“A Happy, Productive Life”

From a young age, we are told that the meaning to our life is defined by what we accomplish in this world. Accomplishments come in the form of all sorts of things. They can come in the form of awards given out in the formative years of elementary and middle school such as “1st Place” in a reading competition or maybe in the form of trophies for exemplary performance in athletic performance. As we grow older, past the college years our life’s worth is defined by how much money we generate through our various endeavors. We are made to believe that a rich person’s life is inherently worth more than someone who is homeless. Of course, everyone would desire some form of comfort and security in income. We are told we must work hard and make the best of ourselves in order to outwit, outlast, outplay, and out-earn. But what about people who have no interests in these things? What about the people who have no vested interest in this competition – man to man that burns out the soul faster than even the hottest of otherworldly fires?

In order to advance in society, a person must sacrifice their entire person. Profit maximization requires a destruction of someone somewhere along the line, whether it be from consumer, worker, or manager. Time must be invested into these endeavors, something that seems to be shrinking everyday. The regular shift is 9-5 and becoming a drone is mandatory. We work tirelessly so that we can have some chance in advancing in society and afford the finer things in life. So we can have wealth, so we can have status. In the end, we lose ourselves. If we do not meet these goals that society meets for us, we are considered failures and are branded as undesirable outcasts.

When I think of people who are the highly revered in society, they tend to be doctors, lawyers, accountants, businessmen. These people tend to toil for hours and hours on end in the pursuit of cash. They then lose themselves. It’s no secret that these people have deteriorating familial relationships and for good reason. What’s the point of making tons of money and then coming home late and only spending 2 hours with your family until you have to go to bed?

There are two brothers. One is a hedge fund manager at a reputable investment group. The other works as an independent artist, selling his works making money here and there. Which brother do you think mother and father are more likely to introduce more proudly at a familial gathering? The hedge fund brother’s familial life may be falling apart at the seams but he is the one who they’ll be more proud of.

Isn’t living a creative existence filled with life-enhancing moments enough? Why can’t we be happy instead of going after more? It’s one thing to want a nice house and live modestly. It’s another to desire excess and lose your soul to keep it. I just hope one day that I won’t have to sacrifice myself just so I can live the way I want to rather than what society demands of me.

– Scotia

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Breaks

Every now and then, there comes to be a respite in my monotonous day-to-day routine. These respites tend to take up large chunks of a month or several months. One of the upsides of not being a part of the 9 to 5 grindstone. These breaks end up being in different seasons but they usually all have the same mood. Gratefulness with an inescapable hint of melancholy. As the days drag on and each one tends to meld into each other, they all take on a similar tone of the preceding day. My previous breaks have placed me within jobs of menial labor, doing irritating tasks given to me by condescending superiors. By the end of these days, I feel an overbearing resentment at the values espoused by these superiors and how myopic and shallow they really are. There is a quickening of the pulse at the thought of causing anarchy, misrule, and overall chaos in this establishment with zero repercussions. If that day ever comes I will watch from afar with a devilish grin while their world burns into irreparable cinders.

On these breaks, I tend to think and have feelings of wanderlust. Thinking of places I’d rather be but can’t right now for some reason or another. I try to block out thoughts of my contemporaries as my mind drifts to thinking about what they are up to at that moment. This may continue everyday for a span of weeks unless I can find some other meaningless distraction. Being that my breaks tend to be unremarkable, I stare out my window and breath an unconscious sigh of relief as they come to a close. I know that there will be some order and stability asserted once again. However, I know that this stability will become monotonous and I will wish for another respite.

Breaks are a double-edged sword and I keep stabbing the wrong thing with it. Myself.

– Scotia

Belief

Belief is a beautiful armor that makes for the heaviest sword/like punching underwater/you can never hit who you’re trying for

The above quote is from singer-songwriter/blues guitarist John Mayer from his song “Belief”. When people think of the word “belief” they tend to think of religious connotations. Religious views are but one aspect of the vast blanket that is belief. Many different people believe different things. That is just what makes people different. Different beliefs create friction and it is through this friction that contributes to the positive and negative side of life. Some beliefs are more grounded than others. Some beliefs tend to use logic and practicality more so than rhetoric. Other beliefs function off of hate and disregard for the feelings of others. I could never see how people could wholeheartedly believe in something that makes other human beings feel bad.

There also tends to be a lack of distinction between belief and faith. Faith is belief put into action, while belief is just an individual’s acceptance of a certain set of ideals. When people try to force others to believe in these ideals, that is when friction occurs. Some people have been convinced certain beliefs are universal and “one-size-fits-all”. It just cannot be true. There is just too much diversity in culture to adhere to one universal set of beliefs. While I do believe that there is an underlying universal commonality that all of humanity shares, I do not believe we as a species have found it yet. We have scratched and chipped away at the surface, but we have not been able to exactly pinpoint what exactly this commonality is. In my numerous forays into the depths of the universe, I have come close to this commonality, but that is a story for another time.

I don’t believe in much anymore. As I grow older, I tend to see through the veneers society has put into place to keep people happy and content with their lives. Society has made it seem like everything is achievable and that everything works out in the end for all persons, but I have seen firsthand through observation and through my own experience that this is certainly not true. I cannot blame people for believing wholeheartedly in society. If society crumbles and all they believe in has fallen away, they may very well commit suicide. Many people are just cannot survive when things they have believed in for so long with all of their soul are not true or just a false shadow of what they were made to be. I cannot blame them either. While life becomes so empty, what’s the point? Lack of belief has taken better men than me, but I wonder how could that be? It is incredible how the human spirit can be so strong yet so fragile at the same time.

Science has been touted as the absolute arbiter of truth. As much as I enjoy science, I do not believe in it. Science is constantly being revised and reformatted. Even Einstein’s theory of relativity has come under scrutiny in recent months. I have also experienced too many unexplainable events to believe in science wholeheartedly. Science doesn’t prove everything.

Religion is seen as being the answer to all man’s questions by a majority of the population. It takes a lot of faith to believe in religion, something I do not have. It just seems pointless to me to live life guided by an invisible force that may or may not exist. A person should live their life the way they want to and I believe strict adherence to religion limits one’s ability to become more of a human being. Each to their own, I suppose.

Humanity has let me down several times. I guess this ties back to my previous post on Optimism. I believe that many humans want to be good, do the right things and not harm others but it seems modern day life still functions on harming others. We call ourselves civilized, but when push comes to shove, many people are selfish. Just look at Black Friday. Many people have died being trampled over by others just for the sake of material things. Sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, uncles, cousins… Irretrievable human life snuffed out for stuff… Even with our tall skyscrapers and massive megalopolises, we still can’t shake a lot of our evolutionary impulses. We call ourselves civilized. When I think of all of the bad things humankind has done over the past, it makes me want to curl up in a ball in a corner in my room and disappear. But I can’t do that. I do meet some good people but as always, it never goes anywhere.

Philosophers have managed to take guesses at the essence of the human spirit but many of their theories are either outdated or contradicted by other philosophers. Many have indeed come close the universal essence of the human spirit, but yet again, no one has nailed it.

There are some things I hold onto though. Music seems to be the only thing I really believe in anymore. For thousands of years, the theory behind music has remained unchanged. It seems like it will always be that way. An A Major Chord will always be an A Major Chord. An F# diminished chord will always be an F# diminished chord. When I play musical instruments, I get an indescribable sense of joy and I feel as if I’m transcending. And that’s a good thing and it makes me happy. So yes, believe in music. I also believe in art. True art has a way of expressing inner feelings in a way words can’t. This includes things such as drawings, photographs, paintings, etc. Music is a subset of art and is included in this.

If I thought about all of the bad things that belief creates, I wouldn’t have any strength to live life and try and search for other things to believe in. So for now, I only believe in music/art. Maybe that will change one day.

– Scotia

Spectators

There is a force within modern society that has grown to a point of prominence that was largely unprecedented years ago. I have been noticing this force grow in number over the years and it is disturbing. This force is known as “the spectator”. Philosophers such as Max Scheler, Adam Smith, and David Hume have written about this force and how it has grown over the ages. They predicted that it would grow to become the principle influence on the lives of human beings in years to come.

What is the nature of the spectator? The spectator is omnipresent. It is a fluid entity that morphs itself to fit its environment. The eye of the spectator is inescapable. The spectator is unfeeling. Passive-aggressive. The spectator will shame a person into carrying out its will. The spectator is demanding. Relentless. The spectator will shower praise on others but not you. The spectator is unforgiving. The spectator will not forgive any mishap and will chastise you at the first sign of weakness or imperfection. The spectator disregards the individual’s core personality and praises that of outward appearance. It values lust, greed, arrogance, apathy, vanity, and hedonism. It eschews solidarity, understanding, sympathy, kindness, and an overall care for the person. This is not to say the spectator does not have a sense of morality. If someone does something that is not appeasing to the spectator such as child abuse, the spectator will come down on the individual in the most heavy-handed of ways.

