Imperative-Based Life

by phil on Friday Jul 4, 2003 11:27 AM

What is thinking, well what is reflective thinking. What is brainstorming, what is philosophy and understanding all for? What is Observe Analyze Apply for. Kids, we obviously don't do it for our health, or rather we do it for a different kind of health. The health of the mind, the health of the soul?

Control. What is the Matrix? Control.

That's all it is, another form of control. Now, I've spent a lot of time trying to control my life. I like to tell some friends of mine that, what I'm seeking to do is a "manual boot" on life. That means that I build up the life that I think I want piece by piece. That as much of what I'm seeking becomes part of my control. Now, there are primitive forms of control that I've undergone, whereby I subjected myself to military style discipline. That had its pluses and minuses, and I usually, in the end, judge these forms of "control" based on the effect they've had on my life.

Needless to say, it's been a long evolution since I first sat down and came up with the idea "Observe, Analyze, Apply" which was probably like when I was 14 (around when I started my online gaming magazine).

The forms of control that I'm on now don't involve like strong interruptions by myself into my life, like, "oh crap, don't say this, or don't think that" but it's evolved to handle more of the complexity of the world. More importantly, it's based on what I think would be a complete system, emotional intelligence.

Now, I'm not egocentric in the traditional sense that I think the world revolves around me, but I am egocentric in the sense that the ego IS the only thing that exists. Or rather ,I guess, I'd be a solipsist, which is somewhat of a perjorative term these days... existentialist more like it... which bases all truth on the truth you create or "invent" through your magical "free will." which is as good of a sense of free will you're gonna get for those that are true believers in free will.

Now, control, control. Why? What for? Is it worth it?

It's hard to say. It's hard to say whether my desire for control is borne out of a weakness to just let life take its own course without my interference, or wether out of a strength of me to want to lead a life that I don't see as pre-determined or prescribed based on the luck of features that were given to me as a kid.

I think early on, I think what motivated the OAA thinking which pretty much kicked off this affair, was that I had A) wanted some things really bad. B) Understood that those that had those things had no idea how they got there and just sort of "ended up" that way.

the things I wanted really bad were really banal and simple like becoming like Bill Gates or winning the Nobel Prize... who didn't want those as a kid. But I saw upon reading their biographies and listening to other successful people, they all had no idea how they came to think what they think. Sure they had control: Bill Gates said, "I started this whole thing because, well, I wanted to change the world." But how did Bill Gates want to want to change the world. How did he know that was the right perspective. Did he choose that thinking that led him to be succesful or did he have successful thinking to begin with.

See, I think a lot of these successful people claim a lot more credit for the success of their lives than they deserve. Correction, I think a lot of successful people are given credit for the success of their lives than they deserve--this is true because I do here a lot of successful people trying to implore the world to understand, "Look, I have no idea how I got here, I just entered the studio one day and they liked my voice" or "I was unencumbered by reality" or Dell: "I had a penchant for shortcuts, and so I built cheap PCs and sold them directly."

See it goes back to this one quote I saw in an ad the other day that said, "There is no receipe for success, but there are definitely ingredients." None of these kids had the recipe, but they definitely had the ingredients, but did they choose those ingredients or were those ingredients planted there in the first place.

Regardless, I felt that the ingredinents were there in the first place and they pretty much just "topped off" their emotions like 95% of ppl do and were led down the usual success story narrative. Some ambition, failure, humbleness, rise again, more seriousness, maturity, wisdom, more success, love which enables more success, and so on and so forth.

the "E! True Hollywood Story" looks more like a formula, except that it's a formula that you become a victim too, and don't really say, hey, I want to go through the same cycle how is that possible.

as for me, well, I can only speak for myself, but there have been pluses and minuses for my "life of control." It's hard to say whether to attribute the negative or positive effects to this mentality. The positive effects, I would say is that, based on the way I was setup when I was 13, I doubt I would've done a lot of the things that people would have thought I would've done. Ppl generally thought I was going to be smart and successful later on in life, but they never expected some of the other things I would've done or the extent to which I would've done things... dah, I don't want to brag. But like, well, I'll do the opposite, the trajectory of my life if I just continued topping off when I was 13 was that I would've like, started an online magazine online, and then gotten entrenched in academics, until I would've gone to some college.

Either way, everything that wolud've happneed to me would be well below the expectations or the desire that I had. Once again, desire is the presiding force.

Like, I just get pissed off when I see someone in a self-justifying pigeonhole. Like if I see somebody trapped into a track that they can't get out of, or a relationship that's just really terrible, or substandard, but are there just because that's just because. Love is the most difficult thing to control, and I wouldn't recommend doing so, but I hate sometimes the mathematical precison with which assignment occurs not necessarily for our benefit but for the benefit of producing children to society. Or the idea that ideas can infect us and then become our philosophy and way of thinking for the benefit and sake of those memes and not ourselves.

Personal cotnrol is indeed very egocentric.

