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essays & notes


Collected Aphorisms
of IAO131


"Sit as little as possible. Give no credence to any thought that was not born outdoors while moving about freely." -Friedrich Nietzsche

On Compassion: We must either discard this notion of suffering (“com-patio” = “suffering together”) in favor of a more accurate one of sympathy, or we must understand the meaning of Suffering more deeply. Suffering must be detached from moral (right vs. wrong) and metaphysical (Original Sin, Divine Judgment, etc.) notions and spring from the rapturous affirmation of all facets of life, including both happiness & sorrow. To suffer in the sense of the helpless Christian or Schopenhauerian is to merely admit one’s own decadence. To suffer the tribulation of ordeals with peaceful equanimity and an everlasting Yes; that is to admit and perpetuate the diverse Beauty of things. {10.17.07}

• Confidence is but a small step from Pride. Confidence is sureness in one’s ability to adapt & assimilate; Pride is over-exaggeration of one’s relative self-importance. When another deems one's own actions to be of one or the other, it reveals merely the person’s prejudice. {10.17.07}

• We have lost our natural affect-reaction to symbols. Clustered over this intuition is our reason-complex that thinks all things can be explained in words, in dialectics. “We have lost the sun,” says D.H. Lawrence, and I cant help but agree. But not only have we lost the planets & stars, we have lost also the grass, the birds, the kisses, the thunderclaps, the smiles, the fishes, the soap-bubbles, the mountains, and most unfortunately, ourselves. We have forgotten that the cosmos pulsates unrelentingly in the human breast. {10.17.07}

• Lust-for-experience is not a means to an end, a purpose towards some thing; it is an end in itself. The lust of man is the boundless blossoming of the flower. {10.17.07}

• Purpose is the mind's attempt to understand the chaotic & voracious Motion of things. {10.17.07}

The world as a mirror - Those who feel their selves to be decadent look outside themselves and can see nothing but hostility and vileness: the internal fragmentation projected outward upon all one's circumstances. These proclaim the many "Thou shalt not"s for they believe all men must be as vile as they feel themselves to be in their depths. {10.22.07}

• Those that plumb their own depths and find strength within themselves know that each person - and truly every thing - must have its freedom to fulfill its proper motion. Thus why it has been said "One Law for the Lion & Ox is Oppression."{10.22.07}

• A tree grows tall and strong by virtue of its roots deep underground. The human psyche even more so. {10.22.07}

• The 'next step' of humanity is for the ego-centric self to realize it is not the king in the kingdom; the Selfs - that point in between the conscious and unconscious which contains but transcends both - is the new king (actually, it always was; we are merely realizing this fact more clearly now). {10.22.07}

• The ego may be disintegrated by the influence of the unconscious potencies at play but the Self remains and it may reconstitute the ego along more suitable lines: the source of all the death & rebirth myths of antiquity. {10.22.07}

• The term 'unconscious' (implying simply "that which is not conscious") is much more accurate than 'subconscious,' for the latter implies "that which is below consciousness;" it carries with it all the psychic associations of inferiority. But if the subconscious explains those things that come from below, what about that which seems to come from "above" - that which some call "divine"? They too are from the unconscious, and this is why it is written "I reveal unto you a great mystery. Ye stand between the abyss of height and the abyss of depth. In either awaits you a Companion; and that Companion is Yourself. Ye can have no other Companion." The unconscious surrounds the conscious on all sides like the ocean to an island or space to a star. {10.22.07}

• We are each emissaries of both life and death even as our heart beats with both systole and diastole and our lungs absorb life with each inhalation only to release it with each exhalation. {10.22.07}

• Although its of no concern to the ocean, a drop will naturally create a ripple in water. Although its of no concern from the perspective of the universe, a drop of experience will create a natural reaction in man. {10.23.07}

• One gives up selfish motives only for more subtle forms thereof. {10.23.07}

• Solitude, not loneliness. Communion, not assimilation. {10.24.07}

• Raja yoga is the flame of concentration. Bhakti yoga is the ocean of all-encompassingness. Jnana yoga is the dagger of discrimination. Karma yoga is the spinning disk of detached action. {10.25.07}

• Health for the body, tranquil orderliness for the mind, equilibration for the passions. {10.25.07}

• Having a powerful mind is one of the best gifts one can receive. Having a powerful mind is one of the worst curses one can endure. {10.26.07}

• The powerful mind encloses itself in the top of a self-made tower. This mind soon tires of any acquaintance that does not stimulate and add freshness of experience; the ones who dwell on mountain-peaks of similar stature are the ones who can begin to sympathize, yet they often seem not to have long enough legs to find anyone. {10.26.07}

• Even as the powerful body demands a physical overcoming for satiation, so too does the powerful mind seek continuous psychological overcoming. {10.26.07}

