Follow Your Meaning
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15th July 2005
20th April 2004
All is Love
For those of you that are lost or feel lost or feel that you don't know who you are, know that you are not alone. :
For those of you who are searching for an answer to a question you don't know how to ask, know that it will come.
The past week for me has been a blessing, and I wrote the following to sum it up.
Today is my 25th Birthday.
I felt like I came home today.
The ride home with Akkilesh was probably one of the best experiences of my life. He and I basically talked through anything and everything. And in that vain, there was a lot of healing done, that I found someone I could share all my intellectual crap with and not get into an argument. And that I could stop identifying with being the talker, so I just allowed myself to do the talking.
My whole week away from work was me being shown one thing after another, things clicking and falling into place, and the picture became clearer than it has ever been in my life.
I see myself now as part of the human organism on this planet. I feel like each human being is a living Koan. That we are put here to embody principles. And that we find ourselves by wrestling with that principle. Richard Rose says he was a Mirror for the Absolute. I felt like I climbed the Ladder of Language. It wasn't me that was doing the real work of the climbing, it was all being integrated on its own. I don't know that I can even claim to have picked that particular vector. But the Koan I focussed on was the one of language. I was lost, and I could not find myself if it were not for others healing me on various levels, all of which was caused by misidentification of one form or another. I now have a very deep and profound sense that we're all connected. That we rely on each other and are designed to work together.
It wasn't until this TAT meeting that I heard that Rose's first task was to heal a person when they came to him. And I feel like that no matter what happens, all there is is healing. But its the system that heals itself, and nothing I do can ever do better than what the system can do on its own. (The sytem is the interconnected thing which I am watching/experiencing) The system knows how to heal itself better than I ever would, if I were to act on some misbegotten idea of trying to heal anything. The healing happens automagically.
I see what I took to be myself, Edward, as a part of some mysterious whole. That I took myself to be Edward meant I was separated from the whole, by definition. The idea of Edward is just a part and is separate in the world of ideas. I mistakenly took Edward to be what was constant. But Edward is something that will end, and I am beginning to see how Edward is Integrated into the rest of Humanity. I am beginning to see how he is needed and how he is connected to his environment.
Today was my birth-day.
And I was greeted with a present from God.
I felt lost in a sea of turbulent language. Today the storm stopped, the clouds parted and rays of sunshine began to make the waves sparkle, shimmer and glisten.
23rd January 2004
Alright, I've been feeling pain on a spiritual level. Every instance of pain I feel, I'm going to blog about. :
First and foremost: I'm writing an e-mail for my email@example.com account and hit send and the server tells me my connection timed out and that I need to log in again. OUCH!!!! I just lost the e-mail and yahoo doesn't save it for me. Time to write a really big bitch letter.
Second: I really really hate ambiguity, needing to do something and not knowing how to do it or what the process is for doing it. This one causes me lots and lots and lots of pain. Just plain not knowing what to do.
6th December 2003
This journal is now alive. Or at least I'm giving myself the freedom to post in it again ;). I think I'm bored and want to contact people. Just took down a profile on the internet singles site. Just wasn't working out for me and I'm really just looking to meet new people. :
28th September 2003
It was 8:45 when I boarded the bus at the corner of Forbes and Murray in Squirrel Hill. I could have walked 15 minutes to get to class, but I would have risked being late. The chemistry professor was more than obvious about noticing who interrupted his lecture by walking in while he was talking. It didn't matter what your circumstance were, if you were not in your seat at the time class was supposed to begin then you were not a good student. Fifteen minutes of walking in the open air wasn't worth losing face over. :
I stepped onto the bus and noted the stale dead air trapped within it. None of the windows were open and the dense smell of all walks of life permeated the mobile chamber. I maneuvered myself through the gauntlet of fat legs, canes, backpacks, and grocery bags, making my way to the back of the bus where it was more open. Touching just one of those obstacles would be like sounding a gong in psychological space and require a ritual apology for disturbing the peaceful reverie of being absorbed in your own thoughts. One touch and the moods of two people would be changed irreversibly.
I made it through unchanged, taking special care to tred softly while passing an older man who looked like he was ready to bite someone's head off. His cheeks sagged off the sides of his face making him look like a bull dog and his jaw clenched periodically from the tensions that surrounded his eyes and scalp. I always tried to pay attention to other people, especially their facial features and their attitudes. Lines etch themselves permanently betraying a history of prolonged happiness, pain, anger, or loneliness.
The population of this bus was about par for most bus rides. A few old ladies in the front spoke in a language I didn't understand, most likely polish. Lots of students chatting amongst themselves and the occasional one or two who dress for attention, spikes, chains, dyes, polka dots, leather, hot pink, lunch pails, and more. Towards the back were the working class and families. I took up residence in the aisle a few seats back from a mother and her 6 year old boy. They were wearing their Sunday best, though it was Tuesday. She had a face set with grim determination, but the boy was yet untainted by society. His eyes still had the look of awe and wonder in them. The boy's mother opened a bottle of juice and handed it to him.
As the bus lurched into motion I grabbed onto the railings above my head and hung mostly from my arms, feeling my shoulders stretch under the tension. The path of the bus was fairly simple. We would go straight for a few blocks, picking up passengers where there were bus signs, and then curve off to the right as Forbes began to descend from this squirrelly hill. At the bottom of the hill I would get off and walk the rest of the way to my chemistry class. At least I would have that time to clear my nose of the smell inside the bus.
As the bus rolled on, the boy slurped noisily from his bottle of juice, trying to make a loud gurgling sound by sucking air over his lip, into the bottle and then into his mouth. Of course that which amuses 6 year old boys tends to grate on the nerves of parents and other adults. The grim mother chastised her boy and he began to sip gingerly from his bottle.
Inertial frames shifted as the bus turned to follow Forbes, now heading downwards. My body swung out from the turn and my arms shifted to pull me back into alignment with the bus’s momentum. The boy almost lost his bottle of juice and let out an exclamation of surprise. “Don’t spill your juice, Jeremy. That’s the only pair of nice clothes you got.”
As the bus continued its downward descent, I continued to hang from my arms on the railings near the ceiling and Jeremy continued to be a 6 year old boy. Juice would enter the boy’s mouth, but not immediately go down his throat. Jeremy lapped his tongue in a standing pool of liquid in the bottom of his mouth, making clicking sounds. He would also lower his tongue into this pool to see if he could make the juice rise to the edge of his lips without flowing over. Jeremy looked around the bus to see if anyone was looking at him, and I returned an amused and knowing smile. He grinned at me and almost lost his mouthful of juice before he swallowed it. “Turn around and face forward.” The boy’s mother looked around trying to see if anyone was paying attention to them and I acted like I wasn’t aware of anything.
“Forbes at Margaret Morrison” the bus driver called over the loud speaker. That was my stop. I pulled myself out of the gravity well created by my dangling and called out to the driver the request not to have to face the gauntlet to get off the bus: “Back Door Please???” The bus driver glanced up and our eyes touched glances and quickly rolled away, having exchanged a superficial recognition between driver and passenger. I began to walk forward and resorted to stomping to slow my momentum down as the bus began to brake under me.
As I passed Jeremy, he lifted his bottle of juice to take a drink. At that moment I knew what would happen. No juice came to his lips because the bus was breaking. He tilted the bottle higher to try to make the fluid flow down hill despite its momentum pushing it into the base of the bottle. The bus came to a stop and lurched back throwing a river of juice out the mouth of the bottle and spraying into Jeremy’s gaping maw. Gagging and coughing, Jeremy sprayed juice over himself and his mother.
