The Art of Nonconformity

You are never above a system you participate in.

Boycott what is disagreeable and engage fully with the rest.

The cog must escape the machine, or sacrifice himself for the sake of its destruction. To scoff and snarl at the machine is of no use. It is forgivable only to young men, at the time of their first realizations.

The sooner they understand what bravery is, the better. Bravery is striving to destroy what you despise, fostering and cultivating what you love, and never operating under principles that are not your own.

Beyond that, opinions are vanities. Sympathies unacted upon are vanities. Regrets are vanities outside their capacity to instruct us to better actions in the future. Cowardice is slicks words and a fine identity founded upon flexible principles.

Constitute yourself in accordance with observable instances of success in the natural world. Past failures are the signs of a mind out of sync with nature’s rules. Understand that punishments for mistakes often take years or generations to come, but they come.

The modern man has nothing so much to fear as his own tendency towards sloth and distraction.

If he wills himself capable of the commitment to toil half in measure with his peasant ancestors, he will find joy, for it will not be work in the field he does, but work in the mind, done not in order to take a single step on the treadmill of subsistence, but to improve the world at least somewhat in his own image, according to his own ideals of what is good and right and beautiful–

That is, if he does not sell his spine or let it erode unnoticed under the pressure of a social heard thousands of times more powerful than that of his ancestors. They exert force upon him through almost every aspect of his upbringing, if his parents be unexceptional. They educate him on books written in summary of their common consensus and confine him to some small corner of the globe where he may remain small and uninvolved with larger affairs.

Whether he is the greatest metropolis or the smallest cul de sac, this is the feeling, this is the message; you are not smart enough, you are not great enough. Stay where you are and don’t get caught climbing towards truth. Climb towards money if you wish, or status, or fame, even power so long as you fill a position that was already filled, and maintain the hulking culture as it steers towards the uncertain future.

They do not tell him the truth, the all too obvious truth; that he will be loved if he strives, loved so completely it cannot be imagined, perhaps by the world, but at the very least by himself. They do not tell him his only option is to climb up the very rungs they said were forbidden.

It is either fall into a poison well, into a life fabricated with the discarded pieces of norms no one ever liked or consciously agreed upon, or to climb as high as he can, as long as he can, with the thought in mind that even that strain will be better than the slow death of a life lived in defeat, in response to the powers that very deep down wanted him to climb, when all was said and done.

The Utility of Gratitude

Anger and fear, in their many manifestations, are the greatest source of error and bias in the human mind.

In so far as we can free ourselves from the tyranny of these emotions, we can improve our processing of stimuli. Fear and anger must be faced head on, and they can not be compromised with. They cannot be appeased or reasoned with. And though they may be channeled into productivity, what they produce seldom leads to fulfillment or happiness. In the same sense, a farmer may use chemicals to produce a single year of excellent growth, but in the process destroy the field for future generations.

There is one emotion that fear and anger can not survive in the presence of.

If you can conjure up this emotion at will, you will no longer be ruled by anger or fear. This emotional panacea is gratitude. It is perhaps the least experienced emotion of all. Rarely do we feel grateful when we receive something. Instead, we move from bliss to boredom, quickly establishing any improvement in our lives as the new standard, and not taking any time to experience the joy of receiving. 

In this department, organized religion has tremendous value. It personifies the chaotic behavior of the Universe, providing us with the concept of an actual entity that we can thank, or blame, for everything that happens to us.

The concept of God gives us someone to be grateful towards, which is necessary if we are to feel gratitude. Thus it is necessary to believe in a “God” is we are to have an optimal relationship with the Universe. This does not require literally believing in an omnipotent entity that behaves outside the laws of the universe.

The scientific definition of God as the collective behavior of the laws of the Universe is adequate, as long as emotionally we view the Universe a benevolent entity, that acts in a way that if beneficial to itself as a whole.

We must view the Universe as something worth thanking, talking to, and feeling emotions toward. If you are not comfortable praying, your belief system must be adjusted. If you believe on an emotional level, that the Universe is random, and not benevolent, you will not be able to feel truly grateful.

Is Sex a Metric?

What are the simplest forms of the foundational philosophical questions?

Perhaps as basic as this:

Why Existence?

Why Life?

How should we act?

But in our daily lives as living, breathing, thinking, shitting individuals, perhaps it’s best to start at the level of past actions and work backward.

“How much of what you do is to get laid?” Often renders fruitful answers, because it is through the primal drives that we act out our most fundamental beliefs and in so far as those actions succeed or fail, we can measure the practical utility of our beliefs, or else the metrics by which we measure success and failure.

It’s incredible the optimism the average nihilist displays when on the prowl for sex.

I think we hate to acknowledge our own sexuality even in the same sentence as our philosophic beliefs.

Or rather, we hate to acknowledge our failures in that realm. So long as we are fruitful and attractive manifestations of our cultural ideals, sex can be discussed as a fine and worthy topic.

Why is that?

Likely it is because our rate of success in achieving the lifestyle we want, whether sexual or otherwise, is one of the few objective measures of our own ability to function in the Universe we are presented with.

What an embarrassment for a man or women who can understand Quantum Mechanics or Neurobiology to fail at the most basic level of communication with others.

No one in a lecture hall, or even in a spirited online discussion wants to reconcile with the fact that, scholar or saint, genius or prodigy, most people might as well be 13-year-olds at the middle school dance when it comes to complex interpersonal problems.

The very fact of our embarrassment reveals the stem of the problem. Our ancestors were too embarrassed to set down detailed guidelines for behavior, just as our parents were too embarrassed to teach us the first thing about sexuality, just as we will likely do the same to our children.

The only direction seems to come from the raised hammer of organized religion that loathes the freely sexual, perhaps above all else. Or, from strange websites on the internet.

4,000 years of civilization, and that is the best we have?

Embarrassing.