Creõ

The heart of creativity lies exactly there: the heart.

The Latin root for create is creõ, which means “belief”. The Indo-Proto-European root for creõ is cor-, which means “heart”.

It is not thought that moves man into great action, not merely ideas that imbue mind with clairvoyant insight; it is the heart. There we find man’s inner chambers flooded with ecstasy or anguish, the impetus of evolution. Necessity—who is the mother of invention— breeds struggle; we are not born adapted to this world. Struggle shapes our constitution, our capacities, and through this struggle our strength and fortitude is born.

Where there is no feeling, no passion, no pain: there is no creation. Anxiety is the greatest struggle. It is struggle internalized, adopted by the psyche, embodied by the ever reflective mind searching for resolution. It is the single source of genius. Anxiety, or more poignantly, existential angst, is the overwhelming flux of feeling much. It incarnates as a loss of certitude, a banishment of reliable logic, formalized answers. It is accompanied by a frenzied mania chasing for vivification, for illumination and elucidation. It shuns what is presented and rejects the status quo.

Creativity is the enterprise of evolution. The greater the struggle, the greater the chances for unsurpassed evolutionary advantage. Necessity alone breeds innovation: it is an impasse that can only be surmounted by a reflective mind that seeks for its answers inside itself, rather than outside itself, within the world.

Among mankind, the mind has shouldered the responsibility for evolutionary adaptation. No longer do we succumb to the necessities of the physical world. Instead we project our lavish visions of a world modified according to our liking, to our internal ideals. We have inverted the tables of evolution from a wholly extrinsic force to one that is intrinsically borne from the will to power; that is, the will to imbue our influence, our mindful vision, into the world. For the creators, the self-willed autonomous agents: Nature no longer manipulates man: it is man that manipulates nature. Humanity has stretched beyond the zenith of possibility. We become the master by programming our will into the world, by leveraging our values through information and knowledge to suit our desired ends, to manifest our will to power.

Because evolution has transcended physical constraint by occupying the multifarious magnitude of mind, our struggles are no longer physiological, but psychological. That is why anxiety is the greatest virtue of genius. It is the psychologically imposed feeling of struggle that grants passion room for creative invention, for the obdurate heart of crushing genius to reformulate the rules of the game, the laws of society and nature, to transcend the existential angst imposed by the struggle rendered from change.

Ressentiment: Frustration and Flourishing

Ressentiment refers to the “sentiment of resent” towards one’s frustrations, whether they resulting from natural or social phenomenon. This resent causes man to transcend himself, to delve deeper into his reflective consciousness, and create new valuations, a new system of morality that allows him to perceive and therefore interact with the world in a more advantageous way, a way that is reflective of and suited for his intentions, his interests.

Ressentiment is a good thing. It indicates struggle. Struggle provides the fertile ground necessary for all flourishing, for all growth. Without struggle, without challenge, there is no development, no adaptation, no transcendence of mind and circumstance.

Resentment is a manifestation of conflict. Its byproduct is struggle and frustration. Paramount to realizing the value of ressentiment is the inability to escape, whether this is a physical or social or psychological consequence. If one escapes the conflict, there is no struggle, and therefore no opportunity to create and transcend and ultimately actualize private intentions and valuations. Oppression, notably slavery, is the typifying situation that breeds ressentiment. In every culture is it revolution that describes the overthrowing of impeding structures, paradigms, values, and modes of thought. Slavery to a single man or a single system makes no difference, whether it is a political dictator or a prevailing system of scientific process.

Philosophy is a product of this conflict. It epitomizes struggle through its process of resolution through inquiry, meditation, dialogue, and dialectical method. Its very nature seeks to reconcile paradoxical and contradictory themes, ideas, values,  and modes. Kant describes philosophy as Kampf, or struggle.

Ressentiment is a deep, invidious, ruminating state of being that possesses an individual’s mind. It manifests as the conscious mind, exhausted and taxed with futile attempts to overcome an obstacle interfering with its intention, retreats inwardly to seek self-generated solutions, to create alternative worlds of ulterior values. It calls upon the wisdom of the divine, the daemon or genius, to synthesize a deviant psychology for overcoming the conflict. It is a purely creative act, a purely spiritual enterprise that taps into the mental faculties embodying the holistic condition of man as a spatial and temporal creature, a product of historical conditions situated in a present context.

