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.

Yellow Sunshine Pt.1

My vision: Pt.1

It really shakes you outta the stupor of life. Everything shows itself as absurd machinations of the mind, mental metaphors, crazy constructions. The contours of experience bleed and seep into a kaleidoscope of color. Everything shakes and shudders. It bubbles and boils over, spewing out of my mind, my mouth. My eyes consume the uncertainty that entertains the world.

10:30. Three hits. We talk about what’s to come. Drink water. The paper tabs begin to mush under our tongue. I roll the paper between my teeth. Music pulsates in the background. I switch tracks between eclectic electronica, to aural ambiance, to dithyrambic instrumentals, to melancholy melodies.

I play videos on my laptop. My friend watches from the bed. His face is serious, but inquisitive. There is something creeping behind his veiled expression. Something is beginning to swivel and unhinge. He hasn’t put his finger on it yet. My eyes catch his. A smile wraps around his face.

Hilarity begins to boil. My limbs feel weak. A faint vibration ripples around the periphery of my vision. It is almost out of sight, but it resonates with the growing uncertainty lurking at the edge of my thoughts. What’s to come? An impulse stands ready. It is barely noticeable, but it pervades my experience. Apprehension? No. Anxiety? Not quite. It is a steady waiting. For what? For nothing. For my senses to explode. For my experience to erupt with something. At this point I’m not quite sure what that something is. Meaning? Color? Laughter? Absurdity? Noise? Overwhelmed with possibility. Fragments of thought begin spinning off and collect other disassociations. They amass into knots. Clarity begins to merge with severe obfuscation. Inky residue clouds the genesis of my thoughts. Where do they come from?

We need to walk. We need to go somewhere. Something wants to crawl out of me. Creation. Explosion. I need stimulation. External stimulation. I need to make memories out of my mind.

I look at the glasses of water resting next to the computer monitor: short and fat, tall and skinny. His stubby glass of water seems icy and pure.  I examine mine. Smudges seem to ossify into bedaubing patterns of residue. I pick up the glass. My eyes probe the contents. Light refracts into millions of splintering shades. The edges of each dividing shade is strewn with a spectrum of variegating color. Something is moving within the water’s current: particulates. A blue fuzz. My face contorts with a look of disgust. I glance at the other glass. It sits still with pure glistening coolness.

“My water is contaminated,” I declare to the room.
He shifts his attention to me. He’s been watching my inspections with perplexity.
“Your water is perfectly fine.”
“No. It’s not. It’s contaminated with debris. I cannot believe I’ve been drinking this water.”

My stomach tightens at the thought of microbial contents worming its way into my blood stream. I swallow the writhing reaction down and head to the kitchen. I pour soap all over the glass and furiously clean its walls. Repeatedly I hold it up to the light for inquest. “Not clean enough” I mutter, and continue cleaning. The bubbles on my hands seem to froth mystically into existence, like tiny worm holes spontaneously forming and combusting.

I return to my room with a clean glass of fresh water. I seat myself and inspect it one last time before sipping its contents and returning it beside the stubby glass. There is a pause. My world begins to shudder, my skin titillates, my eyes strain. Suddenly I get up.

“We need to do something.” I say this with conviction.
“I agree” my friend replies, “let’s go somewhere.”

A confusion has set in. Beginnings and endings seem elusive. Thoughts and goals, a peradventure. Is it cold? I go outside to audit the evening: Cold, really cold, with a mounting moisture.  We bundle up in garments, grab apples and a bottle of water. The process seems difficult to organize. I cannot forget the necessities: but what are these necessary items? Wither are we going? and for how long? He goads that we are ready, that nothing has escaped our attention. I hesitantly subscribe.

We exit the comfy confines of my home and begin walking down the street.

“Traffic calming neighborhood” he says. “Reduce speed ahead”

The two of us are paused in the street examining the sign.

“What does this mean?” I say with my hands on my hips. I tilt my head thoughtfully. “Who is doing the calming?” I am bewildered. Who put this sign up? How long has this gone unnoticed? “Is the neighborhood calming? This doesn’t make sense. Who in this neighborhood is calming? The traffic? How does this work? What does it mean?” After a good deal of speculation and confusion we decide that the question is better left answering for another time.

We walk down the street.

We look into the windows of passing houses. A gaggle of children sit round their instruments and play harmoniously with mechanical precision. The parents recline in the adjacent room. Each wears a pacified expression; or is it sedated?

