I’m not quite sure if I speak for the majority or not but it has really always perturbed me and for a long time if I may say so why it is we give honour to people who do things well, I mean exceptionally well so well they cause the rest of us to swell up in anger a.k.a bitter envy.
For sure when someone does something well that’s out of their comfort zone that is commendable but these Einsteins, Taos, Newtons and what nots , why should they get any credit? Why must we reward someone for being themself , isn’t that easy?
The rest of us are ourselves every day as well why don’t we get rewarded?
And I think this very question is what revealed the answer to me. Being yourself, a mastery of living your own life as it is , as it was always meant to be is possibly one of the hardest things there is out there, in fact the alternative, the choice to be a puppet in someone else’s world is really as easy as it gets.
And to further console ourselves, we always isolate these people by formulating terms like ‘genius’ or ‘exceptional’ or ‘special’ or ‘magical’ and going further to idolize them and live in their world . But really if you think about it there is nothing any more special about them more than the ‘common’ me and you.
I mean sure they have a disposition to do what they excel at but that’s really just 2% (I think) of it they have to hone it time and time again and that is always a thing of courage and probably so do you if you only gave your passion the time or day.
First and foremost they are brave enough to find out what they are good at which most of us at times give up on or for a second but let’s say for a second the thing that they are good at just happened upon them without much effort from them but still they are bold enough to chase the thing that allures them and mold it into their being.
They are able to unleash their intimacy into the visible world, bare their souls for all to witness its majesty which in itself is quite frankly a thing of magic. In this instance when I speak of the intimacy I attribute to this term the meaning of ‘the inner-person who could be.’
What I mean to say is that everyone has an intimacy and this is not their life force in fact if I may say so it is their ‘unique value force’, the potency of the being they could be given only their extremely unique circumstances. For me and again I do not know how many I speak for this is a terrifying facet of my being’s makeup, it’s a part of me I try to avoid as much as possible because it’s quite intense ,like a marriage to self with all the pressure that comes with it.
Now I am not entirely sure if this ‘intimacy’ is a matter of our creation/manipulation or if it as a matter of discovery, that which always was, always will be, and always is but shall be unseen until revelation, but of its silent existence now that I am fairly certain of.
And this is why we admire these remarkable geniuses because of their ability and constancy in the pursuit of their intimacy because now we too can see these otherwise hidden persons and yet there is still more to come. This courage to pull the rug from within yourself and view the truth of your self combined with the constant tugging and pulling to keep the ‘self’ open to yourself, like say hacking yourself is what is so remarkable about them, such an alien concept to the rest of us despite its obvious rationale and necessity for happiness especially.
And I think the main cause of Acedia, particularly self-loathing and envy of these persons is usually contingent if you lose interest in unlocking yourself because the truth is that it is normal to want to find one’s unique purpose, some may call it ‘vocation’ or ‘hearing the calling’ wherever from but the alternative is Pandora’s box which incidentally is also an available choice that has in fact been chosen many at times.
And maybe the beatings the world dishes out to each and every one of us daily are the catalysts for this horrible decision but we can really always just be brave and go for it, Can’t we?
That never seemed to stop anyone before so why should it now?
And it made me stop to think that if humans really are two-tier with a known part that is to discover the unknown part what richness of being we have, and what a disservice it is that some of us hardly ever focus on the ‘other one’ hopefully not a Hyde-Jekyll situation, what a social outrage that is. Although the irony is that though the unleashing of these ‘persons’ would add the much needed vibrance to our social landscape it is this very landscape that generally prompts to the neglect of these ‘persons’ with its unnecessary idolization, trends, faux pas, must haves and other puppeteers thence leading to the indefinite imprisonment of these unusual beauties.
The what if this phenomenon offers is especially unsettling.
Sometimes the world can be enormous and at any one particular point there is always someone on top of it and many times in fact throughout the course of my life that person is seldom me. And quite frankly as a society we have lost the ability to even celebrate others’ success because of the competitive structure the world has adopted.
It’s hard for some of us to even thing of true collaboration without the underlying motives of sabotage which as I often say is truly tragic because human cooperation is undeniably one of the most resilient forces in the universe.
Life is competitive but never a competition sure there is always a race but not with each other rather with ourselves just beside each other, actually others should help me win the race against myself.
I have always been quite amused, lightly obsessed, with the Nobel prizes and recently I sought to truly unearth its history. Turns out it really does live up to its anagram and was the culmination of very noble objectives.
