Sunday, August 19, 2012

"Maximizing the Surface Area of Your Bliss" an allay

Greetings, Students of Life!
This allay seems to me defensive in tone, that one has to structure himself apart from a world eager to impose. I develop some lines of logic regarding how to schedule our daily life drawing from the book I wrote about virtue. We can all live our life in a way to maximize our possible bliss – that is self-evident – but how do we accomplish this?

Take care Caretakers


Maximizing the Surface Area of your Bliss
            Joy is the conscious experience of creating; bliss is the conscious experience of creative union. The druggy’s dream of an eternal hit, of the cocaine rush that never dies, comes from a short-circuiting of the mental tools: happiness and its concrete manifestations in pleasure are meant to accompany the completing of a circuit, the venturing of a task and the raising of interest and excitement through frustrations and defeat; the subsequent enjoinment of the created beauty with our own inner being is bliss. We identify real goods through our values, and gain them through our virtues, but the whole of the union is not simply in the attainment and consumption of goods through good acts, but ultimately in the growth of the organism. Man is such a being that he continually grows even while parts of him die. The feelings of growth -- the expansive moods -- are the rewards for growth, so to gain them without really growing is to subvert their purpose and to stultify the organism. Addiction is an obstacle. Happiness is not the end of the organisms. Healthy growth is. Seeking the good is the goal.
            But we enjoy some good actions more than they naturally could repay us because of the exalted value we put on them. Evaluating in itself adds goodness and value to the target, and even bad things can have value simply by accident of being valued. What this amounts to is the need to freely create values beyond our experience of goodness. We exalt a thing more than it naturally pleases us. It gives us supernatural value, a value greater than is natural. When we use it, it is a miracle; it feels either sacred and wonderful or proud and distinguished, depending on what inflection of bliss we set upon it. Though such awards of value may seem arbitrary, and since arbitrariness is typically devalued, we must establish some other account for why we chose it. Moral language and the language of values allow external critics to touch the ontology of our objects, grasp their metaphysical being, heft the layers of value we put unto it. Once we have valued a thing, we must defend its value or suffer its devaluation. To evaluate is to implicate yourself in a thing. Having bestowed an evaluation on it, you have built a metaphysical relationship to it, and you are by no means disinterested. To judge anything is to expose your values.
            Our values please us. How then do we maximize our daily bliss? How to use our happiness to maximize the system?
            To value any object is to implicitly value your evaluation of it. If a thing is good, then the judgment that it is good we call “true,” and hence find it valuable in itself. This is how any nihilistic attempt to condemn the all is impossible, since it cannot both affirm its condemnation and yet include that affirmation in the condemnation. If I reject everything, do I reject my rejection? What about the system of values and logical operations that presuppose it? To disvalue anything, I must value that judgment, and more important, I must value myself as capable of making such a judgment. Happiness is the bent of every mind, and though a man may seek to intensify his pleasure in power by denying happiness, he nevertheless implicates himself in what he disputes. The joy of creating and the bliss of creative union are part s of the happiness that characterize human life ascending.
            Love, work, and purpose are the tripartite trajectory of life. Love is what we enjoy, work is how we secure it, and purpose is the direction both work and love pour towards. Most people choose a religion as their purpose, and they are not fools for doing so: these systems may be in themselves and in their inception arbitrary and superstitious, but millions of men and women have made one of the religions their purpose on earth, and in this have put generations of meaning into the systems. If we take gaming as a manner of addressing a problem, then love and work are viewed as the energizers of life, giving physical and spiritual values, but purpose, or a purpose fostering religion, determine the nature of the game of life. The Stylizer is in our wholeview.
            The whole gives style to each, for the affects take their shape from the ends in mind. The pleasure of love and the fear of power saturate all things. Love and power characterize relationships; love is enjoyment, power is the ability to make enjoyment or to prevent pain; every pleasure counts as a loss of power, as an expenditure, though there is the pleasure of pride in having accumulated greater power and not spent it in pleasure. Pleasure properly used rewards power and stimulates new ventures, and power properly used maximizes the capacity to create pleasure in ourselves and in ourselves through others. Purpose is the creative product that such power and pleasure take in time and eternity, the being that arises out of the becoming.