They say, familiarity breeds contempt. I would posit, more aptly, that familiarity breeds ressentiment. Familiarity is none other than an indicator of security, the status quo. The phenomenon of familiarity is an index of malignant stagnation, a threat to life, to change, to evolution and adaptation.

The will to power, as Nietzsche believed, was the mechanism of overcoming this ressentiment and, when exercised freely, a healthy manifestation of man’s ability to adapt, overcome, and dominate impeding obstacles, challenges, and forces that trap, stifle, and oppress man’s natural physical and mental propensities to flourish.

How do we leverage the power of ressentiment towards human flourishing? Push back on the world. Harbor a bitterness that rejects that familiar, a resentment for anything static and unchanging and unevolving. Take disparate domains of thought and force them together, insist that they occupy the same place, the same context, however foreign the landscapes of their genesis may appear. Never mind the revolting perversity this produces in you. Embrace the tendency to reject the revulsion as a healthy indicator, a mark in the nascent production of wisdom, of progressing latent understanding and perspective into actuality. What is revolting is good. Use the visceral revulsion, the revolt, to produce a revolution within you: a revolution that transcends present being.

Ressentiment

Ressentiment refers to the “sentiment of resent” towards one’s frustrations, be they resulting from natural or socia phenomenon. This resent causes man to transcend himself, to delve deeper into his reflective consciousness, and create a new valuation, a new system of morality, that allows him to perceive and therefore interact with the world in a more advantageous way, a way that is reflective of and suited for his intentions, his interests.

Ressentiment is a good thing. It indicates struggle. Struggle provides the fertile ground necessary for all flourishing, for all growth. Without struggle, without challenge, there is no development, no adaptation, no transcendence of mind and circumstance.

Resentment indicates conflict. Its byproduct is struggle and frustration. Paramount to realizing the value of ressentiment is the inability of escape, whether this is a physical or social or psychological consequence. If one escapes the conflict, there is no struggle, and therefore no opportunity to create and transcend and ultimately actualize private intentions and valuations. Oppression, notably slavery, is the typifying situation that breeds ressentiment. In every culture is it revolution that describes the overthrowing of impeding structures, paradigms, values, and modes of thought. Slavery to a single man or a single system makes no difference, whether it is a political dictator or a prevailing system of scientific process.

Philosophy is a product of this conflict. It epitomizes struggle through its process of resolution through inquiry, meditation, dialogue, and dialectical method. Its very nature seeks to reconcile paradoxical and contradictory themes, ideas, values,  and modes. Kant describes philosophy as Kampf, or struggle.

Ressentiment is a deep, invidious, ruminating state of being that possesses an individual’s mind. It results as the conscious mind, exhausted and taxed with futile attempts to overcome the obstacle of intention, retreats inwardly to seek self-generated solutions, to create alternative worlds of ulterior values. It calls upon the wisdom of the divine, the daemon or genius, to synthesize a deviant psychology for overcoming the conflict. It is a purely creative act, a purely spiritual enterprise that taps into the mental faculties embodying the holistic condition of man as a spatial and temporal creature, a product of historical conditions situated in a present context.

They say, familiarity breeds contempt. I would posit, more aptly, that familiarity breeds ressentiment. Familiarity is none other than an indicator of security, the status quo. The phenomenon of familiarity is an index of malignant stagnation, a threat to life, to change, to evolution and adaptation.

The will to power, as Nietzsche believed, was the mechanism of overcoming this ressentiment and, when exercised freely, a healthy manifestation of man’s ability to adapt, overcome, and dominate impeding obstacles, challenges, and forces that trap, stifle, and oppress man’s natural physical and mental propensities to flourish.

How do we leverage the power of ressentiment towards human flourishing? Push back on the world. Harbor a bitterness that rejects that familiar, a resentment for anything static and unchanging and unevolving. Take disparate domains of thought and force them together, insist that they occupy the same place, the same context, however foreign the landscapes of their genesis may appear. Never mind the revolting perversity this produces in you. Embrace the tendency to reject the revulsion as a healthy indicator, a mark in the nascent production of wisdom, of progressing latent understanding and perspective into actuality. What is revolting is good. Use the visceral revulsion, the revolt, to produce a revolution within you: a revolution that transcends present being.

