[miscellaneous] Alternatingly Calm and Terrified


[miscellaneous] Alternatingly Calm and Terrified

September 2016

The fact of the matter is, as humans grew in numbers and Society was no longer a matter of hundreds, but millions- the amount of problems we face grew to be infinitesimal. 

In light of this, the modern man must develop a certain capacity to pick one project amongst the equally urgent many. He must learn to be okay with the position of ‘One of many, just another cog in the beautiful machine.’ He must let go of the fantasy that one man can be the ‘Universal Messiah.’ He must stop fearfully comparing projects and anxiously grading them in priority (exceptions exist of course).

 He must have the capacity to trust his fellow men, and that they have all chosen their own respective projects. He must believe that they are capable. Our culture abounds with encouragement to believe in yourself. I think this must be balanced out by an encouragement to let yourself believe in others. In this way, while the challenges are great and far too much for one individual, he can nevertheless be calm and hopeful since as a collective their chances of overcoming are exceedingly high. A side benefit of this kind of thinking is the relief one experiences from the grinding effects of competition, competition being described by Bertrand Russel as one of the chief obstacles to the happiness of modern man. The hundreds of talented people around should not induce anxiety or fear. Understand that there are more than enough problems to go around. Everyone can find a place. Under this paradigm, the hustle of all these amazing people scares me less and inspires me more. Be thankful that they are so high caliber. 

It is viciously disorienting to -all in one sitting- witness documentaries/articles/movements about sex trafficking, market society critiques, public policy reform, identity cultural politics, bullying, climate control, and the military industrial complex.

But this need not be disorienting. Abdicate the title of Sovereign and embrace the smallness of being, and how in a strange way you are simultaneously small yet also as large as humanity total. I alternatingly experience this truth as absurdly