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"If you work at that which is before you, following right reason seriously, vigorously, calmly, without allowing anything else to distract you, but keeping your divine part pure, as if you were bound to give it back immediately; if you hold to this, expecting nothing, but satisfied to live now according to nature, speaking heroic truth in every word which you utter, you will live happy. And there is no man able to prevent this."
- Marcus Aurelius
"Some things are in our control and others not. Things in our control are opinion, pursuit, desire, aversion, and, in a word, whatever are our own actions. Things not in our control are body, property, reputation, command, and, in one word, whatever are not our own actions."
"Remember always that you are just a visitor here, a traveler passing through. your stay is but short and the moment of your departure unknown.
None can live without toil and a craft that provides your needs is a blessing indeed. But if you toil without rest, fatigue and weariness will overtake you, and you will denied the joy that comes from labor’s end.
Speak quietly and kindly and be not forward with either opinions or advice. If you talk much, this will make you deaf to what others say, and you should know that there are few so wise that they cannot learn from others.
Be near when help is needed, but far when praise and thanks are being offered.
Take small account of might, wealth and fame, for they soon pass and are forgotten. Instead, nurture love within you and and strive to be a friend to all. Truly, compassion is a balm for many wounds.
Treasure silence when you find it, and while being mindful of your duties, set time aside, to be alone with yourself.
Cast off pretense and self-deception and see yourself as you really are.
Despite all appearances, no one is really evil. They are led astray by ignorance. If you ponder this truth always you will offer more light, rather
then blame and condemnation.
You, no less than all beings have Buddha Nature within. Your essential Mind is pure. Therefore, when defilements cause you to stumble and fall, let not remose nor dark foreboding cast you down. Be of good cheer and with this understanding, summon strength and walk on.
Faith is like a lamp and wisdom makes the flame burn bright. Carry this lamp always and in good time the darkness will yield and you will abide in the Light."
1: Choose the Greek lifestyle-the camp-bed and the cloak. The four virtues are prudence, courage, justice and temperance. A simple life of hard, serious, focused practice and learning is better then one of lax inaction and situational ethics. The material is irrelevant, instead we must amass the greatest treasure of all, character. The only way to be happy is to develop an impenetrable character with impenetrable virtues. You come into this world with nothing except yourself and you leave this world with nothing but yourself. The most depraved pauper and the corporate emperor has equal wealth at the moment of death; all material things are negated by death. The late Morrie Schwartz said “Everything that gets born dies. The best way to deal with that is to live in a fully conscious, compassionate, loving way.... Don't wait until you're on your deathbed to recognize that this is the only way to live.” Don’t squander your days in search of gold; instead focus all your energy in a state of constant practice of your ethics and virtues. Our deeds and own self-development are what make us rich. Although wealth may buy you an army, it will never buy you loyalty and it will never buy you friendship or love. The man chasing the corporate dream casts aside thing which matters most in life: community. Whether it is within his own family or the whole of our world citizenry – his time is spent gaining money instead of doing what is righteous and just. Moderation is key. Avoid the anesthetic hedonism and instead live civic virtue. Work enough to live modestly. Devote all your free time to turning the flesh to steel, the heart to gold, the actions to compassionate ones.
2: What is evil and what is good? Instead of considering good and evil as a moral dichotomy (“right” and “wrong”) instead evil might be considered as what is contrary to reason, logic, harmony and in a word: nature. Human nature (goodness or virtue) is reason. Evil then is ignorance to the mechanic of nature and unnatural (or unreasonable) decision making. Instead of being governed by irrational fears, emotions and our own desires we must then be governed by the conventions of reason, our intellect, knowledge and wisdom. What brings harmony is good, what brings discord is evil. In Buddhism the moral connotation of “good” and “evil” is removed by using the terms “skillful” and “unskillful” meaning what stops suffering, and what causes suffering respectively. Skillful actions are those which are free of ill will, desire to harm and the ego. Skillful actions lead to no possible damaging effect and only cultivate virtue, reason and happiness. The goal then is to cultivate skillful (or virtuous) actions and to avoid unskillful or destructive, aversive, greedy or delusive actions. We must then consciously replace unskillful intentions with skillful intentions and constantly strive for righteousness through diligent practice and contemplation. Use your actions as a mirror for reflecting the quality of your mind. When contemplating the nature of good and evil always remember to discard social morality (such as religion and culture) and instead follow the law of nature common to all human beings regardless of circumstance or creed.
3: Virtuous actions are what lead us to true contentment, happiness and enlightenment. Evil actions, those contrary to reason, cause suffering. Although the injection of heroin into the vein might bring with it a temporary moment of bliss and happiness it is unnatural and will pass and when it does, leaves the body broken and the mind disabled. Natural happiness although a labor to achieve persists eternally and leaves us feeling forever satisfied. Natural happiness, again, can be attained through a simple, virtuous life with as little distractions from our duty as possible. The constant buzzing, rat race existence of those in the west only brings distraction from our goals and true contentment. Instead consider choosing a quieter, calm, more natural lifestyle.
4: How can nature be virtuous if a lion brutally kills a gazelle? How can humankind be anything better if we go to the store and buy cow meat? The difference between us is that the lion kills when he needs food and in doing so fills his duty within nature while the typical man does not labor to eat and when he does, eats more then what is moderate or convergent to natural harmony. If a lion were to kill for sport, eat more then what he needed to be content or did not kill and instead allowed himself to starve to death, this would be evil. This same sort of analogy applies to almost all human relations and interaction with the natural world, not simply consumption. The natural duty of a lion is not the same as that of a man, for we have been blessed with cognition, higher reason and language just as the duty of a lion is not the same as a gazelle. Still, we must abide to our duty as men and live naturally amongst others and the natural world (as would the lion follow his duty throughout the African plain amongst the gazelle). In the Mahabharata Arjuna follows his duty or cosmic law (dharma) and chooses death over life. This is a heroic decision, a rational decision and a righteous decision. Self-preservation is sometimes not the most virtuous choice.
“Men are disturbed, not by things, but by the principles and notions which they form concerning things. Death, for instance, is not terrible, else it would have appeared so to Socrates. But the terror consists in our notion of death that it is terrible. When therefore we are hindered, or disturbed, or grieved, let us never attribute it to others, but to ourselves; that is, to our own principles. An uninstructed person will lay the fault of his own bad condition upon others. Someone just starting instruction will lay the fault on himself. Some who is perfectly instructed will place blame neither on others nor on himself.”
5: Self-control and discipline is where it starts. We cannot master the mind until we have mastered our own actions. We must always do exactly what we mean to and never spend a moment in hesitation or fear. We must decide our actions through reason rather then convenience, custom or because we desire it. Is it easier to stop a crime or to pass it by? You must be a citizen, and a citizen does not allow injustice to persist. We cannot assume others will rise as we must, we must take action at all times, no one else will. We live in a world where the unjust are given authority by a pacified people to oppress and destroy. We cannot allow this to persist, we must rise from our seats and take action, demand that the natural order is not in any way tampered with by those who desire power and wealth. It is not easy to live for our convictions, but we must. Inaction is a greater evil then any. In a time not so remote from the community was unified and did not hide behind closed blinds as crimes were committed in the street. How dare these people do nothing as our children are corrupted and destroyed by greedy fixes and bastard substances? The community is turned into a war zone, where children terrorize the elderly and parents turn away from their sons and daughters and watch Survivor instead. No my friends, we must take action and take action now. But we must not be hypocrites – we must keep our divine part pure so that we can inspire others, inspire ourselves. Do not ever allow a crime to pass, whether it be perpetuated and glorified by the overseer in public office or done in the bedroom – defend your fellow man.
6: The greatest issue to overcome in the modern era is addiction. Addiction causes our mind to centralize on things which are unproductive and forces us to always seek to fill that addiction at all expense. Because our addiction becomes our only means of feeling alive, we become apathetic to everything else. We cannot be ruled by addictions, we must rule ourselves, every single action we must do with meaning and with love. A man who is ruled by addiction is not a man at all, but a whore to automative and impulsive action. Follow where reason leads. Addictions are not reasonable; they are reckless, destructive and wasteful. Think of all the things you could be doing instead of drinking yourself to near death on the weekends. Confront your problems with the mind, not a poison. We cannot numb ourselves to our pain, we cannot escape time and time again from life’s questions which nag at us and bring us to tears in the night when we are alone. Instead of creating a buffer, force yourself to examine disturbances in your life as they occur, never avoid or suppress troubles. A trial of pain will always bring a lesson learned. Embrace anguish. People nowadays dilute themselves with drugs simply to escape and avoid the gaping hole in their lives left from the lack of ethics, religion and really, any reason to live. Instead of confronting and remedying these issues, they throw themselves into a daze and remain in a daze. While the state may ignore the incredible soul sickness of our people with distracting campaigns in foreign lands to avert our attention from domestic issues, as a true citizen you must rise to the occasion and aid the suffering in anyway possible. Educate and plant the seeds of self-revolution, self-improvement and self-determination.
7: Corporation glorifies addiction to drugs because they want your money. Media bombardment creates the eternal image that addiction is glorious, fun and ultimately fulfilling. Why? They want your money. Constant media bombardment by these companies has created a society where addicts are commonly accepted and the sober are considered alien, made outcast and ostracized. The wise chose moderation, those who wish to perpetually experience suffering chose a life of indulgence in poisons. You may be pelted with stones and be spit upon by those who would carve a different path but in the end you will be rewarded with longevity, a meaningful life and contentment while they only will know self-loathing and a disabled mind. This is not to say the abstinent man is better then the addict. We must be careful not to develop arrogance and become elitists, this is not our way, instead educate. Make the facts available, council and confide; reveal to the masses the truth that has been surgically omitted from labels, ads and commercials. The way of nature is abstinence, you will observe no animal poisoning itself, and we may live free of such chains that bind us to the ground and breath still. Fortify your skin into a stronghold of will and in doing so inspire others to lift the wool from their eyes, to realize the nature of humanity as it is and in doing so conform to the logic there. Always remember: I am not better then you, you are not better then me. They may kill me, but they may not harm me.
8: We need to develop integrity, honesty and trustworthiness. We cannot do this if we are addicts. The only thing entering your body should be what you require to live – food and medicine (when it’s absolutely necessary). Don’t casually attempt to fix your problems with pills and cure-alls, always attempt to use logic and reason and the guidance of true and concerned friends. Believe in yourself. Demand something better; you are not fated to fail. You will fail if you by the day creating self-fulfilling prophecy and drone on your past exploits. Marcus Aurelius said: “Get rid of the judgment ... get rid of the 'I am hurt,' you are rid of the hurt itself.” Take responsibility for your actions, don’t sit sulking all day and hating yourself, act, move, and get back up on your feet and try again. You will never have happiness or contentment in your life if you live for the next fix, the next better high, the next surge of instant gratification. Satisfaction in life comes not out of a moment of unnatural chemical bliss but a life of virtue and practice, of spiritual insight.
9: No level of addiction is acceptable. For those who wish to inspire others, you cannot casually dabble with addictives either. Smoking is an accepted form of addiction and drug abuse which causes more deaths then all other “illegal” drugs combined. Alcohol is another poison which has embraced the masses. Today young people go to the bar instead of church, get drunk instead of converse and spend their free time wearing down their faculties and ability to reason and think clearly. Just because these two drugs are legal does not mean they are acceptable. We need to get domestic issues out in the open, not suppress them. The old tendency to keep our problems to ourselves and avoid expressing concerns is the creation of Puritans who regarded nature as an evil and sinful creation. Nature is beautiful, it is not evil. The rationale that we are evil is created to justify the keeping of an entire population in constant fear and self-loathing so that they work for the hive mind without any deviance or questioning; it was created so you would pay your tithes on time or be condemned to a life in hell. True good lies in the soul and in reason; cherish these things as you would cherish your life. It is illogical to poison yourself; it is reckless and detrimental to your personal growth to spend your days avoiding issues and in a blind daze.
10: Never use any form of recreational drug to artificially experience the divine. All recreational drugs prove is how massively flawed the human sense is and how susceptible it is to tampering. We can only touch the divine, if only for a moment, by the power of our mind and reason. If we disable our mind with poisons we will be effectively unable to ever experience truth or divinity. The physical effect of drugs pales in comparison to the vicious effect it has on our mind, inducing states of apathy, violence, paranoia, fatalism, depression, hopelessness and self-loathing. No citizen of this world who wishes to grasp something greater obstructs himself, stay free of poisons.
11: Sex just for the sake of sex is heroin addiction with a bigger needle. Our sexual relationships should be meaningful. Random sex is pointless and wasteful. Date friends, think long term, avoid the protocols and awkward scratching of the week relationship. What is more productive, watching a two hour movie together or having a two hour conversation? Don’t buy flowers, buy books. Wealth and prestige shouldn’t be an issue; these things distract us from sincere relationships. Consider the tantra. Sexual addiction can be just as destructive as any drug addiction so we must be wary of using sex to feel love in the moment of orgasm and instead cultivate our virtues so that we feel it at all times. Just like smoking crack, if you use sex in this manner, you’ll feel unnatural bliss for a moment then revert back to self-loathing and depression until your next hit. Together great spiritual maturation can come out of a relationship – sex is the meeting of two minds and bodies in an instant, incredibly powerful energy – but avoid using sex as a hobby, way of feeling love/happiness, for profit or advancing yourself. More on the love relationship itself will follow later on.
12: Think to yourself, “is that what I need or what I want?” What you want is irrelevant; you should only pursue what you need. This is what it means to “choose the Greek lifestyle-the camp-bed and the cloak” - it means to live a life of Spartan indifference to greed and pleasure, of simplicity, of hard work, virtue and pragmatism. Strike off and reject everything relating to show and delicacy. Only expect what is required: meat, drink, clothing, house, family. The Greek lifestyle is a heroic choice, it places what is reasonable above what is desired, what is needed over what is wanted, and it demands virtue of us and a meaningful life. Desire is the cause of suffering in this world, once we eliminate suffering and master our own actions, we will be happy. We can do this through meditation and cultivating a virtuous life of compassion. We can do this through moderation in all things. To be constantly concerned with all life (the community) is to be wise. Would it be more productive to watch television or would it be more productive to help someone in need?
"Say to yourself in the early morning: I shall meet today ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, uncharitable men. All of these things have come upon them through ignorance of real good and ill... I can neither be harmed by any of them, for no man will involve me in wrong, nor can I be angry with my kinsman or hate him; for we have come into the world to work together..."
“Remember that following desire promises the attainment of that of which you are desirous; and aversion promises the avoiding that to which you are averse. However, he who fails to obtain the object of his desire is disappointed, and he who incurs the object of his aversion wretched. If, then, you confine your aversion to those objects only which are contrary to the natural use of your faculties, which you have in your own control, you will never incur anything to which you are averse. But if you are averse to sickness, or death, or poverty, you will be wretched. Remove aversion, then, from all things that are not in our control, and transfer it to things contrary to the nature of what is in our control. But, for the present, totally suppress desire: for, if you desire any of the things which are not in your own control, you must necessarily be disappointed; and of those which are, and which it would be laudable to desire, nothing is yet in your possession. Use only the appropriate actions of pursuit and avoidance; and even these lightly, and with gentleness and reservation.”
13: We should only strive to reach things that are in our power to reach. If we chase after things which are impossible (unreasonable) we will experience pain. We are not truly free until we have removed ourselves from desire, we as with addiction, are whores of our own inaction. No man is free who is not master of himself. Make yourself into a fortress of steel. Desire nothing which is not your own, desire nothing which is another’s, nothing outside the will can hinder or harm the will; it can only harm itself. Shun nothing which lies beyond your own control and seek only to control yourself:
"Permit nothing to cleave to you that is not your own; nothing to grow to you that may give you agony when it is torn away."
"He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has."
14: Detach yourself from distracting emotions; the passions. The passions may be love, hate, fear, joy, sadness, pleasure and disgust. Do not become emotionless, but do not allow emotions to cloud your judgment. Do not seek to extinguish emotions, only to avoid emotional troubles by developing clear judgment and inner calm through diligent practice of logic, reflection, and concentration. In disregarding the passions through clear judgment (apatheia) we can easily bypass suffering (passion) and pain. It is perhaps more productive to be objective then subjective, and think with our minds rather then our hearts. Our heart must accompany our actions, but never decide them. These emotions are what cause suffering and nothing else. Suffering is not a real thing, it occurs only in the mind, we can master our mind and walk with resolute and decisive heroism. Following Socrates, the Stoics held that unhappiness and evil are the results of ignorance. If someone is unkind, it is because they are unaware of their own universal reason. Likewise, if you are unhappy, it is because you've forgotten how nature actually works. The solution to evil and unhappiness then, is the practice of philosophy—to examine one's own judgments and behavior and determine where they have diverged from the universal reason of nature.
15: Through self-discipline of both our actions and our emotions we become clear thinkers, levelheaded and unbiased. But speaking of these things is not enough, we must practice (train) self-discipline and introspection or we have gained nothing. Do not allow the mind to wonder, instead develop logic, self-dialogue and Socratic dialogue, contemplate death, train your attention to the present through meditation, reflect on everyday problems and seek pragmatic solutions, and reflect on your own virtues, always seeking weakness or uncertainty so that you might further test the honesty of your own beliefs. Constantly remind yourself of our duty to the common good and keep your mind buzzing with ideas, considerations and puzzles. Mull over mysteries and the divine, allow yourself to be overcome with awe and imagination; build the universe in your mind atom by atom.
16: We are all manifestations of one universal spirit and should live in brotherly love and readily help one another. Even if you are an atheist would you disagree that we all stem from nature? We all come from the same primordial soup: every grain of sand, every human being. Consider the world then, as you consider your own body. Would you soil your own body? Kill yourself? Self-mutilate? Poison? If you answered yes then you need to empower yourself by beginning to think with logic rather than emotion and the lies malicious others have forced you to ingest. Demand something better for yourself, you and I are equal, brothers and sisters. Make meaning in your life, destroy the ties that chain us to the ground and enfeeble our minds and hearts. Just as you consider your body a sacred object to be protected, the earth should be protected. What gives us right to the throne? We are no more significant then the squirrel or grass around us, we are simply a cog in the machine of time, a momentary observer living in an eternal spirit which transcends time and place. Once we die, we return to the soil, we return to the spirit, we give back what we gave, to feed the worms, to serve as fossil fuel, to sustain the vultures:
"Everything is right for me, which is right for you, O Universe. Nothing for me is too early or too late, which comes in due time for you. Everything is fruit to me which your seasons bring, O Nature. From you are all things, in you are all things, to you all things return."
- Marcus Aurelius
17: Consider littering. Have we that little respect for nature (our body) that we are so quick to throw our invincible garbage upon it? It is natural for bodies or defecation to litter the wilds; those things pass with time, but what of plastic and other non-biodegradable wastes? What of toxic plumes which dot the horizon? What of oil spills, of atomic bombs? These things only destroy nature, and in doing so, destroy not only our future but pollute the divine spirit. As philosophers we must remove ourselves from this action and instead seek to create harmony with nature. To create harmony with everything is to live with virtue.
18: Sometimes creating harmony may not be easy, or desirable. George Washington had the option of becoming king of the United States, of holding power until his death, of being an autocrat, but like the great Cincinnatus before him, willingly gave up his power to inspire his fellows and set an example. Instead of creating an imperialist policy, Washington also urged for the United States to always be isolationist in his farewell address, a logical and virtuous plan of action that the illegitimate heads of state today ignore and actually deride. Washington and his fellows would have sure been given the chance to live on a bigger estate, buy more slaves and live a more comfortable life but Washington realized that this was destructive and not harmonious. The natural order of nature is harmony, not over-exertion. The Stoics held Logos to be the animating or "active principle" of all reality, the natural order. The Logos was conceived as a conduit for divine power that, in essence, orders and directs the universe. Human reason and the human soul were both considered adjuncts of the Logos, and therefore immortal via the continual recycling of the universe.
19: If the natural government of a land is vicious and causes suffering, eventually it will evolve (naturally) into a government which does not cause suffering. This may take some time, and it’s important that we do not attempt to police the world and superimpose our virtues on others. More lives will be lost in the unnatural and sudden conversion of a people to a different mindset then would come out of a gradual progression to the harmonious state. The human mind is liberal, and governments will always lean toward a liberal government, even if it takes hundreds of years. Consider the many dictatorships and communist states today. They become more liberal year after year and the people of those countries will eventually share the same liberties others may enjoy. No absolutist regime has ever lasted, rebellion and revolution will always progress the state toward a more republican mechanic.
20: Always surround yourself in a constructive and loving environment. Do not waste your time with addicts, racists, criminals and bigots unless you are attempting to inspire them to turn their life around. Do not ever allow yourself to be abused, even for a moment; always demand the respect every citizen of this world deserves. If you have no self-esteem it has because you have become accustomed to doubting yourself, typically because of an abusive dominator. You have been misled! Reject these negative influences and surround yourself with people who sincerely love you. You can find them in church, in Borders and in the university. Find people you can connect with. Avoid friendships predicated on addictions and self-destruction. Create your own culture that strives for truth in meaning done and thought of. Instead of becoming accustomed to violence and abuse, become accustomed to being respected, loved and thought of as an equal to be heard and seen at all times. These things are not privilege; they are what everyone deserves, including you. Humans require a dynamic environment where growth is possible, study is encouraged and education and truth are championed.
21: A friend is someone who accepts you for what you are and will die for you in an instant. It is someone who is willing to go out of his way to help you and will hear you out at any time of the day. A friend is someone who admires you (even if you are different) and offers his input when it is needed. A friend does not make fun of you, abuse you, or try to dilute your character ever! A friend does not demand you to join a trend or clique, to be identical to him. A friend is someone who can expect to be able to ask you for advice and help. A friend is someone who you can mature spiritually with and enjoy laughter, good company and glory. A friend is someone of steadfast ethics and integrity who you can trust with anything and you can be yourself to the utmost with no awkwardness or formality, as if you were naked. A friend is someone you could go to war or hell with, and return together with. If this criterion doesn’t match who you would consider friends, it is time to seek more meaningful relationships. Don’t allow people to use you and don’t allow supposed friends to drag you down. Remember Epictetus who said “permit nothing…” – do not allow your friends to destroy you.
22: You should treat everyone with respect, you should at least tolerate peers, and for anyone your senior, be silent, they have more experience then you, and how are you to know you will learn nothing from them? Never speak down to anyone, especially someone who has be alive a moment more - instead if they are belligerent or simply do not conform to what your reason concludes, be silent and thank them for their consideration in attempting to educate you. The only elders who should be at all times confronted are the ones who dominate others, in particular the heads of government who are not virtuous. A man who has no dominating power over another but himself is worth listening to, regardless of his words have merit or are just noise. What could you possibly gain from turning away? Even someone who is ignorant, you may better understand ignorance. Verily there is no point to disrespect an elder. Those who live by the sword, die by the sword. On the note of overseers, only the most meritous and virtuous men should have power vested in them. Lineage, wealth, association and custom are to be disregarded; only the most skilled and proficient should hold powers. Leaders should be indifferent, unbiased, compassionate and obligated to promote the common good. Instead of waging imperial campaigns in far removed places for personal gain and pandering to the public for votes, statesmen should consider their job a sacred office and live by civic virtue. Your office was not designed as a meal ticket: do what you must, do what is right, without considering the public outcry. Society is often unruly and unreasonable and needs to be overseen by educated and noble philosophers, people who have no ties to anything other then reasonable decision and critical thinking.