The Great Dichotomy: Passionate Power

Random musings.

Money to get power, and power to guard the money.”
~Medici family motto

Dichotomies are interesting. Many are none other than existential paradoxes: mind and body, thought and matter, possibility and necessity, spiritual and physical,  and the list goes on. Kierkegaard, as well as Nietzsche and other agents of enlightenment, was a literary guru when it came to expounding upon how to live with these irreconcilable realities. Over the years I’ve learned to cope with the resulting blindness of these realities, the otiose character of life and the recondite disunion of body and soul. I’ve compromised with myself and learned to live with one eye pointed inward and the other pointed outward so as to balance introspection and aspiration.

In recent years I’ve faced a dilemma of deciding what to do with my life and career. It’s not like I didn’t see this crisis coming, but I guess I didn’t realize how many times I would be wrestling with my conclusions and convictions. Despite the temporary setbacks and failures mottling my youth, I’ve orchestrated my education beautifully over the years, exploiting a multitude of disciplines of thought and growing ever cognizant of how achievement is actualized. I’ve gone to great pains to realize the context of my condition and the contingencies of my aspirations.

Out of my experience grew two concentrations of study, economics and philosophy, each representing the broader dichotomies encompassing life. One satisfies my intuitions about what I perceive other people to value, the other regards what I value in my heart. I’ve tried to reconcile these over the years and explain why this dichotomy exists, whether a balance can be achieved, or what direction I should favor. For a long time I decided to refuse to sell out. But this clashed with the omnious system that I would face upon entering the workforce: success seemed tantamount to abiding to the myriad of expectations laid out by others.  As I have no trust fund to lean on for support, no assets to buy my way into fortune (compounding investment: you must have money if you wish to accumulate more money), I faced the reality that no upper echelon would endorse my musings, my art, my thoughts, unless I belonged to them, to their network or, by chance, satisfied their criterion of worth.

The citizen of the world in me refused to conform to the ‘system’, to the authority that dictates standardized achievement and propagates worldly values. The autonomy within me bucked as I studied philosophy and developed the tools and methods for critical inquiry, tools I used to ridicule the backward nature I learned to see in the world. The pragmatic element of my spirit recognized the utility of conformity and uptook various preoccupations that would fashion my mind according to them, such as the study of economics and finance.

But I ask myself: what does it take to be successful? I always like referring to the context in question. I’m American. I live in a ‘democratic’ country where the few rule the many. The few in this case are not the parasitic politicians (although in many cases, when it’s convenient, they are one in the same). The politicians are figureheads, merely the arm or scepter of power, not the head of governance. The true source of governance and power resides in the wealthy, the capitalists, the business owners, the stock holders. These are the greats that arbitrate the economic and political atmosphere. They embody the will to power. They pass the laws, set the wages, orchestrate the commerce, conduct the symphonious marketplace we’re lead to believe is free and open. The current sentiment is that if governance is left to the people, we’ll be in a real mess. The populous is simply a bewildered herd, uneducated and incapable of self-rule. (The Wagner Act of 1935 was the last real effort of the masses to mobilize. Since then these efforts have been squashed. Unions are ‘evil’ and communist.) This is why we live in a ‘democratic republic’ where we elect a small group of ‘leaders’ to instruct the masses on which policies they should live by.

To be successful you must be a sycophant. More specifically, you must possess utility for those in power. If you cannot help these people achieve more power, you are worthless and will amount to nothing more than a cog, expendable and interchangeable. But the wealthy will not extend a job or opportunity to just anyone with ample capacity and a strong will. No. They must be familiar with you. You must possess some wealth, influence, charisma, intelligence, talent or power that they can leverage for their own gain. Posterity is as empty as truth. Rationality is an instrument of the powerful: they dictate the rules of the game, the vernacular, the premises and logical structure of your success.

“All things are subject to interpretation whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth.” (Nietzsche)

Rationality is a function of motives, of intention. Pin-point desires and motivations and you can construct a cathedral of reason to leverage against those in power to mutually achieve independently contrived ends.