What is the mission of the spectator? It wishes to put in place a model of life for the 21st century. It wishes for all of humanity to adopt a universal standard of decorum that is necessary to breed all of the unsavory natures of the human being. It wishes for a person to constantly compare themselves against others and will make the person feel inadequate and undeserving when a certain standard is not met.

Where is the spectator? The spectator is everywhere. As said before, the spectator has reached a state of omnipresence that would be impossible without the internet. The spectator makes itself most known on websites such as Facebook. People that are acceptable to the spectator will be showered with the highest praise. This comes in the form of “comments” and “likes” on that individual’s page. People that are seen as too far off the mark will be casted out and left to wither on the side of the road. The spectator will make this known by way of neglect, rather than outright opprobrium.

Who is the spectator? The spectator is a faceless entity. However, people automatically know the spectator when they come into contact with it. Though a faceless entity, the spectator will take various forms to meet its end goals. The spectator is the Church. The spectator is the students in the classroom that look at you as you give a presentation. The spectator is the people that watch you walk down the street from a walk of shame. The spectator is the music critics that review your latest effort to create music. The spectator is the investors that you try to pitch an idea about a start-up company.

Examples of people that have been subject to the spectator in recent years:

Michael Phelps after being caught smoking marijuana

Kanye West after interrupting Taylor Swift’s speech at the 2009 Video Music Awards

Sarah Palin has been called “uneducated” and “an idiot” in various publications

These are only three cases that have come to mind but the spectator does not only criticize celebrities.

Everyone who has lived in the Post-Industrial society has encountered the spectator more than once. The spectator will destroy your character and turn you into a tool for its own twisted machinations. The spectator is a very, very, strong force. One that has driven numerous individuals to suicide.

If we wish to return to a society where the spectator plays a superfluous role and that of the individual is greater, then we need to stand together against the spectator. I can’t do it alone. I’m only one man.

– Scotia

Vintage

 

Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve found myself fascinated by old things. Books, cars, music, pictures, if it was old, I liked it. I guess it had to do with the fact that I’ve always appreciated bygone eras and I guess this ties into my in-depth studies of history. Maybe it also has to do with the fact that I hear people before me talk about “the good ol’ days”. One of my friend’s uncles said that when he was younger, he could work a part time job and pay for housing + college tuition. Can’t say that today.

Often times, I think I was born into the wrong decade. I can’t stand a lot of things that are in the world today and living for only 20 years, I can only say that things seem to get worse as time goes on. 10 years ago, things seemed less fast, less complicated, less irritating… The 21st century seems to have brought with it a mess of trouble. Then again, I was only 10, so what did I know.

Things weren’t always fluffy clouds and skyscrapers back then. There was a lot wrong with the world, but there seems to be a lot more wrong now. One of the main gripes I have with 21st century humanity is that we as a culture don’t value much. There’s so much disposable junk floating around it makes my head spin every time I ponder it. Its hard to find anything that’s not made in China or some other Southeast Asian country. Things back then were built to last and they were made primarily in the U.S. Things now are built to break as soon as you touch them and they are mass-produced in China. Coincidence? I think not.

I’m no Luddite. I appreciate some facets of technology and the 21st century, but I believe that it’s just done so much more harm than good. One thing I can’t stand is the digitization of music. I would have loved to live back in the 1970s and rush out to the record store to buy a new vinyl by my favorite artist and come home and play it on my record player. Now, we can just push “download” from the iTunes store (or even worse a Torrent site) and then listen to it in bits and pieces. There’s a huge disconnect between the listening experience and the value of music. Music, one of the fundamental products of humanity – reduced to a disposable commodity… Disgusting.

Old things tend to cost a lot of money because they are rare but maybe one day I will have the disposable income to live out the era I never had a chance to live in.

