More France.

I've avoided writing this blog for a very long time, mostly because I simply don't know what I want to say. Most people, I'm sure, would be overflowing with things to discuss with everyone else while on this trip. I, on the other hand, have been trying to sort through these ideas and pick out the overriding trends in my thinking while I'm here. I understand that as I have been dropped into an entirely new environment, it is entirely possible that many new things will happen to me, and these overwhelming and conflicting experiences could very greatly influence my day to day thinking. Of course, I planned on having a more definite picture of my time here planned out a long time ago. I figured I would wait a week before writing this post. Instead, it took a month.

I love it here. Of course, I loved it back in the United States, so that really doesn't mean much at all. Things are very different; a lot of people ride bikes, bread, cheese, and wine are a far more important part of the average diet, the city is beautiful and filled with stores, and I'm enjoying my time. But that's not to say that France is any better than the U.S. It's simply different. While there are things that I enjoy very much, there are also some things that I dislike. Nothing is open on Sundays, our classes aren't terribly interesting, and worst of all, everyone seems to treat our stay in France like its a big deal.

I'm not saying it isn't. But I am saying that many people attach a lot more importance to this trip than it should have. Yes, we are in a foreign country, learning a new language, and of course this is bound to be intimidating. I find it far more difficult here to get used to doing ordinary things like respond to conversations fired at me from the street. I haven't yet found a job for our mandatory credited work project, because I'm afraid to ask people in French. There are many ways in which this place is very new and confusing. However, at the same time, most people seem to respond by either wanting to drink more or wanting to escape with their friends by going on vacation. I was always a fan of moderate alcohol consumption, and I don't see much of the point of going outside of France to explore other countries when this is both expensive and it gets us out of France, which I thought was supposed to be the main purpose of our voyage. I'm not condemning escapism; I've spent half the trip watching American tv shows in my room. I'm just wondering if people have the right ideas in mind when coming here, and I think that this is why they have so much trouble adapting, treat it so importantly, and often end up feeling like crap whenever the first bad thing here happens to them.

Again, I'm not sure exactly how I feel about living here. It's very different, and I'm learning the language very quickly, but at the same time I'm only realizing how similar it is to life in America. Yes, people eat different foods, take up different hobbies, are used to different rules and regulations and styles of living, and I've had my share of changing my lifestyle. I haven't had a chance to work out at all here, as doing so would require money I don't have, and have instead taken up running, which is a far healthier and more economic alternative in my situation. But I don't feel that this change is indicative of any huge differences in life. I feel like many of the unimportant aspects of life have been switched on me; I feel the basic human condition has not changed in the slightest. No, I do not mean to condemn the differences in culture as unimportant, as cultures are often steeped in years of tradition and habitual thought, and they are a powerful motivating force in the creation of identity for the individual and for everyone he comes in contact with. There is no place where cultural identity and history is more visible than in an alien country, particularly in one older than the U.S. (which might I add is many of them), but at the same time, I simply cannot understand it. Most men take society far more seriously than they should, and I feel that this is the reason why many people have issues when visiting another country for a prolonged period of time. Having taken the values of their own country too much to heart, they have difficulty adapting when those values are knocked out from under them.

I haven't placed the same amount of importance on cultural values, and it is for this reason that I have not had as much difficulty here. Perhaps this is a blessing, or perhaps it is a flaw, and you may think of it what you will. However, I will tell you that it is responsible for ensuring not only that I am a happier man at home in the U.S., but also that I am a happier man here in France, than what seems to be the average. This stems from an unhappy childhood, in which I was forced by teasing and bullying at a young age to realize that trusting your happiness to society is often a bad idea. I have overcome the rampant individualism that accidentally resulted from this early development, but I still value my individual life more than my social life, which I consider a flaw that I should remedy; it is difficult only in the fact that there seems to me to be more of society to detest than to love. I have concerned myself not with society, but with the human condition. This is a flaw, but it is a flaw that is inherent to my being and necessary for my continued existence in such a manner as I live now. As such, I am sorry, but I cannot see in myself how it is so.

So, France. Yes, I love it. It's a different life, it opens my mind, it makes me feel great. I'm learning the language quickly, and I enjoy that. I haven't experienced the ups and downs of such a life that many do. However, I couldn't really tell you whether or not it's really that good of a thing. It's both pleasant and displeasing, and therefore no better or worse than the society from which I came. I wouldn't give up the experience for anything, but I couldn't really tell you what the experience is.



Well, I've just arrived in Strasbourg, and gotten settled into the apartment where I'll be living for the next four months. I haven't gotten to see much of my host family yet, although we'll be eating dinner later, so there will be plenty of time.

First thing is first. I don't want this blog to become a travel blog; I'm sick of travel blogs. Everyone has a travel blog this year. I'm not going to bore you with the details that are France; if you want to learn about it, try learning the language and coming here yourself. This may sound a bit harsh and perhaps ignorant, but I can find no other way to say it. As always, the reason that I will write this blog is primarily for myself, and not for any readership (not that I expect there to be much of one), and for the most part, I don't care about the details.

Let me revise that statement. Of course I care about the details, I care about them very much. But at the same time, they aren't why I'm here. I'm not here to learn about the color of paint on the front door, or the way the flowers are planted across the street. I'm here to learn about French culture, to immerse myself in their lifestyle, to improve my skills in the language, and hopefully, to develop and mature in ways that I would not otherwise. And these things, these important things, aren't the kind of things that you can simply capture with a few words in a blog here and there. You can try of course, and that is what I intend to do, but you must always try with the understanding that you are doomed to failure, and a certain sense that you must at least try to focus on the things most universal, most human, and most real, in order to make any headway. The act of recording is not about the data recorded; it is about the analysis of the data itself, through which new data arises and the process repeats itself. You don't learn, and then blog. You blog, and then learn, and then learn again, and you do this until the day that your short existence comes to an end.

That being said, I experienced (and perhaps still experience) some of the greatest fear that I have ever known, preparing for this trip. Unsure what to expect, how I would get here, how everything would work out, all these things ran through my mind. My relationship with my girlfriend hit a bit of a lowpoint just before I left, though that has resolved itself, and I fear that for the most part it was just myself taking out my anxiety over the upcoming circumstances on her. My fear will pass, naturally, as I become accustomed to my surroundings, but until then my heart pounds too quickly, too often.

Writing has gone well. Over the course of the last summer, I've managed to put in an hour or two a day, as many days a week as I could fit. Of course, this didn't work out too well on certain weeks when I was working quite a few hours, but for the most part I held to this schedule as best I could. The result, so far, has been a little over 100 pages of what I plan to be my first novel. I'm terribly proud of how well it's shaped up, in my eyes, over the course of its writing. In the beginning, I had a very simple plan sketched out in my mind, a plan that I carefully built up and added complexity to, making me proud of my ability to write. There are certainly a few mistakes here and there, as I could not always remember exactly what I had written in past segments, but for the most part it is a terribly cohesive whole, moving perfectly toward the direction I want it to go. I feel roughly halfway done, maybe a little further, and it's probably the first thing I've actually wanted to see to the conclusion since I began writing.

It's hard to explain, what it means to be content. Sure, you can have short-lived pleasure, you can enjoy a night out or a time spent with a friend, but pleasure has nothing to do with total contentment, which results from the planning of a purpose in life, and following it out to its conclusion. Victor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning might be a proper reference to make in this case. Purpose in life, and ultimately happiness and all reason for living, results from making our own goals and plans for ourselves, plans which are constructed so as to be challenging and yet not too much so, and then meeting them over periods of extended time. This is the sort of thing that I find myself coming into now, and the sort of thing that gives me the greatest joy.

It's so hard to describe the feeling of contentment, especially to many of the younger generation of which I am a part, who have not yet made their own lives, purposes, and dreams. I did not think myself too far apart from others, and yet here I am, looking back, realizing that the first part of my dream is well on the way to its conclusion. When I do anything, I compare the pleasure I experience now to writing, and rarely is it any compare.

It is also true that I have become perhaps a tad more hermit-like in the past year. I've come to greatly appreciate the value of solitude, and I love it perhaps more than anything else. This is difficult to reconcile with myself as a social being, and yet to me the glory of solitude is a natural complement to the other glories that are the social being; it simply so happens that the values which the hermit-life espouses, are the ones that I value most. I always had misgivings, during my month-long vow of silences, yet now I am finding this same vow of silence with me, whenever I have five minutes to myself. It is all the same to me, and it is all glorious.

I must go now, for I have tarried here too long.


Blah blah.

Yeah, so I haven't been thinking of this blog very much recently. This is because, as usual, I've been busy doing real things and so I don't often have time to sit back and think very much. Most of the summer has passed by, and I haven't written much of anything here. As such, I'll get it all out in one go.