The questions that have wracked my mind most over the years: Do I follow my heart or my mind? Do I follow my passions or my prudence? What it’s come down to is that, given the current state of affairs, given my context as a young American, passions are prized only in youth, as is freedom. With the coming of age what is most prized is security, with the passions left to fantasy much like the irrealism of dreams are left to enamoring vagaries. We discard our passions and convictions, our fantastical visions of grandeur for a better world, in favor of a ‘realism’ scented with a dark cynicism that dispels illusion, that acquiesces under the ‘system’ that we obey out of sheer necessity grown from our will to survive. What has been trampled is our will to power, but it is never too late to revive this urge.

The artists, when they are not lining the capitalists pockets with profits, are simply muses in the most passive sense of the term. These artists are no longer concerned with inspiring as much as they are fixed on entertaining, or ‘amusing’, for their agenda is the same as the capitalists: money. They render the audience as docile and facile as possible, getting them in a blurred frenzy, caught up in emotion, totally distracted from the realities that oppress their sad existence. The poorest, the most impoverished left with only their intangible dreams, love these entertainers the most. Since they cannot live through possessions and materialism they escape through fantasy, artificial emotions induced through hollow emotives.

I’ve decided I want to sell out, for a time. I want to master the system so I can one day create the system. Considering my background, I’ve played my cards right up until now: the best university, the best internships, solid degrees, great grades. What is necessary now is to capitalize on these achievements instead of forfeiting them for the preponderances of my heart, the longings of my spirit, the existential conundrums I unravel in my reflections.

What I need to do is exploit the source of power for my ends: finance. I need to get into the industry where all the wealthy have a mutual stake. Wealth is the common denominator of power. Investment banking, wealth advising, asset management.

I need to toss these ephemeral thoughts about passion, about right and wrong, about selfless creation, to the garbage. They are fruitless. If I want to succeed, I must capitalize on my strengths: people skills, smooth talking, will-power, vision, charm, intelligence, good nature, pleasant appearance. I can be obedient. My rebellious nature was resistant to obey arbitrary authority, and my attitude throughout school and to my superiors proves this. But this needs to be corrected if I am to succeed and dominate. I must fawn these superiors in order to advance. There are many who wish to succeed, but only those who stroke the ego’s of those holding the keys to power will allow be to ascend to their true potential. I look around me and I see so much talent. Young automatons do everything right, except they haven’t a clue that doing everything right has a ceiling. You must not only serve the interest of your superiors, you must also create value for them, you must learn to hijack and supplant their vision with yours in order to aid them in their accumulation and concentration of capital. In this way achievement is guaranteed.

Morality does not exist. There are no facts, only interpretations. You cannot have a universal moral conscience as a businessman, as a ruler of wealth: only a fabricated justification that accepts the inequality of man as a rule. Nietzsche said, “The reasons for which ‘this’ world has been characterized as ‘apparent’ are the very reasons which indicate its reality; any other kind of reality is absolutely indemonstrable.” Those in power dictate these reasons. Their are the moral clergymen.

It’s interesting to consider the influence of media control. The media is the mouthpiece of the powerful. As Chomsky said in his book Media Control, “Propaganda is to democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state.”

Who rules the world? The powerful, the elite. These are the American ruling class. We elect proffered politicians which have been paid for by these elite with the single agenda of taming the bewildered herd, of keeping the masses complacently compliant.

Slavery was replaced by share cropping, which has been replaced by credit and loans: all of these forms of debt rob the citizens of equality, life and liberty, and it’s legal. Bankruptcy laws. Capital gains taxes. Trickle down economics. Sub-prime mortgage lending. Failed education reforms: No child left behind. The war on drugs. The rise in pharmaceutical psycho-therapeutics. Currency manipulation: Coinage Act of 1972. Foreign wars and fear mongering, communism, creating enemies like Russian and terrorists as a means of keeping the populous paralyzed and fearful, of keeping their attention turned outward instead of inward. All creating fear. All manufactured to suit the ends of the elite. All propaganda.

Truth and lies are one in the same. They condemn or praise according to which subjective end you are most vested.

