Zeit

How you spend your time defines who you are.

Who are you?

When I want to judge someone’s character, I don’t let appearances do the work. Experience renders character. Where do they garner their experience? Examine how they spend their time. A man is what he thinks about all day long. Whatever task is at hand will dominate your thoughts. Your mind manifests its intention through action, through activity. Do you sit for hours online and mull about the mindless material circulating ad infinitum on the web? Do you seek out the novel? Do you spend time with quality people? Do you read quality books? Or read at all for that matter?

Many people like to think they are someone. Everyone likes to think they’ve achieved a degree of individuality. I will tell you: how you spend your time defines who you are. Ask yourself if your routine is any different from the millions of other rats trapped in this menacing maze. The habituations trap the mind into apathetic unoriginality.

I suffer these delusions. I ask myself how I individuate my experience from all other experience. If I watch all the same shit, if I desire and strive and celebrate all the typical glories that hail from mainstream adulation, I am a copy. I am a duplicate. My experience may as well be the same. How you spend your time defines who you are.

Experience renders the material of thought. It provides sense datum which feeds the flickering flame of the soul. Like the flick of a match we were born into this world and throughout our lives we burn. The brighter we burn is dependent on the kindling and fodder fed by way of experience. Experience is the filament of human existence. It allows us to burn brightly. The more original experience, the more brilliant our flame, our life, will shine.

Individuate yourself. Individuate your experience. Do we realize how asinine and inimical it is to scour the ranks of top sellers and most popular lists? Why do we fawn more of the same?

There must be something to wanting a shared experience. “Happiness is only real when it’s shared.” Perhaps that’s why people rush to accumulate all the same experiences as everyone else. While there’s nothing original in going to all the same amusement parks, in reading all the NYT best sellers, in watching all the hit reality TV shows, in buying all the latest gadgets and gigs, I see the utility in it. Yes, the utility is glaring. It creates a unity of experience. Some experience so we can feel apart of this greater whole, this greater truth. Or it fills some hole, some void thrust upon us when we were bestowed with the burden of freedom. Perhaps they are one in the same. The responsibility of freedom- those god awful chains of choice- weigh equally on every man. I understand the exhaustion. I understand the willingness to shed a link or two and indulge in ‘truth’, or popular convention.

I seem to be stuck with these bitter sentiments. What did routine do to me? Ah. I remember: lull me into lecherous lethargy.

I want to get positive. Live life with enthusiasm and passion and excitement and energy. I say that most of my time I exert the full force of my being to the moment. I long to shine through. Sometimes I question. These questions rear their head like a hydra and I find myself lost in a continual battle . Pollyanna, or skepticism. Such is life.

Not Divisible

I want individuality. I apologize for not being more honest. I think most people do. I believe they long to be. This life of ours, the times, we’re swept up in the illusions, the lies. People want real. That is what is lacking. It’s all so superficial. It’s all symbolic. Everything is a metaphor for something else. But we haven’t gotten a clue as to what the hell is at the bottom of it all. As a result, it leaves us feeling entirely disconnected. Empty.

I just want to say what I mean and mean what I say. I feel like if there is ever a flame that illuminates the shadows, that is it. Honesty. It’s not easy. You gotta know the truth to say it how it is. The truth about who you are, where you’re at, where everyone else is in relation. Don’t sugarcoat it. The world does enough of that for us.

Do people think? Do they think about what it means to be an individual? Perhaps these notions are entirely misguided. Perhaps we’re suppose to be drones working for the queen, for the government, the nation, the invisible ideals that bind us together.

I don’t want to buy that. There are heroes (God, am I really opting for the heroic? Is that what I want? To be a hero, rather than an individual? Not every individual is a hero, but every hero is an individual). These heroes make contributions and their names echo in the ears of eternity. Philosophers, leaders, artists, scientists, athletes. They inspire generation upon generation. They left a mark. Probably unwillingly. More than likely they just followed their passion without a moment’s thought to their legacy. That very thought adds to their greatness.

Do you ever feel like a chameleon? A creature that adapts and loses itself among a background? A backdrop of people? and things? and occurrences? ‘Most people are other people’ says Wilde. I don’t want to be anyone but myself. But who is that? I’ll tell you what… an individual isn’t ashamed of who they are. They proclaim it wide and loud. They let it blare with every gesture and remark. They declare it. They don’t hide it. They don’t blend in. They don’t water themselves down. They break rules and conventions. Proudly. They don’t shrink.

I always get the feeling that it’s been all said before, all done before. I look around me and my perspective is two fold. On one hand a misanthrope festers inside me and I despise the lack of originality and boldness I see in people. On the other, I am enthralled, lost in utter wonder at the achievement, the creativity, the innovation that my fellow beings produce.

I read great writers, philosophers, I look at great works of art, I talk with well traveled men and women and think to myself: where is my place in the world? I wanna carve out a home for myself. I wanna make my mark as a unique creature. God. I am terrified of being a duplicate. I wanna think. I wanna really really think.