23: When we meditate on the fates of great men, what do we conclude? Both the meek and mighty are eventually reclaimed by the force which created them. No one escapes. Not one of us may become immortal and not one of us may avoid death. But what is to fear? Do we truthfully know what awaits us? As we decay our flesh will feed the worms, our bones will feed the fires of industry and our thoughts will have never existed.
24: Stand up for your beliefs. Be sincere in every waking moment. Never wear a mask or be different around certain people. Just as for religion, never define yourself within a trend or clique. Never physically present yourself in accordance with any trend and avoid wearing clothing with phrases, words and symbols on it. We do not want to indiscriminately coerce the passerby, remember that our goal is to reach harmony within the world, and influencing others by displaying meme-rich clothing is destructive and unnatural. Wearing identical garb as someone else promotes living within a template, mold or archetype, will impair natural judgment and individuality, and promote adherence to a hive mind or ideal instead of pragmatic and reasonable solutions. Don’t wear jewelry or any crude, gross display of wealth. Disregard fashion and wear simple, basic clothes that do not intimidate others with their opulence, the goal is to be one with the common man. Don’t wear anything which objectifies you or draws attention away from the voice. Don’t display idols. We are not our items, we are not our material, we are our soul, we are our voice, and we are our intellect. Present yourself not as royalty but as someone who is approachable by just about anyone; don’t allow your appearance to be distracting or intimidating. Avoid loudness and aggression; speak with a calm, assertive and commanding voice. Do not speak unless there is something to say. Do not speak on untested theorems; instead speak using your actions. Inspire others by action, not by words. Never speak about meaningless things or disturb the silence unless it is productive. Demand meaningful conversation instead of banal minutia. Two Buddhist proverbs say “Do not speak- unless it improves on silence” and “You can explore the universe looking for somebody who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and you will not find that person anywhere.” Remain mindful at all times, constantly stay focused, constantly be vigilant and attempt to be aware of all of the world’s subtle gestures and motions. Master the breath and focus by meditating.
25: Do not allow pride or vanity to get hold of your decisions. You will come to love yourself as you mature philosophically and this may encourage you to at moments to be arrogant or elitist, even condescending. I, and all of us, have been guilty of this from time to time but we need to catch ourselves and do not allow ourselves to become narcissistic. We must never speak down to anyone, especially those who want to learn from us. Instead embrace them as a brother or sister and treat them with all the love and concern you would treat yourself.
26: If fate deals you a blow that knocks you off your feet, you are not yet defeated. Tomorrow will bring new victories and new chances at glory and a righteous life. You must get up back on your feet, you cannot wait on others to help you up, or carry you. The hallmark of a great citizen is integrity. Although it may seem impossible to get up and try again, it is not, get up and I promise you good will come out of overcoming adversity. Never lie a moment prone and tread upon regardless of how incredibly painful your predicament may be. Master the passions and force your legs to walk onward. Transform your hate, pain or sorrow into inspiration to fight another day and never quit. Sometimes the only path to take is the hardest one to walk. Endure. In enduring, grow strong.
27: Much of our negative emotions and feelings can be controlled through focusing on the issue with rational thought. We must dedicate some time in the day to quietly meditate. No particular tradition must be followed in the meditation ritual but some effective systems include Buddhist Tantric Meditation, Yoga, T’ai Chi, Qigong, Loving Kindness Meditation (Metta Bhavana) and Insight Meditation (Mahasatipatthana Sutta). It is important that we bring our mind to stillness and are able to reflect on the path we take. In the deep, almost trancelike calm of meditation we can centralize our thoughts on particular issues and things which trouble us and discover solutions to our problems. Meditation also allows us to cultivate our focus, concentration, breathing and relaxation. In this state we can analyze our ethics with pure rational thought, deconstruct then reconstruct our lives in search of weakness or uncertainty. Remember, to be sincerely sure of all our actions and choices is the goal. Eventually every facet of our being will be unshakable and virtuous (the term “skillful” is used in Buddhism) and we will know true contentment. Consider adopting a teacher. Be wary of “healers,” charlatans and New Age spiritualists who will often modify or disregard ancient procedure for what they deem is a quicker or more effective way to enlightenment. Start meditating for fifteen or so minutes a day and slowly increase as time goes on, be careful not to exhaust your body or mind. Meditate everyday, even if it’s for a couple of minutes and do not neglect this labor. Given the proper dedication you may very well find your mind transforming into a clear spring of powerful insight, wisdom and prudence.
As a mother, at the risk of her life,
Watches over her only child,
Let him cherish an unbounded mind
For all living beings.
Let him have love for the whole world,
And develop an unbounded mind,
Above, below and all around,
Boundless heart of goodwill, free of hatred,
Standing, walking, sitting or lying down,
So long as he be awake,
Let him cherish this thought,
This is called divine abiding here.
If a person is energetic, mindful,
pure in his thought, word and deed,
and if he does everything with care
and consideration in senses restrain,
he earns his living according to the Truth.
And if the person is not unheedful,
the fame and fortune of that mindful person
28: In an era where we are constantly bombarded by input from the media and government it is important that we keep our minds our own and intact against any external coercion. Avoid watching television (instead watch a thought provoking movie every once in awhile) in particular the news channels. We must be objective and unbiased in our observance of the world’s events. Always hear two sides of the story, and try to find three or more sources which depict the event in a similar light. Note differences between the pitch and content of the coverage and decide on your own what is truthful and what is simply sensational. Don’t listen to music which promotes decadence, violence, racism, intolerance or destruction. Instead listen to music with thoughtful lyrics which might bring meaning to your life or inspire you to greater deeds. Do not be surprised or ashamed if your thought process begins to deviate from the mainstream, you’ll eventually discover that the majority of people are mere puppets of industry and government, led by the nose through clever manipulation of emotion and fear. We cannot be ruled in such a fashion, we must rule ourselves and make available what others will deny or conceal. Don’t follow the masses, carve your own path.
“But really, how can we rebel against the insidious encroachment of universal idiocy when the only supposed rebels we know, like 50 Cent or Eminem, are using their notoriety to sell us sneakers, energy drinks and lousy, formulaic movies? Even our “rebels” are owned by MTV, are owned by the men in dark suits, are owned by the makers of idiotic culture who sell us junk we don’t need. I can almost venture to say that it is not our fault.”
29: Be involved in politics, either as an informed and concerned citizen or as a participant in the system itself. As hinted at before, constantly educate yourself on the happenings of the world but never buy into ideological justifications and reasoning. Instead consider the socio-political climate. Ignore flowery rhetoric which speaks to our pathos (emotional and sensational communication) and demand logos (logical and rational communication)from government (covered in the Rhetoric section). Immediately consider agenda and purpose of the exposed politic. Try your best to get a grasp on the appearances, formalities and rituals of government and the happenings behind the curtain; the interpersonal relations and history of those involved. Study the record of politicians, that is the only thing that matters, not their supposed promises and bits of inspirational rhetoric. Your obligation as a citizen is to distrust government and always assume you’re being lied to. Although this sounds radical it was the ethic which our founding fathers (namely Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin) preached because they understood that a government with many centralized powers becomes a colossal self-interested cabal that seeks to push through any agenda which might benefit its members. Instead of naturally assuming what you’re being told is objective and comprehensive, assume it’s biased and discover through your own independent research if it’s legitimate. As our country becomes more federalized year after year what our founding fathers feared most becomes a reality, will you sit idly by and let this world disintegrate?
30: Walk quietly and with soft feet at every place in harmony with the world about you, confronting every aversion with mildness of temper. When conflict finds itself cast upon you sail away from it rather than meeting it at the face with stiffness and strength. In this fashion you will defeat even the most powerful foes where others would fail.
31: Never be one man at one instance and another when another consideration arises, for that will mean that you are not a man at all but a slave to externals and reputation. Cast aside and shatter the stage masks you don when in the company of others and in doing so begin to know yourself and know the others. For what would you do if all those you deceive were to meet you at once in a banquet hall, what mask would you wear then? Surely you would be exposed as the man who hides away from himself to conform to the rules of a mob which only deals in appearances. To those who you have tricked you will be seen as a traitor, betrayer and phony. Soon you will learn that the mob only exists in superficiality and is at a moment ready to ostracize with a pointed finger. Your supposed friends and family, the gimp mask rising to the surface of their face much as it once did for you, were never your friends to begin with.
32: When glory and fame falls upon you and you are swarmed by prestige blinded admirers an unrefined man would sleep with a new woman every night, a wiser man would bed one that he happened to find love with and a sage would reject all indulgences of the sort.
33: Remain skeptical not only in interpreting the media exposed to you but also all things. Humans are naturally gullible. This is not our way. We must be at all times vigilant, constantly observing and analyzing all that is around us by cultivating our ability to reason and deduct. Get a grasp on the basics of academic science and debating, on grammar, composition and on rhetoric (covered later). If you lack these weapons you will be easily deceived by those who do wield them. The people who run the world are rhetoricians, logicians and orators and in this way, it is how it must be, but if these men are not ethical and indifferent in their path and instead use their skills for personal gain, we are shamed. You must develop the same skills but develop ethos (ethics) and use them in a compassionate and virtuous way as opposed to a self-interested way. You will never truly be self-realized and independent from the media machine if you do not master these skills and will always be dazzled and flush with fear when the latest report of distant foes comes across the two minutes hate. Instead of immediately feeling fear and uncertainty when two towers are destroyed use reason to discover what has happened, never allow yourself be whisked away to a state of bloodlust or recklessness by sensational rhetoric. Perhaps the best choice is not to strike the man in the face (carrying a pistol under his petticoat) who has glanced at your woman for a moment? Perhaps the best choice is not to run your fellow citizen off the road and attack him with a bat when he brakes in front of you and nearly causes you to collide with him? Perhaps the best choice is not to live with hubris and a fragile ego and instead live a humble and reasonable life?
34: Always help those in need. If you see a homeless man on the side of the road do not step over him, instead implore him to tell you of his condition. If he is unhappy and wishes better for himself do what you must to get him help even if it means sacrificing your time or money. The state has abandoned these men to the street so it is up to the compassionate citizen to act in their stead. If you see a person in distress and pain council them, always offering alternatives and hope to the current situation. Many lost people only need an ounce of hope and inspiration to get themselves back up on their feet, grant them that, offer sincere friendship in a world where it’s considered taboo or stigma to communicate with those in a weakened state. Disregard how you’re perceived for your acts of kindness and ignore those who will argue its “better them then me.” This same rationale is what destroyed the Roman republic and what has reduced the once radiant civic virtue of this country to apathy and uncaring. Once the citizen begins to think only about his own security and not his brothers and sisters, collapse soon follows. Greed does not build nations, only empires held together by Assyrian fear, which soon collapse under their own contagious strife.
35: Never take life unless you absolutely need to. In a time where rapid overpopulation and industrialization has thrown the natural equilibrium of nature into chaos we must compromise. Consider a vegetarian or vegan diet. Be sure that your food is collected with as little harm done to the ecosystem as possible, study where it’s coming from and how it is processed. When eating, one should not eat too richly, for it could lead to dissatisfaction later, such as the grim realization that one could not afford such delicacies in the future. If you absolutely must eat meat consider buying it from butchers, farmers and local sources instead of the corporate slaughter houses. Consider abstinence or at least consider taking a vow not to have children. Over-indulgence in sex could lead to increased lust and dissatisfaction with the sexual partner. Masturbate as Diogenes did to disarm lust that would otherwise be dishonestly spent on another human being.
The stories told of Diogenes illustrate the logical consistency of his character. He inured himself to the vicissitudes of weather by living in a tub belonging to the temple of Cybele. He destroyed the single wooden bowl he possessed on seeing a peasant boy drink from the hollow of his hands. When asked how to avoid the temptation to lust of the flesh, Diogenes began masturbating. When rebuked for doing so, he replied, "If only I could soothe my hunger by rubbing my belly."
Furthermore, we don’t need more mouths to feed and we don’t need more mouths to feed that create more mouths to feed. We no longer are struggling to survive against the wooly mammoth or Homo erectus and the survival of our species no longer relies on procreation. At our rate of expansion this world will be nothing more then a smoldering ruin within a thousand years and although some nations have taken measures to reduce wasteful side effects of industry (Kyoto Accord) the world’s economic leader the United States has entirely ignored the problem and only escalated it with an ecological policy of reckless expansionism. We are humbled by our life spans. Our lifetime, rarely longer than a century in length is nothing but a blink in the cosmic scheme of things. The irrelevancy of our individual life leads us to abandon meaning in our lives and instead cling to escapes to make us feel comfortable in our eventual voyage to death. We must spend our lives doing what is programmed within our nature: compassionate unification of all life without strife and the expansion of knowledge and communication for the betterment of our world. We must look beyond and consider the future; there is no utopia on the horizon and no one is taking action, we cannot assume the future generations will do anything, and by then it will be too late. Look beyond your own survival, live heroically; consider the survival of humanity and civilization as we know it, not the details of your funeral service and tombstone; these things are superficial. We must take action now and serious action lest all life be overcome by the awesome vengeance of a battered earth.
36: We need role models in community and intimacy in communication to form meaningful relationships. We need men of exemplary and unquestionable character in positions of power that are in power by merit and merit alone. We don't need corporate raiders with coke addictions who avoid going to war and avoid the law as our president. In a true republic he would already be exiled or executed. In a true republic, the community heads would have much more power - instead they hide in their houses and close the blinds as their children peddle drugs in the street. Our founding fathers were true republicans - men of exemplary virtue, conviction and courage who were justified role models. Yes, many of them had their flaws, but in the end, they lived and died for their communities, not their own wallets. The same sort of Roman virtue inherent to Cincinnatus is also inherent to Washington. Back when our heroic forefathers returned from the fields of Europe and the islands of the Pacific men stood up for what they believed in and would come together in a community to defend it's integrity. Today citizens are purely apathetic and really don't care about anything besides the predatory pursuit of the material and sensation.
37: The reason why so few people care about the community is mainly because of the advent of Christianity and materialism. Christianity led to the downfall of the Roman republic because people stopped caring about the community, living well and life here on earth and looked for salvation in the cosmos and solely dedicated their lives to that. A pre-Christian Roman statesman was fanatically dedicated to character building, glory and righteousness and above all else had a great sense of honor and pride. Much like the declining Roman Empire, our very moral fabric is what is leading to the collapse of the American empire. The universal ethics inherent to all human beings is being ignored and the gap created in our lives by lack of meaning is being filled with instant gratification, predatory materialism and hedonism. Although these things might give us a sense of happiness for a short while, we will always seek more. The only way to be happy is to develop an impenetrable character with impenetrable virtues. This is the sole pursuit worth pursuing in life. Furthermore the community is an extension of us, everything is an extension of us, we are part of the earth - and everyone is our brother or sister. Ignoring the community is akin to ignoring our own diseased body.
38: Simply put - we don't have role models today, we don’t have a sense of civic virtue, we don't have ethics, we don't have a proper Greek (republican) education and we dysfunctional families and relationships - all of which are going to lead to the collapse of this country. So where do we go from here? First we need the education system to be massively reformed, and then we need a hand of justice to eliminate all the corruption in government. Neither of these things will ever be done unless someone acts. I walk through the streets of DC at noon with a lantern in my hand and the suits ask why, I respond that I’m just looking for an honest man.
39: Why should we have children? First, you must be prepared to give the child a proper tutoring in the Greek lifestyle, to deny the corruption of the public schools and ensure the child is treated to either home schooling or the best possible private education available. You must provide an environment where the child can mature philosophically and interact with other rising intellectuals. You must be prepared to be strict but never arbitrarily as my and your parents probably were – but rather out of reason. Have a reason why the child cannot stay up past eight, have a philosophically justified reason why they shouldn’t poison themselves, have a reason why they should avoid dogma and absolutism, have a reason why they should inherit the four virtues and become a cosmopolitan hero. If you can provide that and more and are willing in a instant to sacrifice yourself to save your progeny then you might consider having a child betting on the chance that it would one day mature as a inspirer, philosopher, mover and architect. Having a child just for the sake of having a child is wasteful and destructive; only create a child who enters this world with a purpose, to continue your own pursuits to make this world a better place and to once more retain our civic virtues, to push onward with compassion and inspire others to meaningful and glorious deeds. You must abandon all other pursuits while the child is being raised and devote all your energy and love toward the child, but do not dare confuse this labor with that of showering the child with material gifts. The child should live a minimal life of little luxuries and functional asceticism, nothing should be handed, he should only grasp things by merit and skill, just as he must live in the greater society. Endow in the youth the skill of self-discipline so you mustn’t ever need to discipline it yourself – from mastering the actions, development of the mind follows in accord.
40: Its best to be gray, to grasp at nothing, to always be in the eternal search for truth, while following a vigorous and rational oath of ethics - to never condemn nothing, nor deny nothing, but cling to nothing, but cleave to nothing, only grasping at what is immediate and known to us: human reason. Everything else is speculation - whether it is the absolutism of the Catholic Church or the scalding diatribe of the atheist. Both atheism and absolutism confine possibility and demand you to keep yourself within a box of assumption. It is better to come to judgments and decisions on a case by case basis, using the universal sword which is reason to cut down illusions and false causes - and never allow yourself to be whisked away in the irrationality of an absolute fate, of an absolute mind. When one allows the mind to be shackled with ethnocentrism, hatred, bias, ego and in a word: absolutism, he surrenders his innate ability to compromise, come to conclusions external of that absolute and truly think independent of any coercion. The goal is to be free from ego and to live purely for the pursuit of excellence in all things. We can never even reach a mediocre level of excellence if we allow ourselves to be disabled by arbitrary absolutes. Grasp at nothing, cleave to nothing. A life spent chasing after a ghost is a life squandered.
41: I grasp at nothing that is not within my reach. I do not pursue impossibilities nor do I try to explain things that do not have an answer, nor do I fight battles which cannot be won, and in doing so only grasp at which is immediate, masterable, human, reasonable, and natural. I pursue things that I can do, that I can accomplish. If I want something I cannot have, I am distraught. If I only manipulate things I already control, I am content. I do not speak to god because god does not speak back. I do not allow my imagination to rule me. Even if god did speak to me, how could a human understand the true meaning to which it was exposed? Even if I did understand, how could I possibly convey that message comprehensively to the masses or even to myself? These things are outside my grasp, they are impossible. Why detail god then? Why define god then? Why command your fellow brothers and sisters in humanity to commit to god’s will? Disregard this primal curiosity – grasp at what is yours to grasp. The nature of humans is reason, grasp at reason. Common to all people, regardless of creed is reason, grasp at the united global community. Do not grasp at one skin tone. Do not grasp at one depiction of god. Embrace all. Segregation is created by absolutists to divide and conquer enemies. Homosexuals are not to be outcast. Slavery is unacceptable. Defend the bonds inherent to humanity with your life, to the bitter end, fight to the last breath and never betray a single soul by acting contrary to the reason of the universe.
42: On this note, be prepared to have a philosophical justification for all aspects of your life. Any aspect of your life which you cannot justify should be rediscovered as soon as possible. Why do you believe what you believe? If the answer is “because” or “tradition” or “custom” or “convenience” you are not living to your full potential. Break down the walls of dogma; attack your beliefs until they are impervious to all doubt. If you are defeated in dialogue and find weakness in one of your beliefs, it is then time to reconstruct your life and look very carefully for faults in logic and reasoning. Avoid pyramidal reasoning, as in “I believe this because this must be true” and instead try to address each facet of your character with an individual, custom tailored solution. Spend a good portion of your day just in introspective meditation thinking about how you handled every judgment that day and if you have done something which is even slightly deviant from what you intended, remind yourself to not make that mistake again. It is also important not to drone on particular failures or hardships and to instead accept the outcome and strive to go beyond in the road ahead. Accept the consequences of your actions always and never make excuses; accept punishment and if you escape the eye of the public, punish yourself. In the end nothing is real unless it conforms to reason and your own judgments, if you ever find yourself wearing a mask, cast it aside and find yourself before you are dispossessed of your own body. Validate every judgment and decision that comes to pass and in doing so truly become an individual who knows contentment and happiness. To live otherwise is not to be independent but to be a slave to the programming of another, a fate far worse than death.
43: On this note, fear the coercion of groupthink. We tend as a people to herd together in genocidal like-minded groups and to always strive to conform to society’s accepted archetypes out of fear of rejection and the desire to be accepted by our peers. Don’t ever allow yourself to agree automatically with any group mindset. The Robert Kennedys, Malcolm Xs, Martin Luther King Jrs and Gandhis of this world are slain and no karma will rebound against their attackers - there is no catharsis and no pay back time. Justice doesn't meet the overseer, only a long life is rewarded, while the righteous are murdered and forgotten and redefined in "history" books as terrorists and revolutionaries against the status quo. Let justice flow through you; be the hand of justice. Demand fairness in government and demand punishment for Brahmin and untouchable alike. Do not allow criminals with Armani suits to slide past the executioner’s axe while the black skinned pauper in rags is sent to the electric chair. Everyone is equal, no one is better than you, and you are better than no one. Prejudice is illusory; prejudice is fabricated; prejudice is arbitrary. No baby has ever emerged from the womb and said “Six Jew bankers control the world’s money supply and I hate niggers.” Hatred is something you learn, not what you are born with. In this context, the rich deserve equality in the eyes of the law. Too common is it for those with money to pay off corrupt statesmen and law officers and to escape with a smile upon the face. This is unacceptable; this is intolerable. Our founding fathers were virtuous men who would never allow this tyranny to persist and neither should you. They are true patriots and true Americans who fought the good fight for the sake of humanity and fought corruption for the sake of goodness, not for self-advancement.
44: Consider pacifism. Only take another human’s life if it is absolutely necessary. Fighting is pointless and unproductive, as is any act of violence. Most urges to cause harm to others originate from a lack of self-esteem or self-worth and we can remedy this through diligent practice of philosophy. Ego and honor are illusory things that only complicate our relationships and endow in us irrational belligerence and militancy. Instead of allowing ourselves to be overcome with frustration, hatred and violence we must consider the logic behind these passions and cultivate loving kindness for all life. Instead of expressing your pent up emotions through violence against others, master the body through serious practice of a martial art such as Shaolin Gongfu, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or Muay Thai. Although you may be overcome by the intensity of these disciplines initially, with dedication and patience you will not only master your body but also your mind (in particular the passions, breathing and self-control). Just as with finding a meditation teacher, be sure you are practicing a pure form of the martial art and not a diluted westernized composite. If this is not to your fancy find another constructive outlet involving your creative mind such as art, writing or building something. Whatever you do, find a way to channel your negative emotions and urge to harm into a positive spring of compassion.