For starters, I've been writing a lot, and I mean a LOT. I've been working on the novel that I began at the end of the last year, planning on finishing it before the end of next year. So far, I'm about halfway done. Add on to that the amount of shitty poetry I've been writing, and the random philosophical thoughts that I've been putting down in short bursts, and I've had quite a lot on my hands. The best part of it is that for once I'm actually seeing a novel through; this is the first time that I haven't gotten frustrated halfway and decided to quit. Instead, I'm right on that halfway point, and I'm actually quite excited to get on to more of it. On top of that, I have ideas for the next two or three books afterwards, and I have the sinking suspicion that I will actually finish those as well. If everything goes as planned, I may be spending my senior year hunting for a publisher.

On top of that, I've been spending my summer trying to catch up with old friends. Last summer, I saw all of my closer friends, but ended up ignoring most of the others that I wanted to see for some reason or another but couldn't. This year, I tried a bit harder, and managed to see quite a few of the ones that I've missed. It is natural that I should see less of them, as we've graduated high school and gone our separate ways, but catching up now and then is just as good in some ways, and it makes me feel a lot better than I did last summer about the whole situation, even if I still haven't seen many of the friends I've been looking to see.

My reading for the summer has turned largely to religions. I purchased a couple books on Hinduism near the end of the school year, as well as a copy of the Qur'an. I've just finished the latter, though I think that I much more enjoyed the former. The Qur'an, while indeed an important and complicated text, full of proliferated meaning and the accumulation of hundreds of years of cultural import, is also a terrible read in English, one of those cases where the real meaning and magic of it becomes lost in translation. The Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita, for example, are generally more straightforward and thought-provoking. This religious focus has prepared me for my next novel, which of course I do not plan to spoil anytime soon, but I will admit that it deals very heavily with my interpretation of religion, and my belief about the place of God in this world.

Other than that, my summer has involved a lot of the usual. Working two jobs, enjoying myself, seeing movies, hanging out with buddies, etc. There isn't very much that is important or revealing here. No grand conflicts, no epiphanies of thought, just plain old boring summer vacation. Blah, blah, blah. Now, I'm going to get to sleep.

If you're reading this, stop right now, and go found a religion or something.


The fame.

It seems like so long ago, now, that I began to have hopes and dreams. I went through most of my life without purpose, drive, or reason, and for this reason I hated my childhood and most of my high school years. It was the creations of these dreams, of these purposes in my life, that allowed me to escape depression and make myself into a somewhat competent person. Because of these dreams, I could realize my intellectual and physical strengths, and push myself to new heights.

But now when I look back on them, it is quite obvious that they have changed, a result of maturation and development. When I started off, I didn't really have much of a plan. I simply wished to be the greatest man in the world, and I really only wanted to be that man so that I could prove to a young woman that I was a worthy. But then, when I began to truly try to reach this limit of perfection, it became clear to me that I was going about it all wrong. Perfection isn't something you achieve for the sake of something else; it can only be achieved for its own sake and nothing else. And then, it obviously became clear that perfection was more than I could ever hope for, and that to pursue it was sort of foolish in the first place. I wanted to be strong, I wanted to be wise, I wanted to be famous. I wanted to do it all, and I wanted to be the first person to ever have done such a thing. The fact that no one had ever done it before, was just evidence that they didn't want it as hard as me. These foolish thoughts were my only comfort.

These thoughts never died out; as all things, they simply evolved and changed form. I've come to realize that it is simply impossible for any man to be perfect, and that this is true regardless of effort. It is also true that fame and fortune are largely accidental traits; they don't actually mean anything. They provide the appearance of wealth and happiness, but only this appearance. For anyone who truly has physical and spiritual wealth and happiness, fame means nothing, as do all appearances. Therefore, I have followed the original trend of my beliefs, and yet constantly cut out the weak and unintelligent aspects, trying to move ever toward whatever end it is that I am destined to accomplish.

I still want to be strong, smart, and renowned. I wish to be loved, and I wish to be able to love everyone. But, faced with the impossibility of loving the whole world, and being loved in return, (for to be human is to be limited, no matter how hard one tries to remove his limitations), I have come to accept only that love and strength and intelligence which I can earn and hold for myself. There is still a shadow of the old dream, which has not died, and never can. The new one may appear different and strange, older and more mature, but at its base it still has the foolish thoughts of a sixteen year old who wants to conquer the entire world.

The name of this blog is far more poignant today than it even was the day that I made it. In the beginning, I didn't have any plan here. I wanted to charm the world, and I wanted to control it all. With these simple thoughts in mind, I made up a name for myself, and worked on without a thought. Now, the title is so perfectly fitting. It captures exactly what it is that I've always worked towards, and yet at the same time all the absurdity and evolution that has already preceded to obscure that very meaning. I suppose I shall look back on this blog on my deathbed, and I will smile, for I will truly have mastered the world by then. Not in the way that my sixteen year old self would ever have thought, but in the ways that matter nonetheless.

This is the challenge of every generation, I believe. To attempt the impossible, to move forward and upward, while at the same time coming to understand our limits and the strange quirks of fate that hold us back from perfection. We are like creatures in an ocean, constantly swimming to a sunlight above that we can never reach. Sometimes, we may grow old and pass on, but our will and strength, our love and wish to prosper, can be passed on to our children, and they can take up the unending battle for perfection after we are gone.

This is that spark of the dream that still remains in me. The wish to improve, to increase, to grow ever upwards. Yet, now there is the spark of limitation in me as well. The wish to understand, to comprehend, to limit so as to create a perfect medium. Over time, this second spark, the downward spark, will overcome the upwards one, and I will prepare for my death. But now, in my youth, it is the upward impulse which prevails, and I understand what it is that I now must do.

It is my time. It is the time for me and all members of our generation. It is our time to either make our mark, or fade from all knowledge. Many wish to leave some bit of themselves behind, some evidence of their passing on the general lifestream of society. At first, we overestimate our importance. We hope that we can be everything, and control the mind of everyone, become all-important and all-knowing. The men and women like me in the world, we struggle and fight to make ourselves known, whatever the cost. Those that are victorious will find that they have only made some tiny mark on the world, some minor scratch on the surface of the human strata. Yet, for the enlightened mind, this becomes enough.

I have studied these creative and destructive impulses in man, the upward and the downward, the unlimiting and the limiting, and I have learned to balance them in myself to create the best possible life. It is upon this balance that I have founded all glory in my life, to which I have credited every victory. This balance is the basis for enlightenment; perfected by perhaps a half a century of study and practice, perhaps I will achieve true enlightenment. Perhaps I will one day achieve Nirvana, or consciousness with Brahman, or find the perfect Tao, or be welcomed into heaven, or be at one with the world.

And all because, as a foolish boy of sixteen, I dared to dream so, and never to let go of this dream.


Cutting back.

Wow. Well, first thing's first. I meant to write this shortly after the last one, but I just sort of kept on forgetting until it ended up right here. My summer has been very good so far, which might be part of the reason why it took so long. I keep feeling like I have nothing to say.

I've been trying to work as much as I can, at both of my jobs. Of course, I'm not getting very many hours in the first, and the second has been unluckily unprofitable for the first few weeks. However, things are starting to get back to running smoothly, so I'm feeling better about the whole situation. I've also been writing quite a bit, putting in an hour or two every day, and working out quite regularly. Of course, I've been behind on the reading I would like to do, but I had to suffer somewhere.

Writing has been moving along perfectly. I've gone back to writing my fantasy prequel / mildly philosophical coming-of-age tale, and at the rate that I'm working on it, I may even have it done before the end of the summer, which is massive for me. There would, of course, be tons of proofreading and all that to do before ever actually submitting it to be published, but this is still a huge step forward.

Writing used to be quite difficult for me. It wasn't fun, it was work, and I had to do it on my own time, which hurt me a lot. As such, of course I couldn't do it for very long, only in brief spurts and jumps. Worse, I would write something and then simply be out of the mood for a week or two, only delaying the process even more. But I put my mind to being a writer, and stuck through those odd bits. My vows of silence were the first and best step that I made to correct this. Focusing on nothing but writing for a month, I could truly make progress, and teach myself to begin to enjoy my writing. Now, this has begun to come to a head, and I can write for an hour or two without even realizing that time is passing. It's nowhere near the amount of time I'll have to be able to put in when I go professional, but of course that won't happen for another two years.

Speaking of another two years, it's something that I've been considering a lot lately.

My parents made some comment as usual, to the extent that I wasn't working enough, that I'm not going to be able to sustain myself on the amount of money that I'm making. I need more hours, and better jobs. Now, they're right. I've been thinking about it, and trying to realize where it is in my life that I can cut back. There's only one main place that I can do so, I realize, as much as it hurts: weightlifting.

Lifting weights requires a lot more energy than simply living your life. Not only do you need to consume the calories to do much more physical work than the usual human, you also need extra nutrients, proteins, and calories in order to properly build muscle and make the most of your exercise. When I go to France in a few months, I'm not going to have access to a gym attached to the school, meaning that I would have to arrange for a membership in a French gym. When you factor in the time spent weightlifting, of two hours or so every day or two, the amount of money needed to purchase a membership in a gym, and the amount of food I would need to consume, it becomes clear that I cannot sustain this sort of life when I go to France. Perhaps, even when I come back I won't continue.

