There are so many things I’ve been wanting to write about! This inspiration overload, coupled with a general level of procrastination, has been the impetus (or lack thereof) behind why I haven’t posted on my personal blog in some time. I’ve also started a new blog (http://flashphilosophers.wordpress.com) with a great friend, and the collaborative element has been very encouraging. Much growth comes in the free exchange and the unrepentant, rigorous challenging of ideas. I’d like to talk about some of the growth I’ve been experiencing since right around January.
I once wrote about the concept of ‘lunar moon landing’ moments. I now like to call those ‘red pill’ things (books, movies, conversations, epiphanies, etc). These are moments where we are taken out of the self-created narrative about our lives and realize that things aren’t what we thought they were. It’s the moment where you “CAN handle the truth.”, despite the discomfort and dissonance. I have a sick fascination with trying to induce these moments, but the bottom line is I can’t just will these experience into happening. However, I do believe there is a certain kind of mindset that comes along with those who try to challenge themselves constantly. This mindset is designed to guard against ideology and dogma. This is called critical thinking.
Now, let it be known that skepticism and critical thinking, appealing to reason, can be it’s own form of ideology. There are people in this movement who just like to be right and enjoy crapping on other peoples beliefs or misinformed opinions. I will say, if you’re going to be an asshole, it’s at least good to be right with regards to whatever you’re being an asshole about. However, this smugness and contrarianism is more often just counterproductive. There is a lot of tit for tat going on when it comes to social media and the internet. Our dialogues mostly stink. I believe the best attitudes that should motivate a person who sees themselves as a truth speaker and a delusion dispeller are compassion and concern. And if you fancy yourself a speaker of the truth, make sure it’s the truth you’re actually speaking.
I’ve been more open and direct with my ideas lately, at least I think I’ve been. And this is because I am genuinely and deeply concerned with the latest trends of anti-intellectualism and fallacious logic out there posing as ironclad reasoning. Since 9/11, and furthermore, since the economic crisis, people have grown increasingly more confused about things that they seemed assured of. This fear and being unable to trust institutions we’d placed so much faith in has led people to adopt outrageous ideologies. They’re pretty sneaky as well because they come at us with a message of “skepticism” and having an “open-mind”. Conspiracy theories have gone mainstream. It is completely normal for very intelligent well meaning people nowadays, at least in some areas of their intellectual pursuits, to all but dawn tinfoil hats.
I don’t mean to be disparaging or ridiculing. This phenomenon scares me. My fervor I think comes from a place of knowing how utterly wrong I’ve been in the past. I know what it’s like to have completely erroneous information and state it as fact. I once spouted political party rhetoric like I was the only person with common sense. I think I’ve always been naturally skeptical and tried to find the flaws in systems and the way people think. I haven’t always done it with the right assumptions about reality, but I was young and I was pretty impressed with myself sometimes. That just happens.
Since January I feel like it’s been one leap after another. I’ve rediscovered my values which I’d lost track of for some time. I had to overcome callousness and unfeeling disposition towards the world. For some time I thought that this just might be how I am. Some kind of mental illness that manifested mostly as anhedonic dispassion towards nearly everything. But, for whatever reason, my mind has begun to clear. I’m reading books, going for walks, taking photos, writing, discussing and debating because they feel like the things I want to do and should be doing. Its been quite odd to be in this state of mind, it’s still kind of foreign. So, if I’m a little off the handle, baring too much of my soul, or sounding a little self serious here or on social media, it’s because I’m reveling in all of this. I am keenly aware of what is important to me, and it just feels like the right thing to do. And it happens to be that some of these topics and issues of which I have interest are of a very serious nature.
But I’m not angry, the disdain or cynicism I often had before is giving way to a goodness I think I actually might possess. Something I wasn’t so sure of about myself before. I feel that this post is getting or has been rather solipsistic, but that’s just how I write sometimes. I hope that somebody connects with these thoughts, these ideas, and similarly understands the beautiful feeling of cascading amounts of self awareness.
If there is anyone who personally remains in a malaise of existential blahness, I know all too well this sensation. Depression has once been described as an inability to construct any kind of future in your mind. None of it seems to matter. All I can say is, be patient, learn self compassion, and people need to find their passions. You are not your job or your possessions. Those aren’t inherently bad, but they don’t mean a whole lot without a sense of fulfillment. I don’t know exactly how or when it happened, but a big part of what needed to happen for me was learning self respect. That I am worth it, a talent with potential if I choose to cultivate it. This is something I think we all struggle with deeply. But we have to believe it. If there is ONE thing I would tell people to just believe, it would be “you are worth it!”
Call it self-helpish, trite, and oversimplified. But not a whole lot can happen, or it doesn’t mean very much, if we don’t even like who we are. Alright then, I’m out. PEACE!!