45: Humble. Humble is how we should strive to be. Don’t spend your life pursuing a dream, utopia or salvation, instead live grasping at nothing that would consume your time away from the simple, righteous life. What is the inherent value to medals, trophies, commendations and other forms of prestige? What is gained from dedicating a life in the pursuit of great mansions and plantations? Where is the reason in praying to a transparent god everyday, following the command of men who claim knowledge of it, denying all other creeds in hopes of a divine tomb? Would it be best to display great riches and deny all of those less fortunate then you? Is your life justified if you step on the faces of the weaker in the climb to corporate immortality? All these things are external to us, pointless and do nothing but cater to our ego and need to be perceived as powerful or successful in the modern rat race. A great man was once said to be a wise man; a noble man. Just as Shakyamuni cast aside his riches and embarked on the ascetic lifestyle to finally discover the middle road of moderation, you must discover a gray area where you are respected by admiration rather then by fear. Walk through places reserved for the rich and observe the faces of the less fortunate as the towering elite proudly stride past with their noses in the air and a defiant scowl on their faces. Observe the decadent and overindulgent opulence in designer shops as men freeze to death in the winter frost outside or starve in the street. As the CEO buys another six hundred dollar coffee mug or Persian rug the poor are dying. As the statesman gives a photo op and afterwards retires to bohemian grove to plan the next power play the ragged child stands with dead eyes gawking at the twenty five cent biscuit just twenty five cents too expensive. Remain humble.
“You may be unconquerable, if you enter into no combat in which it is not in your own control to conquer. When, therefore, you see anyone eminent in honors, or power, or in high esteem on any other account, take heed not to be hurried away with the appearance, and to pronounce him happy; for, if the essence of good consists in things in our own control, there will be no room for envy or emulation. But, for your part, don't wish to be a general, or a senator, or a consul, but to be free; and the only way to this is a contempt of things not in our own control.”
46: The education system is the opiate of the masses and has been implemented to sustain a society of drones burdened with bearing the tremendous appetites of the Brahmin elite. The public schools perpetuate lies in print and word to keep the masses docile, uninterested and silent. A life of zealous, backbreaking work, baby creation and predatory materialism is advocated over the pursuit of happiness and glory. Education is the most important thing in the raising of a citizen and will shape the mindset and mechanic of that individual for their entire life. Making drugs illegal will not make drugs disappear from the streets, the only way to win that war is by educating the people in the fundamental virtues and cultivating self-respect and respect for the cosmopolitan community. Instead of memorizing supposed factoids and being compartmentalized as a faceless social security number our society should on the contrary place an emphasis on intimate communication skills, rhetoric, grammar, debate, character development, self-determination, epistemology and inspiring our children to great deeds, works and self-empowerment. This education, as is outlined in this primer you are reading, is the most important education of all; the education of character. We need to teach Ciceronian Rhetoric and the Stoic virtues in school; endow in the student the basic skills to communicate, seek truth in all pursuits and live well. With no independent and unbiased organization to monitor the school curricula the government is granted clemency to literally define history and fact as they see fit. Knowledge cannot be mutilated to conform to agenda and the sterilization of the human mind. You are not fated to work sixty hours a week and live a life of bone grinding servitude so the Fords, Kennedys, Tafts and Bushs can buy another yacht or monument of grandeur, you are fated for greatness and for glory. The schools will condition you for the very opposite and avoid character development at all costs so that you’ll become a good little worker bee and do exactly as your told; so you’ll always pay your taxes on time and be a loyal and even fanatical subject. Reject this dysfunctional system and claim the power which is yours to grasp, the power of self! By poisoning yourself, following your passions and escaping you are giving the overseer precisely what he wants, a defeat. Fight to the death.
47: Communication has broken down. Intimacy has been replaced by electronics. Cars replace the quest. Relationships have never been more meaningless or destructive. Deceit and trickery are the tools to power, not virtue, not duty, not compassion. Men use women. Bitch get in my car. Women slay good men. Open communication is obscured by conditioning. Our education system is engineered to create 9-5 worker bees, blatant manipulations and lies are allowed to be "taught" to the masses - a adventurous and happy-go-lucky Columbus who treated Indians with compassion, Thanksgiving as a meeting of the WASP and redskin atop Pequot graves and the world was flat before the "new world" was discovered. The public schools don't educate anyone; they simply indoctrinate and condition to a fate far those than death; unlife as a slave to the overseer who hugs the telescreen in hopes of being reassured of his safety; a drone, a whore and sculpture of an irrational ideal. Our government actively seeks to perpetuate Orwell's greatest fear, and year by year the charade becomes more inflamed, Emmanuel Goldstein avoids capture and the lies are more readily accepted by the thrall masses. When the Brotherhood is displaced under boot a new threat always emerges, to take your mind off domestic issues. Put men in space, don't put men in apartments. Fireworks and a stage show to draw our attention from the rotting foundation, the gilding looks authentic from afar and why should we care about others when we can achieve excess and affluence ourselves?
48: The people who were so appalled by hearing about a NORML chapter in their school and the notion that Alabama might be legalizing should reconsider their standpoint. First off, it is not the federal government's prerogative to interfere with private life - only the states should have that power, and the laws should be created by popular assembly; it is unlawful for the central government to police any aspect of local life. Why is cannabis illegal anyway? It was smoked just as much as cigarettes in the south by poor farmers and the lower class however the government needed a new scapegoat to blame all domestic issues on after prohibition failed, and that scapegoat was cannabis. The legality of cannabis is entirely arbitrary - it was simply a platform for politicians to get a meal ticket and be elected into office much like the McCarthys before them. Watch some vintage cannabis PSAs - most of them report that the drug is a powerful hallucinogen that will bring about insane behavior and murder, that it turns you into a Satan worshipper and you lose your soul if you use it (seriously, watch some). The only reason its illegal is because it was a politicians' fire - much as were the communists, alcohol or "terrorists" nowadays. Personally I believe it should be illegal for the government to police your personal life and all drugs should be legalized. The best way to combat addiction is to educate, not imprison people. History shows that attempting to suppress anything only increases public fascination with it - whether it is a language, religion or material. The reason why its still illegal is because the government makes a great deal of money off of it being illegal. In Europe, where weed is mostly decriminalized, and in some parts legal - there is no social decadence problem that we are experiencing here. It should be illegal to use in public, but if your in the privacy of your own home, who cares? If you want to kill yourself, you have that right, oh wait, no you don’t, suicide is a punishable offense of up to ten years in jail (Big Brother loves you). Because throwing someone in a cell teaches them not to smoke weed or slit their wrists, it’s the compassionate solution - let those criminals rot, who cares, their criminals, but release them in ten years, so that they can re-enter society with a renewed hatred, having learned nothing. The best way to combat addiction is to endow in the student a great deal of character development, especially in the fields of intimate communication, rhetoric, logic, grammar, oration and critical thinking - this way they discover the only logic choice is not to use drugs. Of course this won't ever happen in the public schools - which are the very thing which introduce many kids to the addictions which will haunt the rest of their lives. This brings us to the central problem with this country: education. Education is the most important thing of all, and to call the propaganda and banal minutia machine we send our kids through an education is a travesty. On the very contrary the "Education" system in this country is simply conditioning to create a perfect 5 star employee who is content to remain bovine and silent his entire life being tugged along by the overseer - pay your taxes, buy trinkets, sit down and have a beer, watch Survivor, silence citizen. Education should create citizens who want to accomplish great deeds and are confidant in their ability to cultivate virtue - both personal and civic, not intimidated 9-5 whores of fashion who close their blinds when their kids peddle heroin on the street corner. The way to combat our social decadence is a good Greek education in the vein of the sophists and stoics - not to use force to suppress arbitrary bans on naturally occurring plants with massive sentences and SWAT teams.
49: The people of this society are often depressed, feel hopeless or simply are apathetic because it seems impossible to grasp contentment in such a violent and buzzing world but you will find that if you detach from the negative, “keep your divine part pure” you will be happy, and “there will be no man able to prevent this.” The negative things are what disable the mind, instead focus on what you have instead of what you don’t have, and don’t grasp what is not yours. What is yours is judgment, reason, our own actions and decisions, what is not yours is everything external to your mind. We cannot control others; we can only inspire them to control themselves virtuously by mastery of our own mind and own actions. In avoiding impossibilities, dreams, imagined absolutes (the “best career,” “best family” or “best house”) and time squandering quests (such as dedicating your entire life to winning a trophy) we can accomplish much more in the same amount of time by instead grasping at more immediate and familiar things. A man in misery can be happy in a instant if he casts aside his desire for something beyond him and instead settles for what he is designed for, and instead accept glory if glory is fated to fall upon him instead of actively searching for it. Again, this is a heroic choice, the common choice would be to do whatever you wanted regardless of how selfish your actions might turn up being and how truly wasteful they could be. What does winning the Tour De France mean? In one thousand years you might be lucky if you remain a single line in some compendium of sports history. Instead of dedicating your life to pursuits which don’t matter (in the cosmopolitan sense) pursue things which are realistic and which entail compassion and productivity. Time destroys everything external to us. The only thing which persists through eons is thought itself, evolving ever constantly generation by generation. Revolutionize the mind and revolutionize history; save the earth from the plague of contemporary civilization.
50: The goal is to be detached from the material and emotional, free as a bird, unrestrained and unburdened by the things which weigh us down with iron chains but need not. If you claim nothing which is not your own, you will glide easily through life and with much happiness. If you desire things outside yourself you will be disappointed when you cannot attain them. Other untrained men will seek the same things you seek and you will be confronted by them. To avoid this combat simply release from the pursuit and lead a life of simplicity. If you abide to this you will find no enemies, no harm, no abrasion and no confrontation. If you persist against the grain and continue to desire the externals you will only be met with pain and unhappiness. This concept is alien to many of us in the west who have been designed for something entirely opposite, a life of constant pursuit, hunting and killing. This concept has only led to the dysfunction, misery and self-loathing of an entire people. Confront the men who appear to have ultimate power and happiness with reason and force yourself to see through the appearance and charade of a practiced smile. Pursue only things internal to us: character and the four virtues. If something is not in our control it is nothing to us.
“If you wish your children, and your wife, and your friends to live for ever, you are stupid; for you wish to be in control of things which you cannot, you wish for things that belong to others to be your own. So likewise, if you wish your servant to be without fault, you are a fool; for you wish vice not to be vice," but something else. But, if you wish to have your desires undisappointed, this is in your own control. Exercise, therefore, what is in your control. He is the master of every other person who is able to confer or remove whatever that person wishes either to have or to avoid. Whoever, then, would be free, let him wish nothing, let him decline nothing, which depends on others else he must necessarily be a slave.”
51: Always remind yourself the nature of the things you love. How can one become angry when his favorite video game is destroyed? How can one even contemplate striking the person who destroyed it, even if done intentionally? Remind yourself that the video game is nothing significant but only a piece of plastic so that when it is destroyed you will not be disturbed. Never allow yourself to be disturbed over the destruction of material or external things, work to develop self-control and reason, do not allow the passions to sweep you off your feet and perform a reckless act. Nothing belongs to you but your own mind. Not even your body is entirely yours, broken down by nature and by time. There is nothing that can restrict your mind however; the mind is only restricted by things which can be remedied through practice and discipline. So when one says “I will never be happy” or “I am sad” what he should say is “I am allowing myself to be sad because I am defining myself as being sad.” Mastering the internal voice is a crucial discipline, simply circumvent the decision of “I am sad” and you will not be sad. On this same note avoid saying “I am in love” or “I am happy” but instead exist just as you are so that you cannot experience anguish when these impermanent things come to pass and pass they will.
52: The government is a self-interested cabal, illegitimately throned, vicious and superficial, a charade of what it once was; Augustus' republic, which strives to perpetuate the true Orwellian epic: a world where fear is used to perpetuate a constant mindset of brutal bloodlust, apathy and unquestionable automation. You exist so that the Fords, Tafts and Bushes can buy another yacht on your back, on your taxes and on your blood. The quicker you are silent and watch Survivor, the quicker you'll be happy. Oh and while your at it, surrender your mind to madness and drug yourself, you'll hurt less. Oh and while your destroying your faculties and giving them your dollars make sure you also listen to our MTV-approved formulaic nonmusic, especially tunes which promote violence, decadence and conformance to archetypes and societal expectations. The rebels of our generation now sell rap snacks and sneakers for corporations, they are nothing but ghosts, puppets to the man and puppets to fashion. To be a patriot is to be defiant, to be dissident. A patriot is not a zealot and not a blind follower. There are no patriots in this country. To accept a lie without feeling compelled to make things right is to be dead. To step over a dead bum on your way to Pilates, to turn away the tears of the abused and raped and turn up the volume on your iPod while rolling your eyes - get rich or die tryin', to ignore the natural human urge to be compassionate and instead replace it with apathy to fit in with the other clones around you, that is to be dead.
53: Do not allow personal ties to obstruct your duty first as a human being, then as a citizen to the state (community). Although you may plough your field and be at peace with your family do not ever allow this semblance of a utopia to dull your senses, remain vigilant and be ready to at once don the mantle of the soldier who fights the good fight and in doing so might never return to his farm before fate claims him. Do not commit to an unjust calling, do not allow yourself to be ruled by a unjust ruler but do not allow yourself to simply do nothing. Part of your responsibility as a citizen of the state is to take up arms (be it your voice or the sword itself) against the intolerable and unreasonable. So when we speak of duty to the state it means not to blindly follow the whims of the overseer but instead commit to the founding ideology, virtues and what it ought to be. We must not favor those familiar to us over those foreign to us and we must not get into positions of authority or foster positions of authority through anything save merit. Is it better to deploy your divisions in defense of a city or in defense of your family’s house? Do not allow your personal relationships to compromise your duty and always be prepared to leap to your feet and join a just cause. If you are to die in the line of duty, your death will be justified, but only for a duty which is virtuous, dying for an unjust cause is the greatest injustice of all. When your duty is completed instead of exploiting your glory, power and prestige return to the farm and retire the sword, but keep it close. In this manner Cincinnatus and George Washington achieved both wisdom and virtue.
"It's not a matter of whether the war is not real, or if it is, Victory is not possible. The war is not meant to be won, it is meant to be continuous. Hierarchical society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance. This new version is the past and no different past can ever have existed. In principle the war effort is always planned to keep society on the brink of starvation. The war is waged by the ruling group against its own subjects and its object is not the victory over either Eurasia [Terrorism] or East Asia [Iraq] but to keep the very structure of society intact."
- George Orwell
54: It is better to live in rags with contentment then affluence with agitation. If something is not perfect in your life and you cannot remedy it or it would require an unreasonable solution, let it be. It is better for these things to not be perfect and you to be happy then for you to seek forever to perfect things only to be unhappy. Little or no effort should be spent on fixing things, it is the way of harmony as they are, the logos of nature, as it is your logos to be free from perturbation. It is better to die in a jail cell with an uncompromised nature then it is to die wrapped in silks with much distress and grief. The stoics would often commit suicide rather then betray their virtues, and in this regard the samurai’s harakiri is justified; do not ever cheapen yourself to grasp at the illusion of happiness. Happiness is acceptance, temperance and conformance to the nature of harmony, unhappiness is strife, discord and endless effort.
55: Don’t seek to know everything, accept the fact that human beings are ignorant to everything and know nothing. If you are gloated upon and showered with compliments, distrust yourself. Always accept and consider the criticism of both friends and enemies, never turn away a critic and always meditate on the supposed fault. Do not allow yourself to be enveloped by the ego as you are idolized, praised and flattered. Don’t ever accept anything you do as flawless. It is difficult to conform to the natural law and also pursue external things such as prestige and glory and you will surely neglect one or the other in the race. Instead of then tumbling after the flattery of others, disregard these things and be prepared to punish yourself for any deviance from the eternal path of reason. Catch yourself in the act before you are saturated in the monarchial grandeur and find your army starving and broken in Russian fields. Prudence before pride, reason before ego; true power lies in a trained mind, not the purple cloak, at the lectern, not the throne.
56: It is not the inherent nature of tragedy which causes us sorrow but rather our judgment (decisions) about them. Only the mismanagement of our mind can cause discomfort and agony. If for example you wish your love to live forever, you will only be met with disappointment and pain. If you wish your boss to always be prudent you will be disappointed. And if you expect a divine hand to reach down and rescue you from your troubles you will be disappointed. Instead of expecting impossibility, accept the nature of things and be at peace with them, let nothing be a surprise by reflecting and contemplating on all relations. If you demand something to be other then what it is you will experience nothing but agitation and failure, discontent and in a word: suffering. Whoever, then, would be free, let him wish nothing, let him decline nothing, which depends on others else he must necessarily be a slave.
57: Observe death, imprisonment, estrangement and other things that might be deemed terrible by the typical man daily and become accustomed to them so that you might never form hopeless or greedy thoughts. In this manner you will also familiarize yourself with the true nature of war, theft and other crimes rather then the common appearance of them that are often marginalized by conversation and theory. It is best not only to read about war but to see the full effect of it, as should anyone condoning the passing of any conflict, so that we might observe the wanton carnage in it’s true state. War is not flags, ideology and rhetoric; it is only death, pain and suffering. When the demagogue justifies a conquest through flowery words rather then logic, you are in the midst of observing an appearance, not the true state of affairs. Seek constantly to undermine the appearance and strive to snatch the essence behind it. You may catch but a glimpse of the true nature of violence at ogrish or rotten.com and other uncensored, unbiased internet sites. Distrust mainstream information sources for accurate depictions of the brutality of violence, discover it for yourself. A man ignorant to tragedy should not rule on their judgment yet he be caught up in inexperience and assumption. When you are ignorant to anything, remain silent and let those with experience judge, trust in veterans, distrust neophytes (including yourself) - but always push to experience what you are indeed ignorant to so that you might better understand existence.
58: Beware exposés, media, television, magazines and tabloids. Remember that these publications are created for one reason and one reason only: entertainment of our desires. For more accurate information on a topic read academic journals or on the internet: .edu and wiki sites. Any source of knowledge which has not been checked by watchdogs or does not adhere to a firm, enforced set of academic guidelines is unreliable and should be avoided as creditable information. Of course we should always strive to expose ourselves to all sources of information but we must remain especially vigilant and carefully consider the essence, objective and environment surrounding supposed “news” and entertainment publications. Similar to clergy, most of the time mass media is attempting to sell you something, whether you realize it or not. Whether it is fanatical support or incited hatred against an enemy, your vote, your dollar, your allegiance, your body or your mind, something is grasped at by those who disseminate information on a massive scale. Be cynical of everything but be careful not to develop paranoia or extremist tendencies, simply ignore anything created by corporation and instead listen to the one voice within you, the voice of reason and nature.
59: Television is a mind numbing anesthetic designed to keep us fanatically informed of new corporate creations which we don’t need under the guise of entertainment. Consider the sheer volume of ads and commercials you are bombarded with in just an hour of television programming, many of which are socio-political in nature and often are designed by mastered rhetoricians to intentionally influence your opinions. Most Americans develop their political affiliations solely by watching network news but nothing can be gained from Bill O’Reilly’s two minute hate besides a one sided, biased, violent and marginalized viewpoint. Stop watching television, embrace academia and philosophy. You will gain nothing from this stream of banal minutia that constantly is hammered against your senses to condition you to be the perfect drone, the perfect clone, the perfect worker, a star employee. Are you who you think you are? You need to consider everything, you need to expose yourself to all views, you need to release from the violent escapism promoted ever constantly by media, grasp meaning and run with it, live a life of accomplishment and glory that you are destined to live. Stand up and shatter the chains bound to your limbs by thinking outside the box. We are all heroes and great gods conditioned to think less of ourselves, to accept the 9-5 and bone grinding nonsense situation ethic, but this is not our fate. Is it our destiny to live as we are, is this what nature intended, what god intended, what our own bodies have intended? Is this our destination, the place where we can accept death with a smile on our face? Is it acceptable to give up our dreams and say “that is impossible?” Why is it impossible? Look beyond. Follow your instinct, follow what's right, don't fall for fashion, don't fall for hype, follow your viscera, follow your soul, and don’t let the powers that be have control. Cherish yourself, demand something more.
60: Master your tongue. Do not speak of things that don’t matter and do not hold meaning, and when you do speak, speak with few words and never with vulgarity or haste. As hinted at before, training yourself to be silent is an important skill that will bring about much contentment and peacefulness of mind. Training in silence does not mean one must be quiet when he has something to say, only when he has nothing to say. Why should we speak of pointless topics that will disturb and pervert our concentration? Conversation, just like sex and relationships, needs to be meaningful. It has become nearly second nature to speak of meaningless or vulgar things because this is to what we are exposed to on television and in the media, but you will find that once you remove yourself from that coercion, you will begin to speak more moderately and of things which bring happiness instead of confusion or agitation. One may have reason to constantly talk, and if the talk is enlightening, it is justified, but if it is only to create a semblance of connection and to make it apparent to others that you conform to the ways of society as to not be ostracized, it is unacceptable. Never speak against another (ad hominen), this is the most ridiculous form of argumentation and immediately discredits you as an ethical, unbiased speaker. If we are exposed to vulgarity and untested rhetoric, whether it is in our music, our television or our culture itself, we will develop tendency to emulate. Perhaps it’s better to pick up a book then to watch hour upon hour of Jerry Springer? Speaking in vulgarity not only makes us appear as fools not to be respected but also influences our thought pattern to be more profane and apathetic. Our words define our mind and influence our perception of things. The rationale behind the repetition of a mantra such as “loving kindness” in loving kindness meditation is so that we condition ourselves to a state of loving kindness by replacing negative emotions with compassionate, positive ones.
61: If someone attacks you ad hominen and says “he is a liar, he is a fool” reply with “he does not know my other faults, otherwise he would have mentioned them”; never consider defending yourself against ill speak or accusations. If you are judged to death by your fellow citizens for your accused injustices, let it be so. Just as we must not allow ourselves to be whisked away to a state of bloodlust after hearing of our supposed olive skinned enemies in the media and their supposed dubious plots to exterminate us, we must not be carried away by insults and the casual attacks of others. You would certainly be angered if your body was given away by another, so how then can you justify surrendering your mind to those who would attack you? If someone strikes you in the face thank them for their consideration and their willingness to devote energy to injure you, for they must truly have found fault in you. If you find yourself in an environment where you are exposed to negativity the only possible solution is to remove yourself with as little friction created as possible, any other option would constitute slavery. If you have exhausted absolutely all options and you have no choice but to remain in an environment where you are bullied, coerced or brutalized do not allow your mind to be undone, constantly keep focused and do not lose hope, recite mantras and remind yourself of the virtues, channel the pain, frustration and discontent into a fortress of resolve and stubborn perseverance, only stolen by death.
