing less than at least a regular and habitual, genuine interest in ideas and their implications that at least takes up a significant part of every day.

In my family, and I would later find almost solely in houses of what I’m finding in looking back, Jewish people I knew.  There were stories read to us, and thinking about those stories was verbalized and debated. Later, verbal arguments and verbal politics were conversations of my youth where Greek traditions of the oral sort were actually practiced. I remember being excited to get up and talk ideas over coffee with a best friend’s mom, or the night before, a party where big ideas passed like water and honey.

In these days, thinking, genuine 19th century poetic style interest in ideas, is a rarity. This is a sad fact.

Later in life I would find and have found in virtually every other part of the country I’ve been to, to be a stock inventory of the rank-in-file life of passive consumerism; something I railed at ever since age 14. I found in the duration of my life, that my initial conclusions about consumerism and its corporate stranglehold on especially the American public–were real. Actually real.

Virtually every other part of the country is riddled with people that can remain in one place for a very long time and enjoy their “lives” and be fine. Who don’t need more than a TV, media driven entertainment, and enough to eat and breed. But it’s real. All too real a tragedy. But it’s always been this way and perhaps would always be if technology wasn’t exponential in growth, which it is, forcing the mind millennium to grow into a zygote. At least. The first signs of these first bouts with European level unemployment rates is the infancy of a far more massive 3rd world existence in the North Western Hemisphere.

The future is still driven by entrepreneurs that are too few. The web has still not caught on in the individual-basis of decentralization. Right now, were seeing polarization of political parties which has divided the country inside mass sized echo worlds. Due to the fact that the individual and individual group can achieve a pure homeostasis inside a self-media driven echo chamber will catch on and on and on and grow and grow until first, we see the landscape of suburbia begin to take an even stronger urban character. Then, we will hear of another rise of cults…then, states might be bringing up their rights, though this may already be a moot point. I mean, why do we need to congregate by means of states when our electronics can be functional anywhere. Zombie movies perhaps mark the first unconsious public realization that we are no longer contained by national borders, and now the ground we walk on is itself back to the medevil view of rolling decentralized hills and embankments, vague fuedal territories and maybe even how the Native Americans viewed the land as the land eternal.

We can’t see over the hills, there is just too much information.

Epic Life

“Sieze the day boys…make your lives extraordinary.”

“I say that one must be a seer, make oneself a seer. The poet makes himself a seer by a long, prodigious, and rational disordering of all the senses. Every form of love, of suffering, of madness; he searches himself, he consumes all the poisons in him, and keeps only their quintessences. This is an unspeakable torture during which he needs all his faith and superhuman strength, and during which he becomes the great patient, the great criminal, the great accursed – and the great learned one! – among men. – For he arrives at the unknown! Because he has cultivated his own soul – which was rich to begin with – more than any other man! He reaches the unknown; and even if, crazed, he ends up by losing the understanding of his visions, at least he has seen them! Let him die charging through those unutterable, unnameable things: other horrible workers will come; they will begin from the horizons where he has succumbed.

-Arthur Rimbaud

It’s really hazardous to vow things to yourself. The power of inner suggestion is far too powerful to handle consciously. I vowed these two tenets when I began to think of life as a means of living and not slavery.

You know most people? They’re just slaves. Anyone that does not live by the two tenets here is a slave by definition as someone who does not live on one’s own terms.

Someone today caught me though, and brought a spring back to my life.

I talked to my daughter today for the first time in I don’t know how long. She sounded so much older. That meant nothing to me growing up, but it does now. I know the meaning of it, of someone’s progress. She’s French, so most of our talk was in her native tongue although she  seems to understand a lot of “L’Anglais.” She was so cute and intelligent, something curiously apt behind every simple thing she illuminated. Talking about her school and her cats. She just lost her grandfather too. And her father, (me) is more than 5000 miles away. We will talk on the phone tomorrow. Again. She called me Daddy. That was surprising, she has so much reason to hate me.

Elementary School.

I spent two different first grades in two different schools. As mentioned, Brenmar Elemtary and Ravenworth.

