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Memores acti prudentes futuri

You're unsure if I am a loose end or a strand
that waits for you to mend or understand
A few words
"When we describe the Moon as dead, we are describing the deadness in ourselves. When we find space so hideously void, we are describing our own unbearable emptiness."
~ D.H. Lawrence

"Is the meaning of life defined by its duration? Or does life have a purpose so large that it doesn't have to be prolonged at any cost to preserve its meaning?"

"Living is not good, but living well. The wise man, therefore, lives as well as he should, not as long as he can... He will always think of life in terms of quality not quantity... Dying early or late is of no relevance, dying well or ill is... even if it is true that while there is life there is hope, life is not to be bought at any cost."
~ Seneca

"People will tell you nothing matters, the whole world's about to end soon anyway. Those people are looking at life the wrong way. I mean, things don't need to last forever to be perfect."
~ Daydream Nation

"All Bette's stories have happy endings. That's because she knows where to stop. She's realized the real problem with stories-- if you keep them going long enough, they always end in death."
~ The Sandman: Preludes & Nocturnes

"The road now stretched across open country, and it occurred to me - not by way of protest, not as a symbol, or anything like that, but merely as a novel experience - that since I had disregarded all laws of humanity, I might as well disregard the rules of traffic. So I crossed to the left side of the highway and checked the feeling, and the feeling was good. It was a pleasant diaphragmal melting, with elements of diffused tactility, all this enhanced by the thought that nothing could be nearer to the elimination of basic physical laws than deliberately driving on the wrong site of the road."
~ Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

"It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend."
~ William Blake
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Aesthetic and ethical
Friday, April 29, 2016
"A Beginner's Guide To Destroying The Moon" by Foster the People.

I would break you
Before I let you fall into the blind
For you and I
For you and I
I will breathe in
All the truth I can stomach
If it keeps you alive


Yeah you'll never be whole, yeah you'll never be whole
Until you lose control
And think freely to smash the wall of apathy
Stop your self-importance and lift the weight off somebody else
Yeah you'll never be whole, yeah you'll never be whole
Until you lose control


Sometimes it feels as if I am climbing a ladder whose rungs are studded with thorns, and I am barefoot and barehanded. Below me is an infinite, ever-rising black ocean, which will drag me down if I ever stop climbing too long. As difficult and painful as climbing the ladder is, it's still better than drowning.


I described to my therapist my dissatisfaction with the fact that at the end of things, faced with the final "why," the only answer I can come up with is "because," and that has to be good enough. It is a weak point in the argument, indefensible and based on assumptions of intrinsic value which are impossible to convey to someone who doesn't agree. He told me that it was a point which didn't need to be questioned. At the end of the appointment he looked at me squarely and repeated that he was serious, and that some moral statements don't need to be questioned.


Fundamentally Kierkegaard suggested that there are two ways we can live our life, the aesthetic and the ethical. Each individual has the opportunity to make a conscious choice between these two.Individuals who choose the aesthetic viewpoint basically live for themselves and their own pleasure. This need not be a shallow attitude to life. In working for our own pleasure, we almost invariably work for the pleasure of others too, if we are thinking in the longer term. Indeed, it could be argued that the scientist who selflessly dedicates his entire life to curing a painful disease, sacrificing personal, domestic, and social pleasure in the process, is also living the aesthetic life if he does this simply because he enjoys scientific research.
On a basic level, the individual who lives the aesthetic life is not in control of his existence. He lives for the moment, prompted by pleasure. His life may be self-contradictory, lacking in stability or certainty. Even on a more calculating level, the aesthetic life remains "experimental." We follow a certain pleasure only so long as it appeals to us.

The inadequacy of the aesthetic viewpoint is fundamental. this is because it relies upon the external world. It "expects everything from without." In this way it is passive and lacking in freedom. It relies upon things that remain ultimately beyond the control of its will-- such as power, possessions, or even friendship. It is contingent, dependent upon the "accidental." There is nothing "necessary" about it.

If we understand such things, we see the ultimate inadequacy of the aesthetic existence. When an individual who lives the aesthetic life reflects on his existence, he soon realizes that it is lacking in any certainty or meaning. Such a realization often leads to despair.

On the ethical sphere:
Here subjectivity is the "absolute," and the foremost task is "choosing oneself." The individual who leads the ethical life creates himself by his choice, and self-creation becomes the goal of his existence. Where the aesthetic individual merely accepts himself as he is, the ethical individual seeks to know himself and to change himself by his own choice. He will be guided in this by his self-knowledge and his willingness not to accept what he discovers but to try to improve upon it.

Here we see the categorical difference between the aesthetic and the ethical: the former is concerned with the outer world, the latter with the inner. The ethical individual seeks to know himself and tries to turn himself into something better-- he aims at becoming an "ideal self."


