Artistic Essence

“This very essence of a man, his soul, which the artist puts into his work and which is represented by it, is found again in the work by the enjoyer, just as the believer finds his soul in religion or in God, with whom he feels himself to be one. It is on this identity of the spiritual, which underlies the concept of collective religion, and not on a psychological identification with the artist, that the pleasurable effect of the work of art ultimately depends, and the effect is, in this sense, one of deliverance….But both [artist and enjoyer], in the simultaneous dissolution of their individuality in a greater whole, enjoy, as a high pleasure, the personal enrichment of that individuality through this feeling of oneness. They have yielded up their mortal ego for a moment, fearlessly and even joyfully, to receive it back in the next, the richer for this universal feeling. “

–Otto Rank,  Art and Artist, 1932, p. 109-110.

 

Ran

‘Chaos often breeds life, when order breeds habit.’
— Henry Brooks Adams

Your life is a lie. All is a myth. There is no matter of fact that lies beyond the assaulting grip of dispute. Everything can be contended.

I’ve been feeling great lately. Have a great story to tell. I need to begin blogging again. Starting… right now. Every day I’ll spew something about my day, about my thoughts, recent conversations, stuff I learned at work, etc.

But back to my original thought. All is a lie. A myth. We create these myths through out desires. We justify these myths, these upending urges that swell and burst into action, through irrational beliefs. But that doesn’t stop us from trying to rationalize these beliefs. Oh no.

What I’ve realized is that people are bat shit insane. I nod most of the time. They ask me what I believe, wouldn’t you know it, I say “what works.” They usually ask me to come again, to clarify. I say, I don’t believe anything. I just adopt beliefs that work within a given context to get me what I want or bring me where I want to go. These beliefs account for a multitude of emotional, social, and relational factors.

I am a skeptic. I believe in the ego, the I, the ‘consciousness’ and that’s about it. I believe this ego manifests desires and that it justifies its actions according to these desires, whether it is the desire the self-preserve, or look pretty, or get in shape, or be smart, or whatever.

I am a skeptic, I repeat: I doubt. I insert wedges of doubt behind every thought so that I may unhinge my biases, my habituations, my prejudices. I am a skeptic. I believe that knowing nothing is the best route to knowing more. When you have your mind made up, you have failed yourself. Always leave room for doubt. Even test the reasonableness of your methods for doubting. Doubt everything. Leave no stone unturned. We live in a web, a sticky web: a context where thoughts in the now are found at the center, where the periphery extends into the far reaches of the past. Let us probe. Let us look for where these webs unravel, let’s unravel these webs of beliefs and string together something totally new and magical. Something original and wholly mine.

I like my job.

This world is about power.

Everyone is blind. Blind to themselves.

I need to spend time fully typing out all my thoughts.

Money is power. Power is money. They are synonymous. They buy influence, satisfaction, discontent, life, death, whatever you can dream up. But money and power doesn’t give you answers. That is left for wisdom, something that supersedes and transcends both. I desire to have money, power, and wisdom. Eh.

Sage advice: Buy gold. The dollar is losing its value. The fed stopped quantitative easing/printing money. Deflation will be sure to ensue, briefly. So they’ll start again. Interest rates are at zero percent. Major trade deficits loom. The economy will be volatile the next few months. Buy mining company shares, like Newmont. And Microsoft, because it’s a severely undervalued stock right now. So help me god.

Anywho.

I need to go to bed.

Most people think they think big. But their idea of big is awfully small.

On Selfishness, Values, Creativity, Death

There is no selfless act. Though you die for values and ideals, they are nonetheless yours and yours alone, subjective and independent of external facts and realities. Insofar as self-preservation is the prerogative of all life, the preservation of ideals and values is the prerogative of the human consciousness.

But what of love? some may say. Love is a selfish conception. If it is not predicated as a pleasure or passion, it is predicated as a subjective concept projected onto the world to characterize a type of relationship. To die for another is to die for your ideals and values, not the subjective values of others. The act of dying for another or another’s values is embedded with subjective valuations. Camus said that what man believes to be true must determine his action.