            We build the power to love, the ability to enjoy a thing or a person; the loving relationship is created through making pleasurable relationships, habits, and securing them with the duty of commitment and protection.
            But love was never enough. The rose petal path dissipates our power if it doesn't come to something, if it doesn’t feed its pleasure back into the Project.  We need to find our Path, the eternal path that cannot be passed. My life has aimed for an integration of all modes into a circle; I seek to relate all my pleasures and strains of play, my loves and works, into one ever increasing growth, like an opening spiral circling out.
            I bring the flesh of my love into the deep of my care, clothe her in kisses, exalt the divinity of her body and mind; but the law of pleasure is balance and health. Over indulgence brings an immediate pleasure whose full being is a trailing pain. We imagine the pleasure as separate from the pain, but the pain is part of the pleasure, and they are one unity. The limit of pleasure is health.
            In the famous contrast between father and daughter, God and Satan, one commands and the other tempts; the first convinces few, the latter convinces most. And so these impositions are imagined to be opposites, commands and temptations, but they implicate each other; God is tempted to command where he has no right, and Satan commands a boundary over tempting pleasures -- that they not trespass health.
            Do as thou wilt, the whole of the law, requires much self-overcoming A man's own will demands his whole system obey. To do as you will in the face of accusatory opposition is difficult. Accusations and criticisms are temptations. How easy to speak the language of common morals, to gesture at the communal goods, to play at the Law of Niceness. To go along with popular morality is easiest of all. Yet even here, we develop our private language behind the communal terms.
            Whatever myths draw a man in, including the secular or materialistic variants, they also give us a set of symbols and a grammar for their use. The style of the man and the inner logic of meaning which his style embeds in the gaps of all terms render him a new language within the old.
            We each have a system of life circuits. How we plug in our instincts, what ideas we use as conduits, speaks to the health of the system. My sensitivity to depressants, grown from my depressive tendency, gave me a taste for empowering literature, for stimulants of all in philosophical assortments. A different temperament, a contrary system of instincts, would seek to draw the organs of his different moods out with perhaps cynicism, pessimism, or whatever communication styles that articulate his instincts into his purpose. Language, after all, is essentially a program of direct and indirect instructions (at the very least we are instructed to listen and consider).
            When the terms of your philosophy contradict each other, ascend to literature mode and secure them with a trope, or bring them into that peculiar literary form, religious narrative, into the alchemy of myth. Ideas, which are conduits of affect, can take on different modes, not just the philosophically logical, but the literary as well to express your affects into such actions as to give a good return.
            The demonic commands and the divine tempts. The conformers who would see you fall in line are the enemies of your soul, and must be handled with stylized aplomb. We must expose our own set of problems, and not simply pick up the troubles of our neighbors and surrounding society.
            Life without problems would generate its own problems, a sense of boredom or stasis. We grow through opposition. The anxiety of suspense, of suspended conversation, the anxiety of hope, these make life interesting. Interest is what excites, is what gives that form of pain called excitement. An interesting thing holds the focus and pains it to look away. The mind is captured, fascinated, made to submit, is hurt if it doesn't submit, is comforted if it does. That is entertainment -- pleasure is a letting go, is an intense focus relaxing. Pleasure is a release, but before it pleases, the excitement teases, it gives a dose of pleasure, a kiss of flirtation, and mixes frustrating desire with it.
            The sort of frustration that intensifies itself by imaging a heavenly life of bliss adds extra intensity to our sufferings -- which may of may not fit our purpose. Too much interest in an idea, too close a proximity, freezes us with anxiety -- we need distance. We need to commit small injustices to put us out of sympathy with those around us. We need a little ostracism. We need to alienate ourselves at times, with the fictions of heavenly utopias or alternative story boards.
            The production of a private set of terms helps keep us in free use of our actions and words. Insofar as you pledge yourself to a public good, the public God, the public goals, others feel fit to criticize your actions. To seek the art that gives you the fitting context for your project, to color your world distances yourself from the tones of criticism and praise that others would net you with, in deference to their own game. Creating an emotional ambience is the greatest artistic achievement. Be unpredictable. Swap your methods and vary your style.