“Jesus Christ! I told you not to spill your juice.” I watched as Jeremy’s mother went into a tirade about how clumsy he was and irresponsible, that he couldn’t even manage a bottle of juice without spilling it. The back door opened. Tears began to well in the boy’s eyes and fear as he raised his hands almost expecting to be hit. I wanted to interject and say that it wasn’t the boys fault. He was just 6 and the bus lurched. But whatever it was that she had dressed them up for had now been ruined. I didn’t know how she would react if I stepped in, and the last thing I wanted was to get Jeremy beat from making a scene and bringing unwanted attention on him and his mother. I decided there wasn’t really anything I could do and got off the bus.
I walked to class reflecting on my desire to act and the inaction that proceeded from it. I had experienced this conflict before. Wanting to interject in the heat of an exchange but knowing that my interjection would cause ripples which I could not control and that I could make the situation worse and not better. Am I doomed to live out a life of inaction? Of not being able to help because whether or not I am actually helping or harming isn’t clear? It’s almost as if I could feel the boundaries of people’s perceptions and pushing into their awareness and crossing that boundary causes ripples of effect beyond my ability to predict and control. Am I doomed to live forever outside of the bubbles the people wrap themselves in? Can I pierce through that bubble without it popping or blowing up in my face? I can’t control how other people perceive me.
I sat in class but didn’t really pay attention. What does chemistry matter when it comes to people hurting each other? Class went on and I started to pay attention when the professor began talking about electron shells and quantum probabilities. I didn’t see a solution to the problem then, and I don’t see much of one now. Except now I sometimes act when I feel like there isn’t much harm that can come of my actions. People are going to see what they want to see.
11th July 2003
Something to read while on the John
Mind and thought are pure reasoning devices. Descarte, when he stated "I think therefore I am", made the biggest mistake in the history of academic integrity and western thought has been paying the price ever since. There is consciousness without thought and there is self awareness without thought. "I am" needs no antecedent justification to conclude it. "I am" is self evident. Without "I am" there can be no thoughts, no awareness, no anything. I'm not talking about the thought, "I am", I am talking about the experience of "I am". :
The mind and thinking in general functions in two ways: problem solving or mindless chatter (ignore poetry for the time being, I actually lump that into problem solving). Memes are the mindless chatter. And to someone who is entrenched in the memetic whirlpool, the enlightened appear to be susceptible to memes as well. Someone is highly susceptible to memes when they do not have a strong sense of Self. No, I will not define Self.
Here is the problem with defining terms before using them: It no longer allows room for growth in understanding. How did you learn your language? If you're like me you learned it through your ability to imitate other sounds and through Self Awareness. Let me explain. I'm going to assume you are further like me and that your thought processes are aural.
Your mother taught you the word dog by showing you what a dog was and uttering the word at the same time. You experienced both the aural sensation and the experience of viewing the dog. Your mother did not define the term dog for you in terms of other terms: "Its like a cat with a longer nose and a squarer body". This process of defining terms in terms of other terms is just pushing back the issue. The Fact of the matter is that we learned our first terms through experience. Thought is a cyclical process in the mind. Thought begets thought.
Developing language requires Self Awareness, the aural sound and the experience are present in consciousness at the same time. Through repetition and through the process of abstraction the aural sound within our heads takes precedence over our experience. We are very much an associative map whose relations get refined more and more through a process of abstraction. And so the thought DOG becomes more powerful and more real than each individual experience of all the different dogs. The thought DOG points to the essence of DOGness which each dog posesses.
In the beginning there was God. And God spoke the Word. And the Word took on its own life and God was forgotten. Language at first was very tied to concrete experience. But as language grew, and as man evolved, the ability to compare and contrast things lead to abstraction, thought became prominent in man's consciousness. Thought begets thought and so thinking shadows the rest of the conscious experience. We are very much a nueral network in that the more something is experienced the more it sticks around. And so the thought is more "real" than what the thought points to. The associative nueral network creates a chain reaction of thought.
This is the mind's rise to power and the birth of man's ego. With language and thought came the ability to predict. One man creates a model from his own experience and passes the model on to other men who do not have the experience that led up to the creation of the model. The model is a thought structure. A model with no experience to back it up is a meme. And behold the relative truth of the model aided in man's survival but the meaning and experience that led to the model's creation was not transferred by the model from one man into the next.
Man is now a meme machine, passing models around purely for utility sake. And in this void of Meaning, Pleasure and Pain were found. Those models which had no meaning, but evoked sensual pleasure became viral. Man now believes the purpose of the model is to provide and maximize pleasure. Pleasure is the only reality man knows now. But with pleasure comes pain, the absence of pleasure. And thus suffering was found. And the pleasure became Good and the pain became Evil. Once Adam gains the knowledge of Good and Evil (more like once he's hypnotized by its rhythm cycles) he has become separated from God (Meaning) and loses his way.
Fast forward years of cultural evolution. The models are refined, the pleasure pain cycle roots itself as the motivation for existence. Man's world is full of thoughts and theories. The purpose of thought is models. The purpose of modelling is control. The purpose of control is to avoid pain and maximize pleasure. Pain and Pleasure exist only in the absence of Meaning. More often than not, pleasure is a zero sum game because it is tied to the consumption of resources. And one man's pleasure, if anything, induces pain in another.
I have no faith in Man's egotistical inclinations. Objectivism is the ultimate worship of Man's Ego. Objectivism is a cutthroat society, one that ravishes the world and consumes its resources for profit. Ayn Rand had faith in man's Ego, but since man is finite he gives little pause to think about others and about the state of the world in the future. Its about immediate gratification, a maximization of acquisition because acquiring, possessing, mastering, dominating, all of this, yeilds pleasure. One man's pleasure is another man's pain. Men and women are different and want different things from each other and so they cause each other pain in their trying to gain pleasure.
But I have gone far astray from where I started. I began with the developement of language and its birth at the dawn of man. Every child goes through the same learning process; they are brought through 2000 years of evolution in language and culture in 12 years. They are forced into memorizing models because they have not the experience to give them meaning. And there are now models which never had a birth from true Meaning to begin with.
But what is this Meaning? It is the whole of experience. It is that which gives birth to words, which allows a child to learn language. And there are a few people out there who have stumbled upon true Meaning. All you have to do is figure out how you got here from when you were a child. Pleasure and Pain are an illusion, they are not real. Concepts are not real, not without their alignment with experience. There is a kind of enantiodromia (google it) that occurs through the process of abstraction. From perception, abstraction creates the concept. From conception, abstraction create platonic form. And from platonic form you begin to become more aware of yourself again on a wholistic conscious level.
Where am I going with this? It took all of your consciousness to learn language. We wonder why the language learning ability stops at a certain age. It's not because the teenage mind looses plasticity, its because the teenage mind becomes hypnotized with the words and looses awareness of the rest of his conscious experience. Maybe that is a hormonal process, I don't know. But I do know that there is no real learning without going back once more to the whole of consciousness and checking the entire experience.
If I am going to introduce a new concept, there are three ways I can go about it. I can define it statically, I can use it in a context, or I can give you instructions on how to create the experience of it. If the concept postulates something completely new, defining it statically will never work. Using it in a context will only work if the person is able to evaluate the usage in a wholistic manner. And giving instructions for an experience also presumes a Self awareness that will be able to recognize the key qualities that are part of the concept.
Requiring static definition is a defence tactic by the Ego. The Ego is very much alive. It fights for survival and is afraid to die. And while man is identified with his Ego, He too is afraid to die. The ego emerged in the absence of Meaning, the wholistic awareness of consciousness. The ego exists as a thought pattern combined with the need to seek pleasure and avoid pain.
Think about it. How did you learn language? How much intelligence, intuition and power does a child have while growing up? What if this power and intelligence is still there to be tapped into? The ego is hiding it, thinking it will lose itself and die. It is ironic. The Ego prides itself about how smart it is, all the while keeping man separate from his true source of intelligence.
