Wandering Thought # 240

The self is not an isolated atom; it is only a self in relation to others and to the world; it is not a state, an identity, but a locus of interdependent experiences where the external commingles with the internal, a process in which both are modified. It is modern madness to confuse self with personhood. For it spells our isolation from other people as well as the world, cutting us off from life and its flow. The psyche is not merely individual, but the individual is an expression of it, which makes the psyche communal, .incorporating even nature and the inanimate. Therefore our modern psychological diseases are not problems occurring only within us, but we are the site in which what is ill in society and our way of life expresses itself.

To the modern madness we must oppose: myth and poetry.

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Wandering Thought # 139

You will feel happy to work less only if you feel that your work is imposed on you, that it is a bane. But in a world where work is a source of joy, where it is beneficial for yourself and the community, it is nonsensical to work less or more, for work, then, is an expression of your being, and is at one with life, it is a passion. As it now stands, we suffer work as an affliction, and as something that separates us from life and from true community. We are ridden with feelings of guilt if we do not perform and submit to the norms, and to perform we feel that we need to sacrifice ourselves, burning ourselves on the altar of the work-god.

Wandering Thought # 137

If the commandment that the Oracle of Delphi once gave to Socrates was to “Know thyself,” then, it seems to me, the commandment the Modern Oracle is giving us is to “Forget thyself.” Any philosophical or religious inquiry being nonsensical in a capitalist/technological age, what remains is the pragmatic use of the moment, whatever life is alloted to us, without it having any meaning beyond itself. But the self cannot simply be forgotten, for it resides on a gruesome rift of anxiety, and this is solved – the awareness of the self is snuffed out – by its constant dilution in pleasure and busyness. One must always be busy, never have a moment to sit with oneself. Solitude, in the modern age, becomes the ultimate anathema, the unforgivable sin, for it is a sign that one still considers his self, still has a self to cultivate and know. And yet, though in constant company, though constantly on the go, in the deepest sense, we have never been more alone, more secluded, and more without the ability to articulate our deep isolation, which we must constantly deny.

We birds of solitude are now few and far apart scattered across the wilderness, and our songs do not reach other’s ears. We converse with past and future ages, and shield ourselves from the constant noise surrounding us. We pity humankind, for its soul has never been more lost, rootless and perturbed. There is no meaning in their eyes, only a constant dizziness hidden with a smile, a photograph filter.

Wandering Thought # 134

We are happier when the radio plays our favorite song, without us having to play it ourselves. There is always a special flavor for the gratuitous and unsought when it enters our life, whether it’s a song, a thought, a bird, a poem, or a love.

If our society could have a nickname it would probably be this, “society of the spectacle.” We are nothing if we don’t appear, if we don’t show, and the more we appear and show the more we are. The self is constructed in the act of being projected for others to see, otherwise, alone, it is non-existent. We are addicts to the image, and cannot fathom the value of something without the aim of it ultimately being shown, reflected to others. This is the true tyranny of our age, unrecognized and practiced by all. Nothing is more alien to us than the spirit and the intuition of the sacred.

In time disappointments become blessings, as they disillusion us and bring us to the truth of the matter and of ourselves. They are the occasions through which we know ourselves deeply, through which we change and become who we are more intimately. They are the flavor of life.

The whole world can chain you, deceive you and frustrate you, but it cannot break you if you maintain your inner freedom. It can bring you to your knees, but it cannot prevent your triumph, as you choose to live with openness and joy in your heart, sucking to the full the marrow of each moment, turning its vinegar into honey and wine.

In our modern world the most widespread pandemic is a silent one, anxiety.

Life is no closer to the infant than it is to the old man.

May God grant me the joy of birds as they sing at and at dusk.

Everywhere I Look

Everywhere I look
I see people living
with borrowed faces,
their lives borrowed
and their souls,
speaking borrowed words
and craving feelings
that are not their own.
Everywhere I look
I see pettiness
and people dying
for an hour’s fame;
everywhere I look
I see addicts
and people enslaved
to their little phones.
I look around and I see
that the zombie apocalypse
so much prophesied
has already happened,
it is nothing more
than the regular individual
filled to saturation
with a content
that is not his own.

Wandering Thought # 130

We go to psychiatrists as people used to go to priests, believing they have access to the truth, and with it the power to heal and absolve.