I will continue to run and get in my cardio, as well as remaining stretched out. These are relatively low-demand types of exercise that are highly beneficial to my health, and they don't require any gym equipment. Looking at it now, I don't think I will ever go back to weightlifting.

I've made the claim before, to myself and others, that I don't ever think I will be addicted to anything in my life. It's true, because after my high school years and the terrible addiction that I suffered under back then, I've learned my lesson. Any time I grow too attached to something, I generally realize this, and let it go, generally overnight. This is the same thing I tried to do with my girlfriend, until I realized that I did truly love her, and my affection wasn't a bad thing. Often times, the things we become addicted to hardly are bad things, we've just made them so. Routine is the death of all meaning, and when something becomes so routine that it is unquestioned, so all meaning fades and it becomes nothing but mindless action. This is why a bit of alcohol is a good thing; it shakes up life and makes things interesting, and this is also why too much of it is a bad thing; when alcohol, or anything for that matter, becomes routine, it loses all meaning, and becomes more detrimental than beneficial.

Looking back, I've been addicted to many things, in the sense that I made them a routine part of my life without even meaning to, without even thinking about my decisions. I don't see this over-attachment as anything debilitating, because I've gotten over it. So the same is with myself and working out. I enjoyed it immensely, and I still do. There's nothing wrong with it, but it's simply begun to become too routine. It's beginning to lose meaning, and become an addiction. I can't have that. Now, it is time to say goodbye to it, even though it was half the reason I pulled myself out of depression and ever stayed alive in the first place. There was a time and a place in my life for it, and that time is passing. It's time to use the time that I spent honing my body, and hone other things. Perhaps I will return, but only when the time is right, and not until then. Now is not the time.

As such, I'm slowly moving myself off. I'm cutting down on my workouts, and focusing more on the aspects of exercise that I will be keeping. I'm moving towards the right balance, a sustainable balance, that I can use in the future.

Life is grand.


Maturity. Intelligence.

I've been very busy recently, what with finals and the end of the year and other things on my mind. However, I've managed to work in a good deal of writing as well, so I've been feeling rather satisfied with it all. Recently, there have been two major things on my mind. The first is maturity, and the second is intelligence.

Maturity is something that we seem to assume out of everyone nowadays, but it also seems like very few people actually have it. There have been divisions in my group of friends recently, spurred on partly by the incompatibility of several of our members, and mostly from the amount of drama and passive-aggressive behavior that has been going around. The thing that has really bothered me, however, is that both sides consider themselves the reasonable ones, that neither considers themselves to be guilty of anything. In every case, it is exclusively the fault of the other party.

I would argue that this is rarely true. Certainly, there are times when one party is entirely at fault, and the other is entirely deserving of a bit of scorn and derision to make themselves feel better, but this is very rare in comparison. Most generally, both sides are at fault, and the fight amounts not to a redress of grievances, but an attempt by both sides to make the opponent's issues seem bigger, so as to ignore their own. Even if only one side is at fault, the other side will often be overzealous in their righteousness, creating fault for themselves.

Now, it is of course too much to wish that people would act with perfect maturity in arguments; no one is capable of such a thing. Even then, acting with maturity would generally mean that fights are altogether avoided, as all possible faults would be quickly and effectively dealt with before they become full blown fights. But it only hurts me to realize that people that I know and care about, and deeply respect, are capable of lapses in their maturity levels. I don't wish to claim any moral high ground here, either. I act with surprising immaturity at times as well. But the fact that I am able to recognize this, rather than pretending that there is no problem, is generally superior to the idea of myself going about committing immature actions and not knowing about them.

In light of recent personal development, as well as the problems that I've seen around me, I've tried to act with more maturity. I've been trying to listen to both sides of the argument between my friends, and come to an understanding of the grievances on both sides. I don't have any perfect knowledge of the situation, but perhaps a more clear picture than most of the others. I've also made efforts to apologize to some people that I've hurt in the past. By the time I recently wrote them apologies, I felt that the issues involved were long dead, but I sent them anyway, to try and make something better out of my relationship with people. Just today, as I was packing my things, one person that I had apologized to talked to me for the first time this year. Of course we did not talk for very long, and I did not properly express myself to this person, but the way in which she responded revealed that she respected the decision to apologize, and it was that respect that I am working towards.

I want nothing other than the respect and love of the people. I understand that I may say hurtful things, I may judge quickly, and I may often act without respect in the moment. But I don't intend any of these things, and I am trying to change the way I act. I am trying to be more mature, I'm trying to get people to understand that I am truly a good person, even if I struggle, and even if my methods differ from what everyone expects of a 'good' person. That feeling that I felt this afternoon, that I had done this right, that I had truly earned someone's respect, (or at least some tiny portion of it), made me happier than I've been in quite some time.

The other thing that has been on my mind is intelligence. First, there was the question of what intelligence is, a question that has not had a satisfactory answer provided. Here is what I have divined for myself.

Intelligence is not rote learning; monkeys can do that. Even then, in the case of rote learning intelligence isn't actually very helpful. A more intelligent person in terms of rote learning would be able to memorize faster, but this doesn't guarantee that he would learn any better, and this doesn't mean that he actually needs this speed. For example, let us say that one man can learn the intellectual skills for a single profession, and master them, over the course of his lifetime. Now let's say that a second man could do this same thing over the course of half of a lifetime, and with the other half master a second job. The problem here is, he doesn't need a second job! A certain amount of knowledge is necessary in order to survive, but after that amount is met, then at some point the accumulation of extra knowledge ceases to have any practical purpose, simply because it can't be used. In this problem, the first man is actually more successful, despite the fact that he is less intelligent; he has his life set for him, whereas the second man simply wastes his time and effort out of boredom, and is unlikely to be satisfied at this point.

It is also clear to me that intelligence is not all that society has cracked it up to be. Society has, for some time now, begun to impress upon us the idea that intelligence is the most important attribute of man. First, this importance was foisted on us by the philosophers and learned men, and then the public in general. The problem is, that this isn't true. A man's strength, his willpower, his stamina, his skill with the canvas or the instrument, these are all equally good. However, society has long convinced us that intelligence is superior, and given men of intelligence a disproportionate share in life, because theirs is the 'better' life. Let's be honest. The only reason that we care about our intelligence, is because it is the evolutionary quirk that got us on top of the earth in the first place. We only hail it because it benefits society, not because it actually benefits a man any more than any other attribute of himself he could choose to hone. Intelligence is responsible for our high level of technology in the world today; this amount of technology is superfluous, and we would live much happier lives without it.

It is also clear that there exists a negative strain of intelligence, the intelligibility of being stupid. For example, there are many students I have known in my classes to speak forever about topics which are tangentially related to their basic material. From a literary standpoint, the purpose of intelligence is to divine meaning. But there becomes a point at which this divination of meaning becomes superfluous, simply because certain meanings were not originally intended, or do not carry sufficient evidence to warrant their exploration in the text. These people are doing thing right by the textbook; they are finding meanings when they talk longer. But the fact is that they are still somehow doing it wrong. It is clear, then, that there is an aspect of intelligence which is negative, that is, that it restricts itself and in the process is actually more effective. To give an example, I believe that a man is benefited by a study of philosophy so that he can develop his ideals; however, I also know that spouting my ideals in certain situations will not benefit me, but probably get my ass kicked. This is an example of negative intelligence at work; in knowing when not to be intelligent, I can actually be more intelligent. This negative intelligence is commonly referred to as 'wisdom' or 'street smarts', and it is the type of intelligence that is valued in the east over the positive intelligence in the west. This is why we consider buddhist and taoist monks to be far more intelligent than the ordinary man, despite the fact that they study little and produce little; because they have mastered the art of not knowing moreso than anyone else, they have appeared wise and intelligent to us.

It is also true that among comparable levels of intelligence, a man with an intelligent lifestyle is more valued; in other words, intelligence is not necessarily seen as an attribute in all cases, but a way of living. Of two men who both score similarly on standardized tests, one can be sloppy and inefficient in his personal life, while the other is neat and dedicated to the furtherance of his studies. Both may be equally intelligent, but one is more effective and more respected. I would argue that many of the 'great men' and 'great women' of the past century are not necessarily any greater than other, similarly intelligent people, but that they have simply adopted a lifestyle that is more conducive to intelligence, and thus optimized their intellectual capacities, rather than minimizing it as the lazy intelligent man does.

In the face of these criticisms, I have come to understand for myself that intelligence is not necessarily the end-all of life, unless one is a slave to the construct of society, which is the only thing that truly needs intelligence. Having thrown off this yoke, I now wonder what I've spent my life doing. It is also clear to me that despite the fact that I've dedicated my life for the past few years to learning more and being smarter than everyone else, no one else shares my passion, and no one has any real use for intelligence. The true man of the intellect, that is, the man who has dedicated his intelligence not to picking up a job, but to furthering his intelligence, has few options available to him after study. The most prevalent one is that of the teacher or professor, but I learned for myself, not for others, and I have no will to teach. Where does that leave me? Men of intelligence can always make their way in society, but only by distinguishing themselves, and the available options nowadays are few and far between. I understand that most likely after college I will continue to work in fast food until I can get a book published; I certainly wish that society was more forgiving to the hand that feeds it.