The reason was because I got held back after the first year after the first grade. Don’t remember much about Kindergarden or pre-school. I have some very strange memories of rainy days, girls, me clutching a Federal Express styrofoam airliner model that my Dad gave me. Have no idea from where or how but I think it had something to do with his work. He was a Word Processor early on, (yep!) and then later a Real Estate agent. I eventually crushed it I think, the airplane, after taking it with me to school too many times. I always hated the sound of crushing styrofoam. Always made me sad.

In terms of school, I had probably what was dyslexia, or something akin to it, but I was diagnosed ‘Reading Disabled,’ and therefore (I believe) LD, or ‘Learning Disabled.’ Ironically enough, I would later be put into GT, or Gifted and Talented (6th grade) and learn the difference between what boiled down to smart people and the rest. Yes, I can say that with a good bit of confidence. That’s later.

Mrs. Arola was my first grade teacher at Brennmar, Mrs. Shermetzler my second and first grade teacher at Ravensworth. All I remember from Shermetzler was that she didn’t like me standing out too much. One day I wore a white glove to class and even stretched it out in front of the kids one morning upon receiving a paper. When it met my white soft velvet gloved hand, Shermetzler said: “What’s with the glove?” I have no idea what I said back. Probably nothing. Felt ashamed. I always took everything WAY too seriously. Columbine shooter kind of geek kid in his infancy I suppose. Eh, those stupid Columbine kids are nothing, fuck em, I grew up on Hitler movies.

My father, interestingly enough, for bettwe or for worse (though we all know it’s for the better 😉 had a very interesting and dichotomous infatuation with ‘The Fuhrer.’

Well, our Fuhrer, Der Fuhrer. Okay. Well, anyway, we weren’t anti-semitic, at all. And I am not one to this day. Some of the most influential people in my life were Jews, and I have no problem with this. Tops Christians anyday.

Despite this, right along with it was my Dad’s big World War II interests coming out of the 1960’s Nuremburg trials. They are quite interesting indeed. My Dad’s Dad was a Colonel in the U.S. Army coming out of WW2 himself. So I can definitely see where the interest path lies to Hitler and the War. My Dad’s most notorious Hitler story from his youth was the time he decided to hang a swastika flag outside his room in his house I beleive on Long Pine Drive, Virginia. It was discovered by The Colenel’s boss I beleive when THE GENERAL came to dinner one night. Great. Must have made em wonder. Eh, oh well, nothing was said I don’t think until after the meal I bet.

Hitler, like the Columbine kids, was confused, creative, and angry at a depression filled country where you could never pay for coffee upon ordering coffee, but only upon leaving the shop cause inflation was so rapid that even 15 minutes not only could change the price, but did, basically every time I think. In those days. 30’s.

It wasn’t just Hitler. My parents, both of them, good ol’ liberals. I didn’t end up that way, but hey, they can’t be perfect right? Heh. Anyway, funny enough, Hitler was my introduction aside from my Dad into the life and mind of the Artist in terms of what I consider now to be genetics. Think Hannibal and his cell of fine cutlured items, his paintings, his wish to peer out a window. I can hear Anthony Hopkins doing Lector now…

“I want a view with water…” Chilling voice. So calm, so rational, yet, underneath…

My Dad yelled. A lot. Spontaneously in terms of our point of view. Perhaps that made for a metaphysics of constant alertness for me. I would later read this was similar for the Vienna based artist as well. 😉

The Themes were this: The relationship of, the fine lines between civility and barbarism, dark genius and altruism. Dynamism vs. Statis identity. As McLuhan says, “The Nazi is tribal.”

I grew up thinking of life on epic terms in the way that an Artist faces the world, and namely the Beurocrat. “Yes, the beaurocrat with his nice tidy desk, doesn’t know what to make of the Artist and his vivi-sectional (living section) view of life…”  -Marshall McLuhan

The story of the Artist is something I began to consider myself with reluctance and at every turn learned that ignoring this would be to my detriment. That’s why I was never pretentious in reality, an Artist is what I figured out who I was.

