What I Believe & Other Nonsense

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Psychonaut
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What I Believe & Other Nonsense

Post by Psychonaut » Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:16 am

So, first a bit of background..

For some time I have wanted to write a book, mainly as an exercise in ordering my thoughts. I wanted to call it 'What I Believe & Other Nonsense'. However, I found that my thoughts resisted all attempts at being ordered. I considered subtitling the book 'A Book Of Introductions' and declaring each chapter to be the first. I still made little progress. Last night I considered what it would be like if I made it into a poem, it might be enough, or might act as a starting point...

It is still a work in progress, as I would like to give it a better rhyming scheme, but here it is as it stands..

What I Believe & Other Nonsense

No part of the following may be heard & understood
unless each other part is first heard & understood

That this is impossible is something of which I am aware
It is good then, perhaps, that I simply do not care

In no particular order:

Philosophy is a practice not a purpose; a game with rules
people partaking without sincerity are made bigger fools

In language rules only obfuscate; it is about understanding
interlocutors must be open and never demanding

The phenomena we experience are generated by our brains
hence the brain is not here but out there beyond our strains

Psychology taught me about the minds of Freud & Jung
and gave little insight to my own subconscious dung

Personal identity and will are necessary illusions
evolved only to reproduce, causing confusions

Transcendental identity is both empty yet more real
this is impossible, yet I've made no mistake, I feel..

The 'social advances' of the past 100 years
are simply outsourcing to third-world overseers

Politics is about conflicting best interests, material or ideal
it hides personal responsibility beneath official seals

The same with spirituality & religion;
the more we follow others the less we have conviction

Morality is the wish that others will follow our ethic
we must let go or on resentment stick

This world is full of monkeys all flinging their shit
carry an umbrella if you don't want to be hit

I would rather live in a world of playmates than playthings
so I treat all people well and accept whatever this brings

We are never so mean as when refusing generosity
yet the debt of a gift bears its own ferocity

Ignorant people have scorn for others ignorance
which is what keeps people as ignorant as infants

To blame others is the only blameworthy action
mistakes happen what matters is our reaction

People make things hard instead of easy for us all
because we SHOULD be able; this is how we trip, not fall

Individualism is a creed to divide & conquer
those who run together run for longer

We are stupid for the most part because we blinker our brains
and we are never so free as when we choose our own chains

chaz wyman
Posts: 5329
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 7:31 pm

Re: What I Believe & Other Nonsense

Post by chaz wyman » Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:55 am

Psychonaut wrote:So, first a bit of background..

For some time I have wanted to write a book, mainly as an exercise in ordering my thoughts. I wanted to call it 'What I Believe & Other Nonsense'. However, I found that my thoughts resisted all attempts at being ordered. I considered subtitling the book 'A Book Of Introductions' and declaring each chapter to be the first. I still made little progress. Last night I considered what it would be like if I made it into a poem, it might be enough, or might act as a starting point...

It is still a work in progress, as I would like to give it a better rhyming scheme, but here it is as it stands..

What I Believe & Other Nonsense

No part of the following may be heard & understood
unless each other part is first heard & understood

That this is impossible is something of which I am aware
It is good then, perhaps, that I simply do not care

In no particular order:

Philosophy is a practice not a purpose; a game with rules
people partaking without sincerity are made bigger fools

In language rules only obfuscate; it is about understanding
interlocutors must be open and never demanding

The phenomena we experience are generated by our brains
hence the brain is not here but out there beyond our strains

Psychology taught me about the minds of Freud & Jung
and gave little insight to my own subconscious dung

Personal identity and will are necessary illusions
evolved only to reproduce, causing confusions

Transcendental identity is both empty yet more real
this is impossible, yet I've made no mistake, I feel..