 

Justification for the Death Penalty

Is the death penalty an acceptable punishment? Is it moral? Is it prudential? I will take a pragmatic position, arguing that the death penalty is an instrumental and symbolic act for maintaining order and harmony. Morality, that which appeals to a higher good, is typically codified by societal conventions and expectations. Arguing whether the death penalty is moral would require appealing to what is traditionally acceptable, or asking whether it benefits society in some way. In this case the question of the death penalty is a pragmatic one.

A society based on liberalism is characterized by the mutual collaboration of free and equal individuals working towards certain ends, with the most general end being the growth and flourishing of all of its constituent citizens. This is a feature of life more generally. Laws are created to preserve order and to ensure that this collaboration occurs justly, where liberty and equality are preserved for all. Why do we use the death penalty? This form of punishment is reserved for those who undermine the harmonious order, order that is instantiated to ensure the well-being of society, and is used for punishing the most heinous of crimes, most typically those committed by individuals who murder.

I argue that the death penalty is justifiable on moral and prudential grounds, that the authority established in the formation of the government, in which all citizens tacitly consent to, has ultimate power to exercise its interpretation of the law in order to justify punishments. Speaking broadly, this authority is derived not from its power to exercise rule, but because of the constitutional document which established it and the tacit consent of its citizens to exist under the rule of this document.

Continue reading “Justification for the Death Penalty”

Willfully Powerful

Lower organisms overcome competition by multiplying, through progeny or duplication.
Higher organisms overcome competition by dominating, through killing or deviant oppression.

Vegetation, containing the most basic of organisms, simply multiply into sheer numbers for survival. Predators, containing the greatest complexity of organisms, have little offspring, but survive by killing off competition and threats. Humans can be said to be the greatest of predators. However, we have reached a new plateau. We no longer kill the body. We kill the mind.

Interesting to note: Developed societies have an inverse proportion of low birthrates to immense knowledge and power. Undeveloped societies have an inverse proportion of high birth rates to limited knowledge and power. Humans have graduated a rung on the ladder of power by learning to dominate through knowledge. Knowledge (language) is the ultimate tool of influence and domination.

Knowledge is power. It is the ultimate form of power. No longer do people live through their offspring. They live through their ideas and influence. These ideas and influence, this knowledge, is a means of dictating a subjective reality to others to ensure their conformity. Once knowledge has been programmed, and their critical self consciousness sufficiently whithers, influence can be effortlessly woven into their unconscious mind.

He who has the power decides the knowledge. Knowledge is nothing without power. Recall the institutions throughout the age, religious and academic and governmental. Look at the trends of academic development. Is it a wonder that western civilization’s knowledge has so pervasively made itself the gold standard for knowing?

All things are subject to interpretation whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is afunction of power and not truth. ~Friedrich Nietzsche

Formal education seeks to indoctrinate minds with a formal historical knowledge. This knowledge breeds functional fixedness, among other constricting cognitive maladies. It is predicated by predetermined definitions and parameters dictated by predecessors. It prevents fecund creative minds from adopting novel solutions to problems in order to maintain a homogeneous worldview.  It also limits the ability to see, to conjure possibility.

Formal education is a process of censorship where rough robust rocks are hewed into small smooth stones. Such rocks are more manageable and less dangerous.

Knowledge can be a dangerous thing, a threat to a free flowering imagination where possibility blooms. It is a subversive means of control. It bestows a false sense of empowerment. Be wary of who’s feeding it to you. Animals always return to be fed: this is how domestication occurs. Feed yourself. Experience and experiment. Challenge.

Arguing is not about right or wrong; it is about will, the will to power. Arguments are about winning and losing, where the winner has successfully demonstrated his robust capacity for his knowledge and the loser willfully accepts defeat on the false grounds that he is wrong, rather than without. We’ve developed a ‘civilized culture’ where killing is no longer a suitable means for demonstrating the will to power. Today it is demonstrated through dialog. But this dialog is terribly slanted and skewed to serve a foreign body of knowledge that we have willfully adopted to believe is our own. And, in our minds, we are right, until this bastardized knowledge tells us we’re wrong.

Tired. Need more clarity. More thoughts later.

Random Thoughts and Notes Dump:

You will never solve the worlds problems; you can only solve your own.
Search the origin of your thoughts and you will discover they are not original to you.
I master myself so that I may master others.
Improve your condition by improving the condition of others.
There is no such thing as hard work; only time well spent.

