“Never get complacent:
If you are satisfied with what you have now, you’re a loser.”
“Live in the moment:
If you aren’t satisfied with what you have now, you’ve lost.”
The paradox is resolved by subconditions and contexts, yes, essentially the former applying to things and the latter to people, but I don’t want to bother with it any more, take it from there yourself and you’ll see that it’s even more cynical an understanding once considered more deeply.
Indeed, both of these undeniably seminal guiding principles are self-centric, failing to even consider the possibility of sentience external to ego. If at all perhaps the second, implicitly — but also in the most selfish and petulant way possible.
I never meant to be thirty with one foot in the grave. I’m aware of it these days, yeah, but it’s the sort of thing you become aware of over the years, not the sort of thing you decided to become. And managing to forget is no aid, because there’s always something to remind you within a few short hours, or even minutes, of forgetting.
It’s really a kind of detachment from the material world, the lack of a relationship to concrete things and places and “realities” that I can’t seem to share (and am not sure I want to share) with everything else. I don’t think its the result of things that have happened to me over the years… I think its rather the result of things that I’ve seen happen to other people. Somehow when suffering is external to yourself, it’s much easier to internalize.
All of the people I’ve looked up to most are dead. Before that, they were old. And before that, they were old souls. I loved them for their vision and felt awed by their wisdom. I want to be what they were. Or rather, I want to be where they were in their lives.
I get frustrated at my lack of answers. I’m very far away, yet, from those places. But at least I’ve managed at this point to acquire and own some of the questions.
Don’t ever doubt that every step toward spirituality, toward intellectual integrity, or toward a deep emotional phenomenology does tend to isolate one in our culture. These are goals very explicitly antithetical to what the west values. “Transcendence” is at best eastern mysticism, and at worst sociopathy, plain and simple.
And despite the best efforts of the capital markets and their dominant ideology, I am at least halfway an eastern man raised by eastern exiles of the Second Great War.