Author Topic: If a bear falls in the woods... wait. I messed that up.  (Read 1754 times)

TheAudience

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If a bear falls in the woods... wait. I messed that up.
« on: May 27, 2021, 03:31:07 pm »
If a person ceases communicating with anyone else, do they still exist?

In my youth I was addicted to online role play forums. I would interact and have drama and fights and make up with frenemies and I was a prolific creator of all things dumb and toxic and marty stu. And then I took a two year religion imposed hiatus from the internet (excluding the once weekly email to my parents) to ceaselessly bother strangers in real life about the religion I grew up with (and subsequently left a few years later).

After that, I couldn't seem to get back into the role play scene and instead tried to adapt to Facebook and YouTube. I would post a new video every couple of weeks and I would share that to Facebook and comment on things my family would post. But once College started to be a bit tough I didn't have any leftover energy for video production. And after that one nasty Facebook fight, I just kind of stopped... existing online. That was about 9 years ago.

Since then my online interaction can be pretty easily summarized. I've only tweeted four times since I created a twitter account 4+ years ago. I created that account mostly to notify me of reward codes for a game I play. And the other day I had my "cake day" on reddit and got a push notification about it. Wondering where the button might lead I pressed it and landed on my own profile page. It took me one swipe to reach the beginning of my posts 6+ years ago. My comments page is similarly sparse and mostly filled with one spat I had with a stranger about the economy where, I admit, I behaved shamefully.

Since I quit existing online and left the religion that served so long as a crutch for my social life, I started substituting podcasts for actual human interaction more and more till I finally woke up one day to recognize something was amiss.

I'm surrounded by co-workers every week day. And yet, the current average number of words I speak or type a day to another person at work could probably be tallied on fingers and toes. And if you narrowed it down to unique words, the average could probably be tallied on one hand. I go most work days where my only utterance to another human being is "How's it going" as I pass loose acquaintances in the hall. Even conversation with my spouse has noticeably diminished as the years have passed, our familiarity with one another has bred a sense of comfort, understanding, and quiet. And since the pandemic, I'm no longer routinely sitting with friends during game night, so that is one more opportunity to communicate that simply collapsed. Just from a numbers perspective, the amount of daily bi-directional communication I've engaged in has pretty much slid down hill and off some cliffs over the past decade.

I start to wonder. Do I functionally exist at all?

And I know. I'm being stupid here. This is a problem that is entirely in my power to solve. And for the sake of my mental well being I probably should work on solving it. I'm waxing on and on about nothing here.

Yet, for me, oblivion does hold a certain strange allure.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2021, 06:12:41 pm by TheAudience »
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Doktor Howl

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Re: If a bear falls in the woods... wait. I messed that up.
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2021, 04:20:18 pm »
Isolation is self-reinforcing.  The less you have to do with people, the less you WILL have to do with people.

The thing about religion, same as politics, is that it narrows your crowd down, because making friends outside of the crowd is frowned upon.  So if you leave the religion, you're going to have this massive vacuum in your life.  The obvious solution is to fill that vacuum, and the best way to do THAT is to find something new, something you've never done, and get involved in it.  Then find something else to get into before the "new" wears off of whatever it was that you chose.

When my father retired, he suddenly had this huge chunk of his life that was "empty".  He's a biochemist and kind of (literally) wrote the book on microprocessor controls, so he decided to get into metalworking and rockhounding, and found two huge groups of people that he never knew existed, and he's learned things he never would have even heard about if he'd just tried to cling to the community that he had worked in.

After The Great Seriousness, I eventually walked away from Discordianism and started hanging out with Trekkies and learned that there was a whole new level of bickering that I had never been exposed to.  :lulz:

So the thing here is mostly getting off of your ass and breaking the rut you're in.
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TheAudience

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Re: If a bear falls in the woods... wait. I messed that up.
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2021, 05:06:59 pm »
Isolation is self-reinforcing.  The less you have to do with people, the less you WILL have to do with people.

The thing about religion, same as politics, is that it narrows your crowd down, because making friends outside of the crowd is frowned upon.  So if you leave the religion, you're going to have this massive vacuum in your life.  The obvious solution is to fill that vacuum, and the best way to do THAT is to find something new, something you've never done, and get involved in it.  Then find something else to get into before the "new" wears off of whatever it was that you chose.

I guess Discordianism is somewhat fulfilling that role for now. I wont deny that some low level depression compounds that self reinforcing cycle. It is definitely more difficult to find something new when far too often nothing feels new (thanks depression!). I'll keep working on that to see if I can't get that sense of novelty back in working order. Now that you mention it, I remember writing a rant a while back that touched on novelty. Maybe that needs a revisit and refactoring, maybe I can polish that turd into a shinier turd.