I have accepted that people will fail you, there will always be failures who are okay with failing. These are the majority, though they don’t know it. People rationalize their failures like they rationalize their morality. There is no one who is good for all. Even Jesus was bad for the Pharisee’s. I must will myself to power, to dominate through subversiveness, by leveraging the good will of others. I must be first feared, then loved. Love is a great deterrent, but fear is greater. The fear of the lord is the beginning of wisdom, says the bible. Likewise it is when I am feared. But never bark without bite, and let it be strategic and well planned.

Intelligence is no substitute for experience. Only experience renders wisdom.
I don’t want to continue being the person I’ve been.
The more I love, the more I feel loved.

A dream:

I had a dream last night and you were in it. We hung out and talked. It was interesting. I hope you’re as cool in real life as you were in my dream. So you came over my boss’ house to keep me company. You were wearing a baby blue sundress and a white flower in your hair. We talked and messed around on the computer. It appeared to have what looked like porn virus, which was awkward. We walked around a country road with some trained puppies. Had them catch us foxes then we domesticated them and they were our friends.  Then pirates in flying boats landed near the house we were watching. Police and pirates crashed and continued gunfighting. I got shot in my leg by pirates. You helped keep me safe and tend my wound, which eventually got worse. We had a tough time looking for the bullet but eventually pushed it out. So we played a slot machine and made a few grand and continued figuring out our escape. Etc.,

It’s the fool who plays it cool by making the world a little colder

Oppression: Education and Femininity

A recent study was published and reviewed in the NYT that detailed growing pressures in education and its affect on well-being.

A particular passage stood out in the essay:

Professor Sax has explored the role of the faculty in college students’ emotional health, and found that interactions with faculty members were particularly salient for women. Negative interactions had a greater impact on their mental health.“Women’s sense of emotional well-being was more closely tied to how they felt the faculty treated them,” she said. “It wasn’t so much the level of contact as whether they felt they were being taken seriously by the professor. If not, it was more detrimental to women than to men.”

She added: “And while men who challenged their professor’s ideas in class had a decline in stress, for women it was associated with a decline in well-being.”

I don’t want to extrapolate, but I saw a connection regarding education, gender and the suppression of the critical consciousness.

Continue reading “Oppression: Education and Femininity”

Social Mobility: Language, Influence, Power

You said it, my good knight! There ought to be laws to
protect the body of acquired knowledge.
Take one of our good pupils, for example: modest
and diligent, from his earliest grammar classes he’s
kept a little notebook full of phrases.
After hanging on the lips of his teachers for twenty
years, he’s managed to build up an intellectual stock in
trade; doesn’t it belong to him as if it were a house, or
money?
Paul Claudel, Le soulier de satin, Day III, Scene ii

 

Communication. I can’t stop thinking about communication. It’s everywhere. You can’t help it. You are conditioned to adopt certain norms and customs. The interpellation that causes identity formation through subjectification and submission to authority. Bear with me while I get this all out. It might get a little cerebral.

Pierre Bourdieu described the habitus of language. Habits form our character, our ideological world view, our identity as a subject. Using language makes you apart of a normative group whoever and whatever that might represent.

We are creatures of habits. The habituation of ideologies shapes our view of the world. Through habituation we come to embody certain symbols that mark out our ideology as a result of the environmental influences we were born and conditioned into. These habits elucidate the societal structures we find ourselves belonging to. Each societal structure contains distinct linguistic capital that defines a linguistic market or social group.  The linguistic capital we use has symbolic power or symbolic imposition. The greater linguistic capital a person possesses, the more mobile that person is within and between different linguistic markets. The accretion of habits that form linguistic capital are instrumental for the formation of identity.

The language and gestures that forms a person’s linguistic capital contains explicit or implicit symbolic power that are used to define the world.  The symbolic power of language takes the form of subliminal and non-verbal insinuations. Posture, eye contact, intonation, definitions, conventional phrases, and mannerisms all play a role in the insinuation of symbolic power.

The formation of a person’s identity arises from censorship. Ideological influences in society- family, religion, school- all facilitate this censorship. Eventually the external influences of censorship become internalized and act as self-censorship.