I think the trick is this: less think, more do. There needs to be a productive praxis of action and reflection. When you are doing you aren’t worried about the world. You are not reflecting on the past or future or others or success or failure. All that matters is what is at hand. The now. Eternity is in the now. That is where lives are made. Stories are formed. If we spend all our time other places besides the now, we’ll definitely never leave a mark.

I was thinking the other day: If you never make the same mistake twice, you will never fail. It’s alright to make mistakes. For god’s sake, it’s how we learn. The problem is, people are terrified of making mistakes. There is a perceived failure in mistakes. Instead of a learning opportunity, mistakes become something terrible and life changing.

What is it to think? Creatively? To do? To produce something meaningful? Insightful? With force? I feel like a person plants seeds. Slowly. They generate a following of ideas. They construct a cathedral of knowledge reinforced by specific experience. They hone it and then act on the world with this arsenal of ideas. They pierce the hearts and open the minds of men.

Daydreams: you’re heart grows wings and takes flight… you get excited and lost in wonder… you imagine.

Today, I did absolutely nothing. Actually that’s not entirely true. I slept, surfed the net, read, watched a documentary called “Exit Through the Gift Shop”, drank a beer, and downed a bottle of wine. I justified it to myself. I tell myself I’m taking 18 credit hours, I work 15 hours, I go to extracurricular meetings for the fraternity and other on campus obligations, I study… so a day off isn’t gonna be the end of me. Of course, it may be considering how much work I have. Double the work for tomorrow. Such is life.

Individual: “a single object or thing,” c.1600, from M.L. individualis, from L. individuus “indivisible,” from in- “not” + dividuus “divisible,” from dividere “divide.”

Jūdex

I believe in transparency; with yourself, with others. What have I to hide? Mistakes? An unworthy life? I am not ashamed of my past or present conclusions.  Do I contradict myself? Then I contradict myself. I am am a creature in continual flux. I change and grow, like any life. My moments speak for themselves.  However naive, my intention is pure. What matters the cares of the worlds? Can’t I maintain cares of mine own? Or the lack thereof?

Risk and reward are tantamount, otherwise everyone would get their fill of life. Living boldly means taking great risk. Be prepared to sacrifice your comforts and security. Pain will lurk close. Unknowns will abound. Adaptation means consistent action.

I will not apologize for my decision to live life boldly. The past is gone. It floats in a nonexistent oblivion. Memories prove too unreliable to cast just ratiocination on yourself or others. What matters but now? If you are there, who will attend to the here? What character will be under review? The character of him who is here, or the character of our memory?

Be open. If you hide yourself from the world, you are hiding yourself. We do not see things as they are; we see the world as we are. Only when we drag our full nature into the light of the world can we see the nature of its fullness.When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change. This requires a confrontation with whatever issues or vices or insecurities that chronically shirk from exposure. Attack them head on. See yourself as whole, as flawed, as awesome, as existing here and now.

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I want to be happy. I want to be free. I want to be an iconoclast, breaking all the social molds. I want to free myself from the propaganda. I want to rise above the petty politics of culture. I want to see the bigger picture in everyone. I want to surmise the means to the ends. I don’t want to impress. I want to express. I want people to lick the flavor of my words with delight. I want to plant endangered seeds of thought in the minds of many. I want to watch their world change and grow unfamiliar before they let go of ideal and accept reality. I want to escape the cliche titles and stigmas. I want to transcend the norms without being labeled postmodern. I want to retain direction without being called rigid or conservative. I want to swim freely in the ideas of men without the fear of losing my own. I want to make a mark that hasn’t been seen before. I want to speak words of wisdom the appeal to everyones need for meaning and familiarity. I want to provide real sense. I want to invoke the need to listen. E pluribus Unum. Out of the many, one. I want to show people the way, the truth and the life that they oft miss.

Even realists are ideal. They expect the world to be predictable. The world is never predictable.

Most people are other people. Where is the passion?

“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation”
-Oscar Wilde

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When I read this quote it struck me hard. How true. I talk to people and they know nothing for themselves. They examine the evidence and opinions of others, negating their true voice and adopting a tone of another. People don’t know what they believe, nor do they give it too much thought. It requires far too much of them. They’d rather rely on someone else being wrong, or right, for their direction. Speak out and find yourself! I want people to care! How SAD that people don’t know their passion! They try finding themselves! It’s not about finding yourself!! It’s about listening to you’re heart. ‘Follow your heart, but be quiet for  a while first. Ask questions, then feel the answer. Learn to trust your heart.’  Why do people scrutinize their own understanding? Do people really find security in settling? Can you achieve an intimacy with your passions in this way?

I think settling is the larger issue. People settle. They accept the minimum instead of probing the depths of truism, where their soul resides and their desires yearn to flourish. They unknowingly, err, ignorantly live according to the opinions of the world. I can’t imagine anyone would become a slave, sacrificing their will, if they really knew it. But they should know it, and they don’t question. They accept the obvious and most convenient proclamations.

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“It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keep with a perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.” The sole servant to you’re passions and you’re own convictions. You are important and you’re experience is just as real as anyone else’s.