The 'social advances' of the past 100 years
are simply outsourcing to third-world overseers

Politics is about conflicting best interests, material or ideal
it hides personal responsibility beneath official seals

The same with spirituality & religion;
the more we follow others the less we have conviction

Morality is the wish that others will follow our ethic
we must let go or on resentment stick

This world is full of monkeys all flinging their shit
carry an umbrella if you don't want to be hit

I would rather live in a world of playmates than playthings
so I treat all people well and accept whatever this brings

We are never so mean as when refusing generosity
yet the debt of a gift bears its own ferocity

Ignorant people have scorn for others ignorance
which is what keeps people as ignorant as infants

To blame others is the only blameworthy action
mistakes happen what matters is our reaction

People make things hard instead of easy for us all
because we SHOULD be able; this is how we trip, not fall

Individualism is a creed to divide & conquer
those who run together run for longer

We are stupid for the most part because we blinker our brains
and we are never so free as when we choose our own chains
Write the book, but don't give up your day job.

artisticsolution
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Re: What I Believe & Other Nonsense

Post by artisticsolution » Fri Dec 09, 2011 3:46 am

Hi Psy,

The poem reads to me so far as a type of wall you built around yourself so that the reader can't hurt you. It is as if it is an outlet for you to have your say but be barricaded in, safe and sound. Only you can't be safe and sound...can you?

Oddly enough my mom is thinking of taking a class on writing memoirs. Last night she told me that she was a little worried that the class would cause her to reveal too much...and it might be too painful. My advice to her is the same advice I would give you. I told her that she didn't have to write revealing things about herself. She could stick to the safe road and not dig deep...but then again that is the norm. Or she could just write fearless and take a chance it will be more of a challenge and perhaps more intriguing.

There are no guarantees that letting down your barriers will produce anything that will cause people to want to read ...but if you are going to apologize in the title (sort of) then I think you will attract people who pounce on people who they see as weaker and tell them things like, "Don't quit your day job."

If this is your intent then I say go for it...it could be sort of cool to say things in a reverse sort of way....sucking people into the depth of their own neurosis...for lack of a better word...and then in the end....calling them on it. Saying in the conclusion about how you knew that words can bring out the hidden side of people and you deliberately used them in such a way that would cause some to have this reaction...or something to the sort.

Could be an eye opener for the reader you have pegged.

But then again...you had me pegged when you wrote what you did! You knew I would write this post...didn't you! :shock:

Glad to see you posting again. You know I am a huge fan.

Joseph
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Re: What I Believe & Other Nonsense

Post by Joseph » Fri Dec 09, 2011 6:00 am

I think I still prefer your effort here.

That said, I like this a lot!

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Psychonaut
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Re: What I Believe & Other Nonsense

Post by Psychonaut » Fri Dec 09, 2011 10:45 pm

Hi chaz
Write the book, but don't give up your day job.
I never would, my work is a significant part of my life, of my eudaimonia.

Hi as

What you said was difficult for me. Why? I'm grappling with that..

There is a big disconnect between how I see what I've written and how you say you see it. My attempts to see your perspective are faltering..
The poem reads to me so far as a type of wall you built around yourself so that the reader can't hurt you. It is as if it is an outlet for you to have your say but be barricaded in, safe and sound. Only you can't be safe and sound...can you?
Consciously, at least, the poem is far from an attempt to barricade myself in or protect myself. It is intended as an exposition of my humble opinions. Hmm, perhaps in some way though I can see this. By its very nature the poetic form is one less open to attack than a more frank and direct approach. Is this what you mean?

But then, I never consider myself 'open to attack', as I am quite open to revision and hence welcome criticism as a friendly gesture even when it is not intended as such.

Or did you mean something different? Are there some lines in the poem which lead you to say this? I speak of how people should treat the mistakes of others, do you think I seek to protect myself from reproach for my mistakes? This is not the case; insofar as anyone is willing to listen I intend to protect the reader from reproaching others.

