5 January 2004
I don't buy into the "more-philosophical-than-thou" bullshit. Let me open with that. Now it's true that a lot of people have very deep thoughts, and every now and again I like to think that maybe I fall into that category sometimes, but all in all, it makes me nothing but irritable when people say things like "You don't need to go searching to find yourself" or "what ingroup terms are acceptable and which aren't?" Not so much because said person is trying to actually say something meaningful but rather because they're trying to justify their own way of life or trying to cause a bit of social distress or small sphere of drama that they can feed off of. It's rather annoying when people who claim to be "philosophers," whether they have a degree in it or not, think that because they love to think or have been taught how to think that they, by default, have far greater mental capacity than anyone could possibly fathom, and that their opinions are not only right, but may as well be the voice of god.
The thing that a lot of people tend to absolutely forget is that every opinion, no matter who said it, whether it's the President of the United States, the Dalai Lama, your next door neighbor, or some kid down the street, every single opinion is made from the reference point of the individual making the statement. It can be wise or unwise, enlightened and enlightening or base and senseless, but it's made from the reference point of the individual, who will always, without fail, believe themselves to be the center or normality and justness. Like a relativity problem in physics, the point of reference is important. When you're standing on a spinning sphere, it looks as though the universe is moving about you, and sitting out in space makes the sphere appear to be turning violently. So of course, like ancient humans did, they assumed perception to be absolute, and said the universe spins around us, with our humble world at the center.
The same goes for anyone who claims to be right in any kind of pegagocial sense or tries to dissuade you from the things you know to be true, at least for yourself. Anyone who tries to tell you that the journey isn't important, that seeking yourself is silliness, simply because they prefer to sit at home, play video games, and beef up their livejournal is obviously trying to either mislead you purposefully or subconciously trying to justify their own stagnant lifestyle(not that videogames and livejournal are bad, but you know what I mean). Take every opinion with a grain of salt, and gauge it against what you know is right for yourself, and if anyone tries to belittle you or dissuade you without having walked in your steps then you can raise the red flag and reject them outright. There are far more people out there seeking to make people feel bad for the things they either cannot or will not do for themselves so they can get out of thinking that they really ought to better themselves than there are people who are honestly seeking to purely engage in debate. Now THAT is something to be wary of.
Being out of touch, that's what it's all about-it bothers me to no end. From the drive-through culture we suffer every day that teaches us to never think that the chicken strips we order from wendys(which are actually pretty good) were actually a live clucking animal with feelings(no, I'm not a vegetarian, I just believe that if you're going to eat, drink, consume, or spend on something, you should KNOW about it. You should be connected somehow to what it was, what it is, how it came to be, and why you should put it on your body, in your body, or spend your hard-earned money on it. That's all.) all the way to the self-righteous evangelist who gives me a pamphlet on the street to come to their religious gathering at which I promptly find out that their faith believes I'm evil because of the color of my skin(no, that didn't happen to me,but it's very possible because there is such a faith and they do some heavy advertising), being out of touch is probably the biggest shortfall of the people I see every day.
People who are out of touch with themselves, out of touch with their own dreams and aspirations(or worse, so afraid of failure that they cease to dream, cease to strive, cease to move), out of touch with the world around them, and out of touch with the beings in their lives, all of these things are what contributes to a culture that would rather drop bombs and wage "shock and awe" campaigns than sit down at the table and break bread in the name of peace. These are the things that create a society that wants every ailment to be instantly cured by a pill or at least a small bottle of them, and looks to illgeal pills to do just that. These are the things that drive a people who are surprised that your livestock come down with horrible neurological diseases when it's common practice to feed the livestock to one another regularly from birth. These are the things that drive a people to have unusually high expectations of the tools and devices they use and depend on in their everyday lives, to never bother learning or caring about the same tools, then to be angry when it doesn't perform to their expectations or it breaks or malfunctions and it's not a push-button fix.
So stay in touch. Know what you're doing, know what you're feeling, trust yourself and your own opinions, speak your mind instead of belittling someone else's and hold your head high in the knowledge that if you disagree with someone else, at least you had the guts to say what you felt and stand by it instead of diminishing someone else to try and lend validity to yourself, that you're not a schoolyard bully. Know what you touch, what you buy, what you eat and drink, what you wipe your ass with, what you dab your cheeks with, all of those things. Know, regardless of the decisions you make and what you choose to do with yourself. Just Know. Stay in touch.
Oh yeah, and don't eat Natto. It looks like mucous and I hear it tastes nasty.