Math and Language are Necessary. The man who first made a model created it through Meaning. He used Language as a tool to analyze his own experience and extrapolated from it predictions. Man's language now is polluted with empty memes that are catchy, but meaningless. They are based on utility. But this utility is an illusiory one. The real utility of language comes from when a man starts from a meaningful state and then uses language to take him to another more meaningful state. Predicate logic is a property carrying tool. The conclusions have the same properties as the premises. If man wants to use Logic for its real purpose, he must first purify his language to that which is Meaningful. And then his reasoning will maintain Meaningful conclusions. But since man starts with empty memes and empty models, his conclusions are even more empty because they are that much further from the Truth.
It is my thesis that the man who is more in tune with his complete awareness and has his mind as a tool is infinitely more capable intellectually than a man who is hypnotized by the power of the mind and yet ignores the source of his intuition and capacity to learn new things. To get to the first state, the ego must die, the mind must be stopped from its cyclical recursion.
To kill the ego, focus on the here and now. You do not need to make assumptions about the world. Feel your experience of the world, do not be hypnotized by concepts. Surrender your belief that you are in control, that you can even be in control. Be completely honest with yourself in all things. Become aware of your presence and the presence of others. Do not fear your emotions, but let them be expressed. Know the difference between knowing and believing. Be aware of your own language usage, notice when you are compelled to use the phrase "I believe" or "I think", that is your soul making you honest. Be constantly aware of how things are different and how they are the same. You are the only source of your own understanding. You are the only source of your own Truth. You are God, because any God as an object of your awareness is by definition less than yourself. You are Nothing. You are the Space that gives definition to all things. Actions happen without you needing to make them happen. Living Life is Effortless. Just Be.
16th December 2002
Moving day arrives. In 30 hours I'll be a very tired Joe in New Hampshire. The change and transitions are depleting me mentally and emotionally. All thats left is for the physical depletion to take place in driving all night tonight to get there. :
I wouldn't be so out of it if I didn't feel like I was leaving something behind and moving into a giant unknown. Here there is security and familiarity. There are also friends. There I get to start over on everything.
All the inertia built up over my childhood, adolescence, and college years has put me on this path. The speed is slow, but the mass of the barge I'm on is tremendous. Stopping it or redirecting it would require a huge effort on my part. I've contemplated it. And in some sense I'm still contemplating it. I'll be contemplating it all the while it drifts and carries me away. Nothing yet inspires me into action, but I feel like I'm waiting for something.
Time to let go and let inertia take over.
10th December 2002
I sit alone as the world passes me by. :
The pain is to great and I wonder: "When will I die?"
I'm too scared to let go and feel what is there.
Its been two years since I've had true emotions to bare.
Fear seperates me from my soul,
Numbness keeping me a part from the whole.
I didn't ask to be brought into this,
broken, torn, everything amiss.
6th December 2002
In one weeks time my apartment will be empty of its furnishings. Everything will be packed and put into storage, and most of my furniture thrown into the garbage. The future is uncertain. Tentative plans exist, but who knows. Nothing new except this post and I doubt I'll post much more later. Who knows. :
23rd November 2002
Why are we debating this topic? :
Everyone in this argument is here to defend their ego. This topic was started because the poster wanted to get an ego boost from telling everyone else: "You're wrong, I'm right. I posess the Truth so give up your Lies and bow down before My God (Me)." I haven't read a comment yet on this thread that didn't stink to high heaven of egotistical teleological elitism. I'm not going to be any better because I have the biggest ego out of this group. The mere mention of a religious argument on this forum was enough to perk up my ears, sharpen my hunting knife and jumpt into the fray.
Why are we debating this topic?
Does how we got here REALLY matter? Seriously. You're here NOW. How do you even Know what happened before you became conscious and started accumulating memories? Fact of the matter is, none of us were around 6k years ago, 800 million years ago, 15 billion years ago. All of us that are here, typing into these things we call computers, have only been around for 100 years at the most. We can only personally testify to what we have experienced ourselves and THINK we understand(?).
On top of that our personal testimony is tainted by subjective perception. We see things through a series of filters based on fears and aesthetics. All of us here have a different attitude towards the Al Qaida. Some of us really hate them, and others of us don't hate them at all, and a few of us might even sympathize with them. How is such variety in opinion possible? We're all human, we're all americans, we all saw the same cnn footage being replayed over and over, and yet we all don't think alike in the least.
We can't even begin to have a MEANINGFUL debate/discussion on where we came from without some serious epistemology. How do you know(?) what you think you know?
The bible is a massive text filled with letters, grouped into words by spaces, arranged into sentences by periods, chopped up arbitrarily into verses, thematically segregated into chapters, clumped together into books by (supposedly) author, and bound together by a councel of HUMANS presumably under divine(?) influence. How many of you have stopped to even think about how in the world meaning can be given to a sequence and series of letters? When you read these words, where the hell is your understanding and comprehension of what I am writing coming from?
Your own experience with babies developing around you tells you that babies were not born with an innate ability to read and write english, arabic, chinese or hindi. You were not born knowing how to speak, read or understand english in any way. If you had been adopted into a german speaking family, you would be fluent in German. Your language skills developed within a particular environment. And no two people have the same developemental environment. No two people speak exactly the same language.
Why am I bringing this up? This seems obvious, right? Aren't we supposed to be arguing over beliefs? Yes. Well your beliefs are statements that you make within your particular language.
Its not just our language that is unique to our developemental environment. Your whole psychology developes post birth. You might be born with genetic predispositions and a few hardwired aesthetics, but most of the crap you identify with was accumulated during your formative years as a child. For all intents and purposes, a child is a peice of mostly formless clay that gets molded by its environment.
There is one thing that seems to unite us all, despite all our differences. We all have this sense of individuality, the sense of self and seperateness from everyone else, our awarenesses are divided from each other. When I feel something, its ME that is feeling it, not you. It is MY feeling and not yours. I can try to tell you what it feels like. I can try to evoke its name: frustration. But I have no way of verifying that my frustration feels like the same thing as your frustration. One word isn't enough to describe the sensation in its entirety. So I begin to delve into detail. Frustration is something I feel when I really want something but am not getting it the way I want it. But this is just more words. There is no real way to verify that we are feeling the same feeling by using words. We are all in our own submarines, looking out into the ocean through our own personal peep holes and periscopes. We talk to each other but have no real way of communicating via words what each of us is feeling. Its like trying to describe an irrational number using a finite series of rational numbers. Its mathematically impossible. Pi is not 3 + 0.1 + 0.04 + 0.001.
Here we are, arguing over what we believe, and we don't even understand how it is we came to believe these things.
How is it that we come to believe things?
We start out as blank slates. No language, no memmories, no comprehension of the world, and thus no beliefs. I wasn't conscious during this period of my life, when my language skills were developing and my memmories were beginning to record impressions of the world.
Imagine yourself in the position of a babe. What are you feeling? You hear noises, you feel sensations on your skin. You begin to recognize objects, these people that constantly reappear in your sight. They appear to be saying sounds to you over and over again. That must be "Dada" and this must be "mama". Things start congealing together as patterns repeat themselves and associations are made. Soon the babe is mobile and exploring the world on their own. The child plays with fire and gets burned and learns from the negative feed back. The same process happens culturally. Whenever the child does something "wrong" or breaks a cultural norm we punish them with negative reinforcement. Their brains begin to pick up the do's and don'ts that lead to pleasing others and avoiding reprimand. Catholic schooling has the guilt trip down to a fine art.
Why do you believe what you believe?