We talked in the car, about understanding and finding the right people and being alone. It started when I asked, "Do you feel like any of your friends really understand you?" The answer was hesitant and uncertain, but translated to "no."

I asked why. We discussed always being in the supportive role, and not feeling comfortable relying on others. The vulnerability of being open and honest. The fear of burdening others or not being accepted. But also, the terrible loneliness of succumbing to this fear, and hiding oneself away. No risks, no rewards.

"I live philosophy," I said. "It's real to me."
"That's what makes you an interesting person."


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Wednesday, April 27, 2016
I was in no way prepared for last night.

Writing it out wouldn't do the story justice, so I'm just telling people over videochat... but... wow... O_O

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Thought this entry would be short because I'm tired, but nope [Ask]
Monday, April 25, 2016
Be it extremely emotional, controversial, messed up, or whatever, this entry has been password protected.

If you know it, enter it; or, ask me for it.

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The strangeness of coyotes
Saturday, April 23, 2016
My foot and neck still hurt. I hope I didn't do anything serious to my foot... Still don't know why my neck hurts. Painkillers help somewhat, at least.

I hung out with Alex again tonight. We watched Rick and Morty at his place and went to IHOP because Rick talks about pancakes in one of the episodes and it made us both really want pancakes. While we were there, a homeless guy walked in to use the bathroom, and Alex said that the guy had been around for years. I wondered aloud if he was hungry, but Alex cautioned me against giving him food, because then he might follow me around. We talked a bit about the sadness of people who are homeless, and how they're all individuals with unique personalities and needs (it's sad that we even have to remind ourselves of that fact), and he softened a bit on his stance, and said that if I wanted to buy the homeless guy a meal, he wouldn't try to stop me. I didn't end up doing it, but I got a takeout container for the pancakes I didn't finish, and we drove around the parking lot looking for the homeless guy in case he wanted them. He seemed to have left the area, though.

Earlier, I had a shift at the crisis line, and I was talking to Alex on Facebook during part of it. We had this little exchange:

It's comforting that at least some of my friends see me as a kind and caring person. I haven't felt like "myself" in that regard as of late. (But ah, even if I feel less motivated and it's more of a struggle, this is when digging up compassion from the corners of my heart matters most!) The person I'm talking about having sympathy for is... someone I had a falling out with, but maybe we could be friends again someday. Alex doesn't have a high opinion of the person because of what I've told him about what happened between us.

On the way to my house we talked about the strangeness of coyotes, and I joked that Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner cartoons were parables about the purgatory-like existence of a creature who never learns from its mistakes and is doomed to an endless cycle of failure because of inflexible goals and an unwillingness to change. I don't know how I would classify that sort of "joke", but it's perhaps one of my favorite types of humor.

Even though we pretty much always watch TV when we get together (and we need to find a new show...), I'm really glad when we get a chance to just talk. It's nice to talk about things like ethics and philosophy with him. When he dropped me off at my house after hanging out, he said he had a really nice time with me, and I felt the same way. I hope we still talk regularly after I move.

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No static
Friday, April 22, 2016
I went to the gym for two hours yesterday... Probably could have stayed for a third class, but it was Terrible TV Thursday with Alex, and I didn't want to get over there too late. Also, I fell off the Bosu Ball in my first class and I think I might have injured my foot, because it hurt a lot when I fell off, and the pain mostly went away, but walking on it certain ways kinda hurts...

Terrible TV Thursday lived up to its name in more ways than I expected. We watched the season finale of The Magicians, which ended on an obscenely huge cliffhanger, but the next season isn't coming out until NEXT YEAR. WTF SYFY, WTF! I am passionately disgruntled about it. I guess Rick and Morty did the same thing though, and I certainly got over that... -Sigh-

I've been reading articles from Paging Dr. Nerdlove tonight. I had a post about Nice Guys bookmarked for years because I liked it a lot, but hadn't really read anything else on the site until now. The guy talks a lot about self-improvement as a means to reaching your goals, which I guess is cool, if... I dunno, a bit hokey at times. I sort of hate the term "self-improvement" even though it's probably in like, my top five values. It just has this lingering stench of hippie dippy fluffy meaningless bullshit about it. Self-improvement as a means to an end just doesn't really... appeal to me, I suppose. I want to be a better person... to be a better person. Not so I'll be happier or more successful or whatever.

That little side rant wasn't why I mentioned this site, though. In one of the posts, the author talked about how certain people have this belief that they shouldn't have to change...
They make a virtue of not changing because they see standing steadfast to their beliefs and identity as being something noble and good� even when it�s those beliefs, attitudes and identity that�s been holding them back.

