The Risk of Too Much Finality
Thank you for visiting my page. I'd like to write a little about myself, but I've never been good at restraint, so I will probably write too much about myself instead.
Who am I? I cannot really say. To say that I am this or that runs the risk of too much finality, and I will have finality enough when I am dead. I agree with the concept that life is a process and not a product. A journey, not a destination. The unfolding of matter and thought—where it is the unfolding that is important, not the unfolded.
It is incorrect to say that existence is this or that, when in reality it is both this and that. A seemingly endless ebb and flow of inconsistencies and jumbled contraditions; disparate elements elbowing one another for a seat at the table of life. Both the mutable and immutable. The noble and the base. The fecund and the barren. Light and dark.
And there—in each and every one of those things—lies existence, without destiny or purpose. Breath for the sake of breathing. Life for the sake of living.
How then can I describe a self that defies definition—the model that won't sit still for the artist—that which moves, and breaths, stoops and extends, expanding, contracting, and replicating. That which submits, then conquers—which seeks out meaning, and then hides from the answers.
We do well to ask: Is 'the self' something that is waiting to be revealed, or something waiting to be created?
Or is it an artificial construct, a device of the senses that says: Because I can sense that over there, that I must, by necessity, be me over here? Or is that the other way ‘round?
We should not hold too tightly to conceptions (or misconceptions) about who and what we are—such errors lead to stagnation, overconfidence, and vanity. And what is vanity, if not the most deceptive, treacherous, and enduring of human failings.
While I freely admit that there is, in fact, a singular me that has proceeded in a path from birth to the present moment, I am no more the me of 40, or 30, or even 20 years ago, than the sun of today was the sun of yesterday. Well, not exactly anyway. It is the same sun and it is not the same sun, and there is no contradiction in that observation.
I would say that the process of my life is pretty much like any other life: I usually reside in either a state of happiness, or sorrow, or somewhere in between. Either I am filled with expectation, or burdened with resignation. Withdrawn and sullen, or eager and vivacious. At times confident, at others submerged in the depths of self-pity.
Does that not then make me just another human being?
Faults and failings, aspirations and virtues, strengths and weaknesses, confidence and insecurity, knowledge and ignorance, self-awareness and self-deception—they are all mine. I claim them, and I have a right to them.
Like all of us, I am seemingly in control of my life. I choose what I want to wear, who I will vote for, what I will have for lunch, who I will befriend, and when I will go to bed. And yet, I was born into circumstances over which I had no control—into a place, into a time, into a culture, into a nation, into a race, into a zeitgeist, and into a body I did not choose.
I awoke, and here I was. And I will sleep, and be no more.
Dallas the Phallus's Blog
Posted on December 8, 2011 at 6:27pm
This is a great article by Malcom Gladwell about how we sometimes fail under intense pressure to perform well, because we either choke or panic. He briefly describes the difference between implicit and explicit learning, and how these relate to choking and panicing under pressure. Well worth the long read. From the… Continue
Posted on November 7, 2011 at 6:37pm
This is a decent article. He starts out with a pretty good assessment of what a fanatic is and wants, but then he suddenly changes gears to talk about literature and humor. Kind of caught me off guard, but if you read the tagline he tells you he's gonna do that. Worth the long read.
He has some good observations:
Posted on October 4, 2011 at 2:00pm
Is myth more comforting than reality?
by Quinn O'Neill
Posted on September 21, 2011 at 7:34pm
This title is a bit misleading, I think. The article is not about ethics really. Rather it is just a general overview of secularism in different places. -- Dallas
Does Secularism Make People More Ethical?
Barry Kosmin is a different kind of market researcher. His data… Continue