When my father retired, he suddenly had this huge chunk of his life that was "empty".  He's a biochemist and kind of (literally) wrote the book on microprocessor controls, so he decided to get into metalworking and rockhounding, and found two huge groups of people that he never knew existed, and he's learned things he never would have even heard about if he'd just tried to cling to the community that he had worked in.

After The Great Seriousness, I eventually walked away from Discordianism and started hanging out with Trekkies and learned that there was a whole new level of bickering that I had never been exposed to.  :lulz:

So the thing here is mostly getting off of your ass and breaking the rut you're in.

The Great Seriousness... now there's a term I've gotta throw in the forum search bar. Probably something there that might keep me occupied for an hour or two.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2021, 06:46:07 pm by TheAudience »
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Doktor Howl

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Re: If a bear falls in the woods... wait. I messed that up.
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2021, 03:01:13 am »
Discordianism and the COTSG are not things that any human being can do forever.  You get in, you get what you need, and then you leave.

Chaos is not sustainable.  It's just a lot of fun as a short term thing.
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Re: If a bear falls in the woods... wait. I messed that up.
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2021, 10:35:37 am »
The Great Seriousness... now there's a term I've gotta throw in the forum search bar. Probably something there that might keep me occupied for an hour or two.
A lot of grayfaced infighting that resulted in eris "rewarding" us with four years of the Maga Khan.
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TheAudience

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Re: If a bear falls in the woods... wait. I messed that up.
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2021, 12:48:39 pm »
Discordianism and the COTSG are not things that any human being can do forever.  You get in, you get what you need, and then you leave.

Chaos is not sustainable.  It's just a lot of fun as a short term thing.

Noted. In the meantime I hope it's alright with everyone that I practice "existing" again till I develop the motivation and fortitude to find other places to do more than just lurk. I'll try to shine up some rants or other writings to drop here when things get slow, and try to improve my conversational skills so its worth interacting.

The Great Seriousness... now there's a term I've gotta throw in the forum search bar. Probably something there that might keep me occupied for an hour or two.
A lot of grayfaced infighting that resulted in eris "rewarding" us with four years of the Maga Khan.

Just when I thought I'd heard all the nicknames. Maga Khan  :lulz: Brilliant. I'll try to keep my own gravefaced nature in check. I don't think I would want yet another Great Seriousness (no idea if there's been more than one) or worse.
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Re: If a bear falls in the woods... wait. I messed that up.
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2021, 06:41:20 pm »
Discordianism and the COTSG are not things that any human being can do forever.  You get in, you get what you need, and then you leave.

Chaos is not sustainable.  It's just a lot of fun as a short term thing.

Noted. In the meantime I hope it's alright with everyone that I practice "existing" again till I develop the motivation and fortitude to find other places to do more than just lurk. I'll try to shine up some rants or other writings to drop here when things get slow, and try to improve my conversational skills so its worth interacting.

The Great Seriousness... now there's a term I've gotta throw in the forum search bar. Probably something there that might keep me occupied for an hour or two.
A lot of grayfaced infighting that resulted in eris "rewarding" us with four years of the Maga Khan.

Just when I thought I'd heard all the nicknames. Maga Khan  :lulz: Brilliant. I'll try to keep my own gravefaced nature in check. I don't think I would want yet another Great Seriousness (no idea if there's been more than one) or worse.

All of our previous infighting was funny.
Molon Lube

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Re: If a bear falls in the woods... wait. I messed that up.
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2021, 04:14:10 pm »
All of our previous infighting was funny.
Especially when it wasn't.  :lulz:
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Re: If a bear falls in the woods... wait. I messed that up.
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2021, 12:18:10 am »
I personally have a soft spot for the drug threads.

In the sense of a spot on my charred, rigid heart that has started to grow mold and turn into decaying mush like an old apple.
“I am that worst of all type of criminal...I cannot bring myself to do what you tell me, because you told me.”

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“The one where everybody dies.”
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Re: If a bear falls in the woods... wait. I messed that up.
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2021, 01:48:09 pm »
I start to wonder. Do I functionally exist at all?


beware:
what is not watered
withers

and the withered flower collects no sun


You say your contact with your spouse has diminished too -- so this is not just a hermit problem, your atrophy exists in other people's lives too, and this is a problem.

The human being comes equipped with a lot of hardware, much of it is social. You're not gonna feel ALIVE until you're a whole hog (so to speak). If you live in your head, you're only living 1/3rd of a life.



