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Fat bloody fingers are sucking your soul away

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
J. Will you delete this topic for me please?
post #2 of 15
Quote:
Can you honestly say that you in no way are living in an escapist's reality?
Yes, I can. While I agree that many people never eamine their existance, that's because they fall into the trap of thinking that stuff can replace people. The fact is, good relationships with other people (friends, family, lovers) is the only thing in life that will make you truly happy. Toys can make you happy for a while, but not long. Instead of spending time with others, most people would rather sit on their ass and watch that big screen they're working 70 hours a week to pay off. eventually they get tired of the stuff they have and finance newer toys....then they have to work more to pay for that stuff...ad nauseum. It's a viscious circle. So turn off the damn TV, call an old friend, meet them at a coffeeshop. I'm not saying toys and fine things arent any fun, but ultimately there is no meaning to them. You want a happy existance, build friends and your own character. Most people are too lazy. Anybody can live. Few can live effectively. Few try.
post #3 of 15
Sounds very familliar there Tyler Durden sir......... "Working at jobs you hate to buy shit you don't need." What exactly is your point on this? There are a lot of people out there living deep in the abyss of misery, sure. There are a lot of people who think they are escaping their pain by certain "prevention" tactics, whether they are shopping, legal or illegal drugs, working, sex, crime, internet, or a combination of any and more. Maybe any one of us think we know better then 'these' fools, but that only adds to our fantasy of being some how 'special', and thus exempt from those same trappings. What is one to do then? Maybe become a hermit, take a vow poverty and become a monk, or make a life long search for enlightenment. Zen anyone? Lets all start a cult. If you haven't noticed I am trying to be tounge in cheek in all this. I for one know and embrace my so called delusions for they are a part of the fabric of my being, at least my mental being. So what if I, or someone else, may not be that well adjusted and living in a dream? All our ambition is to make those dreams real, so in the end this is all just both two sides of the same spectrum. Or is it? All this cerebal pondering is starting to make my head hurt anyways. Time to take my Zanaxâ„¢, sit back in my enviromentally unfriendly imitation of the Eames chair, and read the latest issue of Adbusters......... =] Everyone will die, but few will ever tuely live, la, la, la.
post #4 of 15
Your argument smacks of moral relativism. It's easy to dance around addressing the crux of the topic by repeating the old mantra "it's all comparative". The things you call "Prevention tactics" are regrettably known as entertainment in our country...the problem is that everyone is trying desperately to be unique just like everyone else. Their angst comes from trying so hard they conform to whatever product is pitched as making them "speical", instead of developing any true character of their own; an endeavor far too taxing for the average sound-byte Reality TV fed organ that passes for a brain these days. Yup, to develop any sense of self, you have to turn your attention inward and actually pay attention, really listen to yourself and others. You have to think and learn and not be afraid of failure, being wrong or trying new solutions. No, it's not at all relative. Some people simply put more effort into life, into taking responsibility for their actions and thus discovering that their possibilities are limited only by their apathy or fears. MOST people do not - they are satesfied "going with the flow" and letting others make decisions for them. I personally don't mind - I need someone to hand me my whopper at the drive thru. Don't get me wrong. No one is inherently superior - but those who grasp the opportunity to develop themselves end up the better man, and rightly so.
post #5 of 15
I had originally written a long two paragraphs about this topic, but I decided not to send it. Rather, after reading a few of the remarks, my answer is much shorter...And I hope this question doesn't turn this forum into the next Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Bottom line is that rather you spend all of your time with your family, or in front of your Sony WEGA with Harman Kardon surround sound, it doesn't make you any better than the next person. Buying goods for the sake of making you "special" doesn't make you any less of a person than somebody who tries hard to not care about their purchases. This world is made of people with different personalities and lifestyles, which is what makes it so great. Although I do agree with some of the points made in the previous posts, I do not agree with belittling the way people decide to spend their time. It takes all kinds. Now if you will excuse me, I need to open my bag of Fritos and watch my new DVD.
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
...
post #7 of 15
Gentlemen: These are enlightened and thoughtful replies, especially in light of what's going on in the world around us. J, think twice before deleting. There's some good stuff coming out here, IMHO.
post #8 of 15
Fratstud - I won't discuss the idea of belittling people based on how they choose to spend their income, since my intention is not to belittle anyone, rather to make then think about what is really relevant in life.   I will address your assertation that what you do with your time has no bearing on how effective you are as an individual.  You state that someone who cultivates friendships and relationships and applies themselves actively to life is no "better" then someone who spends theirs in front of a home theatre.  In order to argue your point, it is necessary to define the term "better".  One way to do so would be to look at the sum of a mans life - his funeral.  While the pedestrian cable consumer would likely have some friends and immediate family attending, think of the funeral of a great man...say one who contributed to his community, created jobs through his entrepreneurial acumen.  Someone who was a benefactor to many, detractor to few.  A gentleman who inspired others.  I won't name any names, since opinions differ, but chances are you can think of such a man, whether it is Thomas Jefferson, or Louis Armstrong.  Either way, great men exist, and they weren't bred on a couch.  Greatness does not happen to you - it must be pursued.  Life is not about "finding" yourself - it is about making yourself.