The trees force an atramentous outline into the caliginous sky. From giant branches sprout thousands of nascent limbs, covering the tree like coarse cilia. The thick branches look hacked and mutilated. Only in the winter can you see the atrocities these trees bear. They bear their scars proudly and persist the fight upwards. Missing limbs, brutal reminders of mans molestation.

We continue walking along the sidewalk. Street lamps illuminate the misty air. It glows like a neon lamp, smooth and ambient.

Vegetation seems to glisten with oscillating shades of purple, orange, pink, green, red and yellow. We continue thinking about the plants. I begin a diatribe.

“Plants are raped. Flowers are abducted. They are thrown into these whore houses we call gardens and flowerbeds, unnaturally solicited for our aesthetic indulgences. Our eyes molest their natural colors. They try their best to impress us in this new and foreign land. Rows of plants, plucked from their homelands, their natural environments, are forced into crowded corridors and tight boxes. All for human indulgence…” I mutter inaudibly, lost in thought, and continue “for the gratification of manipulation. We manipulate nature, whore her out, rape and molest her natural beauty, exploit her fertile flowers. This grass is not at home. These trees? Stolen away in a violent struggle. Their offspring, the tiny seedlings huddling to her ovaries, clutch for dear life. They are stripped and implanted into a city, cast into pots, verges, medians and swales.”

An elementary school passes beside us. Four giant columns support the architrave holding the massive pediment bearing its name.

“Let’s vandalize it.” I say enthusiastically.
“No way. That’s a horrible idea.”
“No, not like, vandalize it. I mean, lets try toppling these columns.”
“Like Samson?”
“Exactly like Samson. I mean, he did it. I feel like if we can topple these columns, we deserve to vandalize it.”

We laugh and position ourselves between the columns and give a few exasperating heaves and hoes. Nothing. We abandon the pursuit and sling insults at Samson.

“What a woman. I mean really, who gets stronger the longer their hair is? Isn’t long hair emasculating? I think they had it all wrong. He should be ultra strong the shorter his hair is. Psh.”

We continue walking along, admiring the various colors bleeding from the leaves. The twigs tremble in the breeze. Green buds hang from their tips and weigh on the weak winter branches. The trees seem alive. They probe the air like colorful coral creations, like the fingers of sea anemones.


In, but not of, the world

I like the people who lead lives based on their specific calling, their duty, to themselves and their convictions. I don’t really find the company of people who lead lives based on other peoples opinions too satisfying. I like those who live outside the world. outside popular culture. Those who have visions of great things for themselves that require them to blaze the way in unprecedented manners so that others may follow after they’ve reached the end of their conquest and voyage.


As John Scotus Erigena put it to Frankish king Charles the Bald in the year 840 A.D., “We do not know what God is. God himself doesn’t know what He is because He is not anything. Literally God is not, because He transcends being.”


anyway. im very fascinated with transcendentalism at the moment. the ideology, philosphies, and priciples of reality that originated out of american intellects in the 1800’s as a way to figure out through the process of thought, and put the world into a more understandable perspective based on the intuitive and spiritual world- rather than emperical or scientific reasoning. it just fascinated me. anyway. bought a bunch of emerson’s work. i figure if nothing else than to better understand a different perspective of the world i’ll be reading one of the world’s greatest writers. which is something i feel obligated to do. the past few months ive bought literally dozens of books and read them repeatedly.

basically whats got me feeling so good and confident right now is my mindset. its incredible right now. its unwaivering in the deepset determination it has for success and achieving everything in front of it. any obstacle, any fear, any anxiety, and every doubt anyone ever had about my abilities to do it. and most of all… the feeling of stretching my dreams to match the potential i;ve always had, instead of selling myself short- which is what i did for so long and what so many people do. im not saying anybodies any better than anyone else.. honestly i think we’ve all been givin the same potential its just a matter of each of us to realize it for ourselves and put ourselves in a position to maximize our potential to meet every dream we could chalk up for ourselves. and it starts with positive thinking… good feelings… and action. you can talk about your dreams all day and all night but if you do nothing about it, it serves for nothing better than a conversation piece over a cup of coffee. dont be lazy. dont procrastinate. and have faith in yourselves. if you think you’re in a bad position right now that means two things. you thought yourself there… and those thoughts birthed into circumstances. but you have the ability to think yourself into a better position. we always have that power of free choice and free thought.

anyway. i know what i want to do in life. and i know where i want to be. which is HUGE.