            Don't let their evil eye poison your pleasure. Our emotions are given a final emotional coat of an evaluation of their worth. We feel anger, mixed with the guilt that we feel anger. Interest is immediate, but being boring, being invisible, frees your playing field and cuts off self-appointed referees on your play. Therefore, cover the outer layer of your emotions with the invisibility of the mundane. Be boring.
            But take interest in the world. Culture transmits itself through art, through the pleasure that opens us up to influence. Art completes nature. Nature cannot fulfill man; we need more. Even Emerson, who wanted so dearly to love Nature, to find a non-European book that could open up a new genius in the young country, nevertheless could not love Nature as Thoreau did; he remained a student of books, he remained a lover of art. Impressing the impressive is the aim of our impressions. We too find metaphors and analogies for own lives and projects in all Nature, in all Science, in all History and Art, but we will never be knocked out of our trajectory by the praises, criticisms, advice, or indifference of others.
            Each day add to the work of your passion, and it will tower beyond time. Nietzsche and Emerson condemned excessive reading while yet still excessively reading themselves -- ashamed of their pleasure as many men are. Yet there is power in the genius of men, and literature eternalizes that genius, both in the passing book in our hands, and also in the deathless and impassible Book of the Book in the mind of the All, whom we have taught with our own contribution.
            Give your all to art. Leisure and materials are the prerequisites of art. To insist on your laziness, to be so bold, opens the power of great creation. To make time for your passion because your life would be worthless without it -- to really feel that way so that nobody can balk your bluff -- that is the gate to greatness.
            I would rather live in a hut I built myself than in a mansion built by another. My happiness is based on my creative output, and the only type I can fully love is the type I am becoming. When Language is upon me, and I'm clothed in my divinity, Odin's piercer, Sophia's truth, Satan's trope and Hermes's system, melt into my pen. Command, persuasion, rhetoric, and interpretation melt into the blood of Ama, the bleed of my pen in the ink of my fingers.
            For in life, we have to create the forms of our power, and reinforce them with habit. Heaven is the image of what we build on earth, and those stillborn children unable to create will begin the next life without such an advantage.
            In daily life, I seek the courage to say no, to exclude myself from the insinuating ties of obligation, which so cleverly embrace and ensnare us as the salesman who plays on your politeness, and asks questions to weasel his way in. All the world imposes. Be passersby. Don't linger too long on the public path. Genius doesn't rush; integrity never explains. Do your work and expect neither gratitude nor recognition. Having no such expectations, your work will be a pure and glorious thing, worthy of both.
            The social eros flows through all of us in the forms of language -- we internalize it, process it, and express its new form. Society instinctively structures its people to maximize its identity and growth; each of us instinctively falls into place, feeling it a matter of chance and freedom how we came to decide. We expect the independence of our subjectivity but would be ashamed to deny objectivity. We perceive objects, but we perceive through subjects. Immersion is subjectivity, transcendence objectivity. To be able to control the subjective and objective nature of your vision is the power that will lead you directly towards your purpose. The compulsion to explain when you don't have to is merely the expression of guilt seeking to convince itself away by assuring others of our worth. Those around you will not be impressed. They will dislike you. Nobody seems cruel in polite society -- it's indirect. But seek for boosts and approval and you've spent your pride out in favor of the niceties of vanity.
            The social flow makes us happy to be in. People speak honestly behind a mask, we wink and suggest otherwise. We catch these demonic touches, feel their worth. We know our place without knowing how. These blooded abstractions, our ideas which we see in people, configure themselves as a playing field to answer the call for the game within us. Most people feel invigorated and empowered when they join a group whose value they share. Religion is the poetry of the people, and poetry is personality. The question is how to use traditions we were born into but not be used by them.
            Money puts a roof over our heads, and love lays the foundation under our feet, but what would sex and money, love and power amount to if they were not for creating a greater being? That third thing, purpose, is what legitimizes pleasures and pains, structures them into progress. We must shirk work and betray love; friend after friend drops off, unable to follow me where I go. The art of marriage can be glorious even if at times humiliating, but not self-sufficient; we aim to create children better than ourselves and through our love, better selves for each other.