And out of all Alfred Nobel’s achievements some of which are the invention of dynamite and ballistite, running of a major armaments factory and successful business investment in Azerbaijan not to forget his other 353 inventions that literally turned him into a minter of money. His setup of the Nobel prizes by bequeathing 94% of his wealth to the now Nobel foundation for the running of the great institution of recognition was the one he will forever be venerated for.
And even though it is all about recognizing those of us who confer the ‘greatest benefit to human kind’ it really is just passing a message to all of us that we should try our best to serve humanity. We must contribute authentically then be recognized in that order. Even as I write this post there is always the insecurity that it may never be read, as I try a math problem there’s always the fear that it won’t matter because thousands have done it before me but the truth is, if you honestly contribute an honest gift of self it will always matter. Recognition is just the icing on the cake, it’s not even the main ingredient, however it came to control everything is truly a regrettable shift in priorities.
Many despair and become depressed because of the fear of uselessness which actually doesn’t exist and others have resulted to pretense if only to be recognised which is by far an even worse outcome as you lose the true self. And though this is a simple and familiar lesson, it’s very easy to unlearn it and fall down the abyss of self- pity, which is not a good place to be, it actually has the worst décor from my last time there.
Be yourself and rise to the top of your world because it really is your world for the taking. Even he, Nobel, wanted his legacy not to be of the recognition of the singular feats as an engineer, successive business man or inventor rather he wanted his dying memory to be that of contributing to helping others unlock their own contribution and for him it took a mistaken obituary in a French Newspaper naming him the merchant of death to shake him up and urge him to contribute what will it take for you to do the same?
In my culture generally for Africans history is such a key piece in the preservation of culture. Relics could decay or be stolen but a story, a metaphor or a song could live forever as long as it is sung and wherever either of the aforementioned is engaged it is like a communion with the Africans of old every single time, a kind of transportation to the days past so to speak and for Africans our ancestors have an especially unique spot carved in our lives and the direction they are to take.
To me this was a perfect system but only then when there were small clustering of populations that were very loyal to each other and intermingling was almost unheard of. But then the world changed, the colonialists arrived and everything became so restrictive, storytelling became harder, ritualistic songs were in some places even banned, the new religion of Christianity made its debut and everything was just harder to contain, the world now expanded over a larger area with larger ideas and other peoples . There was no preparing or even adequately dealing with the remarkable changes that ensued. Then some of the men even went to battle in the western world and birthed entirely new histories from their new experiences, they returned completely transformed, aliens to their own communities, which were by definition already suffocated and repressed.
And by then most couldn’t even communicate this to the others, which you can imagine could have proven very therapeutic after seeing firsthand the spoils of war. Here there was always a middle man, a conduit through which the history could be gifted to the new generation be it the grandparents telling the children the stories or the informal teachings before circumcision, manhood, adulthood whatever it may be, now the conduit’s role had completely been decimated.
Problem is the world had changed a great deal and the old structures that kept the relics and events of the past preserved had long been annihilated and deemed obsolete. Afterwards, the great independence waves wafted through most of the African states around generally the 50’s and 60’s with Egypt being the pioneers of that. This was certainly a beautiful time but because the literate were so few there was such a loss of history by all the recordings that didn’t occur at such a momentous event.
I’ve even read that my particular group, Bantu, was originally from Egypt who then traveled to Congo and further split into smaller groups with each taking their own eventual piece of real estate on this great continent. The great tragedy here is that in those treks and travels there was so much that must have occurred that was just lost because of lack of recording. In fact a significant amount of the African historical literature has been written by the white settlers which I think is so saddening because then so much has been lost in translation and interpretation.
This reinforced in me why we must all write down our stories lest someone write them for us and take their liberties with our truths. Winston Churchill once remarked that history will be good to him because he intends to write it which is exactly what we should aspire to. History isn’t even about popularity or skill in that only the good writers or the ones with impressive lives should write or be written about. In fact historically rich civilizations usually have many historical writings from a myriad of sources which is largely the point.
Having recently read about Brunel, the chief architect in transforming the transport scene in Britain I’ve seen the many publications that have written about him and his invention of the broad-gauge tracks, his engineering of the SS Great Britain, his aesthetic appeal in all his creations be they tunnels, railways or steam ships. But only in his personal manuscripts and biography can you truly see the world as he saw it, his motivations and inspiration for the steam locomotives he helped birth, his dismay when his broad-gauge tracks and steam ship weren’t fully adopted despite their genius and his impressive contribution.