But that is enough for tonight. I must sleep, for tomorrow I must write much more.


Health care.

So I've been quite busy lately. Wrote a good shot story, worked some more on my novels, and of course keeping up with my school work. There isn't much to say on my end, because for the most part, not much has happened in my life. I was on a particularly mean streak a few months back, and now I'm back to the sort of kindness that I want to have. I've sent repentant messages to many of my friends that I've harmed in the past, trying to make amends for some of the greater douchebaggeries that I've committed, and in general I feel like I've helped myself and others by finally just sitting down and admitting that I've done a few wrongs. Other than this, there isn't much to speak of, except the one thing that has been on my mind lately.

I would like everyone to understand here, that eating a healthy diet is NOT the same thing as being a vegetarian.

I know that it's became fashionable and all to eat nothing but veggies and decry all that is meat, but to be honest, there isn't much nutritional basis for this. I've done some preliminary research here, and my findings have confirmed the facts that I already know. The enemy to your health isn't meat, it's the processing of food.

Now, of course, it is much easier to fuck up meat than it is to fuck up vegetables and fruits. The process of mass-producing meat generally involves a lot of disgusting stuff, such as unsanitary living conditions for the animals, the fact that every chunk of beef that makes its way to you is made up of probably about eight different cows, and the fact that we process this meat to remove the nutritional value and replace this with flavor. The process of mass-producing fruit and veggies, on the other hand, is simply to grow more of them. Yes, you can try crowding them together, but unsanitary living conditions are less important here; if plants are growing too close together, one dies and the other one keeps going. Simple. And then, there's far less processing that goes into fruits and veggies, and as a result they tend to end up on our plates much closer to the way that nature intended, with all their value intact.

The real enemy here is everything processed. It's all the salt we put into soups and spices to preserve things, it's all the sugar that we extract from god-knows-where and dump into our food, and it's all the high-taste low-nutrient stuff that gets packed onto the shelves today. The important thing to understand, is that not all meat is victim to this process, and not all vegetables escape it. It's perfectly fine to eat lean, humanely grown meat, and it's also just as disgusting to me to eat apples that have been coated in wax so that they last longer on their way to our mouths.

This being said, it is also true that a vegetarian diet is simply not a balanced diet. A balanced diet is one that contains the right amounts of all available food groups, not one that cuts out one group entirely and thus forces you to eat too much of another to catch up. Meats contain valuable fats and proteins, which we need for muscle growth and energy. You could argue that fat makes you fat, but hell, having energy isn't a bad thing. Of course, if you eat a lot of fats and don't spend any time getting exercise, yes, you will get fat, and be very unhealthy, but for a person who spends an adequate amount of time taking care of their body, there's no such worry, because you're then burning that fat just as it was designed to be done. Another issue of the vegetarian side of life is that you are forced to eat a lot of concentrated types of veggies, say legumes, in order to make up for nutrients in meat that you are lacking. In the process, you get too much of other nutrients, and this is of course unhealthy in a slightly less visible but just as effective over time kind of way. I'm not saying that vegetables and fruits are not the portion of your diet with the highest amount of nutrients, because this is completely true. But as with all things, you need enjoyment to balance out your work, you need things of lesser importance and lesser effect to balance out the ones of higher importance and effect. Ignoring meat is like saying that you would like to work for the rest of your life, no breaks except for the necessary rest and food. Certainly, at first you would start doing a lot of work; after a time, you would be burnt out. It's the same way with your body; too much of a good thing is still a bad thing.

That being said, I have no problem with someone who goes the mile to inform himself, and then chooses to take up a vegetarian diet. I can't do it, because I spend a lot of time in the gym and can't support my workout routine without eating meat or eating excessive amounts of veggies and sugars to make up my energy. But I do have a problem with people who blindly take up vegetarianism as a way of life and a superior diet, because in fact it isn't. As with all things in life, it's simply a different one. It has its own strengths and weaknesses, just like all other diets. There is no 'best' diet, only one which is well-tailored to your tastes and type of lifestyle. So don't just decide that vegetarianism is your lifestyle, and start acting accordingly. That's a terrible idea.

And that's the sort of problem that I see around me today; that most vegetarians I know have done this out of the wrong sort of blind faith, and that they aren't actually getting out of it much except the placebo effect that they were looking for all along. Please, readers, feel free to contradict me if anything that I've laid out above is grossly incorrect, but as the way it stands, I feel that this challenge isn't very controversial, and tends to stand to reason.

If you're a vegetarian, please, tell me that you've thought this thing through. Otherwise, I'm not sure how much I can respect your dietary decisions.



Again, it has been difficult recently to find time to write in this blog. I've given myself a heavy workload this semester, and things are always difficult when you have to spend four or so hours a day doing homework, as well as trying to get to the gym. My exercise has also slackened off a little, because I can't always find time when I'm motivated to go.

However, I've been thinking about the future recently, and about what it means to me. A discussion of housing in my senior year has made me begin to think that far ahead already, and think about what my future is going to be like. At first, I was quite disheartened by this thought, because I realized that prospects for the future are somewhat grim.

The fact is, that I am not a man with many close friends. I have many casual friends that I speak to and spend time with, but I am very selective and demanding when it comes to friends that I actually consider close to me. Upon discussing my senior year housing situation, it has come to my attention that I really only have two close male friends at this college, and they are my only hope for getting a house in senior year. Other people could join us, but circumstances have set my suite against itself, and we aren't exactly the most welcoming of new people into our living space. I felt weak and unhappy upon making this realization; it's not that I don't respect and care for these two close friends that I have, but I also feel like a failure for not having more.

Another issue that this discussion brought up is my relationship with my girlfriend. Next year, I will be going to France, and she will not. This puts a great strain on us, because we will be separated and we will not have much chance to see each other, except through skype, and I'm not the kind of person to spend a lot of my time doing such things. This only further aggravates the fact that we've been having some relationship issues again, recently.

I am a man who enjoys his life, and in the course of doing this I have cultivated a healthy respect for everything that it has to offer. I like to examine different viewpoints, try diverse foods, and explore new ideas. What this leads to, is an equality of all things, of valuing nothing more than anything else similar to it. For example, I consider pizza my favorite food. But I don't eat pizza any more than any other food, because its goodness only arises from other, less delicious foods to contrast. For this reason, every food is necessary; I enjoy eating even the foods that I hate, simply because they make the foods that I enjoy that much more worth it.

The problem is that this applies to people as well. I am very accepting of most people, and I very rarely harbor prejudice or hate against anyone unless they consistently prove themselves worthy of it, which is rarely. But what this also means, is that the people that I most like, are the ones that must be treated just as kindly as the ones that I don't. I may love my girlfriend, but I can't spend forever with her, because forever with anyone will always get old. And this is where the problem begins, in that I am beginning to grow tired of some aspects of her personality, and these aspects weigh on me more and more heavily.

Indeed, France may be a blessing. I need time away from her, I think, to make me appreciate her even more. Perhaps, the time away will unfortunately not clear my head of her flaws, in which case I would regrettably have to end the relationship. But this time, I feel like I'm really trying, for the first time. We had a discussion yesterday, in which I laid this out to her, at least in similar words, and tried to have a real communication with her.

This is far better than anything that has come before. Usually, when I begin to have issues with her, I consider breaking it off, and when I broach the subject we both become very angry at each other. But this time, we had an honest discussion, and I feel like we've truly communicated for one of the first times. I believe that we've reached the agreement that it's best for us to take a break from each other during study abroad, as this will allow us to take a deep breath and examine our situation more clearly. When it's done, and we return, is the real time when decisions must be made. It is then that we will decide whether or not this relationship truly works. If not, then breaking up will be necessary, but for once in our time together, I feel not like I'm trying to end it, but I'm trying to keep it going.

I think I'm finally beginning to truly care about this relationship, for more than insubstantial reasons. We've spent long enough together, she means enough to me now, that I'm beginning to take the two of us seriously, and I'm glad. Perhaps I am a bit pessimistic about it all working out, but I think that maybe I'm beginning to turn around.

In other news, I'd like to get back to writing a few more philosophical things here, but I never have the time. Over summer, perhaps.


Stumbling block.

Life has fallen into a normal sort of cycle over the past month, making it difficult for me to get much done in the way of writing. Most of this has to do with my classes this semester. I've selected two very reading intensive classes, as well as two excess classes, resulting in Mondays and Wednesdays that are absolutely packed. Between doing my homework, attending my classes, and getting to the gym regularly, I've had little time in which I actually feel inclined to write. Much of my time is now spent relaxing, simply because of the way my classes are ordered.