Most of us believe what our family believes and what our role models (the people we choose to imitate) believe. For the most part we take these linguistic statements coming out of the mouths of our authority(?) figures and presume they know what they are talking about. Mom feeds us chicken soup when we are sick, not because its REALLY good for us, but because she believes it is good for us. After all, its common knowledge, right? And if it became common knowledge it must be Truth, right? You go blind if you masterbate, right? You'll get seven years of bad luck for breaking a mirror, right? Mom must know whats best, after all she's my mother. Dr. Kavorkian must be doing the right thing, after all, he's a doctor. The pastor must know what he's talking about, after all he went to seminary school.
School is not a place where we go to learn the Truth. Church is not a place we go to learn the Truth. These are institutions with one goal in mind, to train its members to agree with each other, to make them all believe the same thing. It doesn't matter whether or not that thing is the Truth, only that it is consistent with the ideas of the people in the (?)know(?).
Mathematics is the purest form of knowledge. If there is anything that can be verified as Truth, it is mathematics. This is the one clear advantage that schools have over churches. With mathematics you can give a person the ability to manipulate numbers. And it makes sense to the person. First you learn to count, then you learn to make ratios, and on and on it progresses. Everyone knows math. Its something that can be passed from man to man and from man to machine. You learn math, not from someone telling you what to believe, but from you doing it yourself. 5-3=2. Proof: Do the math. Get 5 things, remove 3, how many are left? You can verify this to your hearts content.
Church, and every religion. Oh boy, look out. Spirituality is at its very essence a subjective thing. How do you know what you know? Its not because the bible tells you so. Thats a line of BULLSHIT. Fact of the matter is that every person that believes in the bible, that Jesus was the literal son of God (God being a concrete entity seperate from the universe), believes it because of physiological sensations and associations. There's something about being in church that triggers a sensation within certain people. It gives them a sense of beyondness, of not being alone. It gives them something concrete to hold on to while the rest of the world is confusing and completely uncertain. And while they're clinging to their pillar of stability, the thought of God being there, protecting them, they look out at their life with new perspective and it begins to change. They become happier, comforted, and can face the uncertainty of the world. Without this, without the sensation of hope the believing in a God provides, there would be no worshippers of God. There is no faith in God. The belief in God is reinforced by physiological sensations, an altered state of cosnciousness, a change in perception, and the emergence of hope while believing.
This is fine and dandy for those people that are able to feel these things. I envy you. If I felt these things, I too would have been a believer in God. I would have stayed a christian. But the fact of the matter is, I didn't feel these things and there are other people out there that don't feel these things. And we don't believe in the bible because believing in it doesn't bring us the same sensation that the believers receive from their belief. My belief in the bible as literal fact leaves me feeling uneasy and empty inside. I feel worse trying to say I believe these things than when I say I don't believe these things.
I am a spiritual seeker. I am also an atheist. We are all coming at the world from our subjective perspectives. We have our personal sensations. Some of us feel like there is a higher power accompanying us. Some of those get this feeling specifically when they believe in God, the Bible and Jesus. Others get the feeling with respect to their other religions. But some of us don't feel like there is a higher power accompanying us. There isn't anything we can do to make it seem like there is. Going to church leaves us empty and detached. Going to a mosque and synagogues do the same. I am in this group. I am alone in the world and on a personal quest to gain an understanding of human nature and awareness. I have my own sense of truth. I will know the truth when I hear it being spoken in my own language. Parts of the bible harmonize with my internal sense of Truth, but much of it doesn't.
How do you know what you know?
The answer is, you just feel it. You just know.
But we are all different. Even our senses of truth are different from each other. While things like mathematics might be universally agreed upon, there are more subjective issues of truth. Religious beliefs are in this subjective realm. If a statement harmonizes with something internal to you, you will believe the statement. If the statement doesn't harmonize with you, then you won't believe the statement.
You can't convince a believer that what he believes isn't truth by simply saying it isn't truth. And you can't make a believer of a non believer by trying to attack what they believe to be true.
What do you really know?
We live in a time of information overload. There are more statements of belief floating around than a single man is able to verify for themselves in a single lifetime. Every human out there gets exposed to a few of these statements. They try out the beliefs and see if their lives improve under the beliefs. If so, they keep the beliefs. If not then they toss them out and look for new beliefs. Nobody cares anymore about what the Truth is. All anyone cares about is the quality of their life as it is affected by the things that they choose to believe.
What is the Truth?
Fuck if I know. But I can tell you that I'm more empassioned about finding the answer than most of you.
Does God exist?
You can only honestly say yes if you've personally met him. And that experience can only act as a witness to yourself. You can't tell anyone else whether or not God exists, its something that has to be verified for ourselves.
2nd November 2002
I've been working on an abstraction. It deals with the interplay between emotions, feelings and turning them into words, putting them into expressed form. I feel it adequately captures communication that isn't mindless chatter. When something is expressed with emotion, is heart felt, or is a description of an internal sensation (everything is internal sensations) then it is generated in a process that is analogous to this one. :
From a few of the people I've told this abstraction to, they've said: "Its a nice abstraction, but what's the point?" The point is that it looks at the problem of trying to describe emotion and feeling adequately in the framework of very solid concepts. This abstraction is in and of itself a creation from the process it describes. There are many of us out there that have trouble describing the way we feel. Our emotions are so intricate and complex that simple words cannot capture their essence and express what needs to be expressed. This gives us a framework for understanding what is going on and a reminder that words can often fail to describe adequately.
Emotions and feelings have pressure. When you think about a steam engine and all the compressed steam waiting to be released, wanting to escape, its the same feeling with emotions that are pressing to be expressed. I want to look at what is there that feels this pressure. I'm not going to identify it literally, but instead will leave it metaphorical while trying to capture its essence. Unlike the steam engine, where the pressure is contained within a very hard and unimpressionable steel casing, the casing that contains feelings and emotions is impressionable and deformable.
The analogy I'm going to use is a piece of two dimensional elastic. Stretch it out in every direction so that it is taught. In your mind, take your hand and press into the stretched elastic. As your hand presses into the elastic, its surface deforms and conforms to the points of pressure you are making on the surface. Where as steam is a uniform pressure like air being pushed into an elastic baloon. Emotion is localized, regionalized, and compartmentalized. Different emotions have different pressure sensations. Its analogous to the hand pushing into elastic. The elastic represents the emotion/word barrier.
Words are specific deformations in the elastic. I like to think of them as standing waves on the surface of the elastic. Pushing our hand into the elastic deforms the surface in a specific way. We can give this specific deformation a symbolic word name, say "anger". Here after whenever we hear the word "anger" the membrane deforms to embody the word, creating a vacuum underneath the deformation and meaning is sucked into the symbolic deformation. In the other direction anger can impress itself into the membrane creating the "anger" deformation and we can spit out the word "anger" to express the anger we feel. Words can be overlapped and combined much in the same way that wave patterns can overlap and combine.
One way to think about words is that they deform the resting state of the elastic. When an emotion or feeling is being felt, the pressure is changing the shape of the elastic. You can send words down the membrane to overlap the pressure. If the word and the feeling match, the word deforms the elastic so that the shape of the elastic is no longer being caused by the feeling but by the word. The pressure is no longer felt on the surface of the membrane, it has been released and expressed. Words in some sense fold space, changing the unpressured state of the membrane. The key is that the right words will release the pressure by matching the deformations. Words don't have to match completely, in which case part of the pressure gets released and some of it remains.
We start off as babes, word free. Our symbolic slates are clean. The first few years is spent feeling these waves roll over the membrane and not knowing how they should be invoking meaning. Eventually the system converges to a stable relationship. No two people have the exact same translation process between words and emotions. Each person's language converged within their own respective environments.
To compound the fact that no two people are speaking the exact same language, a person can feel things he has as yet no words available to describe them with. There are only two methods to tackle these untranslatable feelings. The vacuous solution is to generate a new symbol and add it to the lexicon. The more useful solution is to deconstruct the feeling in terms of compounded symbols already in the lexicon.
