Monday, November 12, 2012


Years ago  I briefly sailed with a guy on a tall ship-- this fellow follower of Osho-- deadbeat dad with 7 kids which he'd never contributed a dime towards, a completely alienated guy whose divinely enlightened utterly irresponsible selfish behavior had alienated him from nearly everyone he knew. . .and the crew nearly immediately. And boy, he hated being "judged"-- whatever that means, by those behind and below him on his spiritual path. . .I mean if this guy was any more "in touch" with himself he'd be arrested for public indecency.  And boy howdy we didn't get it, as he was convinced he was the Bodhisattva himself where we all thought he was just a garden variety prick-- anyway I was roped into philosophical discussions with him on occasion and the subject of "objectivity vs. subjectivity" came up often. He'd spout a bunch of pithy baloney and when he finally figured out I'd basically heard his party line before and wasn't much interested-- he'd bless me(nice!) and inform me that I had a good soul and somewhere along my journey I'd develop the ability to see the world with "more balance."

And indeed I have, as I wouldn't give him the time of day anymore.

Subjectivity: Balance? Surely we don't have our eyes set so close together in our foreheads not to realize that the nature of human existence is utterly, oppressively, relentlessly subjective? And that in fact our weak attempts to wrestle free of the prison of our own narrow perceptual set-- by a process we call objective thinking-- is in fact the attempt to restore balance? Hey, don't get me wrong-- there's nothing inherently "bad" about subjective experience-- it's just that it's personal, exclusive, and as such divisive-- and without a counterbalancing agent tends to destruction and violence. Currently, in our culture, which, go figure, is a pretty dang destructive and violent one, we disproportionally claim to value subjective experience. Which, ironically, in spite of all the silly books about "living in the now" or whatever-- as if there's an option about that-- we really go completely out of our way to avoid doing. See, most of us really hate subjective experience all the time-- stuff like going to work, worrying about insurance costs, grumpy people, all the rest-- and rather than the balanced strategy of "objectively" attempting to better our "subjective" experience we try to bury one subjective state with another-- but a cool, funky, often intoxicated one. And it works for a bit, subjectively. And that's fine, but not balance, and there's hardly any path to enlightenment in it, and once one figures out that the Ashram is the analog of a hospital. . .well, better to chop wood and carry water.

The purpose of living is really very simple: it's to live a life of purpose. The way to do that is to find something that one finds valuable and objectively measurably enriching and do the hell out of if. Don't be surprised if that thing you find you need to do is pretty uncomfortable. That's probably necessary to make it meaningful. . .Hey, I basically hate sailing, you know. . . it's more important that you find it meaningful. A lot of people aren't up for taking on such a task. We're pretty soft after all-- bummer, as it's the only game in town. Don't miss out: don't be misled by the hucksters selling you an easy way out-- You see, all those folks out there telling you they know what the meaning of life is are really cowards running from what life really means.

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