In good news, I've finally set upon the proper way to tell a story that I've been working on for a long time. It's turned into a sort of fantasy for children, though I cannot write any simpler than usual, so I suppose they must be very well-read children. While I haven't managed to get much writing into it, the idea has formed itself properly, and I've begun the novel in such a way that I will remember how to continue it. I'll probably put it out of my mind soon, and return to my first novel, but we shall see how it turns out.

I've also been lacking in the poetry department. There are a few new things I've wanted to try, particularly since my mind was opened to poetry last semester, that I haven't gotten around to. Now and then, I'll put out a poem or two, but for the most part things go much slower than they should.

In my personal life, everything has been good. The only conflict that I find myself in is against myself. I've been cruel lately, mean and unkind. Now, that is not to say that there is anything wrong with this. Hate is a natural emotion, an indicator that something is undesirable to the mind, and thus should be avoided or fought. The problem with hate arises only when a man uses it indiscriminately, when he does not sharpen his emotions to understand what is truly deserving of scorn, and what is simply foolish prejudice.

What I've come to realize is that I've been more hateful and critical than is necessary lately. In the process of seeking the best in man, I have not ruled out hatred entirely, as some men do. I understand that there are men truly deserving of hate, and that to treat them with love is a mockery of the emotion. But I also understand that these men are few and far between, and that neither hatred nor its corollary, love, are to be given freely. A man must first properly understand his subject, in all its manners, before he can pass such a judgment. But again, my judgments have been hasty recently, and this is part of the problem.

In my quest for the best in man, I've tried to maintain a proper balance, and tried to understand when to pass judgment, and when not to, and of course I've made mistakes. But in the end, I wish only for justice and good. These two arise only when the proper emotion is given; when men deserving of love receive love, and when men deserving of hate receive hate. I've allowed hatred and confusion to dominate myself moreso than usual lately, and I've been careless in my speech and actions.

Again, above all, I want what is good. At times, I fail, but at those times I must pick myself back up again and continue the journey. I've been more hateful than usual, and in recognizing this, I can now endeavor to be more kind. I apologize to anyone I've ever hurt, because this was none of my intention. Above all, at all times, I intend only what is good.

Emotions are not my strong suit. My first real experience with them was in high school, when I fell in love for the first time, and was forced to think about what I wanted in life for the first time. As a result, I deadened my emotions, tried to hide them all behind cold rationality. It wasn't until last year that I realized this, that I had created a dangerous imbalance in myself that was hurting me and the people around me. Since then, I've tried to understand and properly use my emotions, and put them to the right purpose. I'm glad to say that for the most part I've done well, succeeded. But there will always be times, when I make a mistake, and this is one of those times.

But again, I must simply pick myself back up, and continue. And that is what I continue to do.



I am an antisocial person. This is something that I must readily admit. Perhaps I do not give the appearance of such, to most, but this is the fact.

When I was a child, I did not have very many friends. I had a few very good ones, and then many of them moved away or were very socially awkward, much like myself. As a result, I was not a social person. I spent my childhood reading books and playing video games. It wasn't until high school that I began to change into the person I became today. At first, I had many friends much the same as myself, in the manner that I always had in my life. We were awkward, we were antisocial, but we were like this together. At some point, we all decided to mature up a little, and started doing actually social things. We joined the play, and at this point I actually opened up for the first time in my life.

I made many new friends, and I fell in love. I realized that I was depressed, and began to exercise. I began to see, for the first time, that I was an intelligent man, and that I wanted more for my life than I already had at the time. Since then, my inner values have remained largely unchanged. My outside beliefs, my incidental traits, these have evolved and changed continually, and with every year that passes I change drastically. But at the core of my being are a few major beliefs, around which this change revolves.

I believe in the goodness of man. I work at all times towards self-perfection, (and thus its antithesis, self-destruction) and I try at all times to share my dream with the world. But of course, this is still not easy for me. For all intents and purposes, I began to be social roughly three or four years ago. Since then, I have made great strides, but I am still far from equal to many people who have been social for their entire lives, and I am certainly far from being perfectly social.

One of the great holdovers from my past life, one of the few things that I have not yet overcome, is my love for loneliness. I spent four fifths of my life being antisocial, being alone. It is easy for me. Being among others, sharing myself, this is difficult. It is hard for me, and when it fails me, when it rebuffs my attempts to join in it, I must naturally retreat to my room and the safety of myself. Some of my friends do not understand this, do not want to believe this. They tell me that the real me is the one that they see everyday, when they have no concept of the me that hides and keeps itself away from all others. Some close friends, they have seen my antisocial self, I have shown them bits and pieces, or perhaps more. But for the most part, the vast majority of my friends see only an outer shell, the necessary barrier that I must erect in order to be social.

This is perhaps indicative of me. I was never built for many friends. I have many, yes, but I have few close friends, and they are very tightly knit, much in the same way that it has always been. And, of course, this is how I prefer it. For any man with sufficient standards, there should be very few that meet these standards, and thus a small group of friends that he approves of. But at the same time, even some of my close friends seem to think that the me that they see, is the real one, the one that I enjoy and nurture.

This is false. The real me is one that I hide away, that I keep in dark places like these, one that tries often to connect with the social me, but in vain. I am a different person here than I am in life. I am a different person whenever I am alone, and this is the person that I prefer. This is the person that enjoys writing, and spends his time reading old novels to divine the secrets of the world. Of course, I enjoy being social, as an escape, as a rest to take my mind off of things. Work is important, but play is always necessary lest a man work himself to death.

I have been thinking on this antisociality, recently. Sometimes, I drive friends away, after a long enough time, simply because I do not esteem them highly, and even if I do, because I have grown tired of them, as they do not grow and change as I do. What I am trying to get at, is that I am not so sure that I should continue this blog. This makes a public mockery of my life, a mockery that at many times I would enjoy. But those are not these recent times of thought.

I also think that perhaps my last post was a bit harsh. I meant only to communicate that I do not really do this for other people, and that this is a blog of mine, of my thoughts. I really don't understand what it is that inspires others to think of my blog in the way that they do. But then, at the same time, there are people who read and enjoy this blog, and have taken good things away from it. I suppose that if for anyone, I really write it for them. I didn't communicate this properly, in my anger. I don't need to write this blog. It is far from central to my life. But, I would like to help people, I would like to change the world for the better. I do it with these words, with this hope, with this dream. I want to speak to everyone who enjoys this blog, I want to apologize to them. Perhaps I hurt you, I had no intention to.

In fact, I want exactly the opposite.


Since you care so much.

Now, I have been trying for quite some time now to ignore the fact that this blog has made some sort of effect on the real world, and that people actually read it. It is obvious that I cannot continue to do this forever, so here I intend to do my first and only blog directed wholesale to my readers.

This blog has been running for, as I count it, about two years, perhaps a little more. Now, the first thing to understand, is that this blog was not written for you, it was written for me. In the beginning, I had a few juvenile visions of being some sort of angry celebrity, and I acted accordingly. It didn't take me long to realize that I'm not good at being angry all the time, that I didn't enjoy it, and that most importantly, I simply wanted a place to put down my own thoughts. All of this occurred before I revealed this blog to anyone, and I have since deleted the original posts in the interest of coherency and decency.

I only told one person that I was writing this blog, my best friend. I didn't tell him where it was, or what I wrote in it. He didn't read it. In fact, I wrote in this blog without an audience for about a year before telling anyone about it. Then, in a move of incredible foolishness, I decided that I had nothing to fear, and I linked it for everyone to see, after prompted by my girlfriend to reveal it to her and no one else. Since then, for better or for worse, I have endeavored to put my thoughts down as they occur, with honesty and some degree of intellect. Needless to say, I was indeed shocked when I discovered that people not only read my blog, but treated it with the utmost amount of immaturity and an insulting manner.

Let us be clear. I'm not writing this blog for other people. I'm writing it for myself, in order to understand and clear my own thoughts. I don't care whether you read it or not, in fact, I would probably be better off if you didn't. If you don't like the ideas expressed in it, tough shit. This isn't intended to be serious, revelatory, philosophical, or highly intelligent. This is intended to be the inner workings, in of course a highly imperfect and flawed, unrefined, state, of my mind.

As such, I don't care about your comments. If you leave me a helpful, kind comment, thank you. I didn't mean to get you involved in this, but I have the utmost respect for your kindness. If you leave me a comment that carries virtually no meaning or importance, then cool for you. If you insult me, I will respond. If you insult me in an unintelligent, unreasoned manner, then I will mock you. If you insult me in a well-thought, intelligent manner, then I will mock myself. You are a better man than I, who would never stop to develop a well-reasoned argument for the sake of anyone else, and I respect you.

This blog is also, you must understand, not very important. I don't dedicate myself to it, or any of the ideas contained in it. I don't spend a lot of time thinking about it, I only write down ideas as they come to me when I'm in the mood to write. I'm not going to reply to your comments in any meditated way, because I don't have time to. I have a life to live. I have food to eat, books to read, books to write, things to do, worlds to conquer, women to love, a life to die, etc. If I live to the age of 100, that will be only 52596000 minutes in which to enjoy myself. I'm not going to waste 60 of them writing a clear and detailed response to anyone, when I could be using it to go read a book instead.

