“The real romantics know that stretchmarks are beauty marks, and that different shaped women fit into the different shapes of men souls, and that real romance is really sacrifice.”—Ann Voskamp (via theimperfectideal)
I firmly believe that respecting the personal autonomy of the 'Other' is a fundamental ethic in any relationship. The less respect of personal autonomy there is for the 'Other', the more insecure is your 'Self'.
“Existence is worthless, […] and nihilism is … the unavoidable corollary of the realist conviction that there is a mind-independent reality, which, despite the presumptions of human narcissism, is indifferent to our existence and oblivious to the ‘values’ and ‘meanings’ which we drape over it in order to make it more hospitable.
The disenchantment of the world deserves to be celebrated as an achievement of intellectual maturity, not bewailed as a debilitating impoverishment.”—
“Go into the arts. I’m not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow , for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.”—Kurt Vonnegut (via bonhivers)
“You don’t measure love in time. You measure love in transformation. Sometimes the longest connections yield very little growth, while the briefest of encounters change everything. The heart doesn’t wear a watch - it’s timeless. It doesn’t care how long you know someone. It doesn’t care if you had a 40 year anniversary if there is no juice in the connection. What the heart cares about is resonance. Resonance that opens it, resonance that enlivens it, resonance that calls it home. And when it finds it, the transformation begins…”—Jeff Brown (via hyperdimensionalkittens)
“If he doesn’t love you
the way you need to be loved,
for god’s sake leave.
Life is too short to keep breaking
your back for someone who doesn’t have a spine of their own.
There is strength in love,
so be brave and walk away.
If someone truly deserves you,
they will learn that love
doesn’t always mean letting go,
sometimes it’s in finding the strength
to grab a hold of you again
so you never find another
reason to leave.”—
Not yet. I had an opportunity to see it here in San Diego when Dawkins and Krauss did a tour with the showing in different parts of the US back in April, but I wasn’t able to make it. I’ll try to catch it online sometime in the near future. Have you seen it, anon?
Endlessly - Muse It’s plain to see it’s trying to speak. Cherished dreams forever asleep. Hopelessly, I’ll love you endlessly. Hopelessly, I’ll give you everything. But I won’t give you up. I won’t let you down. And I won’t leave you falling, If the moment ever comes.
When I say science brings me a sense of morality, I don’t mean it directly. I don’t know if you can gain a sense of morality by dissecting the process of science and performing science. It’s mostly an indirect sense. When you get to know things like space in a wide perspective is this unrelenting, void of inactivity, even just an ordinary world full of ordinary life in the statistic of things would be extremely miraculous and wondrous, being this tiny space enveloped only in an overwhelming sea of nothingness.
“When you are attracted to people, it’s because of the details. Their kindness. Their eyes. The fact that they can get you to laugh when you need it the most.”—Jodi Picoult, Sing You Home (via psych-facts)
These nights are usually quiet despite the hustle and bustle of this city’s nightlife. Drunken boys and girls will chase each other’s tails like a cat and mouse endlessly mixing each other’s karma day in and day out. The plan is to walk down market street without any trouble. I imagine this walk as being the kind of ride where one stands on a conveyor belt and watch a nightmarish scene of Disney’s “It’s a Small World After All…” play out down the street. One must become invisible if one wishes to make it out alive without the plague of memories. I suppose it isn’t really a nightmare, but a waking state to a hungover morning. Reality. The headaches are the scenes of homeless men and women whose history has been denied by these Senator’s Sons in fast cars and muscle shirts. The poor have become non-existent beings whose Being has been subjected to mere objects in the street: a plant, a bench, a half-eaten sandwich tossed to the side of a trashcan. A mannequin to knock over. They are treated as disposable props of a stereotypical city in Southern California. We’re all taught to ignore each other. We’re all taught to live comfortably. “It’s a small world after all…” sings the love-impoverished bar hopper. “It’s a small world after all…” sings the oblivious clubber on the dance floor. “It’s a small world after all…” sings the hopeful homeless woman in her custom-tailored torn garb. “It’s a small world after all…” sings the lethargic cab driver who drives from A to B for eternity. This city falls over itself every night. It looks for meaning and finds a beer that gives purpose to the ones who dance in vain. It looks for love and finds the scent of perfume and cologne in an empty space where the past once stood at a crosswalk. It looks for truth and finds the heartbroken and heartless spread out across the pavement. And yet, one need not look far to find beauty. Shall I speak to the moon and stars? Or shall I turn my head to the side and see the same thing? One need to not look far to find a home. Home is in a familiar voice, a familiar touch, a familiar gaze. Home is found in those who care. Home is in a song that kills your earthquake in your soul. We find the hope and motivation to keep on losing just in case we happen to finally win. We open ourselves up to the world, despite the hurt we accrue from it, just in case we happen to finally get it right this time; just in case we happen to finally find the one who understands our constitution of self; just in case we happen to finally find love. The ambient noise of this city floods all corners of the audible-nothing until the buzzing scenes of coffee and cigarettes convert into static. Silence. A becoming of white noise. It is only by acknowledging how alienated we truly feel to our natural planetary home that we come to recognize the true conditions for being at home. Meaning is not without a sense of absurdity to open the ground of a Being beneath our feet. One cannot create and earn their purpose without first an absence of inheritance and essence. The clearing. These nights are usually quiet because this city never sleeps; they speak but have nothing to say. This city is pain and pleasure. This city is poetry.
