ON TRANSIENCE

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Our forefather of Psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, was not only the most influential thinker of our time, but he was a virtuoso in the art of writing as well. His essay, “On Transience,” reminisces a conversation he had with the famous poet, Rilke. As they walk along the countryside on a beautiful summer afternoon, Rilke becomes mesmerized by the breath-taking scene, but pauses in hesitation as he is suffocated by a deep sense of sadness. Freud, enjoying the company of a friend and the aesthetically gripping mastery of mother nature, is taken back and asks him what’s wrong. It is this proneness of decay and this sense that the ephemeral nature of all things beautiful, whether created by the earth or human hands will all someday be overcasted by the destruction of impermanence.

In the case for the demand of immortality, it was something Freud couldn’t argue against. Perhaps, it was true that beautiful things do meets its demise and that the transience of all things were inevitable, but that couldn’t stop Freud from shifting his perception towards meaninglessness. If anything, it made it that much more beautiful.

The scarcity of these things gave it that much more value. He cites that ” The beauty of the human form and face vanish for ever in the course of our own lives, but their evanescence only lends them a fresh charm. A flower that blossoms only for a single night does not seem to us on that account less lovely. Nor can I understand any better why the beauty and perfection of a work of art or of an intellectual achievement should lose its worth because of its temporal limitation.”

Both talk well into the night as the question still debunks Freud, and although determined to provide an answer to his friend, he is unsuccessful in the attempt to reach out to him. It is this failure that has him take a step back and observe the indifferences. He finally concludes, that it is the detachment of those things dear to him and the mourning which follows that becomes the sole focus. Rilke becomes too drawn to the process of mourning that the surrounding beauty that’s experienced leading up to the end is completely blurred. Essentially, it is this start of the mourning process before the loss of a loved one that leads him to dig his own grave.

John McConnell, a present day psychologist, additionally builds upon the idea that we’ve taken the freudian term of “anticipatory mourning” and have applied it to our contemporary understanding of it today. Why is it that one can’t commit to a partner, why are some isolated, why are some people so afraid to connect with others? It is these questions that linger and in response we label them as selfish and narcissistic.

Jason Silva, in his short video, Existential Bummer, pieces the idea that because of this idea of impermanence, even when in love, we’re a bit nostalgic at the fact that this feeling won’t last forever or when we think of those that we haven’t even yet lost there’s a very melancholic feeling that takes over us, there’s a lingering “sadness to the ecstasy” as he suggests.

Freud ends on the note that we must keep going. As the essay was written a year after the first World War, he responds that although we have lost precious people and objects from the war we have “lost nothing from our discovery of their fragility.” This is the ultimate reminder that regardless of the inevitable death of such things,  we choose to love and hold on to those we cherish a bit tighter because of the temporal nature of it.

~myndfuq

SONDER (N)

As a child I always had this theory that the way I see people versus another person looking at me would be like night and day. For example, the way I look at you or hear you, could truthfully be gibberish and visually I’d see you as a one-eyed, green blob of mucus, on the other hand, you’d see me as a barbaric princess with the voice of Bane from Batman. But somewhere out there exists this god-like translating contraption that universally renders all the various sights and sounds and adapts it into this one single language or common image of the modern man as we know it.

Some people call this perception. It’s the idea that we interpret and understand an environment by how our senses pick things up. And that curiosity I have about how other see me visually and through an auditory pitch, takes me into a snapshot of another’s panoramic view.

It’s this idea that the person who sits two rows behind you has a whole narrative being written at the current moment. It’s the comedy, romance, and the tragedy that’s taking place in their very own life. I get caught up in my own life every single day, it’s sometimes so consuming that it never dawns upon me that your very own best friend, father, or the guy behind the taco cart may be going through something as difficult or yet more painstakingly burdensome than the $13.00 you have left in your bank account. Or the girl that you once held the door open for yesterday at the bank is getting married to a man who she’s not in love with. It’s the old lady who gave you that smile on the day you were fired that’s celebrating her 70th anniversary today.

We only see a glimpse of these people, but there’s an epic story that invisibly unfolds around us. As The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows distinctly puts it, we call this “SONDER”. And in the midst of our chaotic lives, recognizing the stories that are being scripted in others brings us closer together. I think what I was trying to get at as a child was that each and every human being is in a world of their own and like you and I, they live a tale that’s unique to them. Sonder, it makes sense to me now, and as a visual learner this video created by John Koenig, expressively brushes the surface of this powerful, yet overlooked word.

 

~myndfuq

Hungry For More

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As a Generation Y-er, I’ve been spoon fed this idea that my life can be whatever I put my mind to. Every grown up I’ve come in contact with has sensationalized this concept of a dream-life. It’s as if the cosmos has never been far out of reach, what was once impossible is now the possible. Normalcy has taken a step back and is considered low stature. What was practical in the our parents time isn’t quite enough in our time. We’re in the constant pursuit of the next apex, the high for more and we get hungrier with each temporary fix.

With a click of a button our ability to share free flow of ideas and ignite the neurons for inspirations are as ubiquitous as ever. And it’s exponential nature of containing hundred and thousands of years of information and the universe on our fingertips is a leap we can’t keep up with. Today, our generation has modeled itself as a microcosm of our own individual Gods as Jason Silva puts it. This is the perfect opportunity for us.

Possibilities are endless. And the flutter of a butterfly’s wing has the brute force of an empire’s takeover. And with this overload of resources I still want more. Let’s keep creating space. This gives us the chance to be radical and become a natural aphrodisiac of what our human mind’s desire.