This quote reminded me of at least one of my exes. I know we get a lot of messages in popular culture, like "be proud of who you are," "don't let anybody tell you who to be," "accept yourself for who you are" etc., but sometimes there really are things you should legitimately change about yourself, instead of scrambling about in a panic, trying to defend yourself against criticism by saying other people just don't accept you and you're fine the way you are. Or, worse, guilt tripping those who might have criticisms by acting like they're being intolerant and uncaring.


In the IRC channel I sometimes go to, there's this overly "supportive" attitude where it's... sort of frowned upon to be frank about not liking certain characteristics or people. Too much head-bobbing and pacifying cooing. Oh, you're sad? Ah, well clearly the world has wronged you. How terrible other people are, to have treated you in such a way that it forced you to be sad! Yes, there was certainly no responsibility on your part to do anything differently. It's so disabling... disempowering...

On the other hand, sometimes things legitimately aren't a person's fault, and things really did happen to them, and they couldn't have done much at all differently. I also recognize that if someone is feeling bad, it's not necessarily a good time to shove in their face that they have agency and can affect how they react to things. Immediately interrogating the person about what their part was in something without regard for their feelings is a pretty standard Dick Move.

I guess I just wish there was a little wiggle room in more of the contexts I find myself in.

Situations I don't like:
A: I'm sad.
B: Why?
A: I failed my test.
B: omg no u poor bby, cry ur precious bby tears on my shoulder, shhh, shh, it's ok, it's ok. omg ur teacher is a demon, they def have it out for u.
C: Did you study that much?

D: I'm sad.
E: Why?
D: Someone punched me in the face and I don't know why.
E: Maybe you made them angry. Probably shouldn't have done that. Also, you should have ducked.

Obviously both of these are somewhat exaggerated, but... I feel like the general idea is conveyed.

Better situation:
F: I'm sad.
G: Why?
F: -Gives details of situation-
G: -Tries to understand as best as possible before deciding whether F had some responsibility (within the bounds of what you can reasonably expect from a person)-
G: -Acknowledges F's feelings, sympathizes, but still gently points out responsibility if applicable-

I don't always manage to follow this formula 100% perfectly, but wow, some people are just absolute rubbish at it. I guess it's easier to be at the extreme ends than somewhere in the ambiguous grey zone of the middle, but man, there are just too many coddlers and dicks out there.

Wasn't really intending to rant so much in this post, oops.

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Present thoughts
Tuesday, April 19, 2016
Gym time today: 1 hour.
Total this week: 5 hours.

I made it out to a cycle class this evening, but I'm really sore from yesterday, and I doubt tonight helped anything.

Didn't end up hanging out with that guy, because he had to reschedule. We'll see how it goes next week.

Through some series of links, I started reading Brain Pickings again. I've had it bookmarked for a long time, but hadn't really been looking at it... Lately I've just been in the mood to read though, I guess. It's nice. In a way I feel like I did when I was 18, bored with the classes at St. John's that offered me no challenge, and eager to learn something on my own. I guess that learning is just something I need to do, in the way that I used to feel like writing was something I needed to do, or even drawing. It's so natural that I don't even think about it as an activity I'm engaging in, but all this thinking I'm doing all the time is part of that... Trying to learn something, internally, if not externally too. I guess since I'm not taking in new information from outside sources, I don't always recognize it as a learning process, but you can logic your way through things and learn from them, of course.

Anyway, I was reading this thing about Kierkegaard and busyness, which led me back to Brain Pickings. I think it has some interesting points, mainly that busyness is a sort of mental laziness in which people avoid or ignore developing a strong sense of self and purpose in life. This wasn't something I had ever deeply considered before, as I have rarely been so busy that I wasn't thinking. I kind of like doing detail-oriented busywork, as it gives me something to occupy my shallower thoughts so they don't distract me from whatever deeper things I might want to mull over. It's relaxing to not have so much fluff in the way.

I want to read more of Kierkegaard... Maybe once I'm done with Second Foundation I'll see if I can get Either/Or: A Fragment of Life from the library next.

Tomorrow I have therapy... Last week I talked to my therapist about that feeling of integration with, or at least indistinctness from, my world, but I think I might want to talk to him about Kierkegaard's ideas on busyness. I don't really like the idea of some kind of... tranquil state without thought. Thinking isn't bad per se... you just have to figure out how to think in the right way.

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Nightmares and kindness in the fringes
Monday, April 18, 2016
Gym time today: 3 hours.
Total this week: 4 hours.

I made it through three classes today... Mat Pilates, Cycle Fusion, and CSI (which had a sub, so it was maybe less intense?). I didn't push myself too hard in the cycle class, but it was generally okay.