Echoing Nietzsche in his essay On Truth and Lies in the Non-moral Sense, truth is a metaphorical representation that is coined from an originally subjective perception of experience and passed on as an objective fact of experience. Though it may be passed on as objective, its application in life through experience is nonetheless a subjective assertion. Insofar as we exist before we perceive the world, all that is conceivable and doable is a sui generis selfish act, whether it’s to preserve the well being of the body or preserve the conceptions of the mind.

But what of martyrs or saints? others will say. Are not these selfless acts of death or denial? I would reply that they are no more selfless than suicide or any other act that preserves a subjectively possessed belief or ideal.

The only selfless acts are those selfish deeds which indirectly and consequently improve upon the lives of others so that they must do the same when taken to denouement. That is, selfless acts are no more selfish than any other act, only that their corollary influences others to perform actions which empower others to empower others.

In this way one may pursue the ideal of freedom selfishly but in doing so he not only apprehends freedom personally, but apprehends this freedom for others as well. Likewise it is with equality, so that by cherishing equality for selfish motives he secures equality for all. What must be preserved in these acts is an inherent method of propagating the power of others to do the same.

Creativity must not be confused as being exclusively devoted to the arts. Creativity is the ability to stipulate something from nothing, to instantiate new conceptions according to new or existing demands. The constructive value to life inherent in creativity also contains an equally threatening detriment to life. By their very nature new and original conceptions destroy uniformity, disrupt equilibrium and threaten the familiar. The foreign and alien, the new and novel, have no place in circular systems. Circular systems arise from habits formalized as convention, routine, pattern, method and the like. They allow predictability and consistency and uniformity. Their adoption requires a suspension of familiarity so that a leap of faith is required for their assimilation. In many cases the familiar must not only be amended, but totally destroyed and annihilated to sufficiently accommodate change. In this way change requires adaptation, an alteration of existing units and relations within a system.

These systems may represent cultural practices, or histories, or traditions or rationale. One must not rely on the past to sufficiently guide and navigate the future. So long as there is time, there is change, and all change must be embraced accordingly. Negating the existence of changes is the source of all problems. If life is an activity characterized by growth, problems are a natural phenomenon and must be welcomed as such. But what is growth if it is not life? And what is life if not a continual pursuit of preservation? To preserve the past is to celebrate death; but this is precisely the natural character of humans. Nietzsche said “Let us beware of saying that death is the opposite of life. The living being is only a species of the dead, and a very rare species.” As with all things living, it is human nature to preserve the self, to struggle to exist, but the rarity arises in man’s specialized ability to preserve. This ability resides in the act of perpetuating equilibrium through adaptation, through the creative employment of reason and imagination to adjust to changes. Non-living matter can be said to be in the greatest equilibrium of all.

But this is where man diverges from other life. It is not enough to maintain equilibrium. Man contains a will to create equilibrium where there is not, to dominate his surroundings in an effort to project an ultimate equilibrium that renders a congruency between the inner life of the self and his environment. This is why Nietzsche dismissed the Darwinian notions of struggle for existence in favor of the will to power which more accurately reflects the nature of man. Evidence of the will to power becomes obvious when we turn to the modern day manifestations of man and witness artificial disequilibrium instantiated as civilization and technologies. Going far beyond all the past pursuits of life that merely sought to preserve corporeal existence, man has successfully learned to preserve the inner self. He has fully exercised his freedom to impress his inner world onto the outer world, to fashion it according to his liking.

Leaders are creators who operate to conjure and implement new realities and visions that accommodate real or perceived changes. While leaders can be oppressive in this way, they can be, more importantly, liberators who sow new realities and ideas that empower others. The difference lies in the values contained in the given vision and whether or not these values empower others to empower themselves to empower others.

Human Habitat

Ah. You think you see me? My habitat is humans. It is there I dwell; with the dark and distressing, the sublime and sombre imaginings of man. I beg you, do tell: who am I? I exist in all of you. I am you, a shallow reflection of your ego. No wonder you cannot resist. It is not I you fawn, but your self. You cannot look away from such beautiful trappings. Pride is the vice I leverage. You know me as well as you know yourself, dear one.