As for whether or not we can be safe and sound.. we can and we can't. I think I am now at a point where I am safe from physical or emotional abuse. It would take quite a bit to faze me. However, I have quite happily made myself incredibly vulnerable by getting married as my wellbeing is now conditional on the wellbeing and whims of another human :)
There are no guarantees that letting down your barriers will produce anything that will cause people to want to read ...but if you are going to apologize in the title (sort of) then I think you will attract people who pounce on people who they see as weaker and tell them things like, "Don't quit your day job."
Hmm, I did not see the title that way at all. I personally believe that in all likelihood everything I think is utter crap, and that this is the unfortunate situation for all humans. We have no way of distinguishing between whether our beliefs are well-founded or not; there are clear examples of complete lunatics who can believe any damn thing they choose and be also convinced of their reasonableness. This is the absurdity of human existence, the embrace of which is quite precious. Also, I find the title whimsical :)
If this is your intent then I say go for it...it could be sort of cool to say things in a reverse sort of way....sucking people into the depth of their own neurosis...for lack of a better word...and then in the end....calling them on it. Saying in the conclusion about how you knew that words can bring out the hidden side of people and you deliberately used them in such a way that would cause some to have this reaction...or something to the sort.
Well.. I don't think I am capable of foreseeing such reactions in others, and while much of what I have written is deliberately evocative or provocative that is not my intention in this writing. Also, as I say in this poem I do not like to treat people as playthings so if I were to intentionally produce a reaction I would want it to be one that shocks people into greater self-awareness and greater self-power, not to demonstrate their vulnerability.
But then again...you had me pegged when you wrote what you did! You knew I would write this post...didn't you!
Ofcourse baby 8)
Glad to see you posting again. You know I am a huge fan.
Thanks :)

Hi Joseph

Its interesting what you say, as that effort had little distance in it..

Perhaps I should revisit it and move it forwards. A major problem I have is perfectionism. Perhaps I just have to accept the sloppiness of reality, embrace it even, if I am to get where I want.

Also, thanks for your appreciation. Perhaps you have some ideas of how I could progress?

artisticsolution
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Re: What I Believe & Other Nonsense

Post by artisticsolution » Sat Dec 10, 2011 6:24 am

Hi Psy,

P:What you said was difficult for me. Why? I'm grappling with that..

AS: I knew when I said it it would be difficult for you to hear. It would be difficult for me to hear too. I don't know how else to say it but directly. As you know wordage is not my strong point. But have no fear...I was simply saying what my first reaction was....I could be wrong. I will tell you the reasons for my saying the things I did though...so you can understand where I am coming from...but it will be hard for me to spit out correctly so here goes...

To me your title is honest in a dishonest way or dishonest in an honest way? There is nothing wrong with that so don't take offense. If I were talking about myself if I had written a title like that I would say that I was simply being honest about myself but that I was being dishonest by cloaking honesty in a shroud of "whimsy"... a costume so to speak. I would ask myself....why the costume? What in my words need to be said behind a mask. For it is clear I am talented...and it is equally clear I spout nonsense sometimes....but why do I feel the need to hide my talent in a disguise named nonsense. Why not give my talent first billing....or not even combine the 2? Certainly if I was honest...and I really felt I spouted nonsense...then I wouldn't even bother to write it down.

I hope you can see where I am coming from....

It was brought to my attention a long time ago that I was being insecure by saying negative things about myself. Which I always thought how funny people are to just see an honest assessment as displaying insecurity as a bad quality to have. I have always thought it a good quality to have. I mean obviously we all have positive and negative parts about our personalities....right? well then I don't see what is so insecure about talking about both attributes honestly.

Apologize for my talent. Yes, in the past I have...in fact...I used to deliberately not paint as well as I could because I feared someone would think I was showing off! I had a teacher once tell me to stop being so clever and so I stopped trying to paint well...because I was afraid of "being too clever."

Now I will tell you what I was going to say....I was going to say, "I too would have written a title like that...open and honest but guarded for safety" And I would full well expect for people to mistake my honesty for vulnerability when it was nothing of the sort, but it always perplexed me as to why they go there first? Why can't they say, "How odd for you to choose such a title for yourself, why do you think what you think is nonsense?" Rather than immediately think, " OOoooh,,,an underbelly exposed waiting for me to swoop down and take advantage." But this has everything to do with me and maybe not so much you...but for questioning sake it was apart of my thought process.

So, when I read the title and then read your poem...coupled with the fact that I have read your other poems....it read to me as if you were hesitant to expose your talent...or as if you were apologizing for your talent in some way. It might not have been the case with you...but I wonder if you look back on it in hindsight when you are older....anyway.. It might be you have a different perspective...but I can't help but think you are hiding the nuts and bolts from our view and only showing us an answer but not showing us the math of how you arrived there. The math is the vulnerability. If you expose the math...we can then tell if you are without a shadow of a doubt...full of...uh...nonsense. But it's that underbelly exposed that is the epitome of art. And I have seen it from you...and it's anything but nonsense. Because of what I know you have written before...and so I think....why? To myself....and then I continue the dialogue from my own perspective in my head as to what would make me do the same thing. And then I derive a conclusion and many more questions based on that. See?