Not sure if it was related to all the Rusty Lake games, but I had a lot of nightmares last night. I don't remember that much detail from them, though. I thought about recording them when I woke up, but wasn't sure I really wanted to note them down... In one, I went with someone to visit someone who was studying a parasite or virus or something... they were using a bald man with some kind of furry thing wrapped around his head as a test subject, and my companion assured me that it was safe and contained, but when we got there, the parasite/virus thing got free, and it attacked all of us, and I watched it eat the flesh out from under the skin of my companion's face while he screamed in agony. It left his eyes, but his skin turned grey, and he just kept screaming and screaming, and I was screaming and crying, and there was no way to escape, because the exits were blocked by the infected people. We were just in a small enclosure made of chain link fences and cluttered with cardboard boxes, and I couldn't get past my companion without being attacked the way he had.

There was another dream in which I was in some kind of school for people with special abilities, and they were going to try to dampen some sort of... telekinetic ability I was exhibiting, but I found out that I could kill people with very little effort, and then tons of soldiers appeared in the school and started a battle. I killed some of them, but I kept thinking, "why are there so many warriors clustered in the school?" It seemed very important, but I didn't figure it out before I woke up... Too busy trying to escape the school so they wouldn't kill me.

Not sure if this was part of the same dream, or a different one, but there was some part where I was with a group of people, but there were bad people looking for me, and I tried to climb up a tree to hide from them, but they were just killing things randomly, claiming that they could be "infected" and that it was for safety reasons... it wasn't exactly "killing" as much as... "sucking the life out of" things, though. They started draining the tree I was in of life and I knew I couldn't hide there much longer, because they would find me...

I guess I'm meeting up with someone tomorrow night. I... don't have a lot of feelings about it, so I guess I just hope it's not awkward or anything.


So, I'm chatting with someone on IRC about alien abductions, and he showed me this website that claims that autism originates from aliens' incompetent science. It's fun to read, even if I don't take it seriously. What strikes me most about this, though, is that it's so... well, altruistic, I guess. This guy put together a website and spends his money and time making "thought screen helmets" to protect other people from aliens, without charging anything or trying to sell anything. I'm kind of astounded by how much effort he's put into this. There are plenty of people who are much more "sane" by mainstream definitions who aren't nearly as good-hearted as this one man. Even if I don't believe the alien stuff at all, I find him to be a really admirable person. It's amazing... he's so dedicated to his cause, and, if the testimonials on his other website are to be believed, he's made a difference in some people's lives. It's very touching to read. I have so much respect for him.

�Thank you, thank you, for your work in this area. Your efforts to protect those of us who have been victims of this living nightmare are most appreciated.�

I hope I can make an impact like this on people's lives.

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I don't want to have bronchitis
Sunday, April 17, 2016
I was too tired to go to my gym classes in the morning, so I slept instead... And then played through pretty much the entire Rusty Lake series.

But... I did make it out to the gym for an hour. Ran on the treadmill (1 mile at a 7:30 minute mile pace, then walked one). Running was... a pretty bad experience. My chest starting hurting halfway through, and it was the kind of pain where you can't take deep breaths. So, I was breathing very shallowly, just trying to finish out the mile so I could walk. I was watching SciShow on the treadmill screen, which barely helped distract me, but yeah... I'm still not well. :\ I told my mom, and she asked if I might have bronchitis again.

I'm so tired of getting bronchitis. Really, really just fed up with it.

After I finished on the treadmill I went through and did some upper body stuff, and then used this thing called an Ab Coaster for awhile. I... felt like it was a lot of exertion, but I didn't feel like my abs were sore at all afterwards, so I have no idea if I was doing it right or if it was that helpful. Oh well. It was... kind of fun, I guess? So there's that.

I was thinking of this song earlier, so I figured I'd post it here.

"Another Suitcase In Another Hall" from Evita. The main song starts at 1:52.

I don't expect my love affairs to last for long
Never fool myself that my dreams will come true
Being used to trouble I anticipate it
But all the same I hate it - wouldn't you?

So what happens now?
(Another suitcase in another hall)
So what happens now?
(Take your picture off another wall)
Where am I going to?
(You'll get by, you always have before)
Where am I going to?

Time and time again I've said that I don't care
That I'm immune to gloom, that I'm hard through and through
But every time it matters all my words desert me
So anyone can hurt me - and they do

So what happens now?
(Another suitcase in another hall)
So what happens now?
(Take your picture off another wall)
Where am I going to?
(You'll get by, you always have before)
Where am I going to?

Call in three months time and I'll be fine I know
Well maybe not that fine, but I'll survive anyhow
I won't recall the names and places of this sad occasion
But that's no consolation - here and now

So what happens now?
(Another suitcase in another hall)
So what happens now?
(Take your picture off another wall)
Where am I going to?
(You'll get by, you always have before)
Where am I going to?
(Don't ask anymore)

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