I feel it is imperative to live with good ethics even if there isn’t an existing Self as such. In the last few years, I feel as if I’ve been slowly developing beliefs that ensure that I live with certain principles which take into account other people as persons (rather than objects or “not my problem”). This is why I have a difficult time abiding by this ethic (I call the tumblr-ethic due to it’s rampant insistence) that states “Do whatever [the fuck] you want.” I can’t just do whatever [the fuck] I want. Sure, I can physically do a lot more of what I want, but it doesn’t mean (at least how I see it) that I should do whatever I want. ”Do whatever makes you happy,” is another phrase that I think is limited against the “whatever.” Perhaps I’m overthinking this, and maybe this isn’t what people actually mean when they say this. If they don’t, it seems irresponsible to not further explain what is actually meant. You’d be surprised how many people act exactly what this phrase demands. Well, we’re not really surprised. With so much conflict in the world, it’s obvious that many people do whatever [the fuck] they want. We hurt so many people, physically and emotionally, because we live to primarily to satisfy our egos. So when people tell me to do whatever [the fuck] I want, or to do whatever makes me happy, I wonder if they really understand the implications of such a demand. This ethic entails many irresponsible, dangerous, and and often irrational behavior. And we act as such all in the name of living well. And ironically, acting as such does just the opposite. It’s obvious that more must be said than just a single demand. I’m not saying that there’s a single right way to live; but, might there objectively be better ways to live?
It seems obvious (at least to me) that there is not anything we can point to within ourselves, both mentally and physically, and call it the Self. Everything changes too much and too quick. Impressions come and go; physical atoms come and go. We can mentally jump through hoops and do tricks that can conceptually conceive of the Self. Ontology of the Self becomes tricky. That isn’t to say that it might not ever reveal something truthful about the Self. We might just be asking the wrong questions. Maybe there isn’t a question to be asked after all.
Regardless, there is something here that is separate in how it deliberates apart from other people/minds that deliberate. Even though it may be uncertain what my physical and ontological boundaries are, I cannot feel myself as the bed even though I lay in it. I cannot feel myself as the external world (as myself). My feeling goes so far as the nerves in my body will allow.
Perhaps the problem with questions of the Self is language. To say words like ‘I’, ‘mine’, and ‘me’ ontologically assume too much about the Self. Or maybe we can have good reason to assume so. Regardless, the ‘I’ might be useful politically, or ethically. Perhaps the ‘I’ reveals ethics. The ‘I’ reveals autonomy. In grounding the ‘I’, one can then recognize the ‘Other’ and his/her autonomy of their ‘I’. I wonder if a community without any knowledge or use of the ‘I’ as such would be more or less peaceful and empathetic. Without the ‘I’ can there be ethics?
I just remembered that I had a night terror the other night. Usually any night terror is pretty much about the same thing with the same experience. However, I have never really known how to describe it other than deferring to more basic terms such as fear and anxiety. Usually my night terror is the experience of never being able to catch up with something. It is the experience of having foresight that the future, whether it be the next minute or next day, will repeat itself into infinity. It is the experience of being unable to be able. My night terror is the experience of Zeno’s Paradox (of Achilles and the Tortoise). When I was younger I had night terrors about being faced with a huge wall of numbers lined up next to each other. And they kept counting up and up and never stopped. They counted up very slowly. It was the feeling of ‘almost there’ but never reaching whatever there actually was. I had a night terror the other night of trying to reach the end of a task, but I couldn’t reach it no matter much I tried and how close I reached for the end. It was that small permanent gap of incompletion that terrified me. That small living gap that could never be closed. And I was slow to move. However, it seems that we’re always moving slow in our dreams.
I woke up understanding what was happening, but I was still feeling anxious, terrified. It was similar to a panic attack. But being older now, I understood the situation; I tried to think myself out of it. But I kept thinking about the situation I was dreaming about. And the feeling of fear kept creeping back in as if I had dragged a little bit of it into reality. It lingered for a while, but eventually I was able to fall back to sleep in peace.
Zeno’s Paradox, in whatever form it comes in, is the only thing in my life that can and has terrified me to the extreme. If you aren’t familiar with Zeno’s Paradox of ”Achilles and the Tortoise,” check it out on wikipedia or elsewhere. The paradox is not itself terrifying. It’s pretty basic and ridiculous, but I seem to have this weird experience with the kind of feelings it induces (particular when I dream about the essence of it). So, I suppose I’m not scared of the paradox itself, but the essence of the paradox and the emotion that it provokes in me.