Another fact I would like to point out, is that for the most part, my friends don't read this blog, while my critics appear to read it religiously and have no clue who I am. This blog is certainly far removed from real life, and I am certainly a far different person in it than in ordinary existence. If you are reading this right now, chances are that you have no clue who I am, and can shut the hell up when it comes to judging me and my lifestyle. If you would like to contact me in real life, and get to know me, go ahead. If you still find me a despicable person afterwards, then feel free to insult me as much as you wish.

Which brings me to another point, that I am only a man, a man trying to be the best that he can be. It takes a certain sort of cruelty, I think, to find this laughable, and an even worse sort of one to insult me for it. I only want what is best for myself and the world, and work toward it with all my effort. If you find this underlying premise laughable, then I have no place for you.

And for the record, as many of you seem to have gotten this wrong, I love my girlfriend, and she's pretty damn awesome.


Bad times.

Several days ago, my girlfriend and I had our first real fight in some time. Of course, as often, it seemed to stem much more from a lack of communication than anything else. We have since worked through it, and we are both feeling much better, at least as I can see.

The fight served to highlight things as they have been going lately. My life has not been as stellar as it can be, for the last month or so, and for the most part, I took it out on her. I blamed her for my own failings, and of course sought with this an excuse to break up with her, something which is startlingly close to my mind at all times, to both of our dismay. However, I had the wisdom to see past the minor issue of my life being slightly down, though I did not communicate this to her properly.

But the things that were problematic, are much the same ones that have been problematic since the beginning. I am a perfectionist, in every area of my life. Most rigorously, this applies to my own standards of living, that I hold myself to working hard and playing harder, being extreme in all decisions, and trying at all times to be the best that any man can be. The problem, of course, is that I hold my friends to this standard as well, and this is one of the core issues at the heart of things. This causes distress to our relationship, not because it is something that cannot be dealt with, but because it is not something that can be dealt with permanently, and it will continue to haunt us, for as long as it lasts. No matter how long the two of us spend our lives together, I will always question our relationship, simply because I hold myself to this high standard, and for the most part, she does not.

Then, of course, there is the problem of how my life has been going in recent times. I was rejected from the Scotland study abroad program, a rejection that hurts though I knew that it must happen. I have selected, in lieu of my only real choice, to go to France, more to entertain myself than to pursue my studies. There is of course no point in continuing to fight a battle that is already lost; the best soldier fights even when the battle is hopeless, but the wisest one lives to fight another day. I know that the Scotland program was the only place where I could have properly advanced my education, and I deserved to get in, but I have no reason to whine and moan of it. I am going to France, not for the better, but perhaps not much for the worse.

There has also been my writing. I have gotten little done since the end of my vow of silence. Even then, what I have been writing is the second draft of material that I have already developed, I have not been writing new material. I am restless, yet at the same time I cannot write. I have been lazy and unable, and this does not please me. Indeed, my writing the second time around is much better, but at the same time this is not enough. I need to work more. Since break, and returning to school, I have done a little more writing, but I have still not surpassed the point of my first draft, and I have not written as much as I wish to.

And then, there has been a questioning of myself in general, a minor existential crisis, which has plagued me for the past few weeks. My studies in Taoism have begun to take their toll. The taoist sage does nothing, and by this he does everything. This is at odds with the lifestyle I have lived, of doing everything in order to do everything. I seek the proper balance here, of knowing when to act and when not to act, of when to do everything and when to do nothing, for Taoism is not perfect, and the higher meaning of the tao cannot be everything as contained in the pages that I have read, indeed, "The tao can be talked about, but not the eternal tao." There is a better tao than the one presented, a fuller one, but I have fallen into the trap of taking taoist words at their face value, believing them by blind pursuit more so than using them and creating with them a better and proper balance for my life.

As such, I have questioned all of my actions extensively, I have felt melancholic, and I have been in harsher moods than normal. This was not helped by my vacation, during which I achieved very little by my standards. But this fight marks a turning point, an active dialog with my problems, rather than a general stewing in it.

I must again thank my girlfriend, for this fight has done more to help me than a thousand happy days, this conflict has aided me more than all the support she could have ever given me. She has helped me set my thoughts right, and begin in a new and better direction.



When I was little, my mother told me that honesty was the best policy. Indeed, there are numerous proponents from virtually every sector that tell us that telling the truth is vital, that we know the best men because they are honest and fair. This is bullshit. This has always been bullshit.

It appears that for thousands of years, we have known that honesty is the proper virtue to be valued. And why not? We have a society predicated on the truth. We have a world that depends on the verity of every word we say. What is so hideous about lying? It is a denial of this truth. It is a perversion of order. It is the process of creating a little gem of information which appears to be true and honest, but is in fact the exact opposite. Why is this important to our society? Only because we could have it no other way.

When a man speaks, we first assume that what he says is true. That is because we have put a positive value on the identification of language. That is, that when a make speaks, language has a tendency to tell the truth, and society a necessity for this truth to exist in order to continue existing. Why is a lie so terrible then? Because it violates this order. To cut it down to simple situations, only two societies can exist. In one, everyone must lie all the time, and telling the truth is a hideous violation of this. In the other, everyone must tell the truth all the time, and lying is the violation. We have a society founded on truth, on fact, and therefore our society is the latter.

Thus, to lie is to undermine progress, to deny civilization, to ignore everything that exists in favor of hideous and perfect fantasies which cannot exist, if only because they are too perfect to be true. It is easy to see, then, why we tell our children that lying is a sin.

But the fact that so undermines this process, is that the adult in charge doesn't really mean this. Even this value of honesty is a lie for them. There exists nowadays, there has always existed, there always will exist, this fact. Adults tell their children not to lie. But everyday, they go out and they tell lies whenever it serves them, whenever it will make their own life easier. They mislead others, they hold back their feelings, they provide half-truths and mostly-falsehoods, all so that they can satisfy their own selfish goals, goals which will harm them in the long term.

I am no communist. I am not one to say that the state rules over man, and that man has no right but in the state. Who am I to say that men are only cogs in the machine? Ayn Rand has taught me at least that these are not true. But Ayn has no universal truth either. It is also true that man is not a distinct individual, that while the state is his own construct and his own working, he must at the same time understand that he must bow down to it as well, if it is to work. He must understand that petty selfishness is not the same thing as individuality, and that denying something does not make it any less true.

My parents told me never to lie. As a child, this earned me the favor of my parents. Now, as an adult, it only earns me the harsh derision of my fellows. Why is this? Is it better to be open and honest, or to hide what I am and spend my days avoiding myself, to speak nothing of others. The man who is scorned in the eyes of others suffers nothing in comparison to the man who is scorned in his own eyes. I know. But why is this? Why does this world so claim to value honesty, so uphold it and its virtues, when in fact it wishes nothing of the fact? Why is it that this world praises the strong, while working so hard to prevent everyone from becoming so? This world is a masochistic one, and this world is of our own making.

I am also shocked by this disparity between children and adults. By this model, in which we mislead our children and uphold for them false values that we will quickly forget when we grow up and realize that these values are harder than originally expected, we are only hurting our children. Rather than treating them as children, as tiny adults, we are treating them as another race, another people, from another existence entirely. We are upholding for them a style of life that does not exist.

Children are told to hate violence, to abhor evil, to uphold truth, safety, law, etc. etc. etc. But as soon as they become teenagers, we drop on them that the world is curiously about none of these things, as if puberty has somehow and suddenly changed them, transported them into a new world where everything is exactly the opposite.

Do you understand what I say when I mean that we should treat our children as small adults, and not as small aliens? In our current model, we tell them of a lifestyle that does not exist, and hold it up for them as virtue. Is it not better to hold up the real world that does exist, and show them the real virtues? We need not drop it all on them at once, in great amounts, because they are children. I am not saying that we must not treat them as such. We must release on them the information of the world in a smaller flow, so as to allow them to understand. But we must release on them the information of this world, because if we do not we are only hurting them rather than helping them, we are misleading them instead of helping them grow.

I can think of no reason why we should not be open and honest with our kids, at an early age. Certainly, they cannot be burdened to learn, in the first few years, while they try to comprehend the language and the basics of living itself. But in the years of grade school, when they can comprehend and learn, why not teach them reality, rather than this ideal and false world of happiness and butterflies that we currently push off on them without remorse? This doesn't harm them. God knows, if it could harm us, it would do it when we are adults, and it does. There are many ways in which children are inferior to adults. Grasping the basic tenets of society is not one of them.

The utter mass of filth which does just this, treating toddlers like some kind of idiot weakling that cannot possibly comprehend that life is complicated, that yes, we sometimes lie, and sometimes tell the truth, and virtue lies not in telling the truth but in knowing when to and when not to, is disgusting. Children's tv shows, books, magazines, everything about children is tailored as if they were some sort of disconnected being, as if they lived in a different universe. This is not right, this only leads to more being dumped on them later, when they begin to see through the shoddy craftsmanship of this false life, on more hardship and toil than would have previously.