The main weakness of psychiatry is that it believes that the sickness lies in the individual and not in society, thereby taking the well adjusted as its norm for health. But inasmuch as society is sick, the well adjusted is pathologic. What then is psychiatry? A hidden police; a seemingly objective force working on behalf of the given order of power.

When psychiatry locates the problem solely in the individual and proceeds to treat him accordingly then it acts as an agent of repression on behalf of the powers dominating society and culture.

Psychiatry as a marketing tool; the tool that helps people to adjust themselves with the least amount of friction to their roles in the economic machine, while blinding their eyes to their own uniqueness and individuality; psychiatry as one arm of the powers at be.

Wandering Thought # 128

The world we are creating is one in which man will love his slavery and submit to it with passion.

في العالم الذي نخلقه سيحب الإنسان عبوديته ويخضع لها بفرح.

Sorcery is not opposed to science, it is the first step towards it.

الشعوذة ليست نقيض العلم، هي الخطوة الأولى نحوه.

Wandering Thought # 126

In this life we exchange one chain for another, and cannot live without chains. Freedom is to choose what binds us and compels our soul, what gives our life root and direction. Not all chains are the same. Some degrade us, and others lift us to the sublime.

‏في هذه الحياة نحن نستبدل قيد بآخر، فلا قدرة لنا على العيش بدون قيود. الحرية هي في اختيار ما يربط ويُخضع نفوسنا، ما يعطي لحياتنا جذوراً واتجاهاً. ليست كل القيود مثل بعضها. بعض القيود تحقرنا، وأخرى ترفعنا إلى الإله.

Wandering Thought # 122

“All conditioning aims at that: making people like their unescapable social destiny.”

Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

I believe that the only way is to play the game while acknowledging it for what it is, that way one can maintain a certain level of freedom and independence, even if only in spirit and not always in external engagements. We do not have to act and think exactly as the world expects of us, but neither will the world turn into what we wish and desire. There is a middle path to be followed, though most, out of spiritual lethargy and need of comfort, will remain oblivious to this, and will take their social conditioning for the ultimate reality.

Wandering Thought # 115

This compulsion to buy ever new things, not out of any need, not because the newly acquired item is better, but because this allows us to project a better image of ourselves, and gives us a psychological satisfaction (that we fit, that we ‘are‘) — is at the heart of what consumer driven capitalism is all about.

It is not having or possessing in itself that satisfies us, but the image that, through this having, we are able to project to others, is what we ultimately seek. Advertisers did not so much create this need as exploit it, and therefore amplify it. We are, each of us, an “influencer.” But the questions is: at what point does the image we project of ourselves meet with actual life, with the reality of our emotions and intellectual capacities, with the sum of our life and its potential?

To be is not so much to have, but to be able to project the image that fits, the image that insures our identity and social standing and recognition. But it is a mirage we are only attaching ourselves to, an illusion. We are nothing more than a whiff of smoke that the softest breeze will dissipate.

Wandering Thought # 111

The person who is spiritually inclined will find himself drifting away from every day practical matters and the concerns and aspirations of normal society. Thus, in time, the language he uses will no long be sufficient to form a common understanding. He will drift on, as though in a cloud of solitude, but he will be connected to something else, something more inward and less tangible, and also something that cannot be shown to others who would demand a justification for his way of existence. This basic rift has since eternal times marked the existence of the artist, poet, philosopher, shaman and saint separating them from the practical and society oriented folks. This is still at work today in such kind of people, but not without a feeling of guilt more acute than before. When in previous ages this spiritual bent and way of life may have been justified, or even seen as a privilege, today, and under the guise of psychology and capitalism, it is looked upon with a wary eye, and the person labeled as psychologically and economically unsound.

Wandering Thought # 104

Contemplation has always had to battle against the values of the market, but in no age did these values reign absolute as they do today. They are upheld religiously — and therefore, invisibly — and have sneaked in to transform every institution and discipline, including that of philosophy, from the ground up. In addition to having made the life of man uninteresting and small, they have also made him increasingly stupid. Soon he will have to relearn his most basic skills — seeing, hearing, reading, thinking. They never allow him a moment’s rest as he is constantly pushed to perform and produce. They are the ultimate tyranny, seen by none, upheld by all.