I chose to focus on the goodness and the kindness of those I talk to; and so far, I always, without any exceptions, found it. Sometimes it lives vividly in their sentences, exposing itself towards every listener; sometimes it is hiding in undusted and unseen corners of their words - but it is there, it always is. And I choose to focus on it.
—  Thoughts #123

Against Against: “In recent years, there has been an ‘Against [X]’ epidemic: against young-adult literature, against interpretation, against method, against theory, against epistemology, against happiness, against transparency, against ambience, against heterosexuality, against love, against exercise, et cetera. The form announces a polemic—probably a cranky one, and very likely an unfair one. But an essay with such a title has inoculated itself against the criticism of being too polemical or tendentious—after all, did you read the title? Caveat lector!”

For more of this morning’s roundup, click here.

Illustration: Daniel Zender.

Life consists of rare, isolated moments of the greatest significance and of innumerably many intervals, during which at best the silhouettes of those moments hover about us. Love, springtime, every beautiful melody, mountains, the moon, the sea — all these speak completely to the heart but once, if in fact they ever do get a chance to speak completely. For many men do not have those moments at all, and are themselves intervals and intermissions in the symphony of real life.
—  Friedrich Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human

The sun shining off slanted rooftops may be the most beautiful thing you see all day- but it is man-made. Had it not been for our building, the sun would stretch its limbs right to the earth and no reflection would grace us. Nature is not an obstacle- we are the ones who disrupt, yet we act as if we can in some way control the chaos.

The inability of philosophers to construct an argument in favour of the value of disabled people is seen as a flaw in disabled people, rather than a flaw in philosophy. And that’s fucked up. Seriously fucked up.

And it’s usually, unquestionably based in capitalism. People are far more happy to question the value of the lives of disabled people than they are to question the value of capitalism.

Pleasure and Pain: Epicurus was Right

Human beings are animals. Unique in some ways but still animals. Animals seek pleasure and shrink from pain. Everything a human does is to maximize pleasure and minimize pain. You get pleasure from achieving goals and from besting competitors. You get pleasure from your bodily appetites though food, drink and sex. You do things which may not result in immediate pleasure but which you believe will payoff in pleasure so you work so you can party. You study so you can enjoy a higher standard of material wealth once you graduate.

Now here is the weird thing about the human brain. It quickly tires of most pleasures. It also is very stingy with the pleasure reward system. We get far more pain than pleasure and pleasures are usually fleeting and transitory. Just as soon as we accomplish something and get a nice rush of pleasure a new goal is formulated and the joy diminished. This is the way our primitive animal brain gets us to do things it deems necessary but unpleasant. It offers us the potential for pleasure. Why so fleeting? Why so transitory?

Why? It is because of thinking. Yep. Thought.

Your pleasure as well as emotional pain are largely the result of thinking. So go your thoughts also go your sense of pleasure or pain.Our natural state is one of joy. So, if we quiet the thinking, we experience joy this “emotional pleasure”. We become jaded with physical pleasures.  We become sated with food and sex. When our appetites are satisfied they no longer give us the pleasure we seek. Yet, we never become sated with spiritual pleasure, with joy. 

This is one of the main aspects of mindfulness meditation. The experience of this intangible joy. The emotional pleasure which does NOT rely on thought. Which does not rely on appetite.

☯ Samsaran ☯  

Burn Naive Realism To The Sodding Ground.

I invoke Korzybski.
I invoke Robert Anton Wilson
I invoke Albert Einstein
I invoke Werner Heisenberg
I invoke David Bohm
I invoke Lao Tzu
I invoke Sun Tzu
I invoke Saturn
I invoke Mahakala
I invoke Hermes
I invoke Bolverk
I invoke Wodhanaz
I invoke Loki
I invoke Heid
I invoke Gunloth
I invoke Frejya
I invoke Frige the Silent
I invoke the Gnostic Christ
I invoke Aion, and Mithras and Siva and Rudra
I invoke Pythagoras
I invoke Parmeneides
I invoke Empedocles
I invoke Herakleitos
Dike Eris!
Let  burn!
Reveal the shining flux of creativity
The wonder of what may be
Revealed in the endless upwelling.
The furious dance of the daimons of what-is!

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