These are moments we all have, given we are not all engineers, or always in the face of some great revolution but with every breath there is always history being made and how we view it, feel about it and get affected by it is really what makes history such an artistic enterprise. And the more we are out there writing the clearer the truth is about that particular time. The best part about writing is that you cut out the middle man and for me it would be like what I said a direct line for our descendants to hear our stories, musings, ideas and thoughts through our own voice.
It saddens me so that only celebrities, presidents and other people in the lime light are the only ones truly encouraged to write biographies because the honest story of anyone’s life story through their own unique eyes should really always be a best seller, at least it is in my book. So write your story because someone needs to tell it or rather someone needs to hear it.
I once heard a man say that he would and I quote, “murder the world if only to have a chance at saving his daughter.”
Of course I was moved at the poetics alone in the statement and the intensity of love he said it with. At the time it eluded me that it might have been just a symptom of the grievance he was undergoing. The loss of a loved one causes the mutation of love and turns it into an evil thing.
I liken this behavioral mutation to something I learned in finance class, loss aversion, you may be familiar with the rational man assumption that dates all the way back to Adam Smith and this laid the ground work for the general assumption that all investors are risk averse and they aren’t afraid of risk they are just wary of it and require recompense sometimes in excess of the usual for undertaking more risk. But in the face of remarkable investment failure investors at least those in my country happen to display the very opposite behavior to risk aversion. They hold on to their failing portfolios despite the rational risk averse alternative of selling prescribes. The rationale is that in the face of so much loss they are afraid of losing even more and thus mutate their investment behavior entirely and if you think of this in terms of recession when many are losing so much you can imagine what this does to the global markets and their unspeakable after effects.
Anyway back to the application of that verbose analogy, this man who would kill everyone just to have even the slightest opportunity to recover but one life had mutated the very nature of love itself. He was more than willing to kill for love which is not only a moronic idea but love , the truest kind cannot tolerate a horrific means such as murder. But then again it wouldn’t be true to say that in that utterance he was not a loving father because I believe he was, his was just a disorderly kind of love.
Say he does manage to kill each one and get back his child what good is that to bring her back to the land of the dead with you as the mortician. Even in success he would have destroyed any hope he had to ever regain what they had before.
Death breaks our capacity to love because it evokes our disorderly passions such as rage, desperation and revenge. Their damage is of an entirely insidious fashion it doesn’t start off with the aim to destroy the love we can give because it just adds minor alterations to our loving capacities at first but later on it changes the entire landscape and makes us incapable of loving altogether.
The good news is that there’s always a choice and you can always resist these new changes but as a good rule of thumb it would be definitely wiser not to trust or charge yourself with loving others in the wake of death, at least until you regain your old body back.
As a philosophy nut I am super-obsessive with ultimate causes and the principles that accompany them so if ever in your preoccupation to love another effectively tolerate the destruction of some other love remember that all manifestation of love must respect and align itself with other manifestations of love. You can never kill my daughter to get yours back in the name of love.
The temporary insanity that comes with the loss of a loved one is a trial like no other but nonetheless it is still a surmountable one.
In death the only true way to love they who have been lost is to release them, let go of the portfolio of them and set them free. Concurrently this is one of the most difficult human feats to achieve but it certainly beats the alternative. And in all truth when I die, I too would love my living loved ones to be given the gift of forgetfulness and remember very little of me as salve for their injurious sores after my death, I am almost entirely certain that when I do cross that line all of those on the other side will also concur with the latter.
It just dawned on me the frightening potency of beauty whence I held a baby in my arms and soon enough I realized it in every time I partook to resplendent beauty. I hadn’t excised the feeling before from my experience but once I dissected it I was astonished to find that it was the source of my cowardice a trait in myself I have always found quite distasteful to say the very least.
The thing is perception of beauty of any kind is very similar to comprehension of a poem, there is a surface meaning and there is the more disturbing deeper meaning. Just like beauty for example when you hold your beautiful baby girl for sure she is immaculate, pure and all that can be attributed to such angels but also in that moment you see her potency, the possible evil or good paths she can take, the amazing and horrific times that are to come for her, the bad choices and great decisions she is to make, and suddenly you are juxtaposed between what was mere splendor to the obligation that rests on you to actualize this great present beauty you see in the best manner possible because now you are involved.
Or when you stand at the altar and are about to vow to the love of your life, it is always a site to be seen but as the couple are in that moment the beauty portends all manner of things for them. You see each other bare, you see all the faults you are to discover in the coming days, the nirvana you are to enter, the responsibility you have to maintain and use each other well so as to keep the flame of this beauty alive. It ceases to be just a wedding ceremony it transforms into the declaration of a lifetime with as much gravity as earthly actions can ever promise.
