a Bear in a Croc suit | download mp3 | mnemonic

"Luxury is the wolf at the door and its fangs are the vanities and conceits germinated by success. When an artist learns this, he knows where the danger is. I have always depended on the kindness of strangers. We are all sentenced to solitary confinement inside our own skins, for life. The only thing worse than a liar is a liar that's also a hypocrite. The violets in the mountains have broken the rocks. All good art is an indiscretion. I can't stand a naked light bulb, any more than I can a rude remark or a vulgar action." (Tennessee Williams)

Actual Sanity

psychic hi-Gene | download mp3 | mnemonic

"You experience a great deal of euphoria and time slows down," Tech Noir's Chaz Carlson says of the experience of programming under the influence of marijuana. "Things become more enjoyable; music sounds better, food tastes better, and sex is amazingly better. Like I said previously, you are able to focus on details you might not notice before, your brain connects ideas that it might not otherwise, and you can get fully immersed in something." (Chaz Carlso, Tech Noir)

Actual Sanity

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Say I am ambitious to become the greatest poet in the world (or whatever it is), and I am frustrated because I can't. This frustration, this very ambition, is a form of violence against the fact that I am not. I feel frustrated because you are better than I am. Doesn't that breed violence? I see that as long as there is a duality - that is, violence and nonviolence - there must be conflict and therefore more violence. As long as I impose on the fact that I am stupid the idea that I must be clever, there is the beginning of violence. When I compare myself with you, who are much more that I am, that's also violence.(Jiddu Krishnamurti)

Actual Sanity

Despair of Weakness

By Soren Kierkegaard

The despair of weakness is the despair of not wanting to be oneself. This kind of despair amounts to a passivity of the self. Its frame of reference is the pleasant and the unpleasant; its concepts are good fortune, misfortune, and fate. What is immediate is all that matters. The determining factor is what happens or does not happen to oneself.

To despair is to lose the eternal, but of this loss the one who despairs in weakness says nothing, it doesn't even occur to him. He is too preoccupied with securing his earthly existence against unnecessary deprivation. To lose the earthly, however, is not in itself to despair, yet that is precisely what this person speaks of and calls despair. What he says is in a sense true, only not in the way he understands it. He is turned around and what he says must be understood backwards. In other words, he stands there pointing to something that is not despair (e.g. a loss of some kind), explaining that he is in despair, and yes, sure enough, the despair is going on behind him but unawares. Therefore, if everything suddenly changes, once his external circumstances change and his wishes are fulfilled, then happiness returns to him, he begins life afresh. When help comes from outside, happiness is restored to him, and he begins where he left off. Yet he neither was nor becomes a self. He is a cipher and simply carries on living merely on the level of what is immediate and of what is happening around him.

This form of despair consists of not wanting to be a self, really. Actually, it consists of wanting desperately to be someone else. Such a self refuses to take responsibility. Life is but a game of chance. Hence, in the moment of despair, when no help comes, such a person wants desperately to become someone else. And yet a despairer of this kind, whose only wish is this craziest of all crazy transformations - to be someone else - is in love with the fancy that the change can be made as easily as one puts on another coat. Or to put it differently, he only knows himself by his coat. He simply doesn't know himself. He knows what it is to have a self only in externals. There could hardly be a more absurd confusion, for a self differs precisely, no, infinitely, from those externals.

And what if such a person was able to become somebody else, could put on a new self? There is the story of a peasant who had come barefoot to town but who made enough money to buy himself a pair of stockings and shoes and still have enough left over to get himself drunk. On his way home in his drunken state he lay down in the middle of the road and fell asleep. A carriage came along, and the coachman shouted to him to move aside or else he would drive over his legs. The drunken peasant woke up, looked down at his legs and, not recognizing them because of the stockings and shoes, said: "Go ahead, they aren't my legs." So it is with the immediate person who despairs in weakness of being a true self. It is impossible to draw a picture of him that is not comic.


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