Lets suppose we have "anger" and "love" as symbols. What happens when we feel angry at the person we love? Both anger and love are pressing into the membrane. We could call this new sensation "frustration." We would then tell this person: "You're frustrating me." Or we could throw at it the word "anger" and express part of the feeling, releasing that part of the pressure. Love would still remain as unexpressed and still be pressuring to be expressed. In which case we could throw at it the symbol of "love" and then the membrane returns to a resting state. What gets said out of the mouth is "I am angry at you, but I love you." or "I love you, but you're making me angry." In the end both, making up new symbols and deconstructing a feeling in terms of already known symbols are used to tackle complex emotions.
The point is that you can't expect yourself to be able to describe how you feel in any precise kind of way. If you're not even conscious of this process then you're left with whatever lexicon you have and don't stop to think about expanding it or actively describing how you feel to tame the complex emotions. All anyone can ever do is try to describe how they feel, release as much pressure as they can, and see what there is left to feel. Often we'll say things that don't fit how we feel either. We're trying to describe this feeling and all we did was say words that didn't fit, creating a vacuum and making meaning that was unintended and unfelt.
To me, this feels like what is going on inside my head. This describes the sensation, encaptures its essence via metaphor. My emotions and feeling are so complex that I just can't put them into words adequately. And words themselves can slip and slide through semantic meaning. When fears are in play, words can take on a life of their own. I often find that communication via words, without voice, without body language, is poor at transferring emotional content. When fears are in play, its like somebody came in and fiddled with the membrane, messing with the translation between words and feelings. Regardless, this is the process of generating and decoding words.
1st November 2002
God Save Me.
I've started to sing christmas carols. Somebody shoot me. I didn't start singing them until later in life so I can't blame being indoctrinated.... Maybe I can lock this part of the mind that is going to rattle through these mindnumbingly simple dittiess in a dark recess of my mind. I'll let it continue but so long as its far removed from my prominant consciousness. :
29th October 2002
My "backup" coverletter to a company I want to work for.
To those with the power of Hiring and Firing, :
I come verily unto thee upon hand and foot, a tortured soul from the pits of hell known as Carnegie Mellon University. I’ve come to plea my case before St. Peter: “Have I suffered enough? May I enter heaven and sooth my tormented soul?”
Six years ago I made a pact with the devil within me. Four years of suffering to achieve happiness for the rest of my life. But the devil never plays fair. Four years stretched into six and my very being began to change under the torment I subjected myself to.
I became disillusioned with the machinery underpinning our society. Corporations, mindless behemoths of money and madness which require their employees to attend it like ants in a colony. This could not possibly hold the happiness I had desired.
Each year the suffering became worse than the one before and each year I wanted less to be a cog. It was in the height of my suffering, my fifth year, that I became aware of Nathaniel and Aaron’s plan to break free of hell for a summer and see what lies beyond.
While I toiled on the Spiral project, my friends had escaped and found paradise. A company, your company, that was laid back and appreciated the sanity of its employees. While I labored alone my friends could feed off each other’s creativity.
Now they have returned and their experience inspires me and gives me hope. There are good environments out there, ones which will allow me to foster my creativity and explore my skill sets. In particular, there is your company.
All I ask is a chance, 2-3 months to prove myself. I am a critical thinker and can learn fast in the right environment. I work best when there are people around me that I can consult for advice and help over conceptual hurdles. I hope to find this there.
Tormented Soul #38476
20th September 2002
My life is utterly meaningless. There is no point to any of it.
You can't blame anything or anyone but yourself. There is no such thing as objective meaning. If you have no meaning in your life, thats your own doing.
There is no objective reality. You're so stuck on your own subjective reality that you're mistaking it for objective. YOU HAVE THE POWER TO CHANGE ALL THIS. The attitude that you don't have the power is a self defeating attitude.
QUIT FOOLING YOURSELF!!! What loss of innocence? If anything you're being willfully ignorant. You're writing your own script and you're making it a sob story. You're deriving a sick pleasure out of this, that its one of the few ways you know how to control reality, by making it appear like you're objectively helpless.
Then start changing things, drastically. You've locked yourself into a box in which you're not allowing yourself to do anything, hurt anyone, step on a fly. If you hate your life, then give it up. For christ sake, take a month long vacation and come see me. Whats killing you is the environment you're holding yourself to. Thats all you know and you're being willfully ignorant on the matter. You're not willing to explore other options.
I'm taking note of you. There are tons of people taking note of you. You want to be God and not have to work for it. WAKE UP. You are God already. And you've composed a masterpeice in selfdeprecation and self loathing. The only thing left for you to do is climax. But its your call. Are you going to off yourself or finally let go of this BULLSHIT view of yourself?
A real sob story. You just described yourself like you were describing the main character of a movie. Some joe schmoe whose down on his luck, completely helpless, tune in and watch his life so you can say to yourself "atleast I'm not him." CAN YOU NOT TELL HOW ARTIFICIAL THIS SELF DESCRIPTION IS? You're fucking lying to yourself. Do you even know why?
Because you're proving you do have power. You're proving that you have the power to make your life miserable. Congrats. You are all powerful now. You've exerted the power of limited perspective and forcing yourself to see what you want to see.
The fact that i'm even composing this reply to you invalidates your intentionally self deprecating view of yourself. You're doing this on purpose, and YOU'RE DOING THIS to yourself. WAKE UP!
It takes the power of a God to force yourself to be mediocre, and thats what you're trying to do. You've completely managed to disconnect yourself from your physical body and ignore all its complaints. But the only way to do this is to wallow in the misery that the body is creating because its complaining. You already are journeying down the road less travelled. You're FORCING yourself to be mediocre when its not the case. Who the FUCK forces themselves to be mediocre? Most people listen to their body complain and move out of the fire because they are getting burned. You on the other hand are sitting here: "My hand is in the fire, but I'm so powerless and average and unspectacular that I can't move my hand out of the fire." LOOK AT YOURSELF. Look at the walking contradiction that you are.
You say you are mediocre, but what does the objective evidence suggest? How many people actually purposely bend over and take it up the ass like you're making yourself take it up the ass? The prior statement should be taken in the context of the assumption that most people feel like taking it up the ass is something undesirable and will purposefully avoid such situations. You on the other hand are exerting pure will to stay in the situation where your ass is being brutally pounded on. You've folded time and space so that its yourself that is pounding on your own ass.
This whole "I'm powerless and helpless bit" Is a complete lie. Its the magic you're using to disconnect from your body which is telling you to get out of the situation. Can you not see how you've done what most people don't do? You've managed to stay in one place, in one thought, in one state, while everything else around you is changing and can't help but change.
Your life is a work of art. Why do you think I'm still here? Why am I writing this? I'm mesmerized by you.
Welcome to your plane crash. I am knocking on your door. I am here to realign your perspective. I am here to pierce through your artificially created reality. I am here with a mirror. I am whats happening to you.
Its time to let go and start being.
Its time to shut up and listen.
Its time to stop lying to yourself.
Its time to leave.
Its time to die.
You've chosen to be one. You're so good at make believe that you forgot you were pretending. You split from your body. You split from your ego. You've split from your awareness. You Identify yourself with everything that is not you. You've denied yourself life, but you won't let yourself die. You are indeed the undead.
This is your WAKE UP call. Hear the gong, the pounding on your door. You have three paths before you. Die physically. Die figuratively. Or choose to remain undead. The physical death is just what you would expect, putting a cow out of its misery. If you truly believe that you're just a cow, If you truly believe the lies you are telling yourself then the only death you will ever experience is the physical one. There is another death to be had, and through it is a rebirth to true living. It is the turning of your undead self and reuniting it with the live self that you've chosen to ignore.