post #9 of 15
Hi guys, Have a few minutes, so I thought I'd wade in. I think that I agree with FratStud, although I would phrase my answer in a different way. In response to Maxinquaye: While I agree with you that complacency, or the biblical sloth, is at the heart of many people's problems, I think that you have committed a logical fallacy by equating this with a focus on material comfort. I think that in itself, a desire for material comfort (including designer clothes, junk food, etc...) is morally neutral; but that it becomes destructive if it begins to supersede other, more important things - sort of a moral cancer. So, your mom was right - all things good in moderation. That includes rejection of material things.
post #10 of 15
LAG: Who decides what is moderation?
post #11 of 15
And all participants- what is "good" and waht is "bad"? Why do we Westerners persist with this myth of duality?
post #12 of 15
Steve B., Moderation: I think that what is meant by all things good in moderation is that the many facets of your life need to be in the correct proportion. The catch is, actually figuring all that out requires wisdom. As to the duality of good and bad - duality is not a purely western (read European-derived) concept. Duality is a very natural way of differentiating things. Any prescriptive religion or ethos divides all actions into correct, incorrect, harmonious, discordant, etc... The actual language used may be different, but the underlying structure is the same. A lot of eastern thinkers emphasize harmony - all things in their correct proportions, as I wrote earlier. In such systems, the duality Steve B mentioned still exists - the context is simply different insofar as "good" or "bad" does not attach to specific things or acts, but to the degree of harmony between things or acts. (Note to Maxinquaye that this does not constitute moral relativism). Ah, human nature. Can't never get away from it.
post #13 of 15
I wish I had been able to read the first few posts so I could maybe formulate a better response, but it looks like I missed them and now they're gone. I've taken philosophy classes (so regardless of what I say you can't say I'm totally ignorant ;p ), been to psychiatrists (my mom made me go cause she thought I had "issues to work out") and heard people talk about how great Zen or yoga or whatever is. My answer to all this is whatever floats your boat. I'm just gonna float around the happiness theme I've been seeing in the other posts. "While I agree that many people never eamine their existance, that's because they fall into the trap of thinking that stuff can replace people. The fact is, good relationships with other people (friends, family, lovers) is the only thing in life that will make you truly happy" I was going to reply to this, but when I was going over the other posts I saw that L.A. Guy was dead on with his response. Well, dead on until he said this anyway ... "So, your mom was right - all things good in moderation. That includes rejection of material things." What's so great about moderation? Ya, there are definitely some things that shouldn't be overdone (drugs would be an obvious thing not to overdo), but a lot of people who have done amazing things would probably be dumbfounded by sayings like that. I don't think moderation gets you anywhere. A lot of people who have been extremely successful know nothing of moderation. A lot of these people worked obsessively at whatever - whether it be business, politics, science or sports - to accomplish their goals. Some were probably still working on their deathbeds. I think it's instinctive for humans to say "Hey, he was a great businessman, but I bet his personal life was shit." I don't understand why people associate a balanced life with happiness. I can say for certain right now that I'm going to be a workaholic. I am obsessive. I'm obsessive about the way I dress. I'm obsessive about my looks. I'm obsessive about succeeding at whatever I do and I'm obsessive about material growth (and not because I'm making up for a lack of other things in my life). I'm also very happy, as poorly balanced as my life is. I don't have a particularly good relationship with my family (I mean my parents and siblings, I'm a student so I'm not married with kids or anything), but I'm okay with that cause it's not all that important to me *gasp*. Some people might think that's a sad thing, but I can truly say that it doesn't affect me one way or the other (and I'm posting on the internet so it's not like I have to lie about this heh). Different things make different people happy. Some people need to maintain a balance to be happy. Me? I'm driven by other things. My goals are extremely ambitious and I'm working in an obsessive way to attain them. I like what I do though and I enjoy how I spend my time, I wouldn't have it any other way, it makes me happy. Other people say I have no life and I honestly don't care what they think. I do have a life, it's just not a life most chose. What I do know is that most people are just treading water. They go to school cause they have to and they work cause they gotta work or they'll drown. They'd rather be doing other things with all that time but they do have that basic survival instinct if nothing else. The fact that some people actually work hard at these things is such a foreign thought to them that it must be unhealthy; they must be missing out on something else. I think it's really hard for people to believe that others can be truly happy without the things which make most "normal" people happy (friends, family, a wife and kids, paid vacation) and I can't figure out why. I like vacations (I should actually say I like traveling instead. Saying I like vacations means I enjoy time away from whatever my daily routine consists of and that would normally mean I don't really like what I do), having a girlfriend is all well and dandy, but the thing that really gets me off is success. Ok well I'm tired and going to bed. Hopefully I've gotten my point across...
post #14 of 15
GQgeek: Thanks for a very articulate and interesting reply. Before I read it, I might have argued that interpersonal relationships are necessary and vital to *everyone* - and that you can avoid it by working hard, but success will never replace friends. Now, I don't know - you write convincingly that success is the only thing you strive for, and therefore, apparently need. While such a life is not one I would want to contemplate for myself, I don't dismiss the fact that it could make you happy. I wonder if that's the case in the long run though... Either way, I wish you luck, and thanks again for the insight.
post #15 of 15
I concur with LAG and prefer to use "harmonious" and "non- harmonious" rather than "good" or "bad". I think those terms were dreamed up by religious people in the Middle Ages to control the peasants. Maybe Yin and Yang... And I also think moderation is OVERRATED. It is allowing someone else to tell you what balance you should have. This can only be determined by and for oneself.
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