62: What is slavery? Slavery is the state in which our mind is no longer our own and is being dictated by an external force. It is better to take your life then to willingly submit to slavery of the mind. To surrender your mind would be an outcome worse than death. If you do not consciously defend your mind and remain vigilant you will be conquered by the unreasonable vulgarity of society and become nothing more than a mere drone programmed to consume and breed. At all times we are influenced to conform to this ideal, an ideal of self-interest, affluence and prestige. These external things are meaningless, time will destroy them. Anything that time may destroy is not worth our effort in pursuing. If you enter this world with nothing but your skin and leave this world with nothing but your skin, or even more exactingly, simply our consciousness, what do we have to lose besides awareness itself? When we buy something, we are simply applying an arbitrary boundary on who may claim matter as their own, but once we die, does it follow us, or is it simply reabsorbed by the earth in one form or another? In this manner we also are reabsorbed and rejoin the divine spirit (logos/anima mundi) of the earth and are reincarnated as we feed the flowers above head with our decaying remains. When you are gone, the atoms in your soul and the atoms in your body will still be here making up something else, a rock, a lake, or a flower. If we are slaves, we give up ourselves as property to the man who desires power and wealth. The one true power you have in this world is the power of fortifying the mind and developing true character, self-independence and realization. If we surrender this natural right to our own desires unfettered by reason and forever inflamed by the malignant coercion of industry, government and religion, are we even to be considered alive? You must never follow where society leads. Follow where reason leads. Society develops in conformance to convenience, the passions and desire, rarely what is virtuous. A politician may pander to the people because he knows he will get votes. In the old times a politician would disregard opinion and side solely with reason, with unbiased and virtuous decisions. Today our would-be statesmen do what they must to please the people, and in doing so are elevated to a level of power where self-interested comes before duty. Duty to nature and to virtue is all that matters, not immaterial and illusory things like fame, prestige and popular acceptance. Do what is right for all, disregard your own life, and consider yourself nothing but a petty servant to be tread upon by the absolute lowest of citizens – a clerk, errand boy and nothing more. The politicians of this culture have forgotten what it means to be ethical, virtuous, unbiased and pragmatic and have instead abandoned the republican ethic that brought Athens and Rome to their height and sided with self-interested predatory materialism and hedonism, the very evils which brought about the end of Rome’s empire. Once men start caring about their own wealth, cosmic salvation, career advancement and creating great tombs for themselves instead of the common good of the state (civic virtue) and the experience occurring now, we only will have suffering in the wake of a great collapse.
63: What will make you popular in the eyes of the people? Taking away their guns? A serious campaign against drugs? Retaining our isolationist inheritance? Trust busting? Disbanding network news? Actually considering paying attention to ecology? Using tax payer dollars to put men into apartments instead of men in space? Publicly ostracizing corporate criminals? Providing public healthcare? Emptying the prisons into recovery homes and psychiatrist offices? Of course not; no entertainment lies there. Of course not; no instant gratification is there. Of course not; no drama is there. Of course not; no personal gain may be there. Of course not; no sex is there. Of course not; no pleasure is there. Of course; reason is there. Of course; virtue is there. Of course; the enlightened are there. Of course; compassion is there. Of course; empathy is there. Of course; virtue is there. Of course; happiness is then there. Strive to do what is right and just, not what is attractive.
64: What of holidays? They don’t mean anything. Holidays are arbitrary periods of commercial emphasis and should never be formalized by the state, just as religion should play no part in government – these things are detrimental to reason. If you must celebrate a holiday, do it in your own way, and pay no attention to public vulgarities, haste and crassness. If the public mind dictates that you must get presents for all your friends surely you will never be able to fulfill that task, for the entire world is your friend. There is no victory in drawing a line between friend, enemy, love and family. How will you then produce presents for all citizens of this earth? It is impossible to conform to this task, so why should we then pursue it? Consider spending holidays doing philanthropic deeds. Spend your Christmas at a soup kitchen or at a hospital. What will you gain from feasting until you nearly burst when the same ration of food consumed could have fed three starving men? While you eat your cheesecake, men are starving in the street, and its your, and everyone’s fault by inaction. How can you justify spending your money on trinkets to exchange for other trinkets when men cannot meet the bare essentials in the street? Ensure that your admiration is unique, creative and original – what does giving someone a card with some money in it show – perhaps that you have money and nothing else; it’s an empty gesture. You shouldn’t require a holiday to admire those close to you just for the sake of tradition. You shouldn’t ever do something just because everyone else is doing it, and never for the sake of your own ego which might be at ease if you conform to the ways of those around you. For every pointless second you spend, imagine an army of broken and lost souls staring at you with eager eyes so that you won’t ever spend a moment showering your ego and desires with extra-indulgences. Don’t collect trinkets, don’t eat more than you need to and try to share whatever excess you have, there is no practical reason to hold onto it save greed, which we seek to remedy by cultivating loving kindness, compassion and generosity of character.
65: Consider New Years. One doesn't need a clean slate if one is sincere in every waking moment. No need for resolutions, no need for goals. It says something about our culture when we need a sort of reckoning day to set goals for ourselves only because other people are. What makes a holiday holy? Marking a holiday is an arbitrary affair made institution by the state for sake of commercial emphasis. Why do you need a day to clear your mistakes and make goals when you can do so in every conscious moment? Why do you need a day to praise the supposed birth of Jesus when you can do so on any day of the year of your choosing or every day? When one stops following the herd he knows true self-determination and true contentment. Serious resolutions are only possible if labored after constantly. Why is it socially acceptable to intoxicate oneself at certain times and its taboo at others? Have a reason for doing everything, otherwise you are ruled by others and have resigned yourself to a fate worse than death. Rule every moment. Seize every day.
66: Think outside the box.
67: All knowledge must remain free and unbound by proprietary chains. Your aspiration should always be the freeing of knowledge to all peoples. Individuals and corporations in especial will attempt at all times to sell knowledge instead of offering it to for free – whether it be software, books, music or movies. It is your ethical right to steal these “products” and distribute them to as many people as possible, particularly iconoclastic or thought provoking material. The ethical hacker who strives always to free knowledge to the people is a true hero. No one has the right to claim anything creative is theirs alone. Look for alternatives, underground music and film is just as high quality as what you would find on the silver screen and usually more thought provoking, creative, sincere and impacting. Discover new music using SoulSeek (slsknet.org), especially music which destroys your mind and challenges your beliefs, is offensive or at least provocative. All the texts worth reading are available on Project Gutenberg (Gutenberg.org) for free including all the works of great minds mentioned in this primer. Read up on offensive and alternative philosophies; remove all inhibitions and limits on your tastes, grasp at everything, all obscure music, all esoteric ramblings and pseudo intellectual dribble. Immerse yourself in paradoxes and in Zen puzzles that confound and frustrate theologians and absolutists. Go out of your way to see that independent productions are funded properly if their intended to be freely available to all upon completion. Especially meritous projects are those which are contributed to and vigilantly monitored by the entire community. There is no concept more virtuous than the internet’s wiki sites – which offer a free, user editable encyclopedia where unbiased, factual and universally criticized knowledge is made available to anyone, anywhere, instantly. Consider being philosophically opposed to traditional book research and learning. How can one writer’s research, opinion and conclusions be considered more legitimate than a legion of community experts forming a compilation of academically nonpartisan facts and unbiased commentary? Wiki ensures truth, it ensures validity and it ensures the offering of a trusted knowledge source.
68: Books or anything written by a single author cannot be trusted; the true maturation of knowledge occurs when the entire world’s eye is represented in a single statement. Watch dogs must always guard over and update knowledge, ensuring that it is never tampered with or presented falsely, this is impossible and actually illegal to execute in the world of print. Your typical Prentice Hall “history” book is nothing but a yarn filled to the brim with lies and misconceptions (See my essay “Fairytale America”). This is impossible in a wiki page which is constantly attacked by academics, enthusiasts and independent scholars to test its integrity of truth. If you have questions about a religion don’t even consider asking someone for an answer, instead visit religioustolerance.org. Many academics (especially traditional doctors) discount the validity and authenticity of online knowledge but I think you’ll find that their way is an antiquated one that is fading out, soon to be replaced by the ever evolving and ever fresh spring of knowledge found online. In an instant I can learn about anything I want from an unbiased source and to a depth not possible from a single book taken out from the library, from dozens of perspectives, and from dozens of sources (many of which are compiled or at least checked by dozens of independent researchers). Do not allow the whores of the green god to make what is yours proprietary and do not allow politics to spoil knowledge. Only be willing to pay out the amount of money it cost them to produce what is being shared but always look for entirely free alternatives. True intellectuals will always find ways to run projects on donations and their personal funds. Wikipedia for example, the largest wiki which is now one of the top 30 sites on the internet is run entirely by volunteers and funded entirely by donations from the community. No one makes a penny. This is how everything should be run, not just encyclopedias, for the community, by the community, available to all, for the sake of the betterment of humanity. Remove the middle man element; disregard the entrepreneur who seeks to make a coin off of your desires. As Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales said “We’re already taking back the Internet. With your help, we can take back the world.”
69: We have spoke of never submitting to arbitrary or unreasonable principles and to always seek an ethical end in all actions but what of taboo? A taboo is an arbitrary and typically random restriction on our lifestyle, actions and thought processes. Selecting a taboo can teach us discipline, patience and integrity. The taboo should never be a permanent lifestyle choice as in “I will never walk when the light is out” but instead a daily trial as in “Today I will not walk when the light is out.” Taboos should be ridiculous and intentionally unreasonable but don’t necessarily have to be. The taboo should be a marked deviation from our everyday life, so much so that we run into trouble coping with it. The frustration encountered while attempting to live with the taboo is the nagging desire to return to normalcy. We must disregard that voice and train ourselves to persevere through it and in doing so grow stronger and more resolute. You must at no time violate the law of the taboo or you have failed the exercise and only learned to give in to passion. The taboo must never interfere with our natural virtues. A day spent with no food or drink will better teach us patience than would a day spent in the banquet hall. A day spent traveling with no footwear or minimal clothes in winter will better teach us the way of the less fortunate. A day spent with a vow of silence or a vow of deafness might teach us how much we take our abilities to communicate for granted and improve our ability to observe and remain silent against vulgar or meaningless speech. A day spent walking backwards will teach us to better mind our surroundings and be eternally vigilant. A day spent with cinderblocks tied to our legs might endow in us more respect for the disabled.
"I do nothing but go about persuading you all, old and young alike, not to take thought for your persons or your properties, but and chiefly to care about the greatest improvement of the soul. I tell you that virtue is not given by money, but that from virtue comes money and every other good of man, public as well as private. This is my teaching, and if this is the doctrine which corrupts the youth, I am a mischievous person."
Methods of Persuasion
To Appeal to Logic (logos)
To Develop Ethics (ethos)
To Appeal to Emotion (pathos)
Theoretical, abstract language
Literal and historical analogies
Factual data and statistics
Citations from experts and authorities
Language appropriate to audience and subject
Restrained, sincere, fair minded presentation
Appropriate level of vocabulary
Vivid, concrete language
Narratives of emotional events
Evokes a cognitive, rationale response
Demonstrates author's reliability, competence, and respect for the audience's ideas and values through reliable and appropriate use of support and general accuracy
Evokes an emotional response
Testing Arguments and Detecting Fallacious or Fraudulent Arguments
· Wherever possible there must be independent confirmation of the facts
Fallacies (Irrational Arguments)
"Constantly regard the universe as one living being, having one substance and one soul; and observe how all things have reference to one perception, the perception of this one living being; and how all things act with one movement; and how all things are the cooperating causes of all things which exist; observe too the continuous spinning of the thread and the contexture of the web."
71: According to Joseph Campbell the incredible soul sickness of our times can be attributed solely to the abandonment of religion and ethics. There has never been a time before when suffering and dysfunction has so plagued humanity. For the span of known history humans have clung to mythology to teach them important life lessons and function as a constant reminder of ethical action. Mythology was often exposed to the public alongside religion. In the modern era mythology is absent from our culture and has left a bottomless gap in our lives that is often filled with inappropriate substitutes such as predatory materialism and hedonism. Mythology is absent from our culture because people have stopped going to church, stopped paying attention to their elders and essentially retired themselves to the myth of the street. Mythology is so crucial because it teaches us ethics by interpretation of a story rather then the pedantic dictation of arbitrary rule sets common to most religious traditions. It is the literary tradition of mythology and story which brings us ethics, not the mystical residue and abstraction apparent to most world religions.
72: In the story of Icarus our winged protagonist ignores his father Daedalus’ advice, flies too close to the sun and his wax wings slowly melt, causing him to tumble to his death down into the sea. The Greek citizen may have interpreted such a story to remind him to be prudent, moderate, careful, exacting, reserved, considerate and cautious. More importantly this fable teaches us to have trust in our elders and consider their experience rather then relying on our reckless ambitions which stem out of untested theorems. In a more contemporary sense the story of Abraham also has a moral. Abraham is sent through a number of trials by Yahweh that demands he essentially abandon all he has, trusting in his faith and in his convictions. In the end Yahweh finally intervenes right before Abraham is about to slay his own son in the final trial and rewards him for staying the course and sticking to his faith. This story teaches that perhaps remaining through a rough time may be better then abandoning the path due to difficulty. Both of these tales, just a couple out of at least twelve thousand years of human tradition, exhibit a ethical message that is interpreted by the reader and not spoon fed to him in a pedantic manner. This interpretation and deconstruction is where the value of the teaching becomes apparent.
73: We need not be concerned with the mystical elements of religion but we must retain the mythology and ethics of near antiquity. Without ethics and mythology, without careful consideration of epistemology we can never be true to ourselves and would only be slaves to indecision. It is imperative that we remain devoutly religious but not in the traditional sense. We must avoid the absolutes of organized religion and instead embrace the eternal search for truth and divine patterns; cosmic epistemology. The grandness of the divine is beyond the comprehension of any human and we can only spend our lives hoping to catch a glimpse of its true nature.
"At the moment I am looking into astrology, which seems indispensable for a proper understanding of mythology. There are strange and wondrous things in these lands of darkness. Please, don't worry about my wanderings in these infinitudes. I shall return laden with rich booty for our knowledge of the human psyche."
74: Existence is a curious mechanism which is not as simple as many would like to believe. In truth every time matter shifts state everything else is affected regardless of how minute the shift is. Verily we are part of an interconnected consciousness experiencing itself subjectively; we are all a fragment in the divine machine. The earth, the cosmos and beyond are all one, all created by a single divine source which is incomprehensible to us and thus should not be characterized, dictated to, defined or detailed by the revelation of other humans who claim to be privy to some transcendental wisdom. The testimony of humans is irrelevant and we must trust in reason, logic and visceral righteousness as the basis of our ethics, morals and personal religion. We must never accept what is fed to us by any human source; we must always come to conclusions after carefully deconstructing communications and synthesizing it to meet our own criteria. Do not ever allow yourself to blindly follow any idol, priest or speaker, our sacred quest as human beings is to disregard the layers of deceptive domination inherent to established religions and live true to nature and nature only, for nature is god.
“All things are implicated with one another, and the bond is holy; and there is hardly anything unconnected with any other things. For things have been co-ordinated, and they combine to make up the same universe. For there is one universe made up of all things, and one god who pervades all things, and one substance, and one law, and one reason.”
75: Since we all come from the same source (the Big Bang) we must deduce that every piece of matter and every entity is entirely divine, to from where else would the super mass be created? Every particle of dirt, every bit of filth, every bacterium and every rock share the same creator and the same essence, the same anima, the same divine vector. We must then regard every human being as an incarnation of the divine and embrace one another without bias or dissent. We are God. We are made up of God. God is everything. God is not a person. God is not a personality. God is material, God is the smallest possible divisions of matter; existence is predicated on the stuff of God. Our collective unconscious to unify the masses through communication, knowledge and truth is the only divine canon. The walls of segregation are crafted by society, not by nature, not by God. There is no racism or prejudice in nature, only functional consideration and empirical truth. Cicero once said “We are obliged to respect, defend and maintain the common bonds of union and fellowship that exist among all members of the human race." Embody cosmopolitanism, reject intolerance.
“If mind is common to us, then also the reason, whereby we are reasoning beings, is common. If this be so, then also the reason which enjoins what is to be done or left undone is common. If this be so, law also is common; if this be so, we are citizens; if this be so, we are partakers in one constitution; if this be so, the Universe is a kind of Commonwealth.”
“If what philosophers say of the kinship of God and Men be true, what remains for men to do but as Socrates did:—never, when asked one’s country, to answer, 'I am an Athenian or a Corinthian,' but 'I am a citizen of the world.' ”
76: A wise man once said: "Hatred is something you learn, not what you are born with." Ever seen a baby out of the womb with the first words "six jew bankers control the world's money supply" or "Homosexuality is simply sick and disturbing" or "Same sex marriage should be banned?" I didn't think so. What happens between birth and now? Have you built or burned bridges? Has hating people made your life better? Think about it. So would you say that hating those different than us is arbitrary, in other words, determined by chance, whim, or impulse, and not by necessity, reason, or principle? In that case - maybe it’s better to think through this "obsolete shit” instead of hating people all the time. When we actually think through our reasons for what we believe in, it’s pretty easy to come to unsure conclusions. The problem with phrases like "Homosexuality is wrong" is that it doesn't examine what makes it wrong, the state of "Wrongness" - it is a block on thought and doesn't allow us to really examine what is being said. Just like "we're losing the war in Iraq" - what exactly does this mean, we have to examine and define what losing means. For a good example of this, read Plato’s Euthyphro. More often than not, we cannot defend a stance on intolerance - and I dare anyone to attempt to. Quite simply, human beings naturally discriminate when it comes to use - as in "I don't want that car because it wont do what I want" to "I don’t want that mate because she won't do what I want" - this is perfectly sound, and reasonable. What is unreasonable is when our discrimination has no logical grounds and isn't based on the consideration of merit. Wouldn't it be better to live our lives with sure conclusions? If we cannot be sure about something, wouldn't it be better not to force an answer anyway? When we remove ourselves from expectation and the bedrock of society, use our reason instead of our ego and begin to think for ourselves - wonderful things may happen. So, if you're reading this and hate national scapegoats such as Jews, blacks, gays, same sex marriage etc - how can you justify it?
77: We are plagued unfortunately by our senses which are able only to grasp the impressions of divinity and not the source itself. Nothing incorporeal exists. Study optics and the functions of our sense so you can better understand how feeble it is in detecting most stimuli. Much like Plato suggested in his Allegory of the Cave we are only able to see shadows and ideas with our eyes and can only find true enlightenment and truth through our mind, in particular reason and meditation. At one time or another our senses have deceived us. This deception calls into doubt all perception as being flawed or at the very least deterministic and conditional. We must then forget about speaking of existence using absolutes and remain entirely dynamic and prepared to entirely discount all our beliefs at the advent of some greater truth. Beliefs and faiths must be dismantled and replaced with ethical logic. We must always listen to what theologians and philosophers have to say, a single word or phrase can catalyze an entire revolution of thought. We must not hold any belief too sacred to disregard, we must always be open to all possible considerations. We must accept all religions and consider what is being proposed, if something is logical and righteous to our human nature we can then synthesize that element into our own personal religion.
78: On the note of absolutism it is imperative that we avoid what S.R. Prozac called this “modern psychosis of our times” at all costs. There is no linear explanation or universal answer for the divine mystery. There is no singular path to enlightenment, to realization or to bliss and there is no revelation besides that of our own discovery. Absolutism denies the natural order of nature and demands a binary explanation for all of our actions – good and evil. Absolute rationale stems out of fear of death and fear of nature. Once we realize that death is natural we can stop fearing it as a terminal end and instead live for our world instead of our cosmic tomb.
"All tremble at the rod. All fear death. Comparing others with oneself, one should neither strike nor cause to strike."
79: Nature and existence are naturally chaotic, there is no binary explanation for what is occurring, there is not two dimensions, there is not two gods, there is not two options. We cannot live in a world that does not admit exceptions; we must consider context and always think with our mind before allowing our own passions to overcome us. Refrain from thinking in black and white, refrain from moral expectation. The law of nature, both in the external world and to that of our own reason is the only persistent doctrine.
80: It is important that we consider Vedic rationale when speaking of metaphysics, that we avoid anthropomorphizing our gods and stick to the concept that all we are able to view and sense is a shadow or imprint of an incomprehensible divine source. Consider monism as a metaphysical explanation. It is our goal as humans to further probe and grasp this source but we must never do so superficially or hastily, only from exploring the excesses of our own mind and the natural world around us. We cannot possibly wish to talk about the gods as if they exist because in all likelihood the divine is nothing at all like we imagine it to be, it is a waste of time to characterize something that is so far removed from us. God does not speak, god does not hate, god does not love, god is Anaximander’s boundless, it is entropy, it is nothingness, it is indifferent, it is a eternal spirit, it is the air we breath, it is everything, it is not conscious, it is not self-aware, it is mother nature incarnate, it is not to be considered in any likeness to us for we have evolved through our own history and never remained the same, we were once a grouping of unicellular organisms. The divine is everyone and everything and is greater then anything imaginable, we and every piece of matter are children of the original source.
81: Meditation is important. Never use any form of recreational drug to artificially experience the divine. All recreational drugs prove is how massively flawed the human sense is and how susceptible it is to tampering. We can only touch the divine, if only for a moment, by the power of our mind and reason. If we disable our mind with poisons we will be effectively unable to ever experience truth or divinity. The physical effect of drugs pales in comparison to the vicious effect it has on our mind, inducing states of apathy, violence, paranoia, fatalism, depression, hopelessness and self-loathing. No citizen of this world who wishes to grasp something greater obstructs himself, stay free of poisons.
82: Never label yourself. Only conform to your own specific religion. When one speaks of themselves in a word they are effectively boxing themselves and denying any comprehensive spiritual maturation. There is no religion which is supreme and religions which preach bias against other religions should be avoided at all costs. Only systems which accept all people and creeds should even be considered, those on the inverse only cause strife and destruction. If there is one religion we must obey at all times it is the religion of nature. The Stoics have a maxim which says “Live according to nature” and there is much wisdom in this suggestion, nature is all we will ever know or experience.
83: Atheism is reckless, foolish and just as blinding as any other established religion. Atheism is a belief system just as is Christianity, Judaism or Islam. There is no evidence to support the nonexistence of god and only evidence suggesting there is some sort of divine order. Not only is there evidence in our visceral insight but also in science. Quantum physics reveals mystical trends and patterns in all structures and the very real possibility of pocket dimensions through manipulation of black holes and space time. Study sacred geometry (the golden ratio, Fibonacci sequence, phi etc) so that you can better observe the persistent cosmic patterns which seem to occur in all naturally occurring matter. There is no explanation on why such patterns would persistently surface in natural constructs, hinting at some sort of celestial design or functionality. Study professional and serious parapsychology that confronts the paranormal in scientific fashion and confirms the existence of some extra planar influence. A particularly intriguing aspect of quantum physics, the chaos theory or butterfly effect proves the interdependence of all matter, just as deduced by our own logic and considerations. The power of this interdependence is so pronounced that blowing into the wind can cause a massive chain reaction leading to a tornado hundreds or even thousands of years from now – and it’s all proven in hard science. Many people will claim that science disproves the existence of god but they are speaking simply out of ignorance. On the contrary most scientists are deeply religious men who have proven to themselves the existence of the divine through examining occurring patterns in nature.
