Friday, December 25, 2009

think for yourself

now, i have to admit it. in general i avoid social gatherings. i used to get a fist-like tightness in the stomach. that has disappeared (much like the fear and visions i had in the early days at the lookout: crazy people throwing rocks through the windows). now i merely regret afterwards all the stupid things i said!

yes, i can be very competitive and forceful. yes, i try to fight it. no luck. and so, at the xmas dinner in the co-housing common-house, i shot off my mouth.

today the conversation turned to heidegger (nazi or not?), the holocaust, civil war in sri lanka, the philosophies of josiah royce and wittgenstein. everything someone else said made me think of something. alas, all-too-often i was eager to say it and cut in.

this reminds me. i took a night class in dramatic literature when i lived in oxford uk. most of the people in class were americans from the air force base. since drama my passion and study, i knew a lot and did an enormous amount of talking. suddenly, i realized i wasn't learning anything. i fell pretty much silent. and you know what, eventually almost every point i would have made would be made by someone else.

well, there it is, i've defeated myself! and perhaps that's the answer. a friend wrote that i seemed tortured. at first i thought, 'that's ridiculous. i'm enjoying all this. i believe in the present.' but of course, i'm always arguing with myself. joyce cary said, 'to be a fiction writer you must express the opposite of what you believe as strongly as what you do.' or as i once so famously said to myself, 'put your drama into your work and not into your life.'

the number one point is you must have a passion about your project, idea, whatever it is you believe other people need. ach, no wonder i've never been a good salesman for myself. i want you to be like you and not me. what a dilemma. maybe all these blogs mean 'whatever this guy's done, it's the last thing i want to do.' and yet...i thought i was setting an example.

anyway, reading the jobs book, i've been asking myself, 'what's your messianic mission?' and all i can say is what i was saying at dinner, 'think for yourself.' with the proviso you must study the history of everything. 'nothing can come from nothing,' said king lear.

the psychologist c.g. jung said, 'everything important in culture created by the individual.' i couldn't put it any better.

just posted scanned bali slides: yes, live your own life, not the one other people want you to.

boy, that pint of celebration ale from sierra nevada brewery makes me feel like a genius. could everything i've said here be wrong?