P:There is a big disconnect between how I see what I've written and how you say you see it. My attempts to see your perspective are faltering..

AS: Because I was not talking about what you wrote. Which is the finished product of all the hard work you've put into life so far...i think...but without showing the hard work itself....it reads like a parent protecting a child who is hellbent on experiencing life. You are telling us what you have learned....but shielding us from the truth of how you learned it. Do you see the honest yet dishonesty thing at play yet? Do you kinda get what I am saying about the feeling I am getting?

P:But then, I never consider myself 'open to attack', as I am quite open to revision and hence welcome criticism as a friendly gesture even when it is not intended as such.

AS: Sweetie whether or not you "welcome" this "criticism" has nothing to do with the fact that he said absolutely nothing by saying it. Literally...how does the words, "Don't quit your day job" help when they are empty criticism that says absolutely nothing as he knows nothing of what you are capable of. It was just a mean spirited heckle and while it is big of you to be so welcoming to him (I think it will serve you well) you also have to sift through the 'real' critics and the dicks who just find enjoyment in being cruel. Those type will not offer anything of substance to your artistic journey. You can be kind in passing that is good...but don't think of them offering true "criticism".

P:Or did you mean something different? Are there some lines in the poem which lead you to say this? I speak of how people should treat the mistakes of others, do you think I seek to protect myself from reproach for my mistakes? This is not the case; insofar as anyone is willing to listen I intend to protect the reader from reproaching others.

AS:The things meant enough to you to want to write a book...right? But they don't mean enough to you to not call them nonsense? I understand the desire to be humble....but who are you kidding. It's like the gorgeous model saying they think they are ugly and then dressing that way deliberately. It is a good way to find out how people are when you hide you light...but not exactly honest. You are humble...you don't have to try. But you also know you are talented. Speak of that as well? You can be both you don't have to dress down. Not that I know you are doing this...I just get the feeling..


P:Hmm, I did not see the title that way at all. I personally believe that in all likelihood everything I think is utter crap, and that this is the unfortunate situation for all humans. We have no way of distinguishing between whether our beliefs are well-founded or not; there are clear examples of complete lunatics who can believe any damn thing they choose and be also convinced of their reasonableness. This is the absurdity of human existence, the embrace of which is quite precious. Also, I find the title whimsical :)

AS:You don't see the irony or see how you are kinda hiding the truth in writing a book filled with thoughts you think important enough to write in order to help people but then calling it nonsense?

P:Well.. I don't think I am capable of foreseeing such reactions in others, and while much of what I have written is deliberately evocative or provocative that is not my intention in this writing. Also, as I say in this poem I do not like to treat people as playthings so if I were to intentionally produce a reaction I would want it to be one that shocks people into greater self-awareness and greater self-power, not to demonstrate their vulnerability.

AS:How is self power better than vulnerability? I never understood that. To me I have always felt that vulnerability is one of the most powerful things self can expose.

Joseph
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Re: What I Believe & Other Nonsense

Post by Joseph » Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:15 am

Psychonaut wrote: Hi Joseph

Its interesting what you say, as that effort had little distance in it..

Perhaps I should revisit it and move it forwards. A major problem I have is perfectionism. Perhaps I just have to accept the sloppiness of reality, embrace it even, if I am to get where I want.

Also, thanks for your appreciation. Perhaps you have some ideas of how I could progress?
Well, if your stated goal is to order your thoughts, as it is in this post, then I suppose this work comes closer to that goal. It is more concise and focused. But the reason I like the older one is because it seems to reflect more accurately the "sloppiness of reality", as you say. The first part is a bald statement of some of your most basic beliefs, but the rest is poetry that doesn't really cohere into a single statement but just sort of works as a photo album. Maybe I just prefer photo albums to narratives :)

Might I ask why it is you want to order your thoughts? If you are a thoughtful person, and you seem to be, then they should be a moving target! I know that my writings obey (with high precision) what I call the "6-month rule" -- everything I read of mine that is at least 6 months old is garbage! ("How could I possibly have written that!?" "How could I have believed that then!?")

