egos appear by setting themselves apart from other egos ― martin buber

i believe in courage but i do not believe in cowardice. the very word makes me angry, no wait it makes me want to weep.

for a start a cow is smart and being afraid and being like a cow is not at all a bad thing.

courage is an exception. fear is the rule, and doubt and unknowing and running away and hiding and being sad and sitting alone in a corner, under a blanket saying, go away, leave me alone; harms no one.

do not aspire to courage simply allow yourself to be as you are.

there is nothing to conquer least of all fear (or doubt) no need to overcome.

satre well he's a fine one to talk, lacking the courage to abandon his big daddy stalin.

it is almost always fascists that call for courage.

it does not take courage to call another a coward what takes courage is compassion and commitmenr to ethics.

what takes courage is to leap to be nothing to be prepared to disappear without leaving a trace.

Ah dear one, I am sad. I will be in Melbourne on August 4th. I will miss you by just a few days.

I will miss you, your being, your spirit, your generosity and your love. It has been good to know that you are in the world even when I am on the other side of it and to have been able to think of you, albeit too briefly, as my friend.

I hope everything goes well. I know you are not a huggy person but since I am only hugging you in my thoughts maybe that is OK. It's a big hug though!

From my heart and mind x


ps Don't forget the anti-emitic.

i've read this numerous times over the last ten years and posted it several times in various blogs and each time i notice something new in it. today it was a sort of dispossession of the self.

Q. As I understand it, almost every philosopher has had a vision of the good and the right or of a philosophical life as well. What does yours look like?

Agamben: The idea that one should make his life a work of art is attributed mostly today to Foucault and to his idea of the care of the self. Pierre Hadot, the great historian of ancient philosophy, reproached Foucault that the care of the self of the ancient philosophers did not mean the construction of life as a work of art, but on the contrary a sort of dispossession of the self. What Hadot could not understand is that for Foucault, the two things coincide. You must remember Foucault’s criticism of the notion of author, his radical dismissal of authorship. In this sense, a philosophical life, a good and beautiful life, is something else: when your life becomes a work of art, you are not the cause of it. I mean that at this point you feel your own life and yourself as something “thought,” but the subject, the author, is no longer there. The construction of life coincides with what Foucault referred to as “se deprendre de soi.” And this is also Nietzsche’s idea of a work of art without the artist.

German Law Journal No. 5 (1 May 2004) – Special Edition Interview with Giorgio Agamben – Life, A Work of Art Without an Author: The State of Exception, the Administration of Disorder and Private Life

may i direct your attention to the issue of control? specifically the illusion of control.

i was interested to discover that this is a phenomenon well known to and extensively researched by cognitive scientists — in short, people believe they have control over things when they don't. (a fun but only slightly related phenomenon : the dunning kruger effect...)

in this article by maria konnikova she writes about control in relation to playing poker ha ha. i met a professional poker player yesterday and i was asking him if he'd heard of her book but he had not. (i hacked the article a bit — the original is here.)

it's interesting as far as it goes because it uses playing poker as an analogy for being clear about what you can control and what you can't — but it doesn't go far enough and it ends up as a discussion about luck vs skill. and the final paragraph is kind of stupid.

for me a fundamental aspect of the work is realising that you don't have much control over anything — far less than you might think/feel/believe.

and every time you find your-so-called-self unable to control something it is a reminder of this but unfortunately people often think there is something fundamentally wrong with them because they are unable to control something they (or and especially others) think they should be able to control.

cf people with serious health issues

and oh irony : it is better to fail at controlling things than to succeed because if you're lucky and you apparently succeed as konnikova has it, you think/feel/believe it's because you're clever or smart etc.

almost everything becomes more interesting when you give up the notion of control (within reason i.e. you're still controlling your bladder and your bowel etc) and watch how things happen and unfold than it is when you try to control things i.e. to impose your so-called will on what is.

i realise this is my thing and it is where it becomes obvious that even though i don't believe in god or destiny or anything even remotely like that, i am religious in the sense that i think/feel/believe that life/the world/the ten to the power of five hundred universes and the eleven dimensions is trying to show you something, or to be more heideggerian about it, things become unconcealed.

and you learn to see the things that happen and unfold as aspects of the question that is being asked of you. it is like almost everything that happens is significant but you cannot see things in their actuality (eigenlijkheid) and their significance/meaning if you are trying to control what happens/doesn't happen and also the idea of not being in control (when think feel/believe you should be) makes us anxious and afraid, hence burnout, depression, anxiety disorder, panic attack etc

It is a movement, a tendency, an inclination. The same is true of the Id.

The Superego protects fosters and encourages themovement of the Ego and discourages and inhibits the movement, tendencies and inclinations of the Id.

more dreamwork

this is a recurring dream but what was really disturbing about this one was


nothingness is not absence, but the infinite plentitude of openness ... — karen barad


the thing is this : we have to become metasubject/s.

a subject that analyses, creates, describes, and/or deconstructs subjects (including itself) and/or relations to and with other subjects. ...

as a result of this work the subject changes its position to and with other subjects and its relation/s to and with those other subjects.

6-1-21 : no idea what i'm doing or what it means — which is not unusual for me but i've learned not to worry about it ...

i worked with someone on their dreams today. they were like, oh i didn't know you do dreamwork! in the humble way which is my wont i said, i do everything — which is a slight exaggeration but i've been doing dreamwork with my-so-called-self and others since the early eighties.

she doesn't remember this but in 1985 the tasmanian shaman and i went to see anne faraday who was visiting from the uk and staying at a hobart hotel. she was very tired and complained a lot about australia. she had a husband who tried to convince us he was enlightened. i think he was looking for disciples. the tasmanian shaman saw straight through him. i asked him if a dog has a buddha nature or not and he didn't know the answer so i just concluded he was a dick.

the dreams of the person i worked with today were fascinating rich narratives full of the beautiful nuanced messages the unconscious sends us every night, with love yes with love. there were some classic symbols, they discovered a hidden portal to a deep cavernous space under the house where there are ghosts — other symbols were completely unique and wildly imaginative. little wonder the surrealists were so obsessed with dreams.

that dreams are full of meaning is undeniable and although only the dreamer can work out what they mean, it can be helpful to have a sparring partner.