When we were young our parents molded our ideology by pruning our habits through assent or dissent. The process that habituates the internalization of censorship and forms the ideology that becomes our identity looks something like this:

As a child we may use the word ‘fat’ to describe someone who’s overweight, or ‘bitch’ to describe someone who’s mean. To show their disapproval of the ideology our parents initially rebuke us with a reproachful look and say “Michael, do not use that language.” In this was they are actively censoring the language that doesn’t fit into their conceptions of accepted ideology.  The next time we use that word our parents may need only say “Michael, language.” The next time only “Michael.” The next time only the reproachful look. The next time only their presence is needed to censor our language. Soon enough, as we become habituated and internalize this censorship as self-censorship,  nothing is needed to prompt our censorship.  A persons subjectivity is shaped first through language which gives rise to a subject or self.

This process habituates a complicit reaction to the symbolic domination taking place. The force of our language, the symbolic power within linguistic capital, imposes itself onto the world and others. It forms a persons identity through their subjectification. This subjectification is a result of the symbolic imposition characterizing the symbolic power of a linguistic capital.

The linguistic capital that composes a linguistic market is deemed a legitimate language. The formation of the legitimate language characterizing a linguistic market involves the consolidation of a language. This consolidation is the accumulation of distinct linguistic markers or signs that compromise the markets linguistic capital. The coalescing or consolidation of language into linguistic capital gives rise to a community. This community formation is the linguistic market in which the symbolic power and force of the linguistic capital is exchanged. In this way the community contributes to the process of forming particular individuals. This is the perpetuation of tradition, customs, trends, as a result of the communities ideological influence on the individual through censorship.

Censorship, in another name, is none other than the idea of ‘instruction’ or ‘discipline’. This occurs anytime an ideology is being imposed on an individual, be it a child, student, employee, citizen, and the like.

This emphasizes the subject-object relationship within ideologies.

It is interesting to look at the implication of this paradigm.

When someone uses a language, or employs linguistic capital, that falls outside our ideology or linguistic market, there is a misunderstanding or miscommunication, a conflict of ideologies.

The notion of ‘control’ characterizes the stability of our ‘identity’.  Our identity defines us, and we control our identity by endorsing ideologies that manifest through symbols (gestures, language, accessories that fill our life: clothes, house, and other tokens or bibelots). When someone interacts with us through a explicit, direct, conscious interpellation that conflicts with the ideology that forms our identity, there is a loss of control. This lack of control leaves one vulnerable.  These vulnerabilities are felt according to the past histories of an individual subject.

All this being said, I want to emphasize the importance of understanding this paradigm. It is life. You are shaped by your environment: family, society, education, peers. There is no way around it. You are born into a world with a space waiting for you. The moment there is knowledge that you wil be born you parents begin creating this space filled with expectations for the kind of person they wish you to be: boy or girl, smart, hardworking, handsome, polite. The extent that their ideology allows them to  understand exactly what these words or expectations mean is dictated by the linguistic capital within the linguistic market they are apart. Or, simply stated, the language they use is determined by the societal structure they willfully or unwillfully find themselves in. They censor you, discipline and instruct, according to the parameters of the symbolic force within the ideology of their language.

Leverage language. Leverage the symbolic power of linguistic capital, the semantic force of language. Leverage your identity in this way. Leverage your social mobility by being much more understanding of different ideologies and learning to adopt contrary or conflicting world views.

Do not let others impose their ideology on you. Seek to create an awareness of the influencing ideologies that shaped your current conception of self. Consider its limitations, its failures. Form a pure conception of self. While it is near impossible to escape the influences totally, you can be aware of an ideologies symbolic power and force that imposes itself on the world.

Do not be concerned with the ‘Things’ of the world. Be concerned with the ‘beliefs’ or ‘methods of interpellation’ that categorize and define the world. If you are concerned with the ‘things’ or the markers and symbols within the linguistic capital comprising your ideology, and not the underlying interpellation or beliefs, you run the risk of operating outside your ideology. This jeopardizes the control over your identity and leaves you vulnerable. This lack of control, or vulnerability, leaves one resistant to agree or engage.