84: We must avoid moralism and instead live by ethics. Ethics are principles and guidelines to live virtuously while morals are often hereditary taboos, rules and customs. We cannot live by anything passed down to us by our culture; we must always affirm our beliefs using reason and logic, never custom. We must carve our own path and live according to our own judgments. It is important that everything we do is done in sincerity and without any degree of confusion, distrust or uncertainty. We must celebrate and develop our character, rewards of the soul far outweigh rewards of the coin, and our spirit is the greatest treasure we possess. We must remain true to ourselves at all times, if we are unsure of something we must find the truth in the matter and we cannot live a moment in falsity or wearing the mantle of another. We cannot allow lies to persist especially when being disseminated through the masses. We must rise to the occasion and defend truth; we must function as iconoclasts and always seek to break through walls of ignorance and apathy. We have failed as citizens of this world if we sit idly by and allow true evil (that is ignorance) to overcome others. Cicero suggests “The first duty of a man is the seeking after and the investigation of truth."
85: Avoid dogma. Study all religious ideas with epistemological fervor. All ideas, literary figures, concepts and religious beliefs are the current incarnation of a previous entity. You will find that all major religions which claim transcendental wisdom are simply bastardized forms of previous constructs, in other words, their literary evolutions of myth. Where do our symbols come from? Studying iconography is crucial. Study the history of all presented forms. Never assume that what you are observing is original or unique. It is mandatory that we study the whole of known history but in particular the Hellenic and Roman era so that we can understand where our modern beliefs derive from. Imagine what you know as the final stage of a snowball sent downhill for 10,000 years – it is an amalgamation and bastard of eternity. You’ll find a great deal of hypocrisy in modern established religion, things which were once held most sacred by the absolutists are now considered heresies. You’ll commonly find their symbols to be detrimental to the spirit of their religion – pagan iconography in Christianity for example. The mass graves of the innocent must be uncovered and their stories told. What did the Cathars or Gnostics say? Devote your life to bringing to public light the knowledge held by these people that was so hastily smothered by gold minded hierophants. In particular pay special attention to the lingual conversion (that is, mutilation) history of any presented text. How many times was it translated, is it even possible to translate Aramaic to Latin, or Latin to German? What texts were omitted from the canon and why? Never consider holy texts to be historical, regard them as myth. Justifying violence on vague, metaphoric hyperbole is no way to live and especially no way to rule. Always ask “why” – never be content with “because” and seek to help others find meaning in their lives through dialectic discourse. Confront their beliefs with questions. Never attack or dictate. Never impose your own beliefs upon others – simply help them justify their beliefs philosophically instead of by blind faith and arbitration. In the end, if one cannot justify his beliefs he is living in the shadow of another to most likely answer fears or questions he once had, help the lost find solutions without forcing a arbitrary and final maxim down their throats; offer alternatives to unlock the natural mind.
86: Many zealots believe what they believe simply because their ignorant to history, in particular the history of their own belief. Everything you might consider adopting should be studied beforehand. Expose to them the facts, let them draw their own conclusions from the gaping holes. Even the most insulated and radical zealot will collapse if removed from the coercion of the cult and simply given a neutral environment to soul seek and reflect. Reflection, independent thought, and really any deviation from the mold is shunned in the zealot’s world. Once again, we must celebrate reason and independence, passion and intellect, not suppress it. We must avoid herds that prey on the different with genocidal hands and instead defend the minority with passion. Much like the great Mauryan emperor Asoka help to foster a culture that is open minded and tolerant of all different walks of life.
87: It is also important that we never consider the will of the gods. As suggested prior it is impossible to be aware of the divine’s intents or preferences so we must not even consider it. We must live according to natural logic and natural virtue. We must highlight the innate human state and discipline ourselves away from materialism, escapism, hedonism and apathy. We must be concerned with all human suffering because all humans are part of us and a part of the divine. We must make ourselves into a fortress and inspire others while we live, we must be Romans, we must have integrity, and we must live as rulers or kings: we must consider the common good and disregard our own desires. Seneca the Younger says “The point is, not how long you live, but how nobly you live." If we are to die, we must be champions of the human race while we live. We must not abandon our time and resources to idleness and minutia, we must seek meaning in everything we do and live for philosophy. As Immanuel Kant once said “Act only on that maxim which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.” There is much prudence in Kant’s word. We must overcome the fear of individual survival. We must end fixation on the negative and instead focus on the positive, on realistic solutions and on context, we must never whitewash or assume what is revealed to us is inherently true. Good and evil only exists in the context of being reasonable or unreasonable, of being true or ignorant, evil as a moral concept is a fabrication relative to our own society’s standards and expectations. If we must die, let our lives be meaningful. We cannot expect utopia but we can live well while there is still breath in our lungs.
88: Hold in the highest esteem philosophers, knowledge and learning. Consider making these things elements of your religion. When confronted with philosophy, knowledge or a teacher always disregard all your beliefs and listen as if you were a new born child, never show disrespect to anyone attempting to teach you something, even if it’s the antithesis of all you care for. You do not know what you may learn from the most depraved criminal or from the most renowned sage. Always hear both sides of a story, always consider agenda and rhetoric. Make it your quest in life to obtain knowledge and become less ignorant. Accept the fact that you are ignorant to nearly everything besides your own mind and do not know anything as Epictetus suggests: "If a man would pursue Philosophy, his first task is to throw away conceit. For it is impossible for a man to begin to learn what he has a conceit that he already knows." Socrates also suggests "Employ your time in improving yourself by other men's writings, so that you shall gain easily what others have labored hard for."
89: Respect nature and the divine order. Study animals and natural phenomena with intense curiosity. Learn to fear the rage of the earth which has left many a Pompeii in ruin and destruction. Constantly search within your own nature (reason) and that of the natural world for patterns, insights and answers to primeval doubts. Remember that all matter is interdependent. Approach the wilds with mystery and uncertainty. There will never be a full documentation of all of the earth’s creatures. Trust the visceral intellect; trust the primeval truth that is inherent to every one of us. Avoid the “creaking machinery” of society as Henry Miller put it and stay away from creeds, principles and government – highlight the earthly ways of our ancestors and trust in what is natural.
90: Never live for salvation or a remote utopia. Consider thinking pragmatically. If it is true that no human can contact the divine then what is the logic in arbitrarily detailing its plans for us – none. We can only trust in what is natural and apparent to us, the depiction of the divine is entirely arbitrary and is based off the human imagination. We can only reasonably expect that the divine would have us live by our design (that is nature) if it were in fact self-aware and in truth we are ignorant to even that admission. What then is the logic behind calling our gods by name, chipping their demands into stela, murdering those who fail to accept the divine command, wearing uniforms designed by the celestial seamstress (because god is really into fashion), taking gold from the poor (or in the modern incarnation, tithes) and distributing it amongst god’s supposed servants, condemning religions which developed analogous or thousands of years before our own, incorporating local tribal taboo into god’s word (and on that note, localizing the details of god), assuming that our depiction of the divine is in any way absolute or transcendentally messianic or incorporating our religious doctrines into the state’s law? All details, depictions, dictations, edicts, commands, bulls and portrayals of the divine are arbitrarily human in nature. Instead of considering these facets of the incomprehensible divine’s nature, instead consider the human nature of the hierophant who desires wealth, power and prestige. When a holy man informs you that his command stems from the divine, ask for proof – why would the divine only grant celestial insight to priests we arbitrarily hand picked from our own population to lead us to spiritual maturation? Remember that logic and reason need guide us. Organized religion exists only to control and dominate with predatory materialism sugar coated in cheap parlor tricks and empty gestures, this is apparent after careful and thorough study of history. Again, uncover the graves of the silenced. Don’t live for faith, live reasonably, live for your fellow man, not a distant overseer; a life spent expecting a cosmic payoff from the actions of our mortal shell is a life squandered.
91: Consider the role of the collective unconscious in the development of religion and ideas. Jung argues that there is a part of an individual’s consciousness which is common to all humans which leads most cultures to develop universal archetypes (first original model of which all other similar persons, objects, or concepts are merely derivative, copied, patterned, or emulated) analogously. This theory explains the appearance of identical symbols in China and Italy at the same time such as the Swastika. Jungian’s collective unconscious also explains similar motifs and beliefs among all world religions. We can for example find a motherly or goddess figure in nearly all religions and cultures – whether it is in the vast and remote wastes of Mongolia, the North African coast or the Great Plains. The romantic warrior is another form common to most religions. How were isolated cultures able to develop such similarities to one another without any contact? The only explanation is a visceral collective unconscious which seems to affect all cultures. So when presented with a figure in religion it is unlikely that the figure existed, and if it did, it has been highly stylized to match the past literary tradition of that culture or an innate, visceral expectation or template. How can such a development be considered handed to us, the chosen tribe, by god? These concepts are simply ever evolving human constructs, they stem from imagination and fear of natural process, not god.
92: The objective of religion is to bring meaning to our lives, cement and formalize our pursuit of ethics and highlight and cultivate our human spirit. It is important that we come to be moderate, prudent, just, sincere, integral, kind, compassionate, detached, serious, logical, heroic, calm, vigorous, reasonable, selfless, mastered, aware, empty, passionate, decisive, honest, peaceful, humble, vigilant, generous, truthful, loving, unbounded, silent, commanding, patient, concerned, humorous, inquisitive, tolerant, pragmatic, simple, mindful and other natural virtues through our religion and ethics. We must avoid mindlessness, laziness, apathy, violence, greed, ego, fear, uncertainty, intolerance, satisfaction, uncaring, selfishness, recklessness, impulsiveness, narcissism, destructiveness and other unnatural and negative pursuits. Consider living by the stoic virtues. Use these virtues as guidelines to find an authentic religion and then evolve as a intellect into something that works uniquely for you. Avoid demagoguery and pandering; be careful of the intents of holy men and of magicians. Seek fellowship with philosophers and others searching for the truth who might gain nothing from influencing your beliefs.
93: Never speak of anything as if you know even the most remote semblance of a fact in regard to it, only speak vaguely and with ethical rhetoric. Do not waste away your days with speak of gas prices, invasions of exotic lands and politics, these things are all presented to us on the stage and are great set pieces to dazzle the public. Do not worship your teachers but hold them in the highest regard – be prepared to die for them. Even as you mature philosophically never speak down to or lecture to your teacher, this is the biggest disgrace a citizen can perform, always remember what the teacher contributed to your life, even if it’s entirely minor. A teacher need not be physically a part of your life and can reach out to you through the written word as well. Even if your teacher is racked with senility in his old age, becomes bitter or does not adapt to more comprehensive theorems and instead clings to debunked arguments do not think less of him and instead remember the majesty he once emanated. Only offer advice or guidance to those asking of it and only then if it is time tested, never speak of things never trained in or experienced. When you wish to teach, instead speak by your actions.
"Never call yourself a philosopher, nor talk a great deal among the unlearned about theorems, but act conformably to them. Thus, at an entertainment, don't talk how persons ought to eat, but eat as you ought. For remember that in this manner Socrates also universally avoided all ostentation. And when persons came to him and desired to be recommended by him to philosophers, he took and recommended them, so well did he bear being overlooked. So that if ever any talk should happen among the unlearned concerning philosophic theorems, be you, for the most part, silent. For there is great danger in immediately throwing out what you have not digested. And, if anyone tells you that you know nothing, and you are not nettled at it, then you may be sure that you have begun your business. For sheep don't throw up the grass to show the shepherds how much they have eaten; but, inwardly digesting their food, they outwardly produce wool and milk. Thus, therefore, do you likewise not show theorems to the unlearned, but the actions produced by them after they have been digested."
94: Do not take offense when someone calls you an infidel or heathen and remember that we must hear out everyone and never exhibit bias. Implore and discover why you’re considered lesser in the eyes of the absolutist so that you can avoid ever thinking like that: “Because he is different and does not believe in what we believe.” On that note disregard all holy books as being created by god or inspired by god. It is important to study these books however to understand the operations of society but be wary of adopting any maxim supposedly stemming from god’s command; god has no conscious connection to the human race. The Vedas on the other hand or other humanist writings may offer powerful insights into better understanding our metaphysical existence and catalyze personal development. In particular pay special attention to the Bhagavad-Gita. Be careful of binary explanations (“good” and “evil”) and black and white rationale. Seek comprehensive, realistic and general realizations; there is no supreme answer, special code or decisive plan. We only waste our time when running after the reward of salvation. Live for the earth, live for nature, live for humans, live for all life; do not live for abstraction and the divine, do not live for a kingdom in the sky. Living well in this plane of existence is living well for the divine; we are one and the same, forever fixed together by the indomitable divine spirit which transcends both the body and mind, this is Eden.
95: When reading do not allow your mind to wonder and become idle. When confronted with a word you are not familiar with, a philosopher you have not studied or a theorem which is new to you it is important that you take it upon yourself to learn of the unknown. Ignorance is the cause of all evil, knowledge is the weapon of the enlightened against it. It is important that you at least briefly study and become familiar with any unfamiliar figure or discipline. This writing is a primer to catalyze further interest in philosophy, ethics and religion – it is not designed to be an authority on any mentioned system nor the final word on any discussed issue. Verily I know nothing and can only serve here as a guide to help you along your way in the quest to unlocking your true potential. Only you can carve your own path and every citizen of the world has equal ability to do so, regardless of circumstance. With the right amount of effort and dedication you can accomplish anything. Remain humble and always open minded, do not ever reject another’s words before they even reach your ears. Respect the often unexplained and pedantic rambling of philosophers for they are not preaching as would a holy man but simply bombarding you with considerations to ponder upon. When a philosopher speaks to you in such a manner either in person or jumping from the text upon you, you must remember that there is a method to his madness and he is not ever speaking down to you or attempting to make himself seem superior. When a philosopher demands not to do something and it makes no sense to you do not reject it, instead meditate on it until you finally discover there is no worth to it. It is the process of philosophic deconstruction and meditation which leads to the best insights, not the inconsiderate acceptance of what others have thrown at you. Human beings in their natural state are terribly malleable, allowing absolute doctrines to condition them before they can learn to think philosophically. Philosophy and ethics is the only thing that holds merit - beliefs, customs, taboo, ritual and formality are all obstacles in the way to higher, more pure insights.
"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
- Gautama Buddha
96: I am humbled in the light of my great teachers – Marcus Aurelius, Cicero, Epictetus, Seneca – and provide a great deal of related quotes to offer a more mastered explanation of the subjects at hand. Study these four men in particular for they seek to empower the universal abilities to reason and live virtuously so we might make our own choices without uncertainty or recklessness; the discipline of sincerity and meaning. Other quoted teachers are perhaps equally crucial or they wouldn’t have been mentioned. When reading the wisdom of my teachers always assume their seniority over my own. Again, I cannot stress how important it is to study these men, especially the Hellenic Greeks and Romans, who spoke from a cosmopolitan voice that sought to unify mankind and destroy the walls of segregation created by unjust rulers and absolutists. Ethically, these men tried to avoid societal, cultural and political considerations when speaking of virtue and remain always in the voice of a citizen from any land – be it Thrace, Greece, Scythia, Germania, Africa, India or China. There is much wisdom in the later Stoics, Eclectics, Rhetors, Cynics and Skeptics that finally reached the most mastered combination in the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius. If there was one teacher mentioned that must be further studied it is he. Marcus’ Meditations is a potentially life changing philosophic diary which speaks from a surprisingly contemporary voice, considering he lived nearly two thousand years ago. Marcus, arguably the most important man in known history, epitomizes true virtue, mastery, rhetoric and ethics. He should stand as a role model to all citizens and especially all politicians who wish to rule justly instead of for glory, power, wealth and prestige.
97: It is finally crucial that we forever aspire to obtain knowledge so that we might better understand our world. If you ever run across something you are unfamiliar with, attack it with a visit to the library or wikipedia.org. Do not allow yourself to blindly accept anything. If I found it necessary to mention Anaximander’s boundless then it’s in your best interest to look it up. If I mention the three pillars of rhetoric what excuse do you have not to look it up? You may unlock a tremendously powerful discipline from a little bit of initiative. Why didn’t I regurgitate a definition myself? Stylistically it disrupts the flow of the text. Furthermore it is in your best interest to develop the ethic of a scholar and intellectual who seeks answers on his own accord and does not rely on anyone in any fashion, to constantly seek truth and meaning. It is up to you to unlock your mind and this should become your greatest goal. Not only will you find eternal satisfaction in this but also eventually be able to improve the world around you and lessen the suffering of others through decisive and heroic actions. Actions speak, nothing else. Repetition is the best form of mastery.
98: The external appearance of a wise man depicts his character as a principled thinker. His brow is slightly creased to indicate the effort of thinking, but his expression is calm. His hair and beard are cut short and groomed plainly to indicate his concern with matters deeper than mere appearance. Remaining simple in appearance develops discipline and helps cultivate our distrust of hasty judgments. In this manner Posidonius achieved a mind free from superfluous considerations and common vulgarities.
99: If you find yourself looking for ways to intoxicate yourself while not technically poisoning your body, reconsider your claim of manhood. You should come to despise intoxication, even if it is technically not poisonous, DESPISE the zombie-like prescription of so many stumbling about on street corners and in every avenue, DESPISE losing control, and favor the pursuit of truth with a eager heart, self-control, fortitude, cast-iron conviction and the courage to self-determine your fate, actions and judgments. Surely you are not free until you are in control of your own decisions. When asked why you take up an oath to remain forever sober respond with: “this is the oath that keeps me free.”
100: If you have breath in your lungs still, there is hope. You are not yet broken. Every passing moment will be a chance to turn your fate around. Nothing short of death shall see you cry defeat.
FAITHLESS IS HE WHO SAYS FAREWELL WHEN THE ROAD DARKENS
Rather let me fail, than never to have tried at all.
Come what may, nothing short of death will see me cry defeat.
Rule every moment. Seize every day.
By storm. By the throat. With every breath I take.
It's not what you can not do, it's what they told you, you can not do;
so, fire your gun into the mouth of doubt.
Let the masses dictate themselves.
I am not now theirs, nor will I ever be.
They wont crush my hopes.
They cannot smash my dreams.
I am not inspired by men without faith.
I am not deterred by events that cause the average man to break.
Rule every moment. Seize every day.
101: A single candle cannot stay lit against the hurricane. Commit to no battle that cannot be won. Commit to no judgment without consideration, to no action without meditation. Prudence before whim, reason before pride. Hubris, no. Vanity, no. Tactics in all things. Glory is carried on the wings of foresight.
102: Never rebuke criticism, no matter how scathing. Hear all voices with equal attention. The great wisdom is acknowledging that you know nothing. If this is true, how can you stand before the most depraved beggar with pretension? In no way are you the better and in no way are you the wiser if you think yourself to be at least. In pretension you will gain nothing but ignorance of life, the very opposite goal of a principled thinker. What may you gain from the beggar? Understanding of the human condition and awareness of how easily the mighty are fallen. At fate’s leisure you may find yourself in rags, gazing upon an arrogant philosopher who looks away with his nose in the air before even hearing your story. You gaze upon yourself. Ignoring the problems of society does not erase them. The foundation will first rot. Few will turn to look, all too preoccupied with the latest self-prescribed distraction. Then the foundation will fester and begin to shift out of place. By this time the mighty turn to see what is the matter but can do nothing; the damage is irreversible and their doom is sealed. They launch into panic as the tower, built on the backs of the fallen, teeters and collapses, crushing the breath out of all with little discrimination. In this manner once great nation states are defeated abruptly. Rarely does the empire collapse by the external invader but instead by social rot from within; a gift from the queen of avarice and indulgence. So when you hear a lone cry amongst many superficial laughs, be on guard, and do treat that criticism with sincere concern and compassion lest you are fated to be caught up in an inevitable collapse. Respond to voices of criticism with prudence, and a crisis is averted before it begins, ignore them, and great pain will be met by all. The fates of all men are intertwined.
103: To be inspired by the wise is prudent; to worship at the feet of fashion idols is to be blind. Judge not the appearance of a man, his retainers, his reputation, the story of himself in the face of the masses, the myth, but instead the character and fundamental virtues or lack there of which may linger behind that masquerade. Far too common is it for the mob to turn the profane into gods and worship them as such with no principled reason, at a moment ready to cast that image aside for the next more attractive one; how capricious, how arbitrary their praises truly are. In this deception we forget the nature of our idols: they are humans, often lacking any measure of humility, sincerity or ethical integrity. Why do we worship a gallery of shifting faces? So submit to the famous and well known no more respect then you would any other citizen of the world and be wary of reputations, gossip and prestige, for these things are impermanent (if not illusory) and come often with treachery.
104: I would say that humans lack the ability to truly comprehend or analyze anything outside of our own mind so it’s pointless and actually destructive to attempt to talk about the divine. Everything occurs in your mind - you never leave it. Our mind, in particular our judgments, actions and decisions are the only thing truly in our control.
I am strictly opposed to dogma, morals and popular religion. These things put a stop on true virtue, thinking and discovering greater layers of truth. All men are equal and none have the ability to proclaim the wishes of any deity. Truth is impossible to prove, only possible to disprove. We should always strive to explore the unknown, but never settle for any label such as "Christian" or "Jew" because that would severely impede our mental development and force us to accept certain beliefs as being ultimately true when in fact they could be nothing more than a fantasy or fiction.
I would say that reality only occurs within the mind, and its only our having senses which creates the illusion of an external world, that the senses are flawed in their ability to show us what is really there. In fact I could be talking to myself right now, or I could not exist at all, there is no way to know. If you have ever found yourself seeing something that wasn't there or if you have ever mistaken a image or sound for something else, then your entire concept of "reality" is in question, it’s based on a faulty foundation of "probably" and "what if."
I would say since we cannot comprehend god (assuming god exists) and we cannot comprehend the finer mechanics of existence, it is only logical to adopt and hold in the highest esteem the ability to reason. Reason is naturally the thing which elevates us above other animals, not god's design. Reason is the nature of humans. Reason is "good", good is not determined by a set of mortal rules mutated over the years to fit socio-political ends, as you would have with the absolutist religions, and ignorance, opposition to reason, is "evil".