*Rambling on a Thursday morning*

~myndfuq

GOLDMAN SACHS GUIDE TO BEING A MAN

A post I came upon Business Insider, by GSELEVATOR and John Carney (CSNBC).

A fresh look at the modern man: 

  • Stop talking about where you went to college.

  • Always carry cash.  Keep some in your front pocket.

  • Rebel from business casual. Burn your khakis and wear a suit or jeans.

  • It’s okay to trade the possibility of your 80s and 90s for more guaranteed fun in your 20s and 30s.

  • The best public restrooms are in hotels: The St. Regis in New York, Claridge’s in London, The Fullerton in Singapore, to name a few.

  • Never stay out after midnight three nights in a row … unless something really good comes up on the third night.

  • You will regret your tattoos.

  • Never date an ex of your friend.

  • If riding the bus doesn’t incentivize you to improve your station in life, nothing will.

  • Time is too short to do your own laundry. 


  • When the bartender asks, you should already know what you want to drink.

  • If you perspire, wear a damn undershirt. 

  • You don’t have to like baseball, but you should understand the concept of what a pitcher’s ERA means.  Approach life similarly.

  • When people don’t invite you to a party, you really shouldn’t go.
 And sometimes even when you are invited, you shouldn’t go.
 


  • People are tired of you being the funny, drunk guy. 


  • When in doubt, always kiss the girl.

  • Tip more than you should.

  • You probably use your cell phone too often and at the wrong moments.


  • Buy expensive sunglasses.  Superficial? Yes, but so are the women judging you. And it tells these women you appreciate nice things and are responsible enough not to lose them.

  • If you want a nice umbrella, bring a sh*tty one to church.

  • Do 50 push-ups, sit-ups, and dips before you shower each morning. 


  • Eat brunch with friends at least every other weekend. Leave Rusty and Junior at home.

  • Be a regular at more than one bar.  

  • Act like you’ve been there before.  It doesn’t matter if it’s in the end zone at the Super Bowl or on a private plane.

  • A glass of wine or two with lunch will not ruin your day.


  • It’s better if old men cut your hair.  Ask for Sammy at the Mandarin Oriental Barbershop in Hong Kong.  He can share his experiences of the Japanese occupation, or just give you a copy of Playboy.

  • Learn how to fly-fish.  

  • No selfies. Aspire to experience photo-worthy moments in the company of a beautiful woman.

  • Own a handcrafted shotgun.  It’s a beautiful thing.

  • There’s always another level. Just be content knowing that you are still better off than most who have ever lived.

  • You can get away with a lot more if you’re the one buying the drinks.

  • Ask for a salad instead of fries.


  • Don’t split a check.

  • Pretty women who are unaccompanied want you to talk to them.

  • Cobblers will save your shoes. So will shoe trees.

  • When a bartender buys you a round, tip double. 



  • The cliché is that having money is about not wasting time. But in reality, money is about facilitating spontaneity.

  • Be spontaneous.

  • Find a Times New Roman in the streets and a Wingdings in the sheets. She exists.

  • Piercings are liabilities in fights. 


  • Do not use an electric razor. 


  • Desserts are for women. Order one and pretend you don’t mind that she’s eating yours.


  • Buy a tuxedo before you are thirty. Stay that size.


  • One girlfriend at a time is probably enough.


  • #StopItWithTheHastags

  • Your ties should be rolled and placed in a sectioned tie drawer. 


  • Throw parties. 
But have someone else clean up the next day.

  • You may only request one song from the DJ. 


  • Measure yourself only against your previous self.

  • Take more pictures.  With a camera.

  • Place-dropping is worse than name-dropping.


  • When you admire the work of artists or writers, tell them. 
And spend money to acquire their work.



  • Your clothes do not match. They go together. 


  • Yes, of course you have to buy her dinner. 


  • Staying angry is a waste of energy.


  • Revenge can be a good way of getting over anger. 



  • If she expects the person you are 20% of the time, 100% of the time, then she doesn’t want you.

  • Always bring a bottle of something to the party.



  • Avoid that “last” whiskey. You’ve probably had enough. 


  • Don’t use the word “closure” or ever expect it in real life. There may still be a mortally wounded Russian mobster roaming the woods of south Jersey, but we’ll never know.

  • If you are wittier than you are handsome, avoid loud clubs. 


  • Drink outdoors.
 And during the day.
 And sometimes by yourself.

  • Date women outside your social set. You’ll be surprised.


  • If it’s got velvet ropes and lines, walk away unless you know someone. 


  • You cannot have a love affair with whiskey because whiskey will never love you back.


  • Feigning unpretentiousness is worse than being pretentious. Cut it out with the vintage Polo and that ’83 Wagoneer in Nantucket. 

  • The New Yorker is not high-brow. Neither is The Economist. 


  • If you believe in evolution, you should know something about how it works.

  • No-one cares if you are offended, so stop it. 


  • Never take an ex back. She tried to do better and is settling with you.

  • Eating out alone can be magnificent. Find a place where you can sit at the bar.

  • Read more. It allows you to borrow someone else’s brain, and will make you more interesting at a dinner party – provided that you don’t initiate conversation with, “So, who are you reading …”

  • Ignore the boos. They usually come from the cheap seats.

  • Hookers aren’t cool, and remember, the free ones are a lot more expensive.

  • Don’t ever say, “it is what it is.”

  • Start a wine collection for your kids when they are born.  Add a few cases every year without telling them.  It’ll make a phenomenal gift in twenty years.

  • Don’t gamble if losing $100 is going to piss you off.

  • Remember, “rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men.”