Some of the Learning Curves
by David Eide .

Eden is so good a place, one is forced out. "You can not linger here," something in nature says. "It is a glance, that is all. Perhaps later it will be more."

We lose Eden but we do have enrichments along the parched road.

Reading and writing are solely enrichments. If they do something in the world other than that so be it. Does it matter? Perhaps there is a pinball effect or the butterfly effect. But one writes and one reads for enrichment. There may be other motives but the final act that seals the deal is enrichment.

No matter how much inner work is done it must be driven out into the so-called public work and, of course, there is no satisfaction since the ego is so deeply involved in the process. Damn ego! Destroyer of good things.

Meditation on life is not "literary" it is philosophical. The literary is solely the action of words driven by imaginative force.

The hardest virus to drive out is vanity. Vanity is the persona of a materialist age. "Ah, such shallowness, even among the educated and experienced!" On the one hand vanity is a measure of the powerful and successful culture and on the other a hell-bore that prevents the good in nature from enjoying that success.

At any rate, one thing was apparent to me and that was "all was open," there was hardly any boundary. The only limitation was stupidity and/or hang-ups and old conformism. In those areas there is much evidence.

It makes one go back to the structure of knowing, from the self through the regions, the systems, the technology, the sensibility and so on. There is much to know, one learns it because it is a resource that provides energy; to know the world one lives in is a great resource.

There are thresholds. We cross them with aplomb. When one looks steadily into the so-called real world what other response can there be?

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I was looking back to 25 or so when I experienced a complete revulsion toward the world as I knew it. I had been driven out of Eden. I hated the money driven world, the deep and everlasting problems like poverty, the way the car and technology was destroying the cities, the deep stupidity and ignorance brought on by modern pressures, the hostility to the good. So I plunged into that which gave me nutrient and solace; mainly knowledge, spiritual connection, poetry, philosophy, truth and beauty. I don't know how I survived those times. They were very difficult. Only youth can survive that sort of hardship.

I was a fool perhaps and people used to treat me like a fool at times. I was never admired for those times. And it isn't necessary to be admired for those times because the values they imparted are ever-lasting. One finds the great in life through suffering. If you build against suffering and pay it off you will never find the great in life.

I think I had that attitude into my mid-30's. Deny the pay-offs to the truth and beauty of life, that was my strategic thinking at that time. I was not protected by an institution at the time and had wild sessions with reality.

The criticisms of others and what Lippman calls the acids of modernity were certainly present. It was rather confusing to me because the criticisms were all based on what I had rejected and what I had accepted. So they were evidence of dysfunction that will not permit a person to make choices or the perennial dysfunction, overrunning of boundaries to seek out and change another person because deep down there is deep resentment.

Rather than discourage me it drove me further along, pain not withstanding.

There is only strength if you survive the ordeal.

The next turning saw a greater acceptance of things. I no longer saw the world in terms of black and white. It was not a manichean struggle of light versus dark. I tried to resolve the conflict so I could live reasonably well. So that next phase was an antithesis, an antidote actually to the thesis struck in my 20's. I gradually made peace with that time and with my childhood.

So the synthesis was quite good, peaceful, happiness producing in a way. But then the Internet brought in a brand new thesis.

It was the discovery of new goals. Fairly normal goals driven by the need to prove something to all who cared to see. More than at any time it was this period when I learned how to deal with disappointments, frustrations and more. A period that, now, is demanding a kind of antithesis where the the hidden and marginal leap out into the center.

The force of disgust at the beginning of my own consciousness of things drove me to the opposite of what stood in the way of my path. But experience taught me that any art needs to build and construct and in the process of that I started to resolve the initial conflict. I realized that there are many destroyers, few builders, and the vast critical mass of those who sustain and maintain. My loyalty was with the builders but I had admiration and saw the utter necessity for those who sustain and maintain. And that the temporal rewards go to them, god bless them. This resolved over time however tempting it was to whip up destructive furies against the moloch's among us.

The story of the modern world is not the shifting allegiances of the collective powers, at least artistically but the story of the individual who negotiates the world with his values and expands upward towards greater and greater freedom in direct proportion to the expansion of the amount of surplus in the world. The cosmological "red shift" being one of the paradigms for the modern world.

The individual must negotiate between disgust at the impersonal, inhuman environment and the importance of manifesting fully his values and "good." At least his productivity.

Knowledge, experience, reflection, doggedness are among the tools of the modern person.

The power of the individual, unlike the state or corporation or academia, is hidden and subtle. People laugh that the individual is easily rubbed out and replaced and it is big tech or big money that counts. But then big money or big tech can be rubbed out and has nothing of the eternal to it. And in fact, the vaunted nation and even civilization that plays through it can be rubbed out. And the Earth itself will be rubbed out. We know that for a fact. The scientists have said as much. All rubbed out. Unlike the state or corporation or academia or high tech or big money only the individual knows that is the case. And a few know why it matters.

The individual will often hide in a blubbery culture and await an opening. Sometimes it is the mouth, sometimes the anus. Sometimes, even, through the heart.

One does not choose to be born into a culture of scarcity or surplus. It is something one adapts to. And then at the furthest point of development, either of pleasure or sacrifice, the worm turns and the opposite pops its head up to scorn the hard struggle to attain perfection or moral certitude.

But surplus has its bright openings. The artist learns to discriminate. The shift is the laser focus to specific things and not the whole thing. And rather than politics, pure strategy comes in to dominate the intellect.

Pessimism is always rampant in a privileged culture. It is not natural to have it so good. It is bad to have it so good. And when it is good, things around one look pretty bad.

What is our belief? It is choice. It is many choices that blend into the thing that works. And when it works we are happy. And when it doesn't work we change. And we are thankful for all the choices that are made.

The will-to-power often incites hatred. This is the unintended consequence to those whose quest for power is successful.

We are servants and don't seek power.

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