I would say, the ultimate pursuit in life would be philosophy and the pursuit of truth by questioning everything. Very few things matter in life. In fact, as I said before, the only things which really matter are our decisions, judgments and actions, because everything else is external and irrelevant. We must always remind ourselves of the nature of things so that we are not offended when they are destroyed. How can someone be so offended when one of his "possessions" is destroyed? All this shows is that your mind is ruled by external things which aren't in your control anyway and your suffering over attempting to control something which is impossible for you to control. Would you allow your body to be used as a stage puppet by another man? Then why allow your mind to be possessed in the same fashion?
I will not stoop to labeling myself because I want the ability to evolve and would rather die than delude myself into fitting an archetype.
Avoiding labels is important to me because they stop thought. When you say you are this or that you are avoiding the actual topic or question in hand and just smearing yourself with a popular connotation. We need to discuss the topic, the fundamental standard which comprises things and have the liberty to rebuke our "beliefs" at any given time when we find a flaw in our logic. This is impossible if we label ourselves, because no matter how soundly you are refuted, you will take offense because your existence becomes "atheist" or "Christian" or "Buddhist." What does it mean to be any of those things? Very little. These titles comprise our "black and white" world when we clearly live in a gray world that lacks binary explanations and moral good and evil. The way I live is simple: I am ready to immediately abandon everything I know at the advent of some greater truth and cling to nothing as being ultimately true.
I cling to no pleasantries such as "there is a heaven" or idea of salvation. I accept the fact that when I die I’m going to be worm food and worm food is all. If there is something greater I can rest easy knowing that it would have been impossible for me to determine that while I was alive and that I lived as naturally virtuous (following reason) as possible. I feel that if god did exist it wouldn't be this warm, fatherly figure but instead an indifferent destroyer which doesn't manifest as a personality or form and instead is simply entropy and the Logos (or physics, or the idea of a governing force/reason) made principle. IF anything god doesn't care about our theoretical existence and we were created by chance as opposed to design. God doesn't have emotions and god doesn't have desires - this is simply our tendency as humans to see ourselves in everything. If cows could reason like us then god would be made in the image of a cow. We are animals, talking monkeys, and nothing more. We are not sons of god. We evolved; we weren't plopped down here 6,000 years ago.
I don't own my body and I don't own anything external to me. At any time I must be ready to accept my death because in the schemes of things, it means nothing otherwise it would affect everyone and not just myself.
The quest for honesty comes before everything - to be entirely honest is embody the epitome of goodness.
I transcend flesh and look beyond to ideas, to time, to the cosmos and to the secrets of knowledge and celestial wisdom.
A thought on the city’s origins...
Our solar system is a pebble of sand on an endless shore. Time is in flux. There was no beginning and in time all matter will return to the origin and the cycle will begin again activated by not a creator but instead by the mechanics of existence itself, the Logos. Everything will be destroyed and rejoined, then be rebuilt, set out again being crushed under its own weight and thrown to all corners of the void, ever expanding, to the threshold. When that is reached, once more all is destroyed, is returned, and is reborn. Existence always was, the commotion that started everything wasn't the first commotion, but one of limitless oscillations in time, and this is only our cycle. We are debris. We are part of the greater whole, of the origin, sent abroad, only to be reassembled in time. Nothing escapes this fate. Since this cycle is renewed again and again every possible circumstance has occurred and will occur, including this exact thought by this exact person reborn in another place and time. THAT is the definition of true terror.
106: To be a patriot is to be loud mouthed, to be dissident, to voice concerns, to catalyze, to destroy idols, to speak the most scalding blasphemies; the most scalding truths, to be cunning, to have your wits about you, to be a rhetorician, to be educated, to value not your own flesh, to wrestle the indoctrinated from the deep slumber, to pull the gilded tarp concealing the rotting foundation, to make available to the general man the knowledge needed to inspire him to cast off his own bonds rather then you doing that for him, to fear losing nothing that is not yours to lose, to favor no one in the face of truth, to be compassionate, to be swift, to strike with haste and with no stiffness, to be ready, to be prudent, to be selfless, to trudge forward until you can no longer, to be ashamed of rather than apologize for corruption of the state, to be a citizen, to be a man: to be honest.
107: Seek not to remedy the effect of the problem but instead the cause which underlies it. Too eagerly we attend to the former and convince ourselves in ignorance that the appearance of dysfunction is the dysfunction itself. We are dazzled, baffled when things once thought to have been surpassed remerge when we least expect and threaten to compromise our judgment. This is because no problem is solved by confronting what befalls it in the immediate but rather by approaching all perspectives and histories with the delicacy and prudence we would muster to piece back together a shattered vase. Intoxicating yourself may allow you to escape from the underlying rot for a moment’s time but it will always return to haunt your dreams and fill your nights with wariness, cold sweat and anxiety. If you find yourself wide eyed and sickly in the night something isn't sitting right with you subconsciously. You are not making the most out of your life. You allow injustices to occur before your eyes. You are not in control of your actions, judgments and decisions. You are allowing material things to steal your waking moments of concentration. Although you may smile in the workplace, your work is not giving you any true satisfaction on a personal or spiritual level. You may be ashamed of something and haven’t confronted it. You're being dishonest in someway. You may be afraid of something happening or have a worry on your mind. You concern yourself with things that are not in your ability to control. You believe that the external world has any consequence on your internal mind. In some way, you are not content with the current circumstance. Those who speak heroic truth in every word and live free from the cleaving and unnecessary dramas, treacheries, fantasies and deceits of the common mob easily find sleep, easily find hope, easily find faith and easily find dreams.
108: Why fear death? What can death take from you that is yours to lose? The body? The body belongs to the external world and is not within our control. How did your reason inherit a body? It was given to you by the soil about you. Regardless of our decisions the body is corrupted by time or by chance. When the breath leaves our lungs we rejoin the soil from which we were born from. Nothing is taken from you, it is given back. The body is not yours to keep, for all things return to the world in time. You have never “lost” anything external to your mind; it was only given back to that which granted it to us. If a loved one dies, they were given back. If a material thing of yours is stolen and not returned nothing will cleave to you unless you allow it to for that material thing was not yours to begin with and only did it masquerade as being in your control. Nothing is yours to control outside of your mind, you have nothing to lose but your character, but your mind, but control over your actions, judgments and decisions. Why then fear the loss of anything external if it’s not yours to lose? Your mind is incorruptible and invincible, as is your character. No one may harm you unless you allow yourself to be harmed. No one may insult you unless you allow yourself to be insulted. As with the brightest and the wisest, fear nothing short of defeat.
109: The wise man learns to work hard, to deny himself, to avoid listening to slander, to endure misfortunes, never to deviate from his purpose, to be grave without affectation, delicate in correcting others, "not frequently to say to any one, nor to write in a letter, that I have no leisure", nor to excuse the neglect of duties by alleging urgent occupations. In his dutiful path the wise man maintains his cheerfulness, charisma, charm, grace and dignity, denying no one charity, generosity or forgiveness, favoring no one, humbling himself before the most depraved, listening with serious concern, complaining of nothing, and questioning all accepted truths with a cynical yet prudent eye.
Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
110: An Anecdote for the Epistemology of Phenomenon
Independent Source > Sense > Render > Realization
Independent Source: Could be possibly anything: a spatial entity in real space, imagination, mathematical data, the murmurs of a god; something in its most basic and true form to which we cannot rightly comprehend due to our human inhibitions in ability to sense the unfiltered essence of reality; the source that provides our senses with some stimulation to create the rendered reality within our mind’s eye. Something is being detected by our senses (even if it is being detected in a very incomplete way) and that something is the independent source.
The independent source cannot be observed in its true form due to imperfections in our ability to sense. Perfect perception would entail the ability to perceive the independent source exactly as it is in a “raw” form, by itself, unmarred by the faults of human perception. The independent source is the only truthful depiction of reality, a reality which we cannot ever experience directly. Various “laws” of science wouldn’t apply to the independent source because it can’t be measured. The law of gravity for example is a relative thing that only is observable in three dimensional space with a linear time scale.
Sense: Our ability to observe the independent source taking into consideration the flaws and imperfections of perception.
This is not to say that when we view a candle that appears to be six inches away it is actually six inches away. Although the candle may be six inches away in three dimensional space, it might be a unlimited distance away in other space. The image of the candle may be detected as a mathematical equation by our sense organs or it may be an imagined construct of our brain, there is no way to know. In other words, we may not have a body at all but the data necessary to depict an external world may be “fed” to us (I suggest as mathematical data) to create the illusion of existence.
What we do know is that our senses only allow us to perceive the world in three dimensions when there could be eleven or more dimensions! Understanding the fourth dimension of perception (time) might allow us to literally “view” the span of time, to the most remote future and past. The other dimensions could be powerful expansive dimensions that are woven to the physical fabric or matrix of the universe in other unseen ways. Truthfully we are ignorant to a great deal of the independent source. Perhaps the independent source is what we normally refer to as god, what else could contain such vast knowledge and dimension? Our sense organs are input devices which interact with the independent source and then relay information to the brain for comprehension.
1. Eyes are bombarded by (or given) a raw depiction of the independent source. 2. The eyes observe only what it can possibly observe.
3. The eyes transmit whatever it could detect to the brain.
1. Raw Data
2. Scanning and Reading of Raw Data: Input device doesn’t have the capacity (or ability) to read all the raw data but does observe what it is designed to observe and then transmits that information to the brain.
3. Rendering of incomplete data into an organic, systemized, abstract simulation within the mind.
4. Presentation of the render to the consciousness which rejects or embraces it. Assuming the mind embraces the render it becomes effective reality.
Sense is the most complex category to understand in grasping the epistemology of phenomenon due to the possibly unlimited mechanics inherent to it. For every dimension of perception brings with it a separate existence with a different set of rules. Pure chaos must ensue when we observe all of these dimensions at once in an overlay. It may be impossible to ever make sense of the independent source and remain sane. At the heart of understanding this topic is quantum physics: a proposed system which undoes our known reality completely and replaces it with a system based on entropy and nonlinearity, a system where the quickest way between two points is not a straight line but the bending of space time to bring those points together with a space of 0 units, where space and time is curved, an existence where the act of observing something happening causes a change in the thing being observed; an alien world that is nothing like what we now know and that will shake the very foundation of what it means to exist. To fully understand the implications of quanta is to understand the most fundamental essence of reality.
Render: After our senses have observed the independent source the brain creates a rendered image of it for us to perceive. By render I mean to convert raw information into a graphical and abstract form. Note that this image is not the independent source but a “render” of it, a composite, a drawing, or a “sketch.” What we see at any given time is an interpretation and analysis of the brain, not what is actually being exposed to us from the external world. An example of the rendering process is apparent to everyone in common knowledge: the image we perceive in our brain is actually “flipped” while objects are not inherently colored but color is determined by chemical reactions within the eye itself which transmit electrical signals to the brain for comprehension. These are superficial examples of course when we consider other dimensions of perception and our inability to accurately graph space time! Even generally speaking I think most can agree that at one time or another our senses have deceived us for we have all seen something that wasn’t rightly there, heard something by the mind’s superstition and smelled something only in a memory. Even one occurrence of sense malfunction calls into doubt our entire scope of empirical knowledge without even considering quantum physics which only seems to overwhelmingly reinforce the concept that we are blind to the true nature of things.
Realization: The render becomes our effective reality and we understand it as being dependable (observing certain consistencies and habits) and possibly manipulated by our spatial bodies. The mind may also reject the render – in which case we probably develop some form of psychosis.
1. Socrates’ mind exists even without sense, before sensing; it exists by being aware of itself. We soon learn that this mind exists surrounded by the Independent Source as we begin to sense.
2. Socrates’ sense organs observe something that is too complex for it to fully perceive but it sends partial data, in this case three dimensional data only, to the brain. (Sense)
3. The brain makes sense of the data and creates an image which becomes apparent to Socrates’ mind. (Render)
4. Socrates decides that there is a flat three dimensional plain in front of him and comprehends that he can manipulate his leg to scale it horizontally. Socrates realizes that there is a world external to his mind. (Realization)
If we perceive in only three dimensions, what would things look like in other dimensions? How would that candle look in eleven dimensions or more?
Could there be entire worlds and individuals invisible to our eyes?
Is it possible that we could manipulate space time if we understood the fourth dimension and others?
How would the external world appear to be as an overlay of all dimensional measurement?
When you are feeling something, is it smooth before or after you touch it?
111: An Anecdote for the Foundations of Honest Government
A loosely bound confederation of small autonomous regions, each one itself a miniature republic held together by a transparent and streamlined central government which cannot exist outside of the confederation, impossible in the past due to deficiencies in rapid communication but more than practical now; a confederation of strong, independent state governments with a necessary apparatus (the federal) to unite in times of crisis.
The ideal autonomous region would operate using a two-tier civic system: citizens and statesmen. The typical individual (citizens) would be guaranteed almost unlimited personal freedom (only limited by the region’s own laws, as no federal laws can reach beyond the federal institution) in a complete laissez faire environment. The job of the typical citizen is to be happy and live life in whatever way is fulfilling to the individual. A citizen has virtually no restrictions on his lifestyle and should not be expected to act in anyway other then as he decides to act. Citizens may not vote or in anyway directly influence the operation of the government because they may lack the prudence, virtue, wisdom, self-control and clear judgment that a statesman is demanded to possess.
The statesmen do not exist to be happy but to sustain and curate the government. The statesman casts aside his own desires and ego and looks to sustain the health of all of humanity, not just his own humanity. The statesman is an indifferent, unbiased, stoic, philosopher guardian of the civic order. To become a statesman one must only volunteer but in doing so has his personal rights severely curtailed: he may no longer own private property exceeding his personal effects, live with his family (although he may make visits he may not allow his judgment to be impaired by placing his family before any other group of citizens), publicly profess to an organized religion or use any form of intoxicants, he would be required to make every statement, decision and action logically rigorous, to previously have studied rhetoric and logic, to disregard his own life for the sake of the whole, to humble himself before the most depraved citizen, to be entirely indifferent to external treacheries, fantasies, dramas and insults, to not listen to slander, to hold in the highest esteem courage, self-control, justice and wisdom, to speak heroic truth in every word, to love one woman and one woman only or to chose abstinence, to not allow his personal biases to ever compromise what should be universal maxims, to belong to no political party or specific school of political philosophy, to not label himself or conform to popular expectations, to disregard the mob and only make judgments based on his own reasoning (regardless of how unhappy it might make the masses), to accept immediate removal of his station at the slightest confirmation of treachery or dishonesty, to maintain his cheerfulness, charisma, generosity and humor in the face of misfortunes, to endure misfortunes with logical and prudent decisions, never to pander to the public or use the power of rhetoric for unethical purposes, to live in the fashion of the “camp-bed and cloak,” to be fearless; to hold in the highest importance the quest for honesty. Statesmen must act in this fashion so that they are virtually selfless and have no capacity for corruption. Take away the privilege of property and a personal life guaranteed to the citizen and in turn create men who live and breathe civic virtue.
In a true republic corruption is nearly impossible because those who are concerned with governing have no practical reason to be corrupt (since they personally can’t gain anything from dishonest practice as the opinions of the masses does not effect their office, they own nothing and can desire nothing). There is no distant and corrupt monarchy, an Augustus’ republic maintaining nothing but a façade of honesty as would be observable in the American government, small local state governments offer you direct interaction with the law (if you so wish) and you don’t have political representation unless you strive to gain it. Only those who treasure and cultivate civic virtue would be able to effect the operation of the republic. Those who wish to be apathetic, intoxicated and void of character may live in whatever fashion makes them happiest. This is fine because there will be wise leaders in power who exist to ensure things are being done justly and with prudence. Why should the masses that lack virtue be given the power to rule anything but themselves? Things considered taboo in the American society such as state religions, bans on homosexuality, abortion laws and morality laws is possible IF DESIRED in particular regions using the regional senate system. There is no political correctness and there are no demands of lifestyle by the central government. In each republic a unique, regionalized (tribal) and specially suited culture would emerge and flourish. These cultures would organically evolve and would not be influenced by a central seat of power with connotations of an archetypal, trite and obedient morality. Although each republic may have its own unique culture it never loses its sense of nationhood, still willing to pledge its allegiance to the common cause of defense and eternal friendship.
The statesmen form a senate which is the only government of the republic. The senate’s job is to make indifferent, impartial, unbiased decisions for the sake of the people and when only necessary to organize the levying of the citizen army. Every man’s vote inside the senate is equal because it is assumed that every individual has comparable levels of virtue, self-control and clear judgment. The senate body would routinely vote to remove suspected corrupt senators so that there is no doubt of dishonest practice. The highest virtues a senator would strive to possess are integrity, clear judgment and sincerity. For the actual composition of the senate we can trust in our forefathers the Romans and Greeks for where the Roman senate failed due to corruption and infighting this system prevails because corruption is nearly impossible it. Some major offices in the senate include Tribune, Quaestor, Aedile, Praetor, Consul, Censor, Pontifex Maximus, Legatus, Dux, Officium, Praefectus, Vicarius, Vigintisexviri and Lictor. Some minor offices include Princeps officius, Cornicularius, Adiutor, Commentariensis, Ab actis, Numerarius, Subadiuva, Cura epistolarum, Regerendarius, Exceptor and Singularius. These positions come with important responsibilities that only the most meritous and unquestionably righteous men would hold. In the republic those who are honest and are most qualified for a job receive that job, not those who may pander to the public the best to receive the most misguided votes. In a republic the only people voting are those with the prudence that should be required in voting. The masses cannot be trusted to govern the body of themselves, only their individual selves.
In this fashion each autonomous region of the confederation maintains its own government, laws, operation and way of life specifically suited for the individual needs and desires of that area. The federal government is a senate similar in composition to the regional senates but instead of governing for the sake of individuals and local matters (this would be the task of the regional senate) it governs for the sake of the confederation as a whole. Senators within the federal government are voted into membership by unanimous decision of all regional senates. The federal government normally has no army, no leader and no taxation system but it is not powerless. When crisis emerges or when an overwhelming majority of the regional senates agree to commit, the federal government may levy a united citizen army or demand taxes for projects. The federal senate also serves as a diplomatic head of state. Most of the time the federal senate is not even in session and only meets when necessary.
The waging of war is an important consideration in the confederation of republics. The system is designed so that war is only possible if an overwhelming majority of the statesmen agree to commit to it. It is not possible for a war to be waged without the consent of the whole of the government and it is not possible for an unwanted war to take form. Imperial ambitions are virtually impossible. The center of attention is not on dazzling foreign wars but on domestic issues and ensuring that the citizens are as free and happy as possible. That being said, there is no professional army, only a citizen militia army. Professional soldiers are more interested in riches, fame and the ambitions of their generals then protecting the republic. When a call is sent out for troops to be levied citizens will be required to answer. Statesmen will serve as officers on campaign. When the military action is over the citizens will be free to return to their homes and resume a life of freedom and privilege. War should only be necessary if the security of the confederation is threatened by an invading army so the occurrence of this happening is remote, although possible.
The republic is a timeless government because it is infinitely flexible, able to fit whatever purpose and whatever circumstances because it lacks the machinery inherit to the thrones of the old rule: castes, class, flexibility for ambitious careerists and the possibility of dishonesty. The republic creates harmony by offering the wise and passionate the ability to evolve state doctrines and laws without having to appeal to popular vulgarities and desires, decisions that are logically and reasonably asserted for the sake of the whole of humanity and not for individual ego.
The goal of the formation of a government is not to ensure equality but to ensure harmony. Men who are educated and virtuous should govern while those who are uneducated should only be granted control over themselves. The people of the modern democracy are swayed too easily by appearances, appeasements and the pandering of beautiful and silver tongued faces. The contemporary democrat looks to his own needs and no one else’s with no manner of prudence or temperance. Why should those uneducated and idiotic masses of drug addicts and materialists influence the government? Of course they are guaranteed freedom in their own right and guaranteed happiness within their own governance but they simply are not suitable for influencing the operation of the government, which should exist solely to create unbiased, rational and indifferent decisions. The many idealists of the past have called for utopia. Utopia is impossible because it’s unrealistic to expect the majority of citizens to conform to a certain way of life. Communism will never work because it demands that all citizens work together for the common good. The majority of people simply do not have in them the level of self-control and prudence required to make such a system operational. Thus we must consider a two class society which is divided into those who care about the sake of the government, society and harmony within the human race and those who are more interested in their own pursuits. Both are valid and fulfilling ways to live, but the former requires a special breed of man who is unselfish and willing to compromise much of the guaranteed freedoms the latter would chose to indulge in.
112: The honest look you in the eye when they speak, the dishonest can do nothing of the sort. Never commit to campaign with a man until you have gazed into the depths of his eyes and looked for that weakness there or you will find yourself with a dagger in the heart or poison in the ear before dawn. To be vigilant of men’s souls before deciding, judging or acting is to ensure you yourself honest. The unsure eye steals away the mask and illuminates the insincere and treacherous. If you cannot keep your gaze firm and stoic, your eyes ready and unwavering in conversation, do not speak, for you are not sure of what you are saying. If you are unsure of what you are saying, why are you speaking?
113: Evil is everywhere as it always has been and always will be: be strict with yourself and tolerant of others. ‘It's possible to be a good man without anyone realizing it. Remember that.’
114: Judge not men by their declarations but by their actions. ‘Words are only so meaningful. If she tells you it is love, how can you be sure? -- unless it is love, of course, and love rarely gets twisted unless there is an original fate awaiting, something whose implications cascade through a mountain of sequentially enclosed logical containers. Feelings, ideas, logic, and event can be "spoofed" or faked. Only what actually happens in physical reality is real, and small local changes influence the larger structure through a transmission of patterns. When you act, you are programming the world, where when you talk, you are only programming shared human illusion.’
115: Debts and Lessons
My uncles, great uncle and grandfather for providing themselves as rugged examples of manly character, for living the virtues of perseverance, integrity, courage, fortitude, temperance, prudence, dignity, honor, for teaching me the importance of family, the rigors of sacrifice and the selflessness of good men, for never once speaking of how to act but only acting in the way they did by example, for never complaining or asking for anything, for always placing the community before themselves, for being content at eating the scraps from the banquet table only after everyone had stuffed themselves beyond all indulgence; for the simple way they live, for being humble; for teaching me the value of modesty and self-reliance, for sincerely loving their women and admiring them as true equals; for cherishing those in their trust and never betraying them before all ends, my uncle John for exposing me to Theravada Buddhism and for providing himself as a model of generosity, wit, humor, cheer, charisma, cunning oratory with a healthy disposition of reserved skepticism, for being honest and able fathers to their children, teaching me to take responsibility for all of my actions and accept the consequences of the situation, for teaching me the importance of duty and living by my words, for teaching me how to be a man when my father couldn’t.
My grandmothers and Eileen for inspiring my childhood curiosity and creativity to be channeled into a positive force, that I was never told to give up on my ambitions or desires (‘satisfaction is the death of desire’), that I was given the tools to allow my faculties to flourish and that I was never put down or limited in scope of my potential greatness and final end, that I could conquer the universe, for loving me unconditionally when I thought myself worthless, for always being sincerely interested in every adventure I had set myself upon, the way they so enthusiastically supported my childhood dream to one day dig up dinosaur bones, that they always listened to my epic sagas and found real joy in them, that they always knew my mind when no one else did.