Do you understand? By treating your children as if they are not old enough to do something, as if their age is a detriment to them, you are harming them. I am evidence enough. I turned out right. Isn't that bad enough?


The State of the Educational System Today.

I have recently received the notice as to my rejection from the Scotland study abroad program offered through my school.

My anger is infinite. My anger is the volcano which burns the forests. My anger is the lightning which splits stone, and the stone that carries the mountain with it as it falls. My anger is the force of a gun, strained into thought. My anger is the surging sea.

But in all fairness, I don't care very much. It's what I've expected. I'll be honest, my gpa is far from exemplary. Good, but far from exemplary. But it's why my gpa is low that this whole thing kind of makes me angry. You see, my gpa is low, not because I'm too stupid to perform otherwise, but because I don't have any care to. I've long since learned that grades are essentially meaningless. Certainly, they are a crudely effective indicator, but as I see it they should never be treated as anything else.

The methods available to the current society to test the intelligence of an individual are all woefully lacking. The idea of writing a paper is essentially the idea of turning in a subjective work to be subjectively judged. You can never be sure if you're going to get a good grade on the paper, no matter how well you write, because you can never be sure what the teacher is looking for. Tests, on the other hand, are also crude. They encourage the taker to cram knowledge that will promptly be forgotten, and focus on specific topics that generally represent only a fraction of the real knowledge involved in the subject.

In order to illustrate the difficulties, let me give you an example. A teacher decides to give his students a test. He tells them ahead of time, as many teacher do, what kind of topics he considers important, and thus what material the test will cover. Three students go home and study.

One student gets an excellent grade. But then, he spent exorbitant amounts of time memorizing principles by rote, and he has no understanding of these principles or ability to connect the dots. He is an idiot.

One student gets a terrible grade. He is very intelligent, and spent his time studying the material. Unfortunately, he was not made aware of which specific portions of the test he was supposed to study, and as such gets every question wrong, regardless of the fact that he knows every other aspect of the subject well.

One student gets an okay grade, because he properly crammed for the test. He promptly forgets this material, and when he graduates with his degree, he will know very little of what he actually studied. He is also an idiot.

Do you see the inefficacy of the concept of measuring knowledge in our society today? We have bound an abstract concept, intelligence, up into a series of letters grades, tests, and papers, which are really not a fair judge of intelligence. This isn't even taking into account that intelligence appears less to be rote memorization, and more the ability to memorize more quickly and more efficiently than others. Even apes can be taught sign language. Even idiots can be taught physics. The difference between the idiot and the genius, is that the genius understands this, and while our tests do make an effort at judging this understanding, it is far too easy to slip past the system without understanding that education in general is suffering.

On top of this is the fact that education in general has been highly cheapened. Once, men went to college to learn, and only the most serious of scholars, the people endowed with the most willingness to learn, ever went. They went by free choice, and they learned because they wanted to. Nowadays, society is increasingly structuring itself to the point where men and women need a college degree simply to be ordinary, simply to catch up with the basic level of living. The side effects of this are obvious. Now, students spend their weekends partying hard enough to kill any grain of knowledge or gain in critical thinking skills that they built up during the week, and look upon their studies not as a joyous upward mobility of the intellect, but rather a dreary and tiresome job, a task to be completed and resolved as quickly as possible.

Since my years in high school, I have kept the love of knowledge and intellect closer to my heart than anyone I have yet known. I am constantly now either sharpening my intellect or resting it for the next day's labor. I am prudent in my vices and voracious in my attempts to learn and build anew. I understand that grades mean little, and that they never have. It is true that many geniuses have had problems in traditional school. I make no claim to be ranked among them, for I am a foolish teenager. But I can understand their pain, because schools are increasingly geared, not to teach, but to give the appearance of teaching. Those that suffer are those that wish to learn.

In my pursuit of true knowledge over falsity, I have naturally ignored my grades. I churn out cheap papers to give the appearance of acquiescence, and then spend the time saved reading, thinking, writing, processing, creating anew. I spend the excess time learning. Perhaps it is not in the fields in which they want me to learn. But who cares about what they want me to learn? I only care to learn at any cost. Behind the efforts of my homework, and my social life and necessary relaxations, I spend my time reading philosophy (of which I have recently taken an interest in eastern philosophy, with quite wonderful results), and working on my novel.

This being said, if there was anyone more fit to make it into a competitive program based on their worth and will to learn, it would be myself. I try to be a humble man, though I fall short in this on many accounts, but there is one thing that I flaunt, as I have flaunted since I was a child. I am smart. I am fucking intelligent. I am perhaps one of the smartest students in this school. As a child, I was mocked for my intelligence, a mockery that I have since learned to ignore. I make no apology for my mind.

And it seems to me, that my mind is exactly what should be getting me into this program. Many aspects of my application were excellent. There was only one place in which it lacked, and this was my gpa. Should I be penalized for deciding that writing a novel is more important than writing a flimsy essay on some topic for which I have no care for or aptitude with? Should I be penalized for realizing that there is more to the world than an arbitrary letter? Yes, apparently.

I'm not going to say that no one who got into that program deserved it. Two of my close friends made it into the program, and I can assure you that they deserved it. But many of the other people in my graduating class? Of this I cannot be sure. What I can be sure of, is that if you lined them up in front of me, there will be at least one idiot with good grades who is less deserving of the honor than I.


I love.

I love life.

I love being young, and I will love being old. I love eating, and I love being hungry. I love drinking, and I love being thirsty. I love to clean my room, I love to dirty it again. I love difficult endeavors, and I love easy distractions. I love writing, and I love reading. I love sleeping and dreaming, and I love waking. I love playing to win, and I love playing to lose. I love woman, and I love man. I love women in particular, and men in particular, and I love being able to tell which is which.

I love a quiet night spent in reflection and solitude, and I love a noisy night spent at a party with friends. I love to look out on the world and see the numerous colors and lights, and I love to be surrounded and enveloped by the choking darkness. I love being unlimited, I love being restricted. I love up, I love down. I love strength, and I love weakness. I love getting my way, and I love it when others get their own.

I love to exercise, I love to eat healthy, I love to continue this bodily existence, I love to smoke, I love to drink, I love to destroy this bodily existence.

I love love, and I love hatred.I love the ability to distinguish between the two.

I love happiness, and I love sadness. I love the intelligent, and I love the stupid. I love the great and I love the tiny. I love the rich and I love the poor. I love the winter, and the summer, and the spring and the fall. I love sound, and I love silence. I love to be clean after a shower, I love to dirty myself all over again. I love to speak, and I love to remain silent. I love people, and I love to mock them. I love myself, and I love to mock myself.

I love dinner, breakfast, and lunch. I love fashion, I love the plain dress of a beggar. I love hermitage, and I love sociality. I love communism, I love capitalism. I love objectivism, I love subjectivism. I love God, and I love man alone. I love dualism, I love monism. I love the philosopher and I love the sophist. I love sports, and I love the pleasures of the mind.

I love until the phrase "I love" no longer has meaning. For this reason, I must distinguish between my loves, and it is for this reason I am a man. I have found the basic principle, and I understand that it cannot be lost. I have in me the spark of the positive, a spark that is not available in many, and a spark that will drive me further than a man could dream, and yet not as far as he could wish.

I love life, and for this reason I will die. I have come to terms with this fact. It is for this reason that I will live forever.



My second vow of silence began a week and a day ago. I meant to write this entry yesterday, but as it turns out I was too busy writing other things to have any time.

The vow has gone most excellently this time around. Having a room of my own means that I have the ability to retreat completely from my friends to a place that is mine, and is mine alone. Last year, I was often forced to go to the library to achieve the same thing, a place that was dangerously close to everything that I was trying to get away from. This year, I have spent hours upon hours, locked in my room, processing information and working, and there is nothing to disturb me except myself and my own desires.

I have also refined the vow, to be less of a vow of silence, and more of a vow of anti-sociality, or hermitude. As such, I am allowed to speak with people during and around class times, and I will allow myself to respond if someone greets me in the cafeteria, or otherwise wishes to speak with me, rather than simply running away and feeling bad for the people who don't know about my vow.

I have been extremely productive in this first week, though at the same time not as productive as I can be. I think that there has not been a day that I have not dedicated at least two or three hours to writing in some form or another, because my mind will simply not sit still right now. Poems fly into my head like doves, waiting patiently to be copied. The gears of my mind constantly grind at themselves, trying to figure out exactly what it is that my philosophy espouses, and I record these musings daily. Starting with the manuscript that I printed last year of the first third of my first novel, I have begun to rewrite it, better, and with a slightly revised and improved plot. All of these things converge at once, on me, and I very dutifully record them, with as much speed as my fingers can muster.

My meditations on death have not begun yet, not in earnest. I don't have much free time on the weekdays for meditation, and my first weekend was occupied more with writing than this pursuit. Yet, already I have begun to come to terms with death, not to love it or hate it, but for the time being to accept it. I have not yet conquered it, but I am on the proper path.