• A mind of great intensity demands activity; one sublimation of this is the focusing the diverse awarenesses normally present into an attention-beam of concentration. Another: indifference; that is, a detachment and dis-identification from all thoughts. And another: to call to mind the exact contrary of any & each thought presented to awareness, knowing the truth & falsity of both. And finally also: a begetting, a bursting forth of the dam. {10.26.07}

• Can any idea be truly said to be thought by the thinker? Thoughts happen, they are not thought. {10.26.07}

• Arbitrary... but how beautiful! & wondrous! {10.26.07}

• We reel confusedly in a darkened room of our own ignorance, kindling the candle lights of infatuation. The boundless sunshine permeates every particle yet we insist on our artificial light in our self-enclosed crawlspace. If we were to open the window: “What!” we would proclaim, “There are candles here?” {10.30.07}

• We are eternally alone in our genuine intellectual-emotional standpoint – the closest we can come are similar words. {10.30.07}

• The full expression of life’s joys escape us insofar as we forget death’s inevitable presence. {10.30.07}

• My joys consist not in quantity, but in the delicate & subtle appreciation of the generally unnoticed. {10.30.07}

• For every attachment we forge, an emotionally charged bond is formed, and a future sorrow of discarding is necessarily born. {10.30.07}

• Material objects appear within the perceptual range of sight just as thoughts appear within the perceptual range of the mind. {10.30.07}

• The artist is one who creates beauty out of ridiculous and arbitrary restrictions. {10.30.07}

• One’s aversion to an idea, especially if not contemplated before, generally shows a thought-complex of prejudice. {10.30.07}

• ‘Beginning’ and ‘end’ are arbitrary distinctions from the mind. {10.31.07}

• When presented with a phenomenon, one has the chance to either integrate & form a harmonious relationship with this phenomenon or to shut oneself off from it by either denial or distortion of its existence and impact. {10.31.07}

• Two modes for increasing understanding of the world: expansion & concentration. We may expand our sphere of perception to include things not yet known or we may examine things already perceived in more depth. {10.31.07}

• True Understanding is the indifferent acceptance following sympathy with opposing view-points. {11.5.07}

• Any kind of reach back into the past that extends beyond learning from our mistakes, and any kind of reach into the future that extends beyond making sure not to misstep is a diversion from the now. Both of these considerations are simply to enhance the now anyways, so let us embrace child-like forgetfulness towards the past and child-like confidence towards the future. Each of these embraces are an arm in the true embrace of the now, and the unfathomable love springing therefrom. {11.5.07}

• Music is crystallized will. {11.9.07}

Skepticism – useful as a tool for one’s Going, a battering ram on the hull of one’s will… not as an end in itself, which I call ‘stagnation.’ {11.13.07}

• To criticize and complain is to set one’s motive outside oneself – to create is to relocate it within. {11.13.07}

Self-discipline - a mark of a great power is its ability to constrain itself as a prudence, as a preserving of potencies for some larger purpose. {11.13.07}

• Conflict breeds stronger harmonies. {11.13.07}

Who cares? Not a call to apathy but to re-examination of our values. {11.14.07}

• Nature dictating ideals, not ideals dictating Nature. {11.16.07}

Attitude - All things, even all systems, treated as a means toward our continual transforming & growth – anything treated as an end is the quickest road to stagnation; a gushing river, not a settled pool. {11.19.07}

• In our metabolism is both catabolism & anabolism; in our circulation, systole & diastole; in our respiration, inhalation & exhalation; in our conversation, speech & silence. Dialectics dissect our inherent wholeness. {11.19.07}

• True psychological health (“hælþ” of Old English) is wholeness. {11.19.07}

• The reality of something to us is the degree to which attention is focused upon it. {11.19.07}

• Something becomes a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ only when the mind (from the same root as ‘measurement:’ mens) attends to it. {11.21.07}

• Korzybski reminds us that, ‘the map is not the territory:’ the mind can only be a map-maker. {11.21.07}

Doubt – both too little and too much lead to stagnation. {11.21.07}

• We may call them various ‘motives’ but behind all these is the organism’s striving towards growth, towards more power. {11.27.07}

Man as a verb – an individual conceived as a noun is semantically confined to be a fixed subject; an individual conceived as a verb is allowed to evolve as a dynamic process. {11.27.07}

Identity – the “self” (as distinct from “other”) is a convenient compromise, a construct… not a thing-in-itself with a priori existence. {11.30.07}

• Differentiation is a perceptual & practical compromise of the organism's faculties. {12.4.07}

• Language is communication that asserts division and differentiation (subject & object). Music is communication which unites in resonance. {12.4.07}

A parable of Will & Reason - When we get to a certain rhythmic motion while on a bicycle, at a certain point one does not even need to touch the handlebars, let alone direct them, to avoid crashing. {12.4.07}

Naturalism - There is no such thing as “artificial;” it entirely depends on a false notion of man as separate from nature. {12.4.07}

• Each moment is its own purpose. {12.4.07}


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