Uncle Steve for introducing me to the BBS boards, information, security systems, the joy of electronics and reverse engineering, for never becoming angry with me when I managed to destroy these systems, for tutoring me in the fundamental ethics of the hacker; never for destruction, always to build and free knowledge for the sake of human understanding, the lawfulness (the duty) of pirating and the oppression of companies who seek to deny knowledge to those without money or privilege, the way he never became frustrated when faced with a malfunction and would dedicate endless hours until the issue was resolved with not even a hint of despair; the way he never failed to fix problems, for putting up with my womanly whining and defeatism; the way he involved me in everything he did as an adult and equal of mind and so engaged my utmost attention and hope, for letting me use his board login (wiseguy); for not becoming disgusted with me when I got him banned from every board on the east coast for using words I didn’t understand the implications of at age five, the way he was always frank, honest, blunt and intensely interested in anything you had to say, for bringing me to the shows and letting me work in his woodshop; for helping me on projects when I was with the Scouts, for *always* being involved in some project or another and never letting a moment slip by without laboring on it; his intense devotion to mechanical and engineering matters, for enduring the battering and neurosis of his wife, who he loved more than anything, for making publicly intimidating machines easily understandable by speaking of them plainly and candidly (the way he used the term ‘bastard’ to refer to just about any piece of hardware), for putting up with my vile father who betrayed his trust by again and again deceiving and using him; for being a true friend to my father when he had none, the way he never tried to dress up my father’s actions and would often be the first one to tell me the truth of the situation; the way he had no tolerance for lying and trickery, the way he performed amazing engineering feats (often utilizing systems in ways that they had never been designed for), how he was always cheerful of character but never distractingly so; the way in which he so naturally alternated between a intoxicating smile and intense focus when duty called to him, how you could call upon him at any hour and he would come to your aid immediately with no questions asked, his tremendous generosity and selflessness.
My first teachers for believing in me and assuring me that I would accomplish great things by shouting my name to the sky; for seeing promise in a lost boy.
Steinhoff for seeding in me a great interest for the natural sciences and feeding my innate curiosity with mysteries, for letting me tend to his lab equipment and take inventory of his supplies, for helping me to embrace and run with iconoclasm, for teaching me to not take dogma seriously and stick to the inherent meaning of things, for introducing me to the histories of the Greeks and Romans, for stressing that the Greeks were great minds while I was still awestruck by Roman displays of military might, for never picking me up in the morning when he passed me on the way to school but waving with a smile so that I learned to provide my own path and propel my own feet, for never being politically correct or hiding the truth (even to students our age), for being honest and with great charisma and humor, never betraying himself to the authorities looming overhead, for fighting the corruption in the schools, for always giving enough of a push to put you in the right direction but never holding your hand; for challenging me to reach excellence with nothing but a wink and a few words, for teaching me how to remain calm and dignified even in the face of great disappointment or misfortune, for offering fatherly advice when my father left.
Sackstein for introducing me to the finer aspects of literature, providing an avenue in herself for me to express myself in writing, for nurturing my innate creativity as Steinhoff did my curiosity, for honestly critiquing my writings and demanding more of me, for teaching me the virtue of humility and the dangers of arrogance, for being strict and forcing me to become familiar with the English language when I didn’t have the foresight to understand why; for teaching me the power of language and oratory, for granting me a forum to test that oration, for playing into the madness of my violent stage plays; for letting me know it was ok to deviate from the norm in the creative process; to run with wild ideas and see them through to the end, for being sincerely concerned for the welfare of all her students and offering them private consul with honest intentions that went beyond her call of duty, for teaching me the value of silence and meditation, for making me question my racist ways and opening my eyes to cosmopolitanism, for teaching me to “know thyself” and be sincere even if it means your hated, to do the right thing, even if it means you will be broken.
Franck for teaching me how to be patient and steady in the face of failure, to understand my limitations but never to settle for anything less than the limit, to approach complex problems logically and methodically with a plan of attack, the joy of dry wit, for teaching me to endure mental duress by calming myself down, teaching me how to be tolerant of irritating people and stoic in the face of mockery and insults; that he never showed anger and always safeguarded his reason from the passions but still maintained a fatherly affection for all his students, the way he was never agitated or excited as you failed to understand what he was explaining so clearly and plainly but instead approached the subject from a different angle so that you might comprehend it, to stay focused when surrounded by disharmony and remember what I had set out to do in the first place, to never surrender, never give up, to fulfill my duties as a man, to never complain or whine if the situation is possibly endurable, to focus on the task at hand, to not go busily from one proposition to another without concluding the first, to think tactically and prudently, to strike against enemies swiftly and with no warning or sign of commotion, to not judge the character of those opposed against you, only to judge their actions.
Pentola for showing me how philosophy should truly be used; for offering a year filled with Socratic dialogue and passionate debate, for teaching me how to be delicate in correcting others (when she corrected my mispronunciation of façade), for teaching me to be accepting and to admit when I’m wrong, to stop clinging to old hatreds and old ideals, for opening my eyes to the holes in my absolute thinking, for exposing me to the works of Franz Kafka and existentialism, for showing me that the world of sense can be doubted and that empirical knowledge cannot prove everything, for helping me open my eyes away from the reckless nature of atheism, for being my role model as a teacher and allowing me to observe her mastery of the profession, that I learned not to call myself a philosopher or walk around and think myself better than even the most depraved beggar; that I learned humility of mind and ego and tolerance of ignorant persons, that I learned to refrain from ostentatious displays of flowery rhetoric and instead inspire others by acting and conforming to what my reason concluded upon; to use philosophy to liberate doubt; to use philosophy to govern our actions and not just our words; to really only be honest in acting our mind; and to be free from secrets and different faces; to always be steady and reliable, to display yourself as you are and not to hide any aspect of your life from inspection, for teaching me the value of esoteric philosophy and meditation and the wisdom found there, for keeping my sanity intact by blessing me with a place to rant, for showing unconditional love toward me and being always understanding of inner strife, for teaching me that nothing is more important than philosophy and truth, for teaching me to distrust appearances and instead probe for the real, for teaching me the irrelevancy of material things and how to avoid being disturbed by them, for not being whisked away in the elitism of professional philosophy or use terminology which only complicates the presentation of ideas, for being concerned with what everyone had to say (exhibiting no bias) and moderating debates with a godlike majesty, for teaching me how to be truly compassionate and eager to hear what the most despondent or most repellant had to offer to a discussion, for teaching me the value of dialogue and open discourse, for teaching in the Greek fashion with no inhibitions, for meeting with us after school hours to discuss philosophical issues, for truly being a lover of wisdom and a guardian of harmony, for teaching me to punish myself instead of being punished; straight instead of being straightened; teaching me to understand that I had done wrong and to correct the deed or accept it as being past, to not drone on the vile ways of the world, for supporting my lifestyle when no else did, for understanding the dread I often felt in the face of the common population, for understanding what always troubled me and always offering guidance, for exposing me to the Bhagavad Gita and the eternal wisdom of the Vedas and Upanishads, for showing me a model of how I want to live and die, for igniting within me a warmth and fire that will never die, for stressing the importance of meaning in everyday life and true happiness by being honest in what we do and say, for instilling in me passion, for helping me realize that my life beyond her teaching should be something more than the predictable, mundane and caged; for demanding that I adopt the noble path, fulfill my destiny as a mover and determine every judgment, action and decision by myself, that I do not settle for a career behind a desk, that I reject the chains that nearly had absorbed me in a materialistic and egotistic life, for understanding my misanthropy and need to not belong in a nature of impulse and self indulgence and soothing my fire with just the right words, for helping me find a way to be honest to myself and to the world, for showing me that philosophy and introspection is the only honest way to live and a life spent in a rat race is a life squandered; for convincing me that there is still hope in liberating the minds of the autonomous; for convincing me that there is a way to be good again, to be real, to avoid the fakeness and platitudes in the maze of endless instant gratification and escapism; for inspiring me to fight injustice and avenge those who have been wronged; for inspiring me to never settle for the unkind and apathetic nature of modern society; for demanding that I live well and for the sake of living well, not for any other inclination; for saving my life.
Braverman for exposing me to transcendentalism and the wonders (mysteries) of the natural world, for teaching me to develop a great distaste for authority (especially intellectual authority), to realize that things are never as they seem; to strip away the tarps and gilding, her first declaration to the class: “think outside the box” as a philosophy for life, to never buy into popular conceptions of something, to always investigate on my own and seek personal truth, to never trust anyone immediately and to never accept what is told to me as being true initially, to never allow myself to be deceived by television (a stage and not reality), to not buy into flowery rhetoric and propaganda, to turn my television off permanently and go outside, for lecturing on the anima mundi and eastern mysticism, for being of impervious integrity and tempered with fierce moral courage, for stressing the importance of intelligence, self-determination and study for the sake of learning, for allowing me to see brutes quelled to submission in her penetrating but sage gaze; for teaching me to command respect without an army, by mere presence alone, for teaching me how to be truly powerful by disciplining the self and training the person, for never speaking more than she had to or moving too quickly; for teaching me to pass through the forest and leave no trace, for never sermonizing but emanating a aura of reserved ethical practice in every step and word; for being a true disciple of Epictetus, avoiding ostentation by acting her will instead of declaring it, for being a mother when my own was preoccupied, for bestowing in me true wisdom by allowing me to momentarily observe it.
Starr for teaching me the importance of the ‘quest for honesty,’ for proposing philosophy as the history of ideas as opposed to the study of independent theory; the dishonest nature of sophistry, for helping me realize the holes in my deontological ethics and for inspiring me to embrace a more natural way to decide, judge and act by selecting which virtues appeal to my reason and cultivating them within myself but not expecting the same of everyone, for disproving the existence of universal laws and maxims; completely changing the way I thought about living and judgment, for stressing the importance of what type of person you choose to be as opposed to what type of person you ought to be, for assuring me that it is ok to escape from the vileness and idiocy of the masses from time to time; the value of refuge in creating your own society (much like Morrie Schwartz), the notion that philosophy is the practice of preparing for death, the pointlessness of most syllogisms and other logical propositions designed to “prove” anything, the ‘faith of a heretic,’ for seeding in me a healthy distaste for apologists, the dishonest and moral cowards, for affirming what I already had found within my own reason: the futile nature of describing anything that is immaterial; the dangerous nature of changing the course of our lives because of our arbitrary belief in immaterial things, that it is one thing to theorize and wonder about metaphysics but another to allow ourselves to be saturated in the delusions of rationalism, for teaching me that everything that I say or do must be thought through so that I am not ever deciding, acting or judging by custom, habit or the coercion of others, for teaching me how effective Socratic method can be if its used in conjunction with philosophy of language to demand the meaning of all words in a proposition so that everything is clearly defined and understood by both parties (often the absolutist does not even understand what he is saying because he has have never thought through the meaning of a word such as “soul”), for providing me with the tools to break down statements and to identify logical fallacies and coercive rhetoric; to be aware of when I was being deceived or seemingly being defeated in a debate because of my opponent’s exploitation of an incongruity in the logic, for opening my eyes to the dangers of labels and casual declarations of belief, for asking the question: “from where did this belief derive and why?,” for begging to know the standard that determines a proposed quality (beauty, justice, piety etc) so that such judgments are not arbitrary (they always are); what is the standard that determines if something is beautiful, just or pious, for exposing me to Nicomachean ethics and existentialism, for providing a forum to discuss the Republic which inspired me to conceive of an honest form of government and citizenship, for exposing me to many new ideas to brood upon in the night under the sentinel eyes of a certain Turkish Angora.
Hedstrom for renewing my will to fight against the evils of the world when I had become pacified, for providing a open forum for the passionate and creative, for disregarding the tedious nature of class work and converting our time spent together into dialogue and open discussion where living well and the development of character took priority over a paper trail, for inspiring me to strive for excellence and virtue in life and to toughen myself against all burdens; to endure is to grow strong, for being of immeasurable courage and wisdom; for being a model for my own pursuit of courage and wisdom, for teaching me the powers of rhetoric and the tactical use of oratory; for teaching me how to empower myself by following the three pillars (logos, ethos, logos) in all discourse, for making clear the dangers of groupthink and the coercion of dishonest rhetoricians (politicians) who mask otherwise obvious fallacies with sensational and trite platitudes, for keeping the discussions in class fully honest (no euphemism) and uncensored; for creating a society of equals where all were respected and there was no hierarchy of control dominating the dynamic; for treating us all as equals to himself, for being entirely dedicated to the purpose at hand and never swaying his attention or concern away from the speaker, for instilling in me a calling to civic virtue and true patriotism; a calling to make things right again and to demand honesty in office; a calling to restore the republic, how you spoke to him and nothing was impossible; how the grandest ideas were concretized immediately and put into action, the way he inspired every single one of us to change our lives for the better and to never fall short of what we willed to accomplish, for teaching me how to ‘play the game’ long enough so that I am in a position to make things right again; the importance of imagery and theatrics, for never denying a topic to be raised and always running with it, his sardonic but irresistible wit, for following no protocol and seeming to always know what someone meant even if they didn’t, the wise and powerful way he moved and commanded your attention when he walked into the room, the life’s wisdom he shared with us every day that will help to steer us away from danger in our path to come, for providing himself as a model for the type of teacher I strive to become (like Pentola), for the way he was interested in the wellbeing of every one of his students and if he knew what was troubling you he would talk about it generally without referring to you by name and relating it to himself so that you never were intimidated, the way you were inspired to move mountains and take on great adventures in his presence.
Gilzinger for renewing my interest in literature and English and for approaching such works as philosophical meditations and not mere narratives; for always approaching things in search of the underlying meaning and implications, for renewing my passion in feminism and pagan idealism, for making clear the struggles and intolerance women endure at the hands of lesser men and dogmatists; how he provided himself as a model of a faithful and loyal husband, for lecturing on the ethical ramifications of writings and how we can learn to live well after digesting and reflecting on them (a mythological approach to literature), for training me to be a better writer, to make close readings and to always extensively study the climate and history of any piece of literature for the sake of our comprehension; for making me a better person, the way he commanded absolute silence, focus and respect without ever asking for it by maintaining an eternal cheerfulness and seriousness held together by a sincere gravity of character and his passion for teaching, the way he always doubted his greatness and impact on the minds of his students and never presumed to be anything more than mediocre when he was nothing less than a sage; the way he always apologized for when he had to be absent due to the complications of a terminal disease when we should be begging at his feet for him to speak a few more halfhearted words, for teaching me how to engage the unlearned using examples, wit and language most attractive to them and in doing so plant the seeds of self-transformation within them, the way he always listened to the most idiotic, embarrassing statements and questions and always responded with serious and profound wisdom, how his words had a immediacy and urgency which spoke directly to the heart and caused a great deal of introspection and questioning; how he forced you to think about things we often accept blindly (especially in regards to social norms), how just observing his golden character made you strive for excellence so that you might one day grasp but a wink of his wisdom.
Hardcore music for providing an escape from all the vile ways, drama, poisons and violence of my circumstance, for teaching me the value and solace found in unity and cosmopolitanism, for instilling in me the punk ethic, for teaching me the virtue of tolerance and understanding of all walks of life; for defeating my racism and recklessness of judgment, for teaching me how to channel all of my rage and hatred into a positive force of self progression, for teaching me the importance of sincerity, discipline; the value of militance, self-control and respect, for instilling in me a sense of brotherhood and community, for raising me when I didn’t have a father, for showing me the value of sobriety and the devastating effect of poisons on people’s minds and spirits, for inspiring me to stay abstinent from all things that would undermine my character, integrity and reason; for cultivating in me self-control, pride in my decisions and the will to live a simple life free from treachery and unnecessary distractions, for guiding me away from the destructive indulgences and waste of my peers; for guiding me toward a more intellectual and moral life, for being a forum for me to free my angst and calm my feeling of alienation in a brotherhood of equals, for making it clear to me the futility of living a hateful life and the importance of acting for the sake of the community, for ‘the oath that keeps me free,’ for offering to me music which was meaningful, intelligent and passionate; for contrasting so starkly with the mindless drivel of the mainstream chants, ‘faithless is he who says farewell when the road darkens,’ for being my crutch when I find the hour to be late, my heart is open; this slate is clean.
Black metal for helping me see the inherent nature of the cosmos: nihilism, for offering a mysterious world to reflect, meditate and brood within, for being there for me when I awoke and found myself as a ‘monstrous vermin.’
Fate for delivering me upon wise, noble teachers and loyal, honest friends, that I discovered hardcore music and philosophy before I could be swept by ignorance into the vile and idiotic ways of my peers, for inflicting against me no burden which was not endurable; ‘nothing can harm a good man either in life or after death’, for chancing me upon the writings of Marcus Aurelius and Epictetus, for birthing me with no deformities and a sound mind, for blessing me with breath one moment more than the dead.
116: Harmony is achieved:
- Revolution in the public schools: virtue based education with a heavy emphasis on rhetoric, debating, achieving valid arguments, communication, science and philosophic theory - in especial philosophy which adheres to a Socratic lifestyle in deed, not simply pretentious word. Reliance on dialogue and questioning as opposed to textbooks. Where textbooks are neccesary, replace Prentice Hall propaganda with peer-reviewed academic journals. Do away with notions of political correction. Promote honesty along with justice, fortitude, temperance and prudence as the highest virtues. Beg students to always be iconoclastic, heretical and skeptical of all perceived truths. The objective of education is to make us better people who can seek their sense of identity, metaphysical reality and ethos on their own with the proper philosophical tools. A proper education makes it clear to students the dangers of absolutism.
- Purge the central government: replace the Augustan senate (a corrupt body of senators fronted by a defacto emperor) with a virtuous republic comprised of one house. Truncate the three branches of government to a single senate body. Make all government positions volunteer; bring back the importance of civic virtue and the dangers of religion, materialism and hedonism in statesmen. Demand virtue and merit in senators at the risk of banishment. Minimalize the role of government in everyday activities and ensure it remains transparent. Streamline, simplify and make common the understanding of a universal, easily comprehensible law system that would not require the interpretation and manipulation of lawyers in a court of law. A virtuous senate elected by its own prudent body or by a educated public in the form of a direct democracy - no middle ground, no parade of idiots wishing demogogues and serpent tongues into meal ticket thrones. Sensationalism is illegal.
- Religious institution will no longer be tax free and will be considered as business. Television news will be classified as entertainment unless scrutinized by a council of academians, the most objective researchers and journalists.
- Disband the professional army and re-implement the civic militia army over a 10 year period. Make military service completely voluntary at all times. Optimize the national army as a small, elite, streamlined defensive force - effectively putting an end to imperialistic delusions. Maintain the mechanism to mass a large offensive army, but only in a time of complete agreement within the senate, and even then, only comprised of volunteers.
- International policy: Isolationism. We will tend to the rotting foundation of this culture before looking beyond. We will concern ourselves with the domestic and not be excited by the fireworks occuring in Baghdad. We will examine every strata of society and look for dysfunction there. We will build a new order in the place of the sick one before it; we will create light where there was only sickness. We will discover compassion once again.
- Private life: We wil reexamine the purpose of 'work' and a life squandered doing menial tasks fit for a automated machine, not a human being. With the technology to create such machines, we will do away with the soul sickness caused by the meaningless, unfulfilling jobs which dominate our lives. We will again spend time with our families, flush the Prozac down the tiolet, spend time in the natural world, create meaning outside of the fearful accusations of dogma, avoid our daily drug addled escapes, strive for excellence, virtue and go beyond the mediocrity of television delusions; return to our roots, reclaim our self-esteem and grasp the power which is ours to grasp. We are not to be casually bossed around by the government or told what we should do or shouldn't do by the corporate world which only seeks to exploit our desires. We form this realm by will alone. We are kings, not pawns.
- Environmental reform will become the primary pursuit to bring harmony to our natural ecosystem. Global warming crisis: senate posession of all power services. New power model executed using government funds redirected from tax optimization and posession of previously privately owned energy sector (and public taxes if neccesary) over a 10 year period:
a. Nuclear, hydroelectric, HHO, wind and/or solar power for all tax paying citizens.
b. Senate mandate to privately owned automobile companies to design all new models as highly efficient HHO (Aquygen) hybrids. Make it illegal to sell standard automobiles after a 2 year warning.
c. Optimize industrial energy usage by researching HHO, wind, hydroelectric, nuclear, solar or other non-fossil fuel powerplants.
- Global objective: Rebirth of culture, art and philosophy. Away with the old neurosis of nationalism and plant the seeds of cosmopolitanism. Our destiny is to reach the stars, not spell the doom of our world at the rattling of sabres and the desecration of the earth. We will depart from this insignificant point in space and discover the mysteries of the cosmos together, united, celebrating our individual cultures and differences as different shades of the same humanity, while championing the pursuit of knowledge, truth and science. We will patch the damage caused by the bloody blades of absolutism and look beyond to the unification of theory: the inherent divinity. We will seek out our progenitors amongst the vast darkness of space, from the bacterial rock that happened upon our primeval cradle to the distant excesses of the void. We have enough of falsehood, deception, drama, rutting, betraying, groveling and selfishness; it's time to evolve.
From S.R. Prozac:
What is the ideal design for a society? If we thought clearly, we might say:
(a) Leadership by the capable: genius intelligence, conscientious application, empathic understanding but given toward seeing the whole picture and not the conflicting demands of individuals.
(b) Does not trash its environment through reckless industry and overpopulation (the primary threat to our environment is land overuse, as with sufficient natural land to absorb, process and counter our pollution through oxygen production, it can deal with us just fine — yet when we occupy almost all of the land that can be civilized, whether with farms or factories, we destroy that nurturing support structure).
(c) Has healthy values that place creativity, sobriety, sexual selectivity and marital fidelity, heroism and transcendence above temporary pleasures such as physical satiation and seizure of power or acting out of emotional desires (revenge, hatred, desire to be loved through popularity).
(d) Gives to each of us a place where we can contribute meaningfully, and returns the rest of our time to us. The average person works 8-10 hours and commutes nearly two per day; this leaves 4-6 hours for paying bills, haggling with service providers, fixing up the house, spending time with family, spending time with friends, etc., per day. Weekends for most people consist of a day for errands and a day for rest, with one or two nights of recreation in between. This amounts to too little time for a quietude of contemplation and devotion to family and friends and society in a meaningful way; instead, we get token applications of each and, because people are constantly exhausted, lots of television watching.
(e) Produces higher culture, learning, arts and heroes.
(f) Rewards those of a higher nature, and ushers the criminal, mentally defective, stupid, ugly and petty-minded toward evolutionary extinction.
117: Faith of a Heretic
- Human: A talking monkey, nothing more, nothing less.
- Metaphysics: Something an animal (talking monkey) cannot experience, and even if it could, could not rightly convey to the others who had not experienced it.