You are undead now. You are in limbo. All that lies ahead for you is death. One death is physical and meaningless. The other death is a resurrection and a rebirth. It is the death of the bullshit that you are feeding yourself. You're trying to make a point, prove that you can stay in limbo longer than everyone else. It is an act of ego. You'll die one way or another, eventually. And its your choice as to when, where and how you die.
So there is something in you that atleast knows a glimmer of the truth. The truth of the matter is that you really are rebelling against living. There is no "It is as though". You are rebelling.
YOU ARE GOD
Yes, all you have left is the final realization. You are undead. All thats left is death and life. Life is jumping off the cliff. Being undead is staying at the top of it. Or you could avoid the decision completely by killing your physical existence. There really is only one option to you, and that is to jump off the cliff. You decide when that happens.
Time To Die.
3rd September 2002
This I e-mailed to Jesse: :
Last night I layed in bed repeating the word "why?" over and over again. I listened to the word as I went through various emotions. I why'd myself into sleep, but not until after I cried some. I was getting really loud, and my why's were turning more into bleats, long and drawn out, kind of whiny. I tried to think about everything that was deviating from how I want it to be and asked why it had to be this way. I didn't get around to asking about why I had to be this way. And I stopped myself from getting too loud, which I shouldn't have done. I was afraid that the neighbors in the house over would hear me.
I called my mother this morning. She started on with her typical tyrade and plea for attention. "Its obvious you don't love me. You're out to spite me." I told her that it wasn't true, and that I wouldn't be calling if it were true. I knew she was manipulating me, but she's not ready to see yet how she was manipulating me. She accused me of manipulating her. I asked her to explain how or why she thought I was manipulating her. She said because I kept shocking her, trying to shock her. That children were supposed to be like their parents and and I was intentionally deviating from that. I asked her why in the world would I be spiteful like that? She told me that everyday since my graduation from highschool, she has been praying for me. I'm the first one she prays about. She looks at me and sees that I am so lost, in so much pain, and she takes it upon herself to feel that pain for me. I asked her why she loved me so much. She said that I wouldn't understand because I'm not a parent myself, and that hit me. I cried some.
But she's not really upset with me. She's upset with the fact that I'm not home to be her personal confidant. My mom hasn't learned to be honest with herself yet. She's been going through what can't be considered anything but abuse by her fellow coworkers. Harassment for being who she is and where she is in her life, jealousies over her being a doctor's wife and getting to travel. Somehow my mother brings out the true nature in the poeple around her. Its like some inborn gift, and most people are really nasty to her. I'm even nasty to her at times, condescending, viewing her as far behind myself. She internalizes all the abuse and doesn't react to it. She lets it out on those that she can let it out on, which happens to be me. Of course I'm making it sound worse than it is.
she had to go to the hospital and we couldn't talk any more. I told her I appreciated her honesty last night and that thats all I'm looking for out of them, honesty. I'm not looking for approval or support. I expect we'll be talking some more.
I feel a little better, but I knew how it would turn out. My mother can't reject me, no matter how much she tries. And we both know that I'm a good kid and would never be so spiteful. She looks at the rest of the world which is spiteful, and fears that I'm becoming too worldly.
But I didn't realise how much I want to be a father. To have something to fight for, protect, to love beyond myself. and then I look at myself now, and I feel broken and unworthy of being a father.
I am searching for the answer to why? Why is the world like this. why am I like I am, and why do the two clash so much?
I'm afraid. My friend Kiffy is searching, and he is searching with a passion. I feel inadequate around him. He's going to take the year off next year and go out to california to join a surfer community. He extended me the offer of going along with him. I want to go, live a carefree life, just bumming around, search, experience life, and lose myself.
My biggest problem is that I'm not connected to myself. How can I even begin to make connections with other people without first being connected to myself? How can I live an honest life without being honest to myself first?
I want to go work with Aaron. I want to go live with you. I want to go search with Kiffy. I don't want to be who I am now. But I am. And I can't stand it. I always want to be somewhere else, doing something else. Its not good enough to be here now. It doesn't feel right, everything is feeling wrong to me. But this is where I am.
I know that if I go do any of these things it isn't going to get rid of my desire to be doing something else, to be that which I am currently not.
I don't know how I can make commitments to anything, because I don't know who I am and where I fit into the scheme of things. So long as I don't know for certain that everything is the way it should be then I'm going to doubt.
I want to know that everything is as it should be. I want to know that there is nothing wrong. I want to know that what I do is the right and proper thing to do, for myself. This is self knowledge. I want to know myself inside and out.
I want to say I love you Jesse, and get rid of the doubt that I don't know, or that I couldn't possibly know until I meet you in person. If I don't know by now and I can't say it by now, how could I ever know just by being physically in your presence? The only thing that I don't know is your body, and thats not you.
Do I love you? I don't know. Not because I don't know you, but because I don't know myself. I do love you. I love everyone and everyything so much that I don't want anything to escape me, but I feel so inadequate so inferior, and so detached from myself that it doesn't feel right to say it. "My" whole life is meaningless to "me" becuase _I_ doesn't mean
anything to "me."
I want this over and done with. I want enlightenment right now so I can fucking get on with my life and have meaning again. I can't go to school while this question is unanswered. I can't function while this question is unanswered. But I have to. GOD WHERE ARE YOU? WHY AM I HERE? EITHER TELL ME WHAT ITS ALL ABOUT OR JUST DESTROY ME SO I DON'T HAVE TO LIVE SUCH A MEANINGLESS EXISTENCE.
*4 hours later*
I repeated a mantra, the why's again. I cried, but it was just my body reacting to an emotion. I could stop my physical expression of the emotion. I could even stop my feeling of the emotion. But I didn't want to. And I still don't want to. But I cried and beat on myself, repeating the mantra until I was physically exhausted. I was trying to push myself into delirium, hoping for some sort of lucid hallucination that would have all the answers.
The only thing I got, was a tool. I know how to set myself up to release when I am alone. No enlightenment, no answer to the questions of why. The questions just sort of go away after they've been asked a million times. The answer is: "Why do you care? What does it matter? things are the way they are. Why do you have to be god?" I thought about all the things that I need to do, I know I will do them. Regardless of whether or not I am enlightened, my life continues. Everything is details. If you get caught up in them, you're lost anyway. I don't know what is going to happen, I don't even know what has happened anymore. I don't know
I need to just shut up and enjoy life. If all I've got are experiences, I'm not even really in control of which experiences I get to be subjected to, then I might as well just enjoy them all as much as I can.
I enjoyed my 4 hours of anguish. But I don't get my confusion tattoo yet.
God really does want to experience everything.
I want to experience everything.
All I can do is stop interfering and let God enjoy this life's experience, in its own subjective world.
Edward is tired of not having Jesse in his life, here in the flesh. But God is busy enjoying things the way they are. I hate you God. Enjoy that experience...
But I don't really hate you, God.
I will be enlightened when I am ready to let God direct mylife and just enjoy the experience that he has planned for me.
I can make sense of the statement of "we are all one consciousness" now. I just need to feel it with my entire soul. I need to see the world through God's eyes. And then I will be free.
I have been seeing the world through his eyes. The experience is nastalgia. When you imagine the transformation someone is going through in their own experiences and you experience it as well, you are channelling God.
