Reunion

I attended my 5 year college reunion this weekend. 

Everyone was black out and paralyzingly stoned throughout the weekend. 

Disappointingly enough, it seems these are persistent, regular behaviors. Or at least, it’s still the ritual when they get together: black out drunk, incapacitatingly high. It’s quite pathetic.
It’s rare that people impress me, unfortunately 

But I think it’s a generational thing.

I almost expect people to disappointment me with their base, unreflective, juvenile behaviors 

Unfortunately, we have a very enabled, entitled generation, which has lead to self absorption, and decently functional narcissism, where personal pleasure is the justification of pursuits, rather than virtues or principles or justifiable convictions that lead to flourishing lives in thought and action.  

Taught by shitty, bureaucratic, mostly spineless, post modernist professors, who coddle and enable, who have no fucking backbone, who simply follow the rules, who fail the test of radical conviction and revolutionary ideas and attitudes. It’s all pathetic. 

College is a country club where students are catered to, where freedom to indulge in Peter Pan fantasies is encouraged, where students future earnings are preyed upon by intellectually irresponsible academic board members, where rote memorization is the mark of achievement, where neverland is reality, at least for four years. 

And the faculty bitch that the institutions are against them, that a decent paying professorship of 45k a year is unlivable. What assholes. Their spineless bureaucratic conformity ushered in their own exploitation 

No one has conviction. No one rocks the boat. No radical thinkers and doers make waves. It’s all placating. It’s all conformity. It’s all coddling feelings. Dissonance (the essence of discovering ignorance) is shunned 

It leads to these diseased minds, hopelessly drowning in mindless media and marijuana, listless and lazy. Their spirit is weak.

Their will is weak.

One one seemed convicted, enthused, about their profession, or some higher purpose pastime 

I feel very fortunate I’ve cultivated friends who walk to the beat of their own drum. 

Outsiders, who live in the world, but are not of the world. 

Our generation is embarrassing. I don’t care if it offends sensibilities. The majority of people I met at college don’t know struggle, and if they do, they paint themselves as victims of the struggle. For those who don’t know struggle, they live shallow lives, filled with superficial indulgences. They appeal to the most superficial and unreflective pop-cultural values, thriving on social validation, fitting in, appealing to whatever tribal values they identify with, never questioning the utility or significance of these values, whether they’re being fed to them to program consumptive behaviors, or they’re inherited by antiquated traditions. I’ve exercised both these mentalities. I’ve been a victim. And I’ve indulged unreflectively as one of the mindless herd. 

I don’t need to elaborate on my unique journey. I feel that would be more narcissistic than anything else. I’m not unique. I’m a frail, fleshy hominoid stumbling through life, performing a balance social gymnastics and individualism, until I die. But I’m an idealist, so I encounter dissonance whenever I see my fellow man wallowing in repetitive, sedating, mindless behaviors. Life should be about flourishing. Death is inactivity. Life is activity. Don’t feel less, feel more. Don’t feel and think what everyone else feels and thinks, produce some authentic original contributions.

I don’t have a static self. My “self” is a fabrication, contingent to whatever context or audience you’d like me to entertain. The herd has an allegiance to this ego, to this sense of self, this identity, that they try so desperately to cultivate for the world, or themselves. What is the self? It’s a psychological construct, dependent on others. It only exists in relation to the other. It’s chocked full of static labels and ideas. It’s inflexible and unadaptive. The self is necessary for navigating the social world. But it handicaps understanding. People depend on a solid representation of self if you’re to succeed in the world. “Who are you?” they ask. And you describe this character that you’ve developed, that you’ve invested in, that’s nothing more than a retroactively constructed historical narrative that’s true for you, and whoever else you depend on for validation.

What does it mean to be free? To be independent, from the herd? A rejection of any constraining identity, a devotion to reason, an obsessive self-reliance, an embrace of the struggle and the dark unknown, since that is the essence of life. Anything less is debasing to the human spirit. 
What makes you part of the herd? If you do what everyone else is doing, you’ll get what everyone else is getting. If you read or watch or listen to what everyone else is reading or watching or listening to, you’ll think like everyone else. If you value the same shit as everyone else, you’ll manifest the same shit as everyone else. Step out of the echo chamber. Step out of the comfort zone. 

It’s not safe there, but that’s the point. 

Don’t worship anything but pure reason and understanding, devote yourself to the pursuit of wisdom and eradication of ignorance, no matter how uncomfortable, and this will lead to flourishing, independent of the herd.

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