Scan All Your Horizons

Last night at the club there was this short guy pickpocketing people on the dancefloor. It was dark, loud and people were drunk. So many didn’t notice. I was sober. I did notice and interrupted him, questioning what he was doing. He returned the wallets and I said, “What you were doing here is negative social creativity. You know what directions your life could take, if you turned that around into positive social creativity?” He looked at me in a blank way and responded: “I’m short, man. Look at me!”
I sensed that my words didn’t register with him at all, so I gave up lecturing him and handed the guy to the bouncers, which I would have done anyway regardless of his reaction.

Time and time again I’m amazed and in awe by people religiously dedicated to one extreme side of an argument/belief/idea/conviction. It’s toxic! It’s the old way. The more complex the environment gets, the less effective extremist views become, IF you want the whole planet with all of its population to survive and not only your tribe to make it. Cyclical progress is such an important understanding, that I’ll write an ebook on the topic and put it out for free in 2014.
See, it’s not about ignorance. The future is about, as said before, multi-disciplinary expertise. Or in other words, it’s about understanding extremes well enough, so that the balanced middle can be defined, too. Only a balanced middleground in any topic will provide solutions that are sustainable. This is true on a personal, developmental level and on a collective, global one as well.

Look for example at these two books:

The Shallows by Nicholas Carr
Smarter Than You Think by Clive Thompson

I really enjoyed reading both of them and each provides a valid set of arguments for its thesis, still they are completely contradictory. “The Shallows” tells you the Internet dumbs you down and “Smarter Than You Think” comes to the opposite conclusion saying, the Internet/computers make you smarter than you initially realize.
The crucial, crucial thing to get in this century is, that both are right, they are just too narrow. It’s selective focus in a complex world. You don’t want to take a side anymore, you want to understand both claims and acknowledge each validity, in order to precisely define the boundaries of a thematic middleground, that’ll offer a foundation for longterm solutions.

Vaclav Smil, a shining example of multidsciplinary expertise, worded this perfectly:

I saw how the university life goes, both in Europe and then in the US. I was at Penn State, and I was just aghast, because everyone was what I call drillers of deeper wells. These academics sit at the bottom of a deep well and they look up and see a sliver of the sky. They know everything about that little sliver of sky and nothing else. I scan all my horizons.

That’s the gist of my rant. We have to start scanning all our horizons. The luxury of sitting at the bottom of a deep well and only seeing a limited part of the sky is over. Leave that to the last two centuries.

When you start to connect the dots, that’s when interesting things start to happen. When seemingly independent branches of science start to show overlaps, because you become better at understanding each one, that’s where the answers to tomorrow’s questions are. When biology, anthropology, chemistry and archaeology have a foursome, they make cute little babies called genetics and evolution. And the advent of them is extremely important for continued survival.

Don’t be that pickpocketer, that’s only aware of one extreme end, although he already has the skillset to go into the other direction as well. You have to bombard your mind with opposing ideas to create awareness. You simply can’t walk around and be thinking, what you’re doing is the only option there is. Regret will hit you hard, when you’re old this way.

So, start reading opposing opinions, in order to define the sustainable balance in between those views.

Then go on and read a lot of diverse things from a huge variety of topics. Life is short. You’ll need to be seeing clearly.

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Scan All Your Horizons

The Killing Dynamic

If you’re male, you’ll want to pay close attention.

The following model will either break or make your life in this century. It’s the one denominator and the most important thing a man can understand.

The male population has turned into a bunch of grown-up boys still looking for play, entertainment and distraction. Yes, many of them support families, but that’s owed to mainstream social pressure and not the individual man’s understanding of his life’s path.

Jobs turn into competition opportunities, fulfilment is found in possessions and conquering.

If I can’t look inside to find out who I am, I have to search outside. The reflection in the mirror becomes more important than the one in front of it.

Competition, conquering, aggressiveness are all part of the male psyche and not bad in itself. They turn toxic though, when the man as a host for acting out those energies remains a boy.

And the one thing allowing you to determine whether someone is a man or still a boy, is the amount of self-pity he carries.

Self-pity is the most toxic emotion to male growth.

Feeling sorry for yourself is The Killing Dynamic.

What’s your life situation right now? Poor or rich? Ressources or no ressources? First world or third world? Girlfriend(s) or single? Potent or impotent? Responsible or in blame of others? Satisfied or unsatisfied?

The way a man responds to the things he perceives as painful struggle destines his greatness.

The world these days is packed with opportunities. We live in golden times that mankind hasn’t seen before. You can leave the house and don’t have to fear threats to your existence, that were very real to the vast majority of your ancestors. It’s called civilization. We have built safe bubbles around almost everything. And as a consequence men don’t hustle anymore, because when they were little there was no hunger cultivated. It was given to them and so when it’s not given anymore, they don’t understand and feel impotent and cry/blame/yell.

I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself.

— D. H. Lawrence

What is it that you struggle with? What lies are maintained? Which concrete walls around you aren’t real?