28th August 2002
27th August 2002
We find Edward now beginning his last semester of his undergraduate :
education. He's been wrestling with college life for the last 5 years and
will finally be graduating in an off semester. Everything that Edward
does now is a window into his psyche, and its all slightly off beat. 5
years to graduate because he dropped out of college as a freshman for a
year and came back torn between mathematics and computer science so he
ended up doing both. His course schedule is two grad computer science
classes and two undergrad math classes. The classes themselves are not
that important. The two math classes are all he needs to graduate but he
figured what the hell, milk being there for all its able to provide and he
could handle. Its not every day that one gets to suckle at the teats of
Apart from classes Edward works ten hours a week for the research group he
worked for over the summer. The group is focussed on creating software
that finds an optimal implementation of Digital Signal Processing
transforms by customizing the code to the hardware of the machine. He
would like the job better if it was more social and he had someone he
could work with directly instead of being isolated and on his own. Its
not that he isn't capable, just that he is a social being and like a
parakeet will get lonely and depressed without someone to work with. The
project for the group that he is working on isn't that impressive, just
rescheduling low level computations for faster run times of the
transforms. If he would get his act together and really dig into it, he
could get published and go to a conference or two. Edward just doesn't
know what he wants to do, though. Rationally this sounds great, but
Edward isn't entirely rational. The objectivists excommunicated him for
refusing to worship Ayn Rand, the fact that he was a complete subjectivist
didn't seem to make a difference.
The other major happenings in Edward's "present" are the two discussion
groups which he is participating in. One discussion group is focussed on
self-discovery. The person leading that group has been seeking
enlightenment for 25 years or so. Edward goes because he feels there is
something more out there than just what science has to offer, but he isn't
much of a eastern mystic. Instead his philosophies are more cyberpunk
than anything else, borrowing heavily from his personal Idol, Neal
Stephenson. (Neal, learn to end a book - Your gratest disciple, Edward)
The other discussion group is something Edward is trying to put together
which complements the first discussion group. Instead of looking within,
Edward has always looked around and about. The discussion group is on
culture, how you interact with the world and how you want the world to
interact with you. Edward feels that the discussion group he is putting
together will unify many of the thoughts that have been running through
his head and has the potential of being the foundation for some of the
things that Edward would like to do.
(BTW I'm talking in the third person because I feel kind of embarassed to
be talking about myself and I can disassociate from this mythical Edward
without having to write "I" all over the place and worry about presenting
myself in any kind of way. Edward is just this guy, you know?)
Tonight, on part 2 of The Story of Ed, we learn what the probable future
holds for this slightly off beat beast. There are many option available
to this poor soul, but few that his ego and desire can agree on. Lately
his life has switched themes from a pure academic interest to one that
envolves working with people and having positive environments. One
possibility that presents itself is working for Microsoft in Redmond. The
advantages there are financial as well as the freedom to relocate within
the organization to find a subject that he is passionate about. The
disadvantages are that its basically starting over again in life, new
friends, further away from family, might as well be placing a glock to his
skull and playing emotional Russian Roulette.
Another possibility is working with friends at a company named Mindreef in
New Hampshire. This option is looking like it has the most potential
structurally to providing Edward with the dynamic work environment he
thinks he needs. He'll be working there in the winter for a month to
gauge the feel of things before he sells his soul. A third option is
working for lockheed martin in philedelphia. This option's advantage is
that its close to those he cares a lot about apart from his blood family.
Option two and option three currently offer solutions that are close to
what he dreams about doing with his life.
Of course Edward is always on the look out for more opportunities that
present themselves. Now is the time when he must plan the next two years
in his life. It is a daunting task, worse than choosing a college to
attend because the number of possibilities are mind boggling. Not only
that, but the next step taken always has some bearing on the direction and
location of the step after that. A trajectory is established which
requires time and effort to redirect at a later date. Right now he is
sitting in the barrel of his cannon. The clowns are pushing it around
until it points at something interesting and then they will pull the cord
launching the poor soul head first into reality. Edward prays there is a
safety net. You can never trust clowns.
(pardon my excessive use of metaphor and analogy. My style of writing
here seems to be manifesting my disjointed stream of consciousness.
You'll have to excuse this whole thing for I am muddying the information
Stay tuned as we continue with part 3 from The Story of Ed: His Hopes and
Dreams. If anything can be said about Edward it is that he spends a lot
of time Dreaming about the future. But the future has roots in the past.
Growing up Edward was raised in what he lovingly refers to as the
Christian Lebanese Refugee Culture, with an American Ultra Religious
Twist. There has been no other environment like it in the world and this
is the environment our poor soul first came into consciousnesss in. The
environment combined with Edward's sensitive personality caused him to be
overly aware of the fact he was different from the rest of the boys and
girls, forcing him into reclusion. After years of developing apart from
western culture, he realised that he has no culture of his own but wants
to belong and be a part of something.
Fast forward past 5 years of college, past a failed engagement, past
having to reconstruct his own identity. Edward has become aware of the
rift, atleast within his mind, between how he wants to interact with the
world and how he thinks the world expects him to interact with it. Edward
looks at western culture and recoils. Nuclear families, a Job/career,
being independent and isolated, it all feels wrong to him. The
environment he grew up in was a very family and extended family oriented
environment. But blood means nothing to him. He has the desire for
family and must choose who he wants to adopt as brothers and sisters,
aunts and uncles, and cousins.
Dreaming and searching has led Edward down many paths, removed many
arbitrary abstractions that he was feeling conflict with. The hardest
abstraction for him to get rid of for himself was in models for
relationships. Even the term polyamory sometimes feels like a too
concrete abstraction model to him. What he is doing is throwing out
everything he feels is wrong and is clashing with him. His normal
behaviour might not take him outside the boundries of some abstractions
but being aware of the abstraction makes him feel claustraphobic and
enshackled. He seeks the sensation of being free to do as he pleases and
then being free to not do as he pleases.
This desire has been there since the dawn of his consciousness. Edward
balks like a mule when he feels like he is being forced into something
against his will. He doesn't want anyone to decide what is best for him
but himself. It should be no surprise then that when critical junctures
in his life arise where he must choose a path that carves out a trajectory
into the future, he breaks down. He doesn't come to pieces, he just
stops, looks around and lets his hopes and dreams wash over him. The
most recent case of this is with the question of how he wants to live his
life post graduation.
The world has been cruel to Edward. It has presented him with so many
options that he is experiencing an overload. He has made so many new
friends that he doesn't want to leave behind yet again in his life. He
has met people far away that he wants to have in his life and to be a
part of theirs. He is finding now that he doesn't really care what he
will be doing for a job or occupation, he doesn't want to leave behind
what he already has in relationships with people. The ideal situation
would be to enter into business with these adopted friends and family, to
have them all live around each other in a semi-intentional community.
But thinking of all the details is mind boggling. How do you start? How
do you proceed? Money is a necessary tool, and it is the primary
interface between communities and the rest of society. Forany IC to
survive, even an IC of one, there must be a flow in and a flow out of
money. It is the lifes blood, the lubricant in the gears.
The dream is to work with the people Edward is around. He doesn't really
care much about what he is doing so long as it is with people he can
interact and connect with. But there are incarnations of the dream which
pander to Edward's schooling and general disposition. One incarnation is
to create a consulting firm, solving software problems in our own style.
This incarnation envolves a couple of his current friends who are gung-ho
theoretical computer science. We would solve problems in our own idiom,
not to solve the problems, not even to make money, but to analyze and
formalize the problem solving process. We want to develope paradigms of
thought and intuitive interfaces. This desire spills over
from the non-computer science and into culture and interactions between
people in the world. Edward is starting a cultural discussion group to
discuss how people interact with each other, but also to seek out people
that would be interested in interacting within the framework of an IC.
Other incarnations of the dream is that the IC functions as a think tank.
The subconscious is an amazing thing and serendipity abounds. What
happens when you get a lot of people together that are free flowing in
communication and creativity? Edward dreams about being in a highly
electric environment, ideas and concepts being passed around, processed,
mutated and passed around again. He dreams about analyzing the structure
of ideas and writing books directed towards fostering someone's
intelligence and intuition.
Edward's discovered that he is more of a philosopher than an engineer.