When engaging with people, look at their beliefs and talk, not in terms of the right or wrongness of their language and terms and definitions, but in terms of the ideology that has formed their conceptions of that language. Look at why they use the language they use and where the symbolic force of their language lies. Adopt their language and talk as if you operated from their ideology.

It is not about being right or wrong, it is about understanding. Leaders leverage a diverse array and large quantity of linguistic capital. This allows for incredible adaptivity, influence, and social mobility within social structures and groups- linguistic markets. They are the weak ties that bind solitary communities together.

Language is capital. It is as good as gold. Actually, it is much more valuable than gold. If you possess the right language, you can do and be anything.

Will.Power.

The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack in will.

-Vince Lombardi

I just read an article in the New York Times that delineated the qualities of mental prowess possessed by elite athletes. Their mental stamina, their ability to push beyond the mental limits where physical pain and psychological torture reside, is a hallmark of every successful person.

I believe that the principles of success are learned and acquired through any undertaking that requires a great deal of struggle. Without the struggle, without embracing the hardship, there is no virtue to be gleaned. As an athlete, there is no way around this struggle. When the time comes for competition, the corollary of your daily perseverance will shine for all to see. Whereas one can get by doing the minimum and appearing to excel in more relative matters such as business and school, there is no escaping the public eyes of the arena in athletic competition. You cannot hide the deficiencies you failed to confront and develop. Come time for competition, all your short-cuts, all your breaks, all your excuses and rational for stopping short are exposed for all to see. When the competition is over, a competitor can look on his performance in one of two ways: they can hold their head high, proud of their unfailing allegiance to the will;  or they can shirk and shrink inward and displace the blame, not on their own failures and lack of will, but on things outside their control. Only one of these two competitors will continue succeeding.

“I was given a body that could train every single day.” Tom said, “and a mind, a mentality, that believed that if I trained every day — and I could train every day — I’ll beat you.”

“The mentality was I will do whatever it takes to win,” he added. “I was totally willing to have the worst pain. I was totally willing to do whatever it takes to win the race.”

This is why elite athletes have such a developed sense of will. They recognize that there is no escaping responsibility. They refuse to make excuses. Their only refuge is knowing that will conquers all. It is the starting point for all capacities of human development.

The article discussed visualization. As a firm believer in visualization, I was intrigued by the contrast between amateur competitors and elite athletes.

In studies of college runners, [Raglin] found that less accomplished athletes tended to dissociate, to think of something other than their running to distract themselves.“Sometimes dissociation allows runners to speed up, because they are not attending to their pain and effort,” he said. “But what often happens is they hit a sort of physiological wall that forces them to slow down, so they end up racing inefficiently in a sort of oscillating pace.” But association, Dr. Raglin says, is difficult, which may be why most don’t do it.

When I read this, I think of a responsibility avoidance. There is a fear that prevents these athletes from embracing the pain and struggle. They fail to size-up the challenge and accept the burden of responsibility for its attainment. By contrast:

“Our hypothesis is that elite athletes are able to motivate themselves continuously and are able to run the gantlet between pushing too hard — and failing to finish — and underperforming,” Dr. Swart said

To find this motivation, the athletes must resist the feeling that they are too tired and have to slow down, he added. Instead, they have to concentrate on increasing the intensity of their effort. That, Dr. Swart said, takes “mental strength,” but “allows them to perform close to their maximal ability.”

Elite athletes find the boundary where their limitations reside. They practice reaching that boundary, that fluid limitation, on a routine basis. They know it well by inspecting its character and uncovering its various strongholds on potential. They become comfortable and familiar with its discomforts, continually dancing the line of what their current capacities can handle, and what their will demands of potential and possibility. When the time for competition arrives, this boundary of limitation will whiz by in the periphery, acting as nothing more than a reminder that all boundaries are meant to be crossed. Success, and traversing the limits that lead you there, are a matter of will.

Conceive. Believe. Achieve.

You must see where you want to be, visualize its nature, its pains and joys. You must conceive a world where you are already there, a world of possibility where time is your only enemy. You must believe that your potential is limitless, that you will win, that you will not lose. Only then will you gravitate toward this vision of success and achieve your ends. If you cannot conceive possibility, if you cannot believe in yourself and your ability to inevitably succeed, you will never achieve.