- Faith in Prophets (Faith in Canons): Dangerous. Each man is a god within himself but a fool in common.
118: No beginning and no end, in mid verse eternal, we have done what we are doing now forever, a cycle of the same: shitting, rutting, stealing, lying, rushing, breathing, crying, dying. Just as quick as we return to oblivion we are reborn with no escape, pushing boulders up mountains to only have those boulders roll down again, a endless trap of futile efforts, accomplishing nothing, falling forward into complete regeneration. Escape from this tedious droning is not found in probing moist places, the delirium of forever intoxication or the neurosis of cosmic salvation. Liberation from the endless is accomplished in nothing. All you can hope to be is king for a moment then die well. 'The sun is new each day.'
119: 'Straight, not straightened'
Virtue not vommited into being out of fear of being punished by an imaginary god hand. Ethical for the sake of being ethical. Virtue for the sake of virtue, not a reward, not a punishment. Someone who appreciates prudence, temperance, fortitude and justice. Someone who can be true to themselves in every sense of the word, someone who is actually honest. Or at least someone who tries to be honest with seriousness. Neither salvation or pleasure are the end of the line for what we must spend our lives pursuing.
120 (A freeform rant with no apparent purpose): Fellowship of the Curious
It seems that those with open eyes who are left to cultivate true detachment from a abrahamic world's narrow minded conditioning come to the same conclusions. Since as young as I could remember I always thought of time as not a linear path of sequential events but rather a virtually infinite number of matter states, to which each variance in that infinity would then also branch off to more lines of virtually infinite matter states.
A moment in time: Every single change that is possible in the universe is a metaphysical variable. A moment in time then would be the totality of all variables in static form (a 'set' of variables). A linear moment in time passes when one variable in the totality is altered. For every variance there is a completely different future created that in itself may branch off to a virtually infinite number of futures, all made possible by the root variance. If one quark were to veer to slightly more to the left than to the right in this moment of existence that would create a entirely different branch of outcomes - a different future. This layering of possible outcomes creates a unimaginabily complex entropic void that we, being mere mortals, luckily cannot comprehend or manipulate. Linear time doesn't exist - we are always in a state of 'now' where an infinite number of possible paths are arranged before us as things become different in even the most minute and undetectable ways. Truly anything is possible with the steadfast direction of the will.
Of course teachers in school had no idea what I was speaking of and deemed me eccentric at best and insane at worst. The latter is a more prudent judgment.
In the past year I learned of String Theory and was shocked to realize that a ten dimensional spatial cosmology was quite similar to what I had already convinced myself of. Of course the String Theorists managed to back up my insane claims with some science and they also managed to word it better than a babbling fool. But the String Theorists weren't the first. Meditating on the words of Heraclitus reveal a ancient understanding of the cosmos:
There is nothing permanent except change.
The sun is new each day.
Opposition brings concord. Out of discord comes the fairest harmony.
No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man.
Couples are wholes and not wholes, what agrees disagrees, the concordant is discordant. From all things one and from one all things.
While Heraclitus remained poetic, the implications of what he is saying can at least in my eyes be interpretted as proto-String Theory in all but name. Other ancient people realized the infinite oneness of time and derived ideas of Karma and eternal recurrence, best represented in the Bhagavad Gita or the writings of Homer. Our Indo-European ancestors were indeed aware of the mysteries of existence and realized that the universe is more complex than three dimensional tunnel vision. The wisdom of these peoples is just recently being unearthed after two thousand years of abrahamic opression, destruction and division.
Scientific minds (natural, curious minds) that have not been poisoned by the delusions of absolutism seem to often come to the same conclusions (from our enlightened Indo-European ancestors to modern scholars today). Anyone who thinks rationally is going to realize that the Earth was not created 5000 years ago when we have statues of the primeval mother goddess worked by the human hand dating back at least 200,000 years of history. Any rational individual is not going to want to ban homosexuality, or endorse any form of racism or segregation, or religious intolerance. Of course the rational soul won't accept 'faith' explanations of the universe but will smile in amusement at the absurdity of heaven and hell and a life spent trying to reach a salvation that only exists in the imaginations of terrified infants. To think of the universe in these stark black and white terms belittles the wonder and beauty of the natural world. No rational human being is going to demand that abortions before 40 days of pregnancy be illegal because they would understand that up until that point the vaguely humanoid parasite inside the womb would not have any brain activity and would just simply then, be a wad of enriched flesh.
No rational being is going to murder, steal or rape because he understands the morality inherent to our species that we have inherited from our ape ancestors - altruistic genes. No rational human being is going to acknowledge that there is any inherent meaning to reality and that we can only assign meaning ourselves - the implications of which infer that no man may impose a 'lifestyle' or 'life meaning' upon another man. No rational human being is going to want to control another human being (a lesser form of rape - domination) in any way shape of form, and instead celebrate and actually cultivate differences, the anti-MTV fervor. The adult listens to music that inspires him, that is passionate and has meaning, the adult avoids manufactured formula and corporate punk.
There is a natural thought proccess - one that is scientific and curious, the innate mind of every child, and then there is a perverted and infant's thought proccess, one that is bound by a leash of fear and accusation. This mind is created to make men in high places more powerful, either by 'contributing to society' by fattening their piggy banks, tithes or by simply being a devout zealot to the status quo's agenda. Age doesn't make you an adult, the quality of your thoughts makes you an adult. While many so-called adults struggle with intense haste to 'contribute to society' by pushing buttons in office cubicles a robot could very well do better, conforming to social norms as flawlessly as possible and thinking as least as possible - the true adult is a scientific, unbiased, considerate, insightful, thoughtful and intensely curious individual. The adult doesn't need to buy a three hundred dollar designer bag because he realizes that its just a piece of cow's hide dyed pink:
"Like seeing roasted meat and other dishes in front of you and suddenly realizing: This is a dead fish. A dead bird. A dead pig. Or that this noble vintage is grape juice., and the purple robes are sheep wool dyed with shellfish blood. Or making love - something rubbing against your penis, a brief seizure and a little cloudy liquid.
Perceptions like that - latching onto things and piercing through them, so we see what they really are. That's what we need to do all the time - all through our lives when things lay claim to our trust- to lay them bare and see how pointless they are, to strip away the legend that encrusts them.
Pride is the master of deception: when you think you're occupied in the weightiest business, that's when he has you in his spell."
- Marcus Aurelius
The adult doesn't fear the accusatory finger of dogma; the adult has moral courage. The adult is a mind unattached from the vulgar society of the contemporary that manages to maintain his childlike purity of curiousity. Most physical adults are not mental adults, they are infants. No child is born saying that six jew bankers control the world's money supply and no child is born thinking he is going to burn in hell for all of eternity if he acknowledges that he has a penis. A four year old girl with down syndrome has more wisdom than the pope.
When you stop thinking, when you start labeling, when you stop asking questions, being skeptical, doubting known fact, when you start to get lazy, lose desire (satisfaction is the death of desire), give up on your dreams, become inspired by men without faith in living well, begin to doubt yourself and revert to old ways, when you stop being curious - you die. All that is left is a construct of fashion, a memoid hellbent on infecting another generation with the same delusions it had convinced itself to be true. You die when you give up your youthful fire.
Good ways to get to the 10th dimension: vipassana meditation and black metal.
120: Philosophers are Useless
“Is it reasoning alone that makes a philosopher?”
Half heartedly pondering on esoteric things, ultimate meanings, and running in circles of analysis doesn’t make you a philosopher. Living your words makes you a philosopher. Acting in conformance to your theorems makes you a philosopher. Living without pretension makes you a philosopher. Too much nose-raised talk and not enough action in contemporary academic ‘philosophy’ – nothing is being said, hollow words and empty propositions; blathering without conviction. No concern about doing what’s right or sculpting this realm, just stagnation and elitist segregation.
As Walter Kaufmann so precisely put it in The Faith of a Heretic, philosophy is the quest for honesty: a lifelong campaign of indelible and fanatical resistance against falsity and the often unchecked designs of sophists. Philosophy means making sure your actions, decisions and judgments are honest. Today philosophy degrees seem to be handed out liberally at most colleges to drug using pseudo intellectuals who don’t actually live their words. Instead they drink themselves to a stupor six days of the week and spend the remainder recovering from their escapism. These ’students’ are a creation of the modern times; in the past philosophy was a way of life (a high duty), not a convenient way to appease angry parents when you couldn’t quite keep that 2.0 GPA in biochemical engineering. Philosophy should be used as a practical vessel to attain wisdom, endure misfortunes, temper our desires, achieve excellence, cultivate clear judgment and conquer life, by storm, by the throat. Cultivate virtues, live them, with no speaking, only actions. Stop talking about changing the world, pour that 40 ounce of Jack Daniels you managed to smuggle into the dorm down the sink and *actually* change the world, starting with yourself.
Ask yourself: what good will this thought bring about? What good will this action bring about? What good will this judgment bring about? What good will this decision bring about?
Philosophy is the serious and dutiful pursuit of honest intentions, actions and virtues. So you want to mold a new order? Act in virtue and inspire others. Stop the meaningless flapping of gums and abstract theorizing, the lifestyle of throwaway statues and throwaway charities, throwaway friends and throwaway cheers. Philosophy is a weapon against the sophists and apologists who seek to dominate the unaware and untrained; it is the sacred waning light in the darkness of public nonthinking and so called ‘faith.’ Our love of wisdom and harmony is a higher truth than fashion and conformance. We are the the bane of liars, corrupt politicians, cheats, and the unjust. Philosophy is wielded to ‘lay bare the encrusted’ and introspect the character; to strip away the tarp that obscures a rotting social foundation. In refining our own character to become more honest we transform into gods that command the actions to whatever we will to be.
Ask yourself: am I spending the time to cultivate a critical thought process that is bound by fierce moral courage? Am I considering every aspect of my life before I assume it to be in harmony with the world? Am I thinking like a child: curious, investigative, truth seeking? Skeptical? Am I being honest?
Love friends, think long term, avoid wasting energy on anyone who is not up to the task. Sex for its own sake is heroin addiction with a thicker needle. The honest man makes this pledge without the conjured threats of robed patriarchs, the approval of his community or the observance of some trite ritual. Marriage if anything should be a cosmetic venture overshadowed by a previous and unquestionable vow of truthfulness and integrity of character. When our virtues are cultivated in such a fashion there is no need for anything else. The mental oath of marriage should come long before the church entrance or otherwise you're not fit for what the popular society would call 'marriage.' I don't need the ritual of marriage to make myself devoted to someone; there is no other sober way to form a union. Trickery, deceit, cowardice and dishonesty are the greatest flaws of character. In fortifying the virtues of honesty, prudence, temperance, justice and moral courage the idea of an immediate transformation from 'bachelor' to 'married man' seems silly. Good character is not formed in a week or a month. It is created little by little, day by day. Protracted and patient effort is needed to develop good character. Marriage is nothing but a distraction that will not patch a rotting foundation.
Marriage as co-habitation, business arrangment or ownership of sexual organs is a marriage of waste.
Act always as a king, not a peasant. Act as a man who puts the needs of the community first. This man does not drink because he must always be vigilant, ready for when the wolves come to stalk the sheep. Even when subordinated to the imprudent, maintain your integrity and dignity. Act as an emperor in peasant clothing; act as Socrates, as Diogenes, as Epictetus, Washington, as Ashoka, as Shakyamuni, Winters, Leonidas, as Marcus. We hold to higher truths than fashion and convenience, than the cut of the clothe and wiggle of the tongue, than deceit, treachery, untruthfulness, selfishness, banality, mediocrity, superficiality. We reject the illusory world of emotion situation ethics and side strongly with virtue. We are a fortress within ourselves.
I am responsible for my own errors. I do not blame those in my trust for my own faults. I do not make excuses. I am what I am by my own will or lack of will, lack of restraint or restraint, heart or no heart. When it is time to die, I will fulfill that duty. With no whining. I will attend to the quest for honesty with serious devotion. I will recite Thomas Paine before every battle:
‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.
123: Nothing will last and this is just noise. Time destroys everything. This pain won’t last because I won’t. Every order, empire, paradigm will be smashed into dust, every atom recycled eternally through the duty of oblivion. Your fleshy bits will be eaten by worms, which will in turn be eaten by beings far greater than themselves. Your bones will one day burn as fossil fuel. Those of the future will burn their ancestors just as we burn ours. That is our fate: a toxic vapor of burnt excess. This moment is nothing considering the gaping void of time before and after, the irrelevancy of individual lives. This will mean nothing. This is just noise.
Matter. How tiny your share of it.
Time. How brief and fleeting your allotment of it.
Fate. How small a role you play in it.
124: Societies will always evolve organically to whatever end will satisfy its population.
Interrupting that natural chain of events (or even worse so, forcing your own morality and government upon an alien culture) unnaturally upsets the path of change. Internal problems should always be attended to internally with no influence from outside agents. The society will adapt to survive and maintain order. If the society cannot adapt it will collapse, and rightly, so that a new order may rise from the ashes of failure. When a dog is sick and can no longer perform it's duties it must be put out of its misery. A order that cannot keep itself alive must be allowed to die. There is an illusion of health that is created by the interference of outside 'peace keepers' who decide to brace their backs against the collapsing roof. When these 'heroes' leave the dog once more cannot stand on its own and suffocates under its own decaying mass. But then an amazing thing happens: the soil is enriched by the rotting flesh and flowers begin to bloom upward through the rib cage. Soon a civilization exists on the skeleton of a diseased one that came before it.
Remaining politically isolationist is especially important for a republic like the United States. It was the dying wish of George Washington, and for all the right reasons.
While we haul loads of grain into the hands of corrupt warlords on so-called humanitarian missions who would use that material to sustain armies or trade in heroin, there are mouths to feed at home. Never glance from the res publica until harmony exists there, until justice is there.
125: They will evolve in a matter of time to where they will sustain themselves. Immediate solutions are bad solutions. The chasm of time beckons before and after us, this moment is nothing but a grain of sand on a endless shore and your human lifespan has made you reckless. Patience is the solution.
126: Consider every matter as a tree. Do not concern yourself with the health of the individual leaves but rather the health and harmony of the overall organism. For leaves can rot to the earth and be replaced but once the trunk or roots have been neglected, the entire structure dies. So when we encounter problems don't look to the immediate effect but rather the cause of it, otherwise we attempt to fix a broken pipe by mopping up the water it spews rather than sealing the offending rupture. We must transcend this fear of personal death (or suffering) so that we might ensure the life of the whole.
127: 'You are wise! A philosopher! A genius!'
No. I am an imitator of greater men and reader of a few books not often read. I am Arrian, someone who scribes the sage wisdom of a colossus, of the sages. I have skin, blood, a beating heart, the need to shit, urges of the flesh; I am a talking monkey. And if I ever am so bold as to call myself a philosopher you should surly put me to death, for I am a failure who has forgotten his way and is no longer of any use. Do not listen to me for there are wiser men to consider.
128: Arbitrarily telling people that drug use is bad because its against the law is no way to foster sobriety in a culture.
Instead of even bringing up the topic of drugs we should be integrating critical thinking, discussion, rhetoric and philosophy classes beginning in elementary school that teach us to be rational, clear-headed and sober thinkers, so that hopefully in the end we will decide on our own not to use drugs.
As everything in this diseased society, we fail to ever address the root of the problem and instead attend to the immediate effect that befalls it. People are using drugs, so we must stop them from using drugs. Instead of trying to punish people illegally for a right which should be constitutionally protected - that is - freedom of personal choice and morality, we should be attacking the root of the problem which is usually a lack of self-esteem, coping skills, and a critical thought process.
In a more sane time education’s focus would not be primarily on memorizing trivial minutiae: dates, what the 22nd president’s dogs name was, and other shit that has nothing to do with reality, but instead cultivating empowered thinkers; people with the ability to mentally operate independent of Bill O’Reily’s blathering sophistry. Our education fails again and again to create good, skeptical, rational thinkers in exchange for spelling bee champions, as if that plaque won makes you a good citizen. The fatal problem with our ‘educational’ system is that three most important things in an education are missing. All education must be built upon a foundation of rhetoric, logic and grammar.
These fundamental tools are crucial for properly structuring thoughts, thinking critically, rationally and logically. The powers that be take these tools away from the masses so that they cannot defend themselves, remain bovine and oblivious to deceptions. How is one supposed to encounter ideas in a systematic fashion if he lacks the training in which to consider them? Do we ever stop to consider why we take the actions we do, question why we buy the useless junk that we allow to define our worth? To learn how to examine every cause, to penetrate every layer of gilding, to lay the issue bare and see how pointless it is, that is the goal of a true education.
We should be striving for excellence in all things, children who may conquer the world through sheer will, not mediocrity in alleyways smoking dope. How is this accomplished? Inspire them, push them, drive them toward heroic victory, the earlier the better. Instill in children the will to become emperors, not the will to mop up vommit at McDonalds.
I had a teacher in 6th grade who would always pass me on the way to school in his car. He could have picked me up, given me a ride but he didn’t. Instead he gave a little wink of confidence or a wave that said ‘push on.’ He would never hold my hand through anything but always instilled in you the right sort of push that put you on your way toward victory. This is what education should achieve. Give you that inspiring push, with dramatic examples of character and virtue, but then have the restraint to see you accomplish it on your own.
The destructive nature of drug addiction will become clearly present to the critical thinker, and the addiction that so plagues every aspect of his society will evaporate.
129: You don’t need to take any philosophy classes to study philosophy. Philosophy is the ‘quest for honesty’, the discipline of fanatical and heretical truth seeking. Philosophy is used to make things bare, to remove the ‘legend that encrusts them’ and see how pointless many conventions are so that we can better determine our actions and avoid self-deception. Philosophy is the training of the mind to pierce falsehoods and illuminate fractured foundations. Action is the root, not books, nor theorizing. Although some words might catalyze our actions, they are not the end, but a means.
130: Try and control the world external to your mind and meet constant agony. Expect nothing of no one but yourself and expect nothing but contentment. The currency of the world is falsehood, and if you expect your fellow man to follow their words with actions, you are mistaken. Make expectations of nothing. Structure your thoughts so that nothing will shock you. Only the infant mind is manipulated as a puppet by the capricious masses. How can you so readily and so swiftly surrender your faculties to anger and accusation? Temper your passions so that you can always rely on your convictions to be true, for the sake of being true, with no pandering for reward or recognition. For everything that troubles you, detach the need for that in your life, and you will know no pain. You need nothing but what you define as needing.
Everything that is not within you cannot be in your control. How foolish we are to be disturbed when something material is destroyed, as if it were to last forever? You are deceiving yourself in desiring to control these things, these impermanent, momentary forms that will sooner than later rejoin the world as dust. Detach yourself from the desire and in doing so detach yourself from the grief of a mind dependant on structuring an external flux. Let nothing disturb you, let nothing shock you. Did you really expect anything else?
Don't have expectations of anyone but yourself and you won't be disturbed when reckless, uncharitable, vile people do reckless, uncharitable and vile things. Be strict with yourself and tolerant of others. Trying to control anything but your own judgments, actions and decisions will only lead you to pain; you are powerless to truly manipulate the outside world. If you expect people to act a certain way, or to have any logic or reasoning for their actions, they will only disappoint you. Most people don't think through their actions properly and as a consequence often make reckless, (seemingly) random, deceptive or destructive actions. You can't blame them for this, or expect anything else, just work on tempering your own judgments, actions and decisions, and leave everything else up to fate, always being cheerful of character, blaming no one.
131: When you walk through a forest let no trace of your passing be left behind. This is how we should attend to all actions, judgments and decisions. Return the world just as you found it and you will encounter no discomfort. Treat everything as if it had been loaned to you by a long gone and important relative, as if it were precious, to be safeguarded against the human stain. Pissing, shitting, fucking, accusing, crying, whining, gasping, stealing, lying, envying, corrupting, destroying - leave those things from the path, take nothing that is not yours. Mark nothing external to you.
He will surely honor his words; he will definitely carry out his actions. Whatever he promises he will fulfill. He does not care his bodily self, putting his life and death aside to come forward for another’s troubled besiegement. He does not boast about his ability, nor shamelessly extol his own virtues.
- Sima Qian
- Not using labels in speech or in the construction of thoughts (inspired after reading Walter Kaufmann’s ‘Faith of a Heretic’)
- Being honest at all times (you could say this is my goal in life), especially honest between words and actions, and never smiling when i’m not happy, no empty or false gestures
- Not tolerating slander, hearsay or ‘rumors’
- Approaching all things scientifically, always demanding evidence before accepting anything, doubting everything until it is examined carefully
- Cultivating temperance, prudence, justice and courage - and avoiding all actions would hinder those pursuits
- Vegetarianism with vegan leanings
- Striving to be as harmonious a component as possible to the community, by being a good citizen
- Wearing no symbols, jewelry or anything fancy, wearing my hair short to develop discipline
- Removing desire from my mind; realizing the inherently nihilistic nature of reality
- Thinking before I speak, not speaking when nothing needs to be said
- Preparing myself for death, realizing how necessary and natural it is, not fearing it
- Training my mind not to be surprised or shocked by anything
- Cultivating vigilance, intelligence, charisma, while avoiding ostentation, pretension and being as humble as possible
- Not speaking like I know anything, never speaking ultimate truths
- Not watching TV, paying attention to pop culture and training the mind to avoid infection by memes - not allowing myself to be manipulated by the ‘news’ or ‘government’
- Never settling for ‘common truths’ - not forgetting things thrown down the memory hole, studying history so that falsehoods cannot be perpetuated
- Battling sophists wherever possible.
I know I could look this up or something, but what is a sophist?
A sophist is someone who attempts to persuade people to any argument using unethical forms of rhetoric - such as manipulating people’s emotions, using inaccurate data and using sensational terms. Sophists often use illogical and insincere arguments, often accompanied with an agenda or design that is intended to accomplish gaining them or their associates power, fame and/or wealth.
The best example of a sophist is Bill O’Reilly, although George W. Bush ranks up there as well. Other sophists include most ‘big name’ Televangelists - the best example being Peter Popoff who used a radio earpiece to speak from ‘God’ (Which was his wife in the back room with a transmitter) and recite personal information about people in his congregation he could have never known. The best example of an anti-sophist would probably be Socrates, but if you want to use modern examples, probably Richard Dawkins, Walter Kaufmann or James Randi.
I get what you are saying. I remember watching something about Peter Popoff. But why would you fight these people? (that is what you said right?)
Because a society is healthier when it deals with reality instead of illusion.
But why fight them? Why not make them see the light?
I don’t physically fight them if thats what you mean - what i mean is, if I hear lies being held as high truths, I will always sound off and try to counter-argue and eventually debunk their ‘arguments’ whenever possible. If everyone was trained in rhetoric and debating then there would be no need to, but people lack the tools to defend themselves because of our impotent public education program.
I see. You’re a good man Chris.
I simply imitate good men.
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