            Love of spouse is love of what is greater than spouse, the fullness of our own being; lack one lack the other. Ama is also the doubt of Ama, the full divine excludes no instance; once it is known everything belongs. I need not prove myself to anybody, not even to myself, once I know myself. I am. That is sufficient, and indeed it is all. Yet I am a being that ever becomes. Perfection isn’t in avoiding all errors, but in always growing from them. My deep seeking love which kisses the All, which like the sun kisses the earth twice a day, once in leaving for work, and once in the florid love of labor done, keeps even my strangest adventures always and necessarily within the flesh of the All, so that in any panic or anxiety, I can always fall into Ama, fall into my innocence, -- and relax from the strains of my fight. These panoramic sleights before me can never undo me; they orbit and mirror me, as Nature is the mirror of Man.
            In all of this I see the analogies for my being. I pride in my accomplishments, and overcome the shames and guilts of my failures by building from them proud accomplishments. A man gets his confidence from accomplishments and not from mere desires and assertions. “Believe in yourself” is nothing. “Act in a way that you must respect yourself” is better, and “Do what brings you pride.”
            I’ve trained my bliss to exude through writing; I need to write to breathe. So natural and always is the act and gesture that I even write when I think. The best news I’ve ever heard was when Ama told me “Your best is enough.” To know that sincere effort is sufficient, I am freed from the noose knot of impossible expectations, not to brag I am loved by the All, for who else would I need to impress but her? But in the gratitude that we share creative projects. The gratitude for the gift we deserve is more genuine than the gratitude for the gift we don’t.
            I too am a man, and there is none in history among men or the divine who I count greater than myself. There is none in all existence who can equal me at my best, and the same can be said of every man and woman who likewise has come into their own. I child of the past and seer of the future in myself embody the All. I am the Source. My living’s sufficient, my love pleases the All.
            The happy person recommends his lifestyle, disregarding the need for a predisposition to happiness. I recommend in my pleasure the divine Emerson to my friends, but they cannot extract the joy I can from his essays; nor can they appreciate the music I adore, and find Ives painful. In such a way, anybody can give advice, but even the best advice is unequal to the inspiration the man comes to on his own. It would be better he made a mistake, so long as it were your own mistake, than having the path laid out and cleared for you.
            Expanding my bliss amounts to maximizing the surface area of my creativity. Yet not every moment could be given the intense focus of creativity. Much time must be wasted in replenishment, and some idle hours of recharge must always be mixed in. Best to learn how to punctuate your day, how to use a couple minutes, peppered in the mix, to catch your breath, to divert your focus, to remind you of your charge and purpose, to place you in communication with Ama (by whatever name you call your Importance). Sufferings are shallow; only pleasures can reach what is deepest in man, and at my centermost resides my joystar. I rest in its invincibility. A pillow is the door to dreams, and any comfortable fact that allows us to relax opens the inner values of possibility. When we emanate the poetry from a center deathless and uncreated, mingling our being with the being of the All, then we create the streaming blood of our inner soul. The twining of me and everything is the bliss of existence forever.
            The dreams of childhood are fantastic impossibilities such as saving the planet or fighting supervillians; the dreams of youth, which are visibly and obviously great, such as performing at a rock concert, converting a tribe to your religion, or inventing a cure for cancer, are a tad more plausible; the final form of the same, just as great, but expressed in down-to-earth and mundane forms, such as supporting a friend in need, working a difficult and inglorious job, raising children and managing a house, with all the defeating compromises attendant on this, holds the same magnitude and importance as the other more obvious and silly forms hinted at. This is the real thing, what is really important, and the other things simply easier to imagine, more showy. We do not give up on our dreams nor betray our ambitions, but we put them into real life forms and actual expressions. This allows the full-spread pride of a man, calming and excellent to the soul. This allows the birth of brilliance from the all-baffling brain. We make our bliss from the materials we actually have, not what we wish we had but don’t; we make our purpose and our motive in what we can do, and do now, not what we envy in others, or envy in fiction.  Our triumph is in the real, not the impossible; our bliss is in our bodies, not in heaven, your body is eternally yours, being the circumference of your mind. To maximize the bliss of your day is to align your love and work into terms of your purpose, and in this to leave no part of you out, but affirm the place and goodness of even your deepest shame. To maximize your bliss is to believe you are worthy, and to base your actions accordingly.

\~ @M@ ~/

No comments: