From the end of this world to the back of the alley – Part II
Now for some of my own thoughts:
Im limited by my sensory perception of the cosmos, but Ive no belief of a transcendent beyond. I am, and have already been, uniquely a part of what I cannot fully see or feel. Im both accident and agent set in motion. Embracing the uniqueness of this experience as a human being (what I am) over the human abstraction (the idea of what I am) seems preferable. More preferable yet is embracing both what I am becoming (additive) and unbecoming (subtractive) over being (fixed). Enriching the relations I have with others (human or otherwise) strengthens this embrace. This calls for abandoning three interrelated tendencies: an obsession to manage, orienting oneself around predictability, and a desire to preserve ideals. As far as I know, the limited perception with which Ive been familiar will end with my death, and perhaps I will decompose to recompose to decompose again continuously. Here are three ideas to help me until then:
1) Break the clock. This world is so pervasive with measurement that the sciences of it like metrics and statistics (or state-istics) have become dogma in almost every realm of life. The goal seems to be endless comparison of every incomparability, no stone left unturned. Evading measure is a key part of avoiding capture. Though there are some exceptions when cooking or crafting, rejecting this dependency is crucial for any liberatory lifeway. Most importantly, this applies to time and money: the most limiting of measurements. Doing this full-stop could have some interesting and painful results, but strategies for limiting engagement and sharpening discernment seems a more viable place to start.
2) Light the candle. The preservation of an ideal of life is an unnecessary and fraught way to live. Efforts to burn out quickly (while at times admirable) is often just as fraught, and can lead to miserable outcomes other than death. Rather than struggling to maintain some moderate ideal, it seems more appropriate to allow life to take its course as a lit candle would . This could be as imaginative as one takes it to be.
3) Empty the cup. This is a derivative of pu (often translated as uncarved wood): an early Daoist concept of a return to simplicity or emptiness before being put to use. Other derivatives include a clean slate (tabula rasa), and the unlearning (or unbecoming or unraveling) process. Nietzche’s final stage of the child in Thus Spoke Zarathustra is another helpful example: the forgetful child sees the world anew as a bounty of possibility, theirs for the taking. Nietzsche’s Übermensch as child loses in order to gain, yet I prefer Stirner’s Unmensch (or inhuman), who loses in order to gain in order to lose. A filled cup requires emptying-out in order to remain capable. That capability is not an end in itself, but a means toward a loss of the self through the self. Theres much to find in getting lost.