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Some Aphorisms

You can always not care. And even if you do care you can “not care” that you care. If you think you are something you will be afraid of becoming nothing. As long as we strive we will suffer. It doesn’t matter what good intentions, ideals and flights of fancy you entertain, the body will always overrule. The world is built on lies. If you always remember this, very little will take you by surprise...

Who Controls the Controller?

If you happen to be a fairly normal human being you will have a voice in your head that is given the label “me”. This voice generally speaks in your native language and flatters itself with the belief that it directs the actions you take, and even what you think. Above all, this voice believes that it controls what you do – control is its big thing. To suggest that it...

Zig Zag Living

Think back over your life. If you are like most people your life will have been shaped by a relatively small number of key events. A typical example might be a chance meeting with someone who becomes your partner (for better or worse) for a decade or more. Maybe a chance conversation set you off on a career that had previously not been considered. Or an illness intervened at a crucial time during...

Brain Pain

I’m writing a new book in the form of a journal, it’s the only format that will keep me engaged long enough to complete the damned thing. So for the rest of the year, I will put a journal entry on the blog every week or two. Here is the first:- The head brain is continually anxious. It seems to me that thought is the mind’s attempt to resolve the anxieties. Since it is primarily...

Mindless Mindfulness

Here is how you become a millionaire by Christmas. Set yourself up as a mindfulness expert, because right now it is the hottest thing in town. Millions of unhappy people, desperate to find some relief from their anxieties and existential angst are buying into the idea that mindfulness is the new Prozac. All you need do is suck on a raisin for twenty minutes, with full attention on all the...

Grub World

More than a few biologists and other commentators have remarked that nearly all life forms resemble a tube – food goes in one end and excrement comes out the other. A whole pile of processing goes on during this journey from entrance to exit, but even the most highly developed life forms resemble a grub in this respect. In fact, sentient life could be seen as varying levels of grub...

Ignorance is Bliss

“I know nothing” – thus sayeth Manuel, the waiter in Fawlty Towers. This is the greatest wisdom. He must have been familiar with the great philosophers, and particularly Kant. So to unwind this story I need to very briefly relate Kant’s revolutionary revelation that we do not know reality. Our everyday experience takes place in space and time. These are constructs used by our minds to...

The Wages of Disempowerment

Disempowered people are dangerous people. All sentient creatures crave power – to dominate the pack, to enhance survival prospects, to confer power to offspring. We only have to consider Germany in the decade after the end of the First World War, to see what might grow out of the economic plight that affected the people of that country – Hitler. Germany was being pecked on all sides...

Spinoza on Desire

A raw unconscious drive is at the heart of all sentient creatures. Schopenhauer called it the will-to-life, where as Spinoza used a more ancient term – the conatus. For both these philosophers this drive was at the root of existence itself, although they had different takes on it. For Schopenhauer it was wholly lamentable, being the cause of great suffering. For Spinoza, it was simply...

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... fame has this great drawback, that to attain it we must conduct our lives to suit other men, avoiding what the masses avoid and seeking what the masses seek. - Spinoza

It doesn’t matter how much you love your new trick, at some point in the future you will come to hate it.

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