Tuesday, 15 May 2018

In defence of living on one’s knees

There is this old aphorism that various macho teenagers throw around with considerable bombast, and which I myself threw around back in the day, when I was young, dumb and full of come.

“I would rather die on my feet than live on my knees.”

Prudence gets such a bum rap in popular culture, but there is maturity in learning to play the game in such a way that you win the war, even if you concede some battles, and certainly avoid going out in a blaze of glory.

“It is better to live quietly for a cause than to die loudly for one.”*

Live on my knees? Hell yeah. Then, once the moment is right, I shuffle around at half-height, collecting the weapons of all the bravado-toting big-shots who died on their feet. Because that way, I arm myself to confront the enemy on my  terms, when I’m  ready, and when I do... I win.

*Paraphrased from Major Kusa Motoko, who was herself quoting J. D. Salinger.

Friday, 2 August 2013

"Like a light shining on you"

Today is one of those extra-special days when I am alive with electricity, aligned with the purpose of all things, burning with life and decisiveness and positivity. On days like today, all the planets of my internal firmament are in conjunction, every motion is a blessing and my heart is overflowing with understanding and love.

There are days when I am manic, to be sure, and other days when I simply feel fucking sensational. But on days like today, I have a distinct sense of serving a higher purpose. Great things are going to happen; in fact, I am working towards making them happen right now, and it is as if my present moment has caught up with the future. One author described a feeling that I am sure is similar as being "like a light shining on you". It really does feel that way; not so much a delusion of grandeur, but a sense of being in the spotlight, aglow under a concentrated flood of photons.

I am so happy to have this sense of connection with the infinite, and be filled with certainty regarding what I need to do. It is on days like this that I feel I am succeeding completely at what it means to be alive.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

I'm not much of a philosopher

There is no denying that I think deeply on a range of existential subjects as I try to plumb the depths of truth about human experience and the universe in which we exist. (That is, of course, assuming we exist at all.) In spite of these tendencies, I am not comfortable with the idea of being described as a philosopher.

In the first case, I do not have anywhere near the requisite level of academic experience for anyone to possibly take me seriously as a philosopher. For me, the title implies a person who is not only wise and insightful, but also who has done a great deal of research and is capable of remarkable feats in the arena of arguing a point.

Beyond that, I think of myself as a man of action, and if I do anything that resembles philosophising, it is with the overriding purpose of achieving practical results in the real world. Metaphysics, excursions into the complexities of logic, and similar preoccupations are very interesting and may or may not enable an individual to satisfactorily make sense of his or her experiences. The search for meaning is a fundamental human imperative, and I for one think it is very important for people to find it.

But I also believe that the meaning of life is quite straightforward, and the way to attain what is important is by applying oneself in practical ways, rather than by practising argumentative gymnastics. (Mind you, if philosophy itself is what gives someone a sense of fulfilment, then indulging in it is just as valid an application of effort as any other.)

I have nothing against abstractions, but I would not describe myself as a champion of them -- for all my idealism and openmindedness, I live in the real world. My objective is to help others, and although words and concepts comprise the vehicle by which I make my way towards this goal, I am fully convinced that action is the key which unlocks the door at our destination.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

My room is taking shape

I am in the thick of transmuting my room from something that looks like a nuclear disaster area, into a state-of-the-art polymathic laboratory/studio/art gallery. One of the greatest things I look forward to is allocating a little time each week to playing music once again -- it wasn’t really until I retrieved all my cherished instruments from storage that I was overrun with the realisation of how badly I've missed creating my own music, instead of just appreciating that of others.

Two walls are lined with guitars, keyboards, and banks of digital bullshit ranging from effects systems to recording gear, and it occurred to me that room is starting to look like that of a musician. Then my line of sight swept further, and I decided that depending on where one looks, one might think it is the room of a pilot, or a mad scientist and inventor, or otaku, or electronic warfare specialist, tree-hugging hippie, scholar, Japanophile, literary tragic or ex-soldier.

I am intrigued at the way in which most of us find it reassuring to surround ourselves with reflections of our own inner universe; in my case, the diverse passions evident in my living space are all quite eloquent comments on my identity.

Even if, for diplomatic reasons, I am compelled to leave the most significant of these to just the faintest whisper.