Computer programming by itself doesn't interest him. What interests him
about computer programming is the ability to play with concepts and ideas,
push them around and study their behaviour. He looks at things abstractly
and can formalize a system and intuit problems fairly well. These skills
are applicable in all occupations, but computer science is the one that
deals with them the most directly. Edward isn't very practical. Ask him
to build a bridge and he'll be overwhelmed with where to start and the
question of which way is best. Ask him to analyze a bridge design though,
and he'll be a happy little clam.
(if you're with me so far then just hold out a little longer. I promise
the next section won't be as long or so undirected. I tend to ramble and
prance around the room instead of getting directly to the point. Its one
of those things where I have to do things in my own way or else I feel
Part IV "The Conclusion: So what does Edward do? What does Edward want to
do?" He likes to play and doesn't want to have to ever quit playing.
He wants to play for money and play with the people he loves to play with.
This of course begs the question of a few things. What is something that
Edward considers play but also makes money? What is playing? Is it more
a state of mind and then Edward could try to alter his mind and
personality so that no matter what he ended up doing it was playing to
him? Whats so great about playing anyway?
Sadly, Edward doesn't want to condition himself into believing he is
playing when he doesn't feel like he is playing. He wouldn't even know
where to begin or what to change, it would seem so fundemental to who he
was. If anything Edward wants to be more himself. That's the whole point
of his getting rid of clashing abstractions, to pave the way for his
interacting with those around him in a seemless manner. As for what he
considers playing that will make money, we've seen some of that even if
his head is way up in the clouds currently. He's thought about
programming/consulting but wants to work with people instead of alone. He
doesn't want to feel disconnected. He's thought about teaching. He's
thought about becoming a counsellor/therapist. He's thought about
becoming an author (he's certainly long winded enough, though he worries
about whether or not he is entertaining enough). He could be shovelling
shit out of a horse stall so long as he had a connection with something,
to someone, just a connection.
And so, Edward searches for connections. He fears that he is searching
out in the world when he should be searching within. But even if he did
manage to flip a switch on inside himself to be permanently connected to
him, God, whatever is out there, he would still want to be around people,
connect with others and share the connection.
We hope you have enjoyed this tour of Edward's Psyche. Please tune in
next time when we study the mating habbits of earth worms and other
invertebrates. *cuts to a scene of two worms entangled, porno music
blaring in the background*
13th August 2002
Everything seems to be a lie.
I'm feeling very lonely right now, wishing I had people to talk to that could console me, pat me on the back and tell me everything is going to be okay. Not that this would do any good in helping me solve what are quickly becoming mountains in my path. It would atleast allow me the sensation that someone cares and can act on that care. :
I've been trying to pick at the abstractions I labor under as if they were a scab on a 3 day old scratch. If you pick long enough with enough persistence you're eventually going to rip it off. I feel like the abstractions I am laboring under are unravelling even further.
The lastest to go is the idea of me wanting a Job. I don't want a job. I don't want a place I go to for eight hours of my day (more like 12 if you count the time before and after for preperation and unwinding) only to spend it toiling away detached from the rest of the world. I'm currently working a research Job. I work around people, but they might as well not exist. It feels more like their existence is a massive tease. "Look at all the people around you, how can you call yourself isolated?" And yet I am. I don't interact with my peers at my job. We don't even work together, we are all working independently on our own subprojects. At best you could fuck some code up to make people hunt you down to fix it.
I don't want to be working a job. I don't want to have an occupation or a vocation. I don't want to leave my relaxation time only to come back to it 12 hours later. If you're taking this as if I didn't want to work, that I just want to stay home and play video games all day or something, then you are laboring under the same infected concept I've been laboring under. I still want to work. I still want to produce. But I want it to be seemlessly integrated into my lifestyle. I don't want the transitions between work and play to be so pronounced in my awareness. I don't want to be working by myself for long hours at a time. I want to be able to work as I go, switch seemlessly between work and play. I want to be working with the people I play with and playing with the people that i work with.
This realization just adds one more abstraction that has gone down in flames in my life. The fire is quickly spreading. I can feel it spreading to the abstractions that dictate how I interact with people. They're completely arbitrary. I behave a certain way around others because I expect them to react a certain way to my behaviours. The entire mess originates within me. I don't know what the other person is really going to do. Intangible boundries used to be so firm to me, but becoming aware of them has cast them into the class of tenuous and arbitrary abstractions. Like touching someone without their permission or even approval. I've boxed myself into a limitted set of behaviours to ensure that I don't step on anybodies imagined toes. I'm wrestling myself, choking myself with all these abstractions that dictate how I can behave. If these things don't go, I won't be able to breath without stealing somebody else's air. But if all these abstractions go, I'm left to do anything I desired. I would have more freedom than I would know what to do with. I would suffer from over stimulation by trying to pick one option out of many.
Its all fake, arbitrary. And it is all coming from myself. What abstractions do I want to labor under? Whats it like to labor under no abstractions, to see no boundries, to allow yourself the ability to perform every possibility you can imagine?
I don't want to go home. Its too lonely there. But where else do I have to go? My abstractions are blinders on my eyes, I can only see one solution. How do I get myself to see the world of possibilities? How do I get rid of the abstractions that I make in order to avoid my fears? If I could stop fearing, stop worrying, the abstractions would dissolve.
Right now I have to do everything intentionally. I have to prep myself, convince myself to cross a boundry. I don't want to have to do this. I just want to cross it, effortlessly.
I'm falling apart with anxiety and fear. I don't want a job, is there anything left that isn't what I perceive to be a job?
9th August 2002
"RAGING DEBATE: No agreement between administration and opposition on how to remove Saddam." :
I swear, Bush doesn't need to convince the public to go to war with Saddam, the media machine has taken on the cause. The feedback loops of the press will keep this topic so hot, ever mutating it to make it sound more controversial and more inevitable, that it is guaranteed to come about. Gotta wonder about these things. The media conglomerates are imitating each other. (I'll spare the word.)
4th August 2002
This journal has become pointless.
Updating with a recap of events in one's day is a waste of time, atleast it is a waste of my time. Most of it is very meaningless. Everyone has some sort of pidling they do. But all this has journal has turned into is a dump for ideas. I don't write specifically for this journal. This isn't my mouthpiece to the world. But I will take interesting things I've done elsewhere and put them here. :
I'm tired of saying the word meme. I've been spreading it around like a good little imatomaton. (coined just now by yours truly, a mesh of automaton and imitation.) I don't want to spread around the gibber jabber that most people do. What little daily activities I have in my life are pretty much meaningless unless I am trying to describe my behaviour.
But no one is really trying to describe their own behaviour when they write into their online journals. They think there is some audience out there that really cares about what they have to say, cares about the little daily events that go on in someone's life. Its a bunch of mularky.
Journals are not for communicating to others. They are for communicating with yourself. They are a scrap book of what you deem important. The problem with online journals where others can see, and even worse, respond, is that it perpetuates superficiality. You're no longer trying to be yourself. You're trying to be entertaining to the masses of observers. You're trying to communicate through a paradigm that wasn't meant to communicate to anyone.
There is no therapuetic (sp?) release in online journalling. If anything it raises the tension because you know someone else could see what you've written and respond to it. Whereas you might atleast have had a chance with being honest to yourself in your own personal and private journal, there is no chance of it on here. Even as I write this, its more a message to any passer by, and those few people that have added me as friends. I post infrequently because I have nothing of real importance to say. Every now and then I find some of my spewing to be interesting and I mirror it here for the passerby 5 years down the road and for myself when I decide to troll through all this garbage again.
Heh, my main reason for making this update was to give a link to a forum I created: http://www.voy.com/99109/ I have a desire to find a group of people that I get along well with, that share the same ideas and memes with me. This forum is for people to talk about culture and society, how they would live their lives if they could change their environment. Its not very big now, just needs more people interested in it. My hope is that I will find a nontrivial amount of people that I am compatible with so that we can congregate together and exchange ideas. All input is welcome.