This is an archived page. (current posts)
I used to wonder about the virtues of a Zen(ish) approach to life; one where Being was as or more important than Doing. It's probably a simplistic breakdown, but my undergrad education left me with the idea that western philosophy is all about getting stuff done, while eastern philosophy focused on being or becoming or just eliminating desire altogether. I say "used to" because it's clear that I've thrown in with the Doers.
My friend Dan has been exploring the idea of "meta-narrative" - the worldview or overarching story you create to place your life experience in context. Thus far, mine seems to have evolved to something like "line 'em up and knock 'em down".* Huh... a personal mythology and life justification based around work... I'm not sure how I really feel about that. No, wait. It's not just work - it's other things too, things that are harder to classify. If the choice of Be/Do philosophy revolves around generating satisfaction and reducing suffering, then the experiences that feed my choice the most are the times when I'm in the zone, exploring the edge of some new idea, fully engaged with a purpose that, even if just for a moment, I can really believe in.
It can be writing, it can be making pots. Sometimes it's digging into a page of markup code to internalize it's logic and bend it according to a fuzzy mastery of overlapping rules and concepts. Often it's contained within a few moments of focused conversation, where ideas get threaded together in interesting ways or authentic communication about something important happens. Conversely, I can also find it in solitary puttering about the studio or yard or barn; putting expectations aside for a while to explore things and places like I was able to do so easily as a kid.
Ah, but now the false dichotomy appears (sorry; I've been reading the New Yorker). What makes some of those times so great, so self-fulfilling, is being enthralled in action while at the same time freezing or distilling my self and ego down into something more simple, more "containable". That is, to find myself just Being in a moment of Doing.
* Or more cynically, something like a death march: one foot in front of the other until you fall over.Compare with: "After bread has been secured, leisure is the supreme aim."
~ Kropotkin, The Conquest of Bread
(apparently, I'm the only person to ever quote this on the web. any chance I've remembered it wrong?) a previous related post
How does David Gray rock so hard with just his voice and a guitar? It's the same old folk song, but yet so new and so good. Me likey.
10.24.2005I See A Pattern
Being tired and jacked up on caffiene are a somewhat dangerous combination.
10.17.2005Man, You Really Freak Me Out
Comprehensive Background Report
Included from our exclusive premium databases:
Subject: COOPER, SCOTT W, Age: 34
1 unique address in Fillmore, IN
2 unique addresses in Greencastle, IN
3 unique addresses in Boulder, CO
1 unique address in Iowa City, IA
10.07.2005Top 10 Tunes
What are the top 10 most played tracks in your iTunes library? Here's mine, for better or worse, from my office computer. Kind of surprising... clearly I've been listening the shit out of the new Coldplay and Weezer albums!
Track ~ Artist (Count)
Alameda ~ Elliott Smith (21)
Freak Me Out ~ Weezer (14)
Sweet Lil Gal (23rd/1st) ~ Ryan Adams (13)
Square One ~ Coldplay (10)
This Is Such a Pity ~ Weezer (10)
Peace ~ Weezer (10 )
Ending in Tragedy ~ A New Found Glory (9)
Talk ~ Coldplay (9)
Omaha Beach ~ John Williams (9 )
Powerhouse at the Foot of the Mountain ~ Peter Gabriel (9)
Most blogs are decidedly not funny - for example The Negentropic Blog - but I really enjoy those that are. I just found Etch-A-Sketch Attention Span, which is no Izzlepfaff!, but still quite good.