I guess it's a never-ending task (cause for celebration, not despair). I would consider my life to be fairly fragmented and scatter-brained (for better or for worse), but if there's one thing I hold as a maxim, it's "Know thyself". I decided a few months ago that knowledge of self is the most fascinating, and important, knowledge one can have.

"and we are never so free as when we choose our own chains" - my favorite line.

chaz wyman
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Re: What I Believe & Other Nonsense

Post by chaz wyman » Sun Dec 11, 2011 1:38 am

artisticsolution wrote:Hi Psy,

The poem reads to me so far as a type of wall you built around yourself so that the reader can't hurt you. It is as if it is an outlet for you to have your say but be barricaded in, safe and sound. Only you can't be safe and sound...can you?

.
I think you have it!!!

chaz wyman
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Re: What I Believe & Other Nonsense

Post by chaz wyman » Sun Dec 11, 2011 1:40 am

Psychonaut wrote:Hi chaz
Write the book, but don't give up your day job.
I never would, my work is a significant part of my life, of my eudaimonia.
So what is that?

It might be better to take one or two of your axioms and look at them individually - or a small group of connected statements.
In this sort of Forum your list kind of gets lost.

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Arising_uk
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Re: What I Believe & Other Nonsense

Post by Arising_uk » Sun Dec 11, 2011 3:28 am

I think you've found a style that would suit you. I think it should be targeted at poetry, no bad thing.

A nice title for a poem as well.

I think either allow the structure to give us breath or use more punctuation to place it , as having a few in there loses me, then you can use the structure to play visual over or undertones.

I disagree we are monkeys, primates.

I think the concept individualism can be used in many ways.

duszek
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Re: What I Believe & Other Nonsense

Post by duszek » Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:30 pm

I agree with the insight concerning gifts: it can be mean (or even cruel) to refuse an act of generosity.
On the other hand some gifts are "poisonous", with strings attached to them.

One can refuse an unwelcome gift in a polite way.
The tone of the voice then bears all the job of showing that you are not intending to hurt.

Sometimes a person offers himself as a "gift". Then I try what I call the English technique: I behave so strangely that the person feels like in the wrong film and gives up.

bus2bondi
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Re: What I Believe & Other Nonsense

Post by bus2bondi » Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:19 pm

i liked that

chaz wyman
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Re: What I Believe & Other Nonsense

Post by chaz wyman » Sun Dec 25, 2011 11:40 am

duszek wrote:I agree with the insight concerning gifts: it can be mean (or even cruel) to refuse an act of generosity.
On the other hand some gifts are "poisonous", with strings attached to them.

One can refuse an unwelcome gift in a polite way.
The tone of the voice then bears all the job of showing that you are not intending to hurt.

Sometimes a person offers himself as a "gift". Then I try what I call the English technique: I behave so strangely that the person feels like in the wrong film and gives up.
A gift is a hidden obligation. It is an implied demand for reciprocity.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Gift_(book)

Marcel Mauss, The Gift

spike
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Re: What I Believe & Other Nonsense

Post by spike » Sun Dec 25, 2011 4:52 pm

Some people think The Enlightenment is nonsense and a myth. But here is a link that thinks otherwise and I agree: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/25/books ... ntemail1=y

chaz wyman
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Re: What I Believe & Other Nonsense

Post by chaz wyman » Sun Dec 25, 2011 7:42 pm

spike wrote:Some people think The Enlightenment is nonsense and a myth. But here is a link that thinks otherwise and I agree: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/25/books ... ntemail1=y
This is an expression of the myth.

Israel's books, I have read much of them, are full of great bits of information, but nowhere does he at any point express that the Enlightenment is anything more than an historical myth. I doubt that anyone has read all three books - because they are more useful as doorstops.

No one is arguing that there was social and political change in the 18thC, but it was only part of a wider change and evolution of thinking that started lang before that and has never stopped. It is a myth to distil a small section of those changes and delimit a part of it to the 18thC and call it an Enlightenment. You are too dull to recognise the subtlety of the arguments.

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