This is not meant as a “Toughen up, soldier!” talk. It’d be wrong to take this as a lesson that men have to sacrifice. That’s not what’s going on. You don’t have to sacrifice. At least not within the paradigm that makes you feel sorry for yourself. Later on in your development you’ll have to give your gift to the world regardless whether it will be appreciated or not. That’s the only form of sacrifice you’ll encounter.

This is a lesson in becoming responsible and proactively reaching out for one’s life purpose. Being willing to respond to the moment as it is without inner resistance and mental pictures of idealized comparisons. Taking life for what it is, not for what it should be.

It’s a lesson in acknowledging the unbelievable complexity and randomness of the world without judging. Noone is out to get you. Shit just happens. Again and again.

Life is so short, it’s simply a waste of time to be sitting at home and drowning in self-pity.

The boy feels sorry for his situation, the man doesn’t.
The boy has no concept of change and self-empowering. The man has given up an idealized vision of the world and himself and thereby rediscovered his potence.

It’s because the boy is still small and insecure, that he takes himself so serious. He wants to get acknowledged and be seen. He doesn’t realize that the only thing that can be acknowledged is the bizarre humor contained in one’s life situation.

And with humor comes gratitude. So many people had it worse and so many people didn’t even get a chance. You don’t have to compare yourself to Obama or Bond, but you can look in the mirror and know what has to be done to make you move forward in an instant. Begin with a tiny step today.

See, we have created a system of cancerous growth and production. And this is not a judgment about the system. The kind of growth economies indulge in today is just a technology fueled manifestation of assessment tendencies in the human brain. We are prone to threats and like to surround ourselves with things to feel safer. Plus we like bargains. It is what it is. But be aware, that a system driven by production and consumption doesn’t want you to step up and take responsibility. It teaches you helplessness and reliance on authority from early on, so that you keep sitting on your couch and keep consuming what is being offered. It doesn’t want you to think for yourself.

Being responsible, being proactive, being decisive, resting in your core as a man and being willing to face without judgment whatever the moment in front of you has to offer…that’s the antidote to self-pity, the crippling emotion.

It’s a mix of mental non-resistance and physical resilience. They go hand in hand like yin and yang, reinforcing each other.

Mental non-resistance is achieved by meditation, presence and constant exposure to ever sharper models of thinking and interpreting the world. Models like Stephen Covey’s 7 habits.

Physical resilience is achieved by regular exercise, good nutrition, restful sleep, a healthy sex and social life and an understanding of the universal law of contraction and expansion.

As men we have bodies that ejaculate and then want to rest, thinking the job is done. Peace. Finally. “I just want to close my eyes and rest a little.” This metaphor doesn’t work in the real world. Wanting to rest creates resistance to what really is. There world is too big, multi-dimensional, coincidental and complex to allow you to rest. There will always be another thing until you die. You spent years of your life thinking what it will be like once school is finished, only to find out another thing is right around the corner demanding your attention. It goes on and on until you do your last breath.

The recurrent habituated resistance of not rolling with the waves eventually creates self-pity and all of a sudden you turn into Job experiencing the world as one orchestra working against you.

The feeling of having arrived is like a pre-sensor for self-pity to come.

Don’t fall victim to The Killing Dynamic.

Don’t feel sorry for yourself. Once you feel sorry for yourself, that self-pity brings it brothers and sisters along: impotence, helplessness, laziness, procrastination, narcissism, distraction, over-stimulation and boredom. They infiltrate your head with convincing arguments and next thing you know, you’re in a wheelchair in some nursery home, your body is aching, your vision is blurry, your dick is limp and the food tastes terrible.

Don’t fall victim to The Killing Dynamic. Not because you’re a soldier able to sacrifice, but simply because it’s a waste of time and you have to make space for some urgency to give your gift to the world before you die.

Learn the art of being bent by reality! Most people out there try to take the other route and want to bend reality without changing themselves. They create words like Burnout, which essentially is just a socially accepted phrasing for Depression, and think it’s ok if there is no guilt reflected back. It’s lieing to oneself and withdrawing from responsibility. It won’t work out in the long-term.

Never feel sorry for yourself again! Laugh it off and be grateful!

Good luck, buddy!

The Killing Dynamic

Weekend Links #2

The man who can make up his mind quick, makes up other people’s minds for them. Decision is a sharp knife that cuts clear and straight and lays bare the fat and the lean; indecision is a dull one that hacks and tears and leaves ragged edges behind it.

By John Graham. Quote found via Ryan Holiday

 

 

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know I’m a big, big proponent of audiobooks and the importance of constant “success self-hypnotization” and “use of transit-times” and immersion. If audiobooks or the preferrable Audible subscription are too expensive for you, you might want to consider podcasts. Here are some that I listen to:

Don’t consider these things news-shows, infotainment or disguised advertising and only listen to the newest episodes. I usually go back to Episode 1 and work my way through. This way you get an audiobook for free, because each of those podcasts has some sort of their own major theme that they keep rambling on.

 

Enjoy!

Weekend Links #2