My mom played into this. I think Ruth Coombs (maiden name) thought I was some sort of Pariah. I swear. That woman treated me like a Price. Spoiled me, oh yeah. It’s a confidence that never goes away. Steve Jobs, I am learning recently was similar that way with, I forget, but I think it was his mom.

Tangent to this: Two of my closest friends would be El Salvadorian and I would learn that there were other mothers like mine, who made their sons into what was beyond ‘momma’s boys.’ I think it might have been the Jewish influence in my family. From my mom. Maybe somewhere down the line the value of knowledge was passed on.

Temporary Like Achilles

It’s hard to know who a traitor is.

“Treason doth never prosper. Why? Because if treason prospered, none dare call it treason.” – JFK, Oliver Stone

The major reigning institution of our time, primarily government dominated corporatism, or oligarchy, a business run society, finds it convenient to pour propaganda into believing in the Achilles tendon approach to life and logic by always going after non-sequitors to debunk claims.

Why?

Well consider that most people you know are probably oriented toward reasoning that looks for anything to disprove any theory. Whether you know it or not. I’ve even been duped by the present form of business and remnant Christendom in the form of skepticism.

That is, the skeptic movement is extremely convenient for big business that depends on making big theories into hash. We don’t see it but it’s there. For the right, the American oligarchy is trying pit the right against the left out of poking ‘holes’ in evolution. For the left, big business is trying to poke holes in anything philosophical that challenges the so-called capitalist story while supporting judeo-christian values in their propaganda. Its kind of like when I saw all of a 4 year old cousin’s Lego set of you know, random houses and people painted all in red white and blue. The advertising agenda had a conservative parental strategy in mind to sell patriotic Lego sets.

I’ve witnessed the veiling of christian ethics in the guise of the real and true science of skepticism, (vs. the philosophy I believe to be inherently flawed) which I believe in good enough numbers, to be a hidden Christian movement, as many skeptics are also former Church goers. Michael Shermer, a former Christian himself and now a leader of the skeptics movement is a poster boy for the allegedly converted atheist. Yet he is extremely populist in Rhetoric and the Things he writes about Tend to be politically motivated, yet, go figure–sound in content. Practically being raised atheist, myself, I see where the interpersonal gaps are.

The truth is not in what we’re saying (cause people will think your crazy) but even the most adamant conservative brainwashed Fox News junky, or conditioned liberal MSNBC monk, will reveal things about how desperate they feel through implicit means such as inflection, but also content, when their living space is under attack. My late grandfather, a very conservative christian former WW2 Colonel railed against corporate clear cutting of forests in Maine, as said, only cause he lived there, but still, it shows what people actually believe once their interests are threatened.

I’ve had 4 close friends pose as Intellectuals who are actually touting status quo religious attitudes. Funny enough, I have to admit I am partially a religious thinker in method. That is, I think the mental process of  rapture is necessary to a healthy epistemology. Another story for another time.

I am not saying that all skeptics are synonymous with Christian values, but that business is profiting off of playing one group against another so that the acquisition of threatening quantities of Capitol are kept at shallow equadistant levels for the common ‘Peasantry.’ According to Michael Moore which I later verified, Citibank group leaked a document describing the American people as ‘Peasantry.’

It’s no secret that those in power consider things from a medieval point of view since their real business is power and force. Global domination. At present I do not see major signs that the global corporate agenda is coming at all exclusively from the right, though it may.

My point here is that people are translating bottom lines into lived philosophy. The bottom line inside the corporate model, is a job in which (unless it’s tech, and most often even then) you must work all of your vital weekly hours inside someone else’s dream of your life. This consumer model environment has been rendered temporary by the advent of the Internet and its decentralization of culture. Meanwhile centralized authority strives to make all countries sit stagnant together, as Chomsky points out, into ‘a low wage equilibrium’ within a blanket of constant war and low scale innovation. He has a tantamount quantity of controlled evidence to support this.

So when a close friend or family tells you that trying to get rich is a pipe dream,they may be correct, or they may not, but don’t ever close the door on any idea because people are telling you it just isn’t gonna happen. What you’re confronting is not an opinion, but very possibly, a conditioned reflex.

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