number eight: get interested

The usual way of conducting one’s life is to concern oneself primarily with those things that directly impact or interest  ‘me’.  And by ‘me’ I mean ‘you’.

However, at any given moment, the percentage of observable phenomena in the universe that have any bearing on ‘you’ whatsoever is so vanishingly small that ‘you’ might as well not even mention it. Except, of course, that it’s really important to ‘you’, isn’t it?

The only solution to this frankly lousy predicament is to widen your horizons a little bit and start to asses reality and it’s merits based on something besides servicing your sense of utterly delusional self-importance. If ‘you’ actually want to understand what’s going on well enough to create anything of interest to yourself , ‘you’ need to set yourself aside and actually start to care about everything else that’s going on. Feel free to vanish up your own ass into self obsession if you want, but sooner or later the universe will recycle your ass and no one will  know the difference. Except insofar as it happens to service their own self obsession in that particular moment.

It’s not about you.

  It’s never been about you.

  It will never be about you.

It all goes along just fine without you. 

  Get over it.

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13 thoughts on “Evolution by the Numbers: Number Eight

  1. These have all been good principles for living a healthier and more mature life, but this the one installment that I cannot bring myself to agree with. I don’t see anything detrimental in contemplating the inner workings of some neutron star of some distant galaxy, but I can think of many more pressing matters to be concerned with. Am I missing something crucial in my life by not giving a shit about that neutron star?

  2. Yeah, I have a bit of trouble with this one as well, in that there are some definite assumptions being made about the individual’s value and purpose within the grander scheme. The more I try to reconcile the point I think you’re trying to make with my own general view, the more paradoxical the whole issue is becoming for me. But I suppose that’s a good thing and a line of questioning I need to follow through on (as you suggest in another post).

    The ‘self’ is such a tricky concept, it’s difficult to make generalizations about it. I doubt you had neutron stars in mind as an alternate point of focus, and were more concerned with the sort of soap-opera egocentrism that most humans fall into, while becoming ever more oblivious to the happenings and experiences outside one’s own monkeysphere. That is generally a bad thing for everyone involved. No argument there.

    But we are all self-centered to a certain extent, and to a *certain extent* that’s natural and even healthy. I could argue that many people are so busy focusing on everyone and everything outside of themselves, they lack any self-awareness or self-confidence. And without those two qualities we’re not much good to anyone either.

    I have a feeling you’re just emphasizing one aspect of the mix here, and don’t necessarily ascribe to it exclusively or dogmatically, and that there’s a complimentary point you’ve simply yet to make. At least that’s been my past experience.

  3. I guess my point is just that if there is a thing which can have no conceivable effect on you, and you can have no conceivable effect on it, you should not give it any consideration. Now, that being said, I think the point of this post was that people often get too wound up in their own personal dramas and do not consider the things outside themselves that bear the potential to change or effect them greatly. I merely raised the point to confirm my interpretation.

  4. There’s an issue here only if you regard yourself as separate from the universe (a worldview that I’m finding progressively harder to maintain). I suspect the reason the word ‘you’ appears in quotation marks throughout the article has a bearing on this. It’s not simply about being self-centred (or not), it’s about being prepared to re-centre the idea of what you regard as your ‘self’….

    Am I talking self-obsessed bollocks or *what*?

  5. Certainly the idea of “self” is a flexible one, but I don’t believe it should be abandoned altogether–would there even be a point to life then? It’s something interesting I note with many Buddhist philosophies I read, that almost obsessive dedication to the idea of “transcending” the world, the self, suffering, etc. My question is, if somebody is so intent on relinquishing these “trappings,” why don’t they just kill themselves? I don’t know about any of you, but I believe that I am on Earth for a greater purpose than trying to escape it. I’ll save the complete dissolution of my sense of self for death.

  6. happiness can exist without a self…. misery can exist without a self… in fact that’s how it is in everybody already, they just don’t know it because of their VR-minds. a self is not even need for a sense of meaning

  7. I used to feel the same way as Chris about Buddhism: I saw it as completely life-negating. That was before I began to take meditation seriously. I’d assumed that without a sense of ego I couldn’t experience anything. Turns out I was wrong. Despite how things seem, there’s more to being human than being a ‘self’. There’s something about us that goes beyond self and somehow – from this other part – we have the ability to remain aware, even when all vestiges of self have gone.

    I don’t understand how this works or what it is, but it doesn’t seem necessary; it just seems to be the way things are. Weird, isn’t it? Which might also mean that everything else we assume on the basis of how the world seems is also wide off the mark…

  8. Hmm, an interesting one. I for one have noticed that while the universe may “recycle your ass” into its component nitrogenous parts for the benefit of the soil, it seems, in this current iteration, to be more interested in just creating a little bubble around the planet and letting it continue on in its suicide cycle. The “i can’t think about that” or the “i want to be happy” syndrome, used as an excuse to Go Back To Sleep. You can make the choice to increase your consciousness, or you can make the choice to Go Back To Sleep because your “happiness” is at stake. There’s not a whole lot one person can do to fix the fact that 40 % of the ice shelf in greenland has melted or that we’re experiencing climate “events”. But driving that idea entirely from one’s mind so that you can get to experience your ersatz happiness, well, great for you, but the amount of unconscious gymnastics you need to engage in will be stultifying. I don’t think I can express my general disgust with the prevalence of this process in mere text. You don’t plug in and you’ll get turned off–it just happens that we have a massive social enterprise dedicated to artifical power support. I have no doubt that this social project willed ignorance reduces out potential rather than lets us express it. You’re never going to get in the driver’s seat of the ten-cylinder you’ve got in the garage if you won’t even take the training wheels off your bicycle because of your insistance that you’d rather just be happy than have to take a fall or two.

  9. getting attatched to the idea of self, is like being attatched to the idea of having invisible chicken wings on your back.

    both are impossible to find, both are utterly useless, and both seem kind of silly when you think about it.

  10. The idea of self is a bit easier to find than invisible chicken wings. Saying the word “I” pretty much covers it. I’d say that _defining_ the self is rather difficult, but I’ll have to disagree with anyone who says it’s hard to find.

  11. I don’t mean the idea itself is impossible to find, just that in both cases, an idea is all it is, and the thing itself is what you can’t find.

  12. I suppose so, but there isn’t much point in formulating ideas to assert that something non-existant doesn’t , in fact , exist. it’s usually sufficent to simply let it not exist.

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