It is this revelation that frightens me so, jolts me at the very thought of it. But like in everything there is a choice to run from the church or to drop the baby at an orphanage or to marry and give it the best you have, to raise the girl and see how it all pans out.
Most of us have become so frightened of the deeper perception of beauty that we no longer even perceive it that deeply anymore, for us handsome people are just like beautiful pictures on a wall, because seeing them for what they really are is frightening and understandably so ,because as they say heavy is the head that wears the crown. To deserve the crown of beauty you must be valiant for where there is beauty, there is always a war ahead and you must be prepared to win it or to lose it entirely even before you begin.
Having read about the anatomy of psychopathy and all the grim mutations it evokes in everyone in its path. I have certainly come to wonder, better yet doubt the efficiency of the natural karma system.
The rule is that with each free choice taken comes a consequent effect and to this rule there is no exception, none who is pardoned or elusive of it. For one who is about achieving a palaver- free social situation this is most certainly the true antidote to all that threatens the good of all.
For the better part of my life I have had much more belief and conviction in the working of this natural regulation tool for human behavior more than any other judicial system ever devised to this date, but then again I haven’t studied all of the systems in the world now have i?
And yet I still have an inkling that even those that I haven’t studied are mere morsels reminiscent of the true natural muscle of this system only that they operate with much less efficiency in comparison.
And now that we have established that the system is indeed the best of the best, top notch but is it really efficient? In its supra-purpose if I may say.
According to me, this system’s very goal is to un-train bad decisions because their bad consequences should deter you from going back to that wrong place. But the bad consequences themselves birth consequences that in turn do the very opposite. They encourage proliferation in the bad behavior especially following the logic that now that you have been dauntless in the horrible consequences that followed your ill deeds, you are invincible.
For example in the case of a death penalty for a psychopathic killer, for sure this very act is to deter many others from choosing this path the only problem is these others weren’t the intended students of this lesson. It was the other psychopaths who instead were supposed to un-learn their malevolent ways or at the very least suppress them.
But when they see an execution of their own all they learn is to be more careful, more prudent and intelligent in their manner of operation. And you can imagine that this is a case where the one bearing the consequence does not even get to learn from it. But hypothetically let’s say there was a way they could learn from it, they who bear the consequence, it would still be a net loss because you can imagine having saved one deranged man only to incite a hundred more.
Herein lays my question, though the punishment fit the crime was it at all progressive? After all we cannot just seek to punish for punishment’s sake, without the rehabilitation aspect being triumphant the punishment is as crude and retrogressive as the crime that evoked it in the first case.
But forget all of that death penalty stuff, even in our own lives we get so hung up on punishing people, for their wrong actions be it punishing our children for disobedience, punishing our partners and friends for their neglect even punishing ourselves mentally when we fall short treading carefully in the footsteps of this natural karma system. Question is, is it at all necessary or relevant?
But then again I do know the very important role punishment plays after all we can live free knowing that we are untouchable that will return us to our previous state of utter entropy. But indulge me for a moment and let me analogize our lives good and bad choices into a spread sheet for every good we do we get a positive consequent that possibly yields even more positives and vice versa. How do you think our cost-benefit analysis will fare, overall will we better off now that we have paid for our sins so to say or worse still in a revolving in a circular kind of evil whereby we are trapped by each punishment to repeat our mistakes and forever remain a punished breed?
The entire idea of Eudemonia ironically is a topic that has perplexed and saddened me for as long as my faulty memory can recall. Personally the methods laid out by the various philosophers notably Aristotle on how to achieve this famed state are quite simplistic and easy to follow though I feel there are no guarantees or even proofs to ever getting there, like a race to the infinitely distant mark.
The troublesome conclusion that I have come to discover is that sadness is the average state of life,the only state to which we will remain consigned to regardless of whatever good deeds we partake.
I will use a mathematical analogy, for example a function that is continuous on all points of x may have a limit as it tends to infinity that is calculable using the various mathematical techniques. But generally even though the limit exists the function doesn’t actually ever get to it within the space of our graph we just abstract that it does eventually even though we cannot ascertain that by actually plotting it.
This is what I feel is the best explanation of life, happiness(the life we aspire to) being the limit in this case and life we live currently being the function below it therefore since it is not at happiness because all we can see is that at this point it just tends to it and that is during the actual pursuit of eudemonia. Therefore even as you try to get to happiness actively you are unhappy and because you never actually get there then you die unhappy.
In this I assume no middle or continuum when I speak of happiness for you are either happy or unhappy.
So why even try to get there? If you are sure that no matter how hard you try you will not get there anyway.