 

 

– Scotia

Loneliness

Loneliness is a core part of the human experience. It’s another one of those things our society tends to sweep under the rug and pretend does not exist. We are bombarded daily with images of people in groups, having a good time as if the very air we breath is made out of laughing gas. Everyone who has ever lived throughout history has experienced some type of loneliness. It’s another one of those “more or less” things that happens depending on whether you won the cosmic lottery or not. There needs to be a clear distinction between being lonely and being alone. I enjoy being alone most of the time. Growing up, I had no other choice. I either found ways to entertain myself or I get bored. Not too hard of choice there. I do not however, enjoy being lonely. Both of these phenomena tend to be common motifs in my life. They will be for many years to come. People enhance other people. There is no way around that, that is just how life works. These people come in the form of significant others and friends.

As time starts to complete another swing of the metronome and I grow inevitably older, I see acquaintances and such go in and out of various relationships, some lasting longer than others, some more successful and better built than others. Sometimes, I wonder what it would be like to be in one. Even more so, I wonder what they have that I do not. Then I remember – I’m me (oh yeah, forgot about that). I realize I will most likely never have a significant other. I have gotten increasingly more comfortable with the fact over time even though it is a relatively hard pill to swallow. Not only do I fail miserably in talking to the opposite sex, but I find that I can get annoying to be around for long periods of time. When this begins to occur, I remove myself from the scenario swiftly. It is not that I am talkative, quite the opposite. It’s just that I tend to be quite dull and not one for small talk. Not surprising coming from someone that is perpetually mired in depression. Let’s not even begin to get to the fact that I am one of the weirdest people on Earth.

As far as friends go, I can only say I have one. We don’t talk often, but I guess it’s better than none. All of the rest are just people that I interact with so that I can appear normal and to stave off the loneliness. I can’t relate to anyone and I’ve tried to make friends but people aren’t receptive. I don’t do a lot of the things that a lot of people do and in the process I seem – boring. It’s a shame because everyone that I have tried to be friends with, I felt that I could have learned something from them if only they reciprocated the feelings. It’s been a constant struggle since my earliest days.

In the end, I guess loneliness is one of the many sources of my continuous downsound. The fact that I am hard to relate to makes it even harder. Its gotten to the point that everyone has begun to mean nothing to me as they cannot grasp the core of what I am trying to express. Every single person is becoming dust in the wind and as time blows on, they begin to collapse. I know that there are others that feel the same way, but they are good at hiding it I guess (as we all are). Past performance is indicative or future success, and I have failed in both categories. I suppose it is for the best, after all. No room for companionship or camaraderie, as I have devoted my life towards the pursuit of knowledge, research, and the advancement of the arts and sciences.

In the end, it’s just another pathetic excuse for not addressing my near-impossible to fix list of flaws and another method of distraction from the dark reality that is human existence.

– Scotia

Saturdays

To get where I’m coming from in this topic, you can view my previous post on similar subject matter called Weekends.

Saturday is the most interesting day of the weekend. It’s the middle day of the weekend. It’s the one that can make or break the weekend, the one with the most potential. Infact, I have realized that the weekend can be explained using physics. Using the law of conservation of energy and Newton’s second law of motion, the weekend can be surmised in a simple formula.

W = Level of Weekend Enjoyment

m = Importance of significance placed on event

A = anticipation of certain events in Weekend

t = Amount of time that must elapse until even takes place in seconds

E = Event, can be greater or less than anticipation number

 

W = 2m + (A + E )t

m is derived by taking 2 as a base an increasing by a factor of ten for every level of excitement. Where the excitement level stops is currently unknown and unique to each person. A is proportional with time and both can be derived from the law of the conservation of energy I’d have to do the exact math, but I think this formula would work if I manage to put some tweaks into it.

Anticipation for the weekend can be seen in gravitational potential energy, which is then later converted into kinetic energy. Gravitational potential energy is energy that is stored in an object as it is in it’s upward form of trajectory in the air. Since energy cannot be created nor destroyed, this energy is converted onto kinetic energy on its way down more and more as it loses it’s GPE. Time can be seen as 0 from Friday, or maybe even Monday. It depends how far back the anticipation for the upcoming weekend is noticeably detected. As time goes further from zero, the more anticipation is gained. As the event begins, the anticipation is converted into the event and the anticipation then falls to 0 and E gains A’s previous energy. Some of the energy may be lost to some other processes if E was not as good as A expected.

 

So, this once again proves that even the most perplexing and fascinating of phenomena can be simplified into a mathematical formula. It makes the unfortunate reality of my Saturdays that much easier to swallow and turn further towards my hypothesis I came up with years ago: the weekend is a placebo.

 

 

– Scotia