Yet, for all this, I am not in the proper mindset. This year I am tortured constantly, for my closer connection with people has not only allowed me to hide from them all the more effectively, but it has also made me more aware of their presence, and my lack of sociality in this life. The weekends that I enjoy with friends are gone, replaced by work. There is a part of me that knows that what I do to myself is torture, and that I must be sure not to do this for too long, not to accept this life forever. Indeed, recent developments in my philosophy have led me to a more taoist representation of the world, and the balance that I seek cannot be found in this place. It cannot be found in the social world either, which is why I despair. I try to make a proper balance, but it is too heavily weighted on both ends, it is always either leaned in one direction or the other. There is little that I can do.

Also, I must admit that poetry is a new sphere in my life, one that I have unfortunately admitted up until this point. A creative writing class with an excellent teacher has taught me the value of the poem, and has demystified the creation of one. It is for this reason that poetry is finally making its way into my life, after many years of being left to the side.

The collision of all these things is now the vision that so prominently displays itself on my mind. It is beautiful, and true, and yet it is not done yet. It is not complete, and I must work to make it whole. I have another three weeks worth of work in front of me.


On death.

It is very clear, when one examines it, that everyone has to die in the end. We do indeed have a creation, though we cannot remember it, and thus we must also have an end. But why is it that we love it so?

The purpose of every major religion has been to tell us that we will live on after we die. This seems unlikely, to my mind, as it preaches exactly what we wish to hear. Anyone who tells you what you want to hear likely wants something from you, even if it is simply your affection and fratitude. The problem is that this also cheapens the effect of living. If your greater rewards are to come next, then this life must be ignored. But if there is no life after this, what then? What possible purpose could we have for wasting this life in service of the next? And, more importantly, if the next life is the kind of one that we would enjoy, why would it do something so stupid as require that we sacrifice our first one?

I have been considering death, lately, as you can probably see. I have an admission to make. I hate it, and it terrifies me more than anything else in the world, for it is the exact negation of this world, it is the void of both nothingness and non-existence, the place in which everything that I have ever attempted will come crashing down. Death wipes clean the slate, a slate that myself, and every other self-respecting human being, has been struggling to build.

It is true, you can prolong your influence. Plato is still alive, thousands of years after his death. But if one member of a race is impermanent, than they all are. If a race is impermanent, then it tends to reason that it will end one day, on the slightest chance. Billions of years from now, the sun will explode. Unless we manage to escape our present solar system by that time, which I have heavy doubts as to, we will all be gone. That also fails to take into account human error. One maniac with a nuclear weapon in his hands could level the entire planet, were he given the chance. There are numerous scenarios like this, each of them with impeccably small odds. Yet, in the face of infinity, every odd will be tested. On a long enough time line, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero. We will all die.

What then? Plato will cease to exist, even if we manage to faithfully keep him in our minds until doomsday. So will the rest of us. Some of us, the lesser ones, we will have already been dead and forgotten before then. Others, the great men who have left their impressions behind, will be leveled in the end, along with the rest. You can delay the complete and utter demolition of your being by making it worthwhile for others to know. But when the whole race ceases to exist, so will you, and this is an inevitability.

Schopenhauer says that, having existed for an eternity as inert matter, life is some sort of mistake, and in the end we will return to this matter. We can't really fear this, not without being in the right mind, because we will be just as happy after our lives as we were before; that is, not to have a consciousness. Yet, Schopenhauer was decidedly pessimistic. His view of life is negative. Mine is positive.

There are some who claim that living forever would be a burden, a bore. They feel that life only has meaning as long as this meaning is threatened, and that once it ceases to be, then so will their meaning. the only thing I have to say to these people, is that they had no meaning in their lives to begin with. Yet, there are some who have meaning in their lives, without the threat of death. There are some who live for things other than gratification, who create their own meaning, a world from their fingertips.

I am more bored by a life that ends than by one that continues. If I lived forever, I would be satisfied. I would seek constantly, to always understand, to always learn and push myself constantly further. My only regret is that I was not born at the beginning of time, and allowed to live until its very end. This would be the perfect life for me. Yet, it is not true. I was cursed with being born in a constant present, rather than allowed to transcend time altogether. If I could not have been born immortal, then at least I would have wished to be born nearer the end of time than this. This is certainly no end time, nor is it a beginning time. It is no golden age, but nor is it a dark age. It is worlds better than the past; it is nowhere near as interesting as the future will be. With history recorded, at least for the most part, the man in the future can relive the past. for this reason, existing in the future is always preferable.

Yet, I must face the fact that I will die. It is true, and inevitable. Perhaps I will take the easy road, and accept what religion has taught me. More likely, I will take the hard road, and make every attempt to transcend death and time altogether. I must begin by desensitizing myself to the concept of my own death.

As a concept, it scares me, to the pit of my stomach. I become physically sick when I truly consider that I will die, and utterly cease to exist. There will not even be a consciousness to consider that I am dead. There will be inert matter, and I will be gone. I must think about this, I must face it, in order to move past it. I must learn to both accept and reject death, and when I am done, I will live forever, regardless of what happens to my body in sixty or so years when I likely die. I must meditate on death, and learn not to fear it.

I think I will begin when I start my second vow of silence, within the next few weeks. I have planned it for winter quarter this year, as it seems more fitting, and less obtrusive into my social life. Here's to hoping that it will treat me as well as last year's.



Christ, how long has it been since I updated this thing? Too long. I intended to write at least two blogs over break. Instead, I watched all of Fringe and wrote a lot. Now I'm back in school all over again. At least one thing of grand importance has happened to me. I've had a breakthrough, and a major one.

I'm over Ayn Rand. Not that I really mean this, so let me explain. Atlas Shrugged was the best thing to happen to high-school me. It was singlehandedly responsible for giving me hope for humanity, for pulling me out of the muck of my childhood, for destroying the liberal in me, for creating in me a new and better identity. But that's over.

I have spent the last couple years worshiping Ayn, although I would never admit it, and I didn't even believe it. It's true that in the very least I kept her ideas out of every argument, and managed to maintain a somewhat objective stance when talking about her. But hiding under this was the fact that I worshiped her, no matter how hard I denied it. Many of my ideas were hers, though I claimed that they were mine. Even where we did differ on opinions, mine were somehow based in the foundation that her work had laid for me.

Last quarter, I tried to get a fuller understanding of her philosophy, so that I could finally have a completely objective opinion on her work. What resulted was a realization of every bias that I have been secretly carrying. Her fiction work is fiction; it carries heavy philosophical themes, but it is far from any kind of proof or real evidence for the power of her ideas. Her philosophical work is almost disgusting to me, now. There is little proof, no evidence. It holds the ideas that it tries to prove as self-evident, and spends the rest of the time getting itself off.

Then, I picked up a text about her life, told through the eyes of Nathaniel Branden, a close colleague and sometimes lover. This opened my eyes. Ayn was essentially a terribly harsh, repressed, and biased person. She was violent in upholding her beliefs, and as her life went on, she degraded, coming to become everything that she denounces in her books. The whole time she holds herself as some sort of deity, ignoring every flaw in herself and believing that it must be some kind of strength. In short, she did not bear the characteristics of a competent philosopher.

The idea that I had most relied upon, as a result of my worship of her, was the notion that emotion is antithesis to reason. Her heroes are often coldly emotional, purely rational. It was not something that she specifically upheld, but it was one of the consequences regardless, and one that she suffered in her own life. I say suffer, because an understanding of her life proved that the separation of a being from his emotion may seem temporarily effective, yet it is far more damaging in the long run, and as any dedicated mind understands, it is the long run that is more important.

In my philosophy, there are three kinds of men. There are rational men, there are irrational men, and then there are sheep that have no real force of character, or personality of their own, they are only to be led by the previous two classes. My love of cold rationality and my championing of the rational man as the best kind of life naturally led to my attempts to emulate this life.

But I have realized now that there is a fourth class of man, the true ruler. He is the man who is both completely rational and completely irrational, the man who is superficially similar to the sheep, but only because he has transcended mankind altogether. The man who balances his emotions and reasons, while at the same time encouraging both; this is the best kind of man.

My own life has been hampered by my hatred for my emotions. Most notably is my love life, which has been troubled and confusing. My lack of emotion also hindered my writing, though at the time I believed that it was the only thing that permitted it. But this is all over now. I've come to this grand revelation, and it has fixed everything.

I am allowed to be emotional, and still be rational. This fact has just changed my life. Within the past couple of weeks, I have written better, and been more satisfied, than I have in most of my life. I have reached some sort of balance, and it has fueled me further in great force. I have been more open and real with people, and it has helped my plans as well. Everything is good.

I've arrived back at college, with a fresh outlook and far better force of will under my belt. other things have happened as well, less important ones. Romantic connections are being made, and friendships are finally developing the way I want them to. I'm reading well, writing well, working hard, and best of all, I'm happy about it.

Maybe I'll discuss a few of the things I meant to earlier, later. We'll see.