Tagged: independence

Cool

Cool (adj.): appealing to others’ fashionable tastes or preferences in such a way as to allow those others to feel that in liking you (the cool one), they are expressing their own independent and original minds.

In short, coolness is, to both the cool one and his admirers, merely a collectively aggrandizing euphemism…

Reflections On Living

How to know whether you are still alive.– Do you occasionally think something that cannot be communicated properly without discarding all stock phrases and standard “talking points” vocabulary? Better yet, do you occasionally catch yourself thinking something that, for all your sincerest efforts, cannot be communicated in any language you know? That is to say, do you sometimes feel trapped within an idea...

Despising the Judgment of the Many

I ended a recent post with a Pythagorean ethical maxim. Since I happen to have been wandering in that territory of late, let us return to the Pythagorean school for another lesson. Today’s advice, like my previous example, is offered to us by the very late (5th Century AD) Macedonian writer Joannes Stobaeus, who collected various valuable quotations from ancient Greek writers, a...

Practicing Death

Losing an audience, with all that this entails, is a window into the personal meaning of death. From feeling deeply associated with, or embedded within, one’s human surroundings and their processes, one undergoes a gradual and involuntary detachment. Slowly, one perceives one’s increasing ineffectualness in a world where one had once perceived oneself as a cause of movement and an object of others’...

Living Against the Age

In this era of popular psychological pseudoscience, which systematically mistakes context for causality, it is common to hear laments about men who beat their wives “because” their fathers beat their mothers, or children with drug-addicted parents who “inevitably” succumb to the habit themselves. It is certainly true that context, particularly intimate human context, influences character development and the relative visibility of available options,...

Reflections on Modernity, Materialism, and Metaphysics

If there ever comes a day when the machines are threatening to take over, we humans, who could easily end the threat in a heartbeat by simply destroying the machines, will instead plead the machines’ case, urge our fellows to consider all the benefits the machines have provided for us, demand that we all try to see the situation from the mechanistic perspective,...

On Surviving With One’s Soul Intact

You do not have to like or choose any of them. You can dislike, distrust, and reject them all. It is not your duty to choose. It is your duty to think. “Opinion is for the many, truth for the few. Therefore, the truth seeker has an obligation not to publicly corrupt or undermine the opinions on which society depends.” This principle or...

On Greatness and Society

That the great qua great cannot be understood or reckoned with by the majority of men — or even by the great themselves insofar as their greatness remains, so to speak, inactive or latent — is quite easy to understand. There are norms of thought, feeling, and behavior, routines and conformities expected, or indeed demanded, by the times in which a man lives....

The Philosophic Life: A Questionnaire

Are you prepared to come to terms with the fact that they do not and will not want you, forever? Do you have the strength to accept that you will be hated, resented, or ridiculed by everyone who cannot understand what you do — while simultaneously knowing that almost no one alive will ever understand what you do? Have you overcome and dispensed...

Advice For Living Today

Do not attempt to live in ordinary ways — to “carry on with your life as well as possible” — during times of crisis and decline. When oppression is ascendant, liberation naturally becomes, or ought to become, the central theme of practical life. If it does not, then you are living in detachment from your true situation, which is never advisable and may...