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Tuesday, February 6, 2018


The big contradiction is to have a discrepancy between what you truly value and what you actually do. So if you say that your priority is to have friends and socialize, but that unfortunately you don't ever do this because you are busy at work, then you will be unhappy... Unless, of course, it is actually the work that makes you happy and the other thing is just a thing you say to conform to other people's expectations.

You cannot make yourself happy by making someone else happy. Now, all of a sudden, what you truly value is placed on hold in accordance with what someone else values. For example, if I had gone on a mission like my mom would have liked me to, I would have been miserable.

I've had to decide which Lorca book I wanted to write first. I decided it had to be the one that spoke to my deepest convictions, the one that grabbed me by the lapels and forced me to write it. This is not the easiest choice, because I have been anguishing about my low level of musical ability. And yet... There had to be a reason why I have been playing and composing music every spare moment since Fall of 2015. Lorca and the Death of the Subject could be a book, but it could be a few articles too and nobody would complain except me. Things have to be books for me because I have a lot to say, but that doesn't mean that anyone else would miss them.


Leslie said...

I wonder whether I actually dislike what I do or whether I only feel required to dislike it. Or not allowed to like it, not allowed to say I like it. HMMMM.

Leslie said...

[Although I confuse myself because my priority #1 was always to preserve my life, which I interpreted as avoiding abuse, or choosing more mild abuse to avoid more lethal abuse. Since doing things I didn't like could actually serve this priority, it became hard to imagine a scenario in which I could think freely about what I wanted, or make a non coerced choice.]

This is all so deep, I have been in the office mesmerized, meditating upon all of this, when I should have been grading e-workbooks.

Anonymous said...

OK, so. The question is, what is "what you truly value" - ?

Positive: the things you actually like, aspire to, enjoy, find renewing, etc.
Negative: motivations having to do with survival, that you may or may not be conscious of, that drive you more deeply and more automatically, and that may work against your higher interests.

You have to find some way to handle these negative motivations: they have to at the very least be made conscious.

(What does one really prioritize? Thinking about this, I keep realizing I have to get to a yet more basic layer. What do I prioritize? I prioritize suppressing myself! It is not a particular activity I prioritize, I prioritize a mode.)

Anonymous said...

... and finally: the common advice is to recognize those negative motivations as false, unnecessary. This can be true but it also can be that those things are real elements of the present and should not be ignored.

I have so many thoughts on this but the short version is that naming motives and priorities is really difficult but must be done.