Though you didn't ask it -- my advice to you
is to focus on a type of sensing that you've gotten rusty at

when you're talking to someone else

get out of your head

sense THEIR emotional experience
sense what THEY are feeling
and don't immediately use that as an input to boot up some Talking Machine--stay out of that place

try doing something for someone else

try to CARE about the other person

if you can reconnect with that feeling, if you can re-engage your heart,
then you can start to live again



until then, your grave deserves to read

   "He was a tube
   food went in, poop came out"


Is that all?

TheAudience

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Re: If a bear falls in the woods... wait. I messed that up.
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2021, 02:55:56 pm »
until then, your grave deserves to read

   "He was a tube
   food went in, poop came out"


Is that all?

A fine eulogy.

I have just a bit more about this subject, then hopefully I'll be off to the races delving into other topics. For now I'm just trying to process some fears and other feelings so I can repair some of my faculties.

Thank You for your advice. I'll do what I can to implement it.

My problem is certainly multifaceted. But the hermit bit of it is probably the largest chunk. I lost a lot of my meat space socializing structure over the last couple years (left church, finished school, pandemic crushed the weekly gaming gatherings in my one remaining meat space friend group and then we all moved quite a bit farther from one another). On top of that I purposefully killed my digital existence a long time ago to avoid some amount of stress and conflict, and in doing so, found myself now lacking the skills and resolve to engage in the various online communities where I lurk. The other chunks are some amounts of the following and other stuff that probably lies in my blind spots.
1. I've become a genuinely less interesting person having sacrificed many of my creative pursuits so I could focus on school the last few years. (Now that school is over I'm trying to rekindle some of those pursuits)
2. My confidence has been punctured as I've moved from a job where I was seen as highly experienced by my peers, to a new job where the majority of my work is somehow less skilled and all of my work is performed in isolation so I can no longer rely on peers for feedback on my performance. (Another issue I might explore in writing here. This one seriously needs addressing in some form.)
3. I'm still trying to wrangle the structure of my time to see where I could schedule new meat space socializing. There have been a lot of big structural changes in my life recently (moving from an apartment to a house that carries new maintenance needs, new job, no more school) And I'm still trying to pin down a more consistent schedule that meets the majority of my physical, mental and social needs. (Yes, some people would just jettison the "schedule" part of it, I struggle to do so.)
4. General fears. Fears that I'll do damage to others. Fears that I ruin social gatherings. Fears that I'll inadvertently bring the world down on my head because of some stupidity that was allowed to persist in one of my blind spots, and in doing so no longer be able to support my loved ones. I'm detrimentally conflict averse, something I likely need to overcome.
5. M'fkin Depression... Just that whole whirlpool that still consumes energy that I'd rather were freed up to actually work on the above, instead of being spent just getting back to the starting line.

That last one is definitely the source of "oblivion's certain strange allure" Doing what needs doing is gonna take a lot of effort and energy, from a certain perspective it's a lot easier to give in and just drop to the bottom.

I'll really try to show up at the next cabal pot luck... I guess that is what I'm trying to say. Any idea when that'll be? And what is the next subject? I can at least attempt reading something. Hopefully I can bring something other than my usual "We're all going to die anyway" downerism to stink up the table.
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Cramulus

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Re: If a bear falls in the woods... wait. I messed that up.
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2021, 04:56:10 pm »

I have just a bit more about this subject, then hopefully I'll be off to the races delving into other topics. For now I'm just trying to process some fears and other feelings so I can repair some of my faculties.

It's good! the processing you're doing right now--

there are feelings you've probably been ignoring, and they're finally loud enough to enter your conscious presence. THIS is the moment you've been waiting for.

Quote
Doing what needs doing is gonna take a lot of effort and energy, from a certain perspective it's a lot easier to give in and just drop to the bottom.


"you can't get there from here"

you've pushed the skiff out onto the lake, but that energy has passed and now you're just drifting

this thread is a noble recognition that your current trajectory is insufficent to reach the far shore.


You will need MORE energy, MORE effort

and also MORE FUEL,
which you can get in the form of impressions received during I'm Really Alive Right Now type experiences.


Quote
I'll really try to show up at the next cabal pot luck... I guess that is what I'm trying to say. Any idea when that'll be? And what is the next subject? I can at least attempt reading something. Hopefully I can bring something other than my usual "We're all going to die anyway" downerism to stink up the table.

no pressure! you do you, nade :)


This Wednesday, we're discussing chapters 4-5 of Unknowable Gurdjieff
On 6/9, we'll be discussing the second half of The Art of Memetics (we'll be joined by the book's artist, Ray Carney, and one of the authors, Ed Lobo.)

as always, we are talking about lofty topics but our focus is practical: how to get free. how to build a discordian practice. how to function as a cabal. how to be together despite the chasms between us. what does it mean to follow Eris in 2021?