And now, back to Fight Club. "Stop trying to run away and just.. let.. go." Ironically, this is Brad Pitt's charcater speaking, Tyler Dyrden, and he's supposed to represent this machismo guy who's managed, well, IMHO to control life correctly. The idea of "letting go" kind of runs counter to his anti-women thinknig. Women, toward me, have been the most often to say, "let go" or just "let it be." pfft.

Anyways, yeah, so Tyler had more control, a different kind of control, but his control was anarchy.

Oh yeah what have been the negative sides of my control based thinking. Once agani, hard to say whether they are bourne out of my desire to control and therefore the bad result of attempting too much control, or whether just my mismanagement, but I've been depressed often at times for petty reasons, etc.. .(yeah, see a psychiatrist, my ass... another form of controlling things).

And yet all thinking is control. If I was depressed all my life because of a controlling perspective I had, and somebody said, to get rid of your depression you have to learn to not be so controlling over life, then in my mind "letting go" would just be ANOTHER form of control designed to lead happiness (somebody is out there going, NO IT'S NOT IT'S SOMETHNIG COMPLETELY DIFFERENT, and I'd like to hear what that person is talking about).

I still think it would be another form of control. I'd try the "let go" mentality for quite a while, and what it would happen is a lot of other things wouldn't work exactly the way I wanted too... yes, I guess that's the way it goes, but I'd end up in painful situations that I could've totally avoided had I stepped in and controlled my actions...

At some point, I understood that maybe the source of all my problems, or the more efficient way of controlling, or rather the way to expand my abilities to control was just to learn how to "bear pain" more because that was what was making it hard for me to "let go." That would be the fight club way,..... but again, more problems. Should Ed Norton have just "beared the pain" of being in an office? Or was physical fighting the "right" kind of pain... as you can see, there are problems everywhere.

There's also the issue of how can you discuss self-control? The conversation is ultimately biased toward your previous notions of self-control. You'd have to self-control yourself out or into self-control. You can only create or move with the tools you have or be affected upon externally.

Now, what am I trying to get at. Well it all started this morning when I was thinking about, "man, I need an imperative, I need an imperative."

There are a few kind of main methods of control that ppl employ

Passively chosen controls:

1) Reliance on habits
- I dunno, but every day I work
- I've loved ever year since I got married, and I'll continue to love
2) Reliance on emulation
- Shouldn't you be in school?
- Everybody else has a girlfriend, what about me
3) Reactive push from emotions, desire
- I have to get this girl, I just feel it
- I need a million dollars
- I want to get married
4) A dust-in-the-wind attitude
- I don't know, I take what comes along
- Everything happens for a reason, you just try to understand it
- Relax, everything will work out in the end
5) Experience (monotonically increasing)
- Wisdom
- Function of time, the junk you've accumulated

Actively chosen controls:

1) Religion or system of morality
- This is right and that is wrong
- What would Jesus do
2) Rules
- ABC, always be closing
- Try to do something good for this world
3) Imperatives
- Do what you want
- Do right
- Listen to yourself
4) Systems of reaction
- I feel this, and therefore that means I should do this
- In these cases, I should do this
- // similar to experience

Damn religion, that's unoriginal, and rules don't encompass everything, and so you only get partial control over like business or something...

Imperatives, that's what I've been on since OAA mostly. I've been seeking imperatives that were good or "things to do" that would give me a sense of control.

I used to do the whole religious thing, but that didn't last while because it wasn't complete nor rigorous enough. Philosophy has provided some perks, like through eXistentialism, but still, that too lacks often in the completeness department--plus it's designed for technical satisfaciotn of life not serious.

But imperatives, like "be happy" or like, "do what you want to do" or "listen to yourself." And they've sort of become this quasi-system of reaction and response in me... but the system of reaction and response is still very up in the air, and I don't like okay I'm in this situation, that means I do this... I've been imperative-based for the most part.

The main non-imperative based, or rather rule-based thing that worked for me was the whole, "Bear pain" thing which had a profound effect on my life because I found that a lot of my actions were based on my aversion to pain. This lasted for like 3-4 months.

Another imperative/quasi-rule-based was what I called "scrawl" which sort of my compromise of between control and letting things go which basically said, "just, do what feels most natural." This worked until I got sick or into situations that where I wasn't really doing things that I endorsed.

There was a non-imperative based one, which I think was more systemic, but even betterthan that, it was "intuitive." It involved meditating over the idea that life was an art and therefore you know,t here are no rules or presiding impretavise, but you build it up as you go. Sometimes you react well to yourself and your emotions, other times you do things because you're just emulating a school of painting. Either way the best idea is to make good art.

This was the most difficult to manage becuase it's an un-management kind of thinknig... I may revisit it next.

But now, the main thing, as I've alluded to before, is this Emotional Intelligence thing, which has sort of evolved into a system... listen to yourself, what are you feeling, what are you being compelled to do, understading why, and then moving yourself accordingly.

This has worked wonders for me and led to things like self-revelation etc...

anyways, why I wrote this is I'm trying to see, from the highest level possible, is there a better non-imperative or posibly maybe I just need to keep doing the system of emotional intelligence thing, or whatever way of control that's better than what i've been doing...

I don't know, I'm still trying to understand.

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