How can I not be myself?

… an answer of mine to this Quora question

If it were possible the way to not be yourself is to be born again, but if you are born in the same family and same historical period and same social class and so on you could end up being the same person all over again. So get reborn as someone else, there that should solve it.

Otherwise, it is very hard to not be yourself. Even striving as hard as you can to not be yourself, whatever comes out it’s still a matter of your own conditioning, education, mental synapses formed in years and years of memory and personality development since childhood.

Powerful drugs sometimes disconnect the self. But, as it turns out with alcohol, people on drugs are merely themselves “uncensored”, not someone else.

Become an actor! Develop an artistic skill! A plethora of people report that being involved in such activities helped them transcend the self and actually feel or become someone else.

I believe the best way to not be yourself is to keep living. Biologically you’ll have totally new material in some years which while keeping the DNA will not keep many scars (internal or external) which are part of the self. Psychologically you will have new ways of internalizing the world, fresh thoughts, new relationships, deeper understanding which, while not canceling or deleting your self, will envelop the self in so many layers you’ll need therapy to dig it out.

Simply put, we are creatures shaped by experience and experience is tightly knit with time. Give yourself the luxury to enjoy time and be open to whatever it throws at you. In time you will become this or that and whatever you end up with is your new self and hence you’ll stop being yourself by being a different (maybe better) version of yourself.

Rich people love sociopaths

The best of the best never lean back, and this is wrong.

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
Calvin Coolidge

Calvin, you were right and it sucks. We made a world where talent and genius will not take you far, a world where persistence trumps just about any other human quality.

This is a huge problem. Huge. Believe me. :0

The problem is that:

persistence feeds itself on empathy.

Our economic and social pyramid makes it so that to access the top level one has to be completely emotionally disconected. You just won’t have the time to be emotionally connected if you’re serious about achieving access to top social and economic levels.

Yet emotional disconnect is a base characteristic of sociopathic behavior.

In highly meritocratic systems empathy and EQ are regarded as euphemisms for incompetent underachievers. No one will spell it out to you, but it results from the rules of the game of meritocracy.

The greatest trouble with emotional disconnect is the fading of empathy. Without empathy and EQ human behaviour becomes hightly schizoid and sociopathic.

​Easy and clean

This is it. This is all you need. It is not about the riches that you accumulate. It is about how you make your life easy and clean. Everything around must benefit from these two qualities. This is how your brain is designed to work and how you make sure you’ll stay happy even after all the projects have been completed.

If there are two essential attributes of good design and luxury, then they must be“easy” and “clean”. Things should be easy to handle, easy to operate, easy to store and easy to retrieve. Cleanness is about trust. It is not attraction, it’s confidence. Confidence that no harm will come upon you. Confidence that you will not break it, loose it or be labeled.

Emotionally disconnected people are easy and clean. There is no glorious mess of the human spirit in an emotionally dry life.

Now do the math.


I was watching this successful young man which this highly famous interviewer was praising. A future orthopaedic surgeon in training. Very smart. Amazing.

He overachieved just about anything he put his mind to:

  • being a super athlete, owning the speed record for his university
  • being an international olypmic
  • being the best student in just about any phase of his education
  • excelling at studies with some of the most hard schools on Earth

In his life story two things got my attention:

  • there was a patron in his life, one who has billions and smply helps this amazing young man, provided he needs any help (mostly introductions, rarely any financial support, which was always paid back).
  • the answer to the question “Were you ever inlove?”, the most staring glaring distant cold and bold “No.”.

This guy is in his thirties.

The story of “the founder” of McDonald’s. A story of another sociopathic, emotionally disconnected person. He didn’t care, not the slightest bit. The 1% deal he never honoured is the give away.

Many, many, many politicians: sociopaths. Think of this brexit guy, Nigel. He didn’t give a rat’s ass. Not for one tiny second.

Many, so many STEM professionals. So many athletes. So many financiers.

Emotionally dry and proud of it.

The rest of us

Being low on EQ, having none to zero empathy is not a problem by itself. Personally I love Sheldon-like folk. Rational people are not evil. I trust this axiom deeply.

It’s just that the rest of us are not like that. That’s the issue: if the world builders build a world with no tolerance for emotion, which is mostly populated by emotional folk, mental illness pandemic ensues.

In an emotionally dry world thriving gest lost as “details”. Lack of visceral happiness is the new normal, therefore escapism becomes more and more acceptable and in a blink becomes the norm.

The rest of us hardly find capital, not only financial capital, social too. Billions of IQ points are lost because in a world where the shark and the tiger are still the metaphors of a successful attitude:

Potential = IQ — EQ

So, emotionally active folk have a calculated zero potential. Which, as we intuitively know, is false. It should be an additive thing, but it’s not.

This idea, that:

“emotions are something to overcome, not something to cultivate”

… is so present in all competitive environments that currently any field looks like a race for who becomes a rational robot first. It is not about who is the best doctor or the best programmer or the best trader, it is about who is the least emotionally healthy.


Should we reward persistence? Of course. Is this the pinnacle of human achievement? Of course not. Why? Because we can automate persistence since the dawn of agriculture. Actually persistence has been automated since our species has branched and these big brains began working.

The reason why persistence takes one farther than talent and education and genius is that the world is built that way by people whose only remarkable attribute was persistence and we pushed them at the front because generally we’re a lazy group of monkeys.

Today we suffer from our uninvolvement.

Talent is rare and is naturally occurring, therefore hard to predict. Education is worthy of recognition because it allows for better abstraction, and abstraction is the base of human creativity. Genius has constantly pushed humanity from one epoch into another, because no amount of persistence will ever pierce through the ineptitude of a settled mind.

So persistence is not so great. If we’ll keep glorifying it the future will be quite crappy.

In a traffic jam, just look around you at people waiting for the lights to turn green and notice the absence on their faces.

12 tips on beauty

12 tips on beauty

“The best color in the whole world is the one that looks good on you.” — Coco Chanel

It is a commonplace now the knowledge that beautiful people have more advantages in life than “the others”. There are no ugly people, but still beauty can be, and will always be, put on a scale and we should not fuss too much about it.

The good news is that beauty is abstract. You may never know why you think someone is beautiful, nor why exactly someone thinks you are beautiful. This happens because the base ingredients of beauty are simple and common to all humans. The easy six. Yet there is also that which not only you know its beautiful, but you are sure everyone else will think so too. These are the less common traits. The hard six.

“There is no exquisite beauty… without some strangeness in the proportion” — Edgar Allan Poe

The Easy Six:

  1. good hair
  2. good skin
  3. bright eyes
  4. good teeth
  5. a personality
  6. confidence

The Hard Six:

  1. weight
  2. fashion
  3. look
  4. behavior
  5. soft fixes
  6. hard fixes

The easy six

We are naturally evolved to like hair, skin, eyes and teeth. These are all a matter of personal hygiene and require the least of effort to obtain at good quality. Also this is where you can cheat a bit. Enrich your hair, whiten your teeth, “smoothen” your skin. This is not about makeup but simply care for these as much as possible in your current situation.

There is nothing beautiful in the world if it doesn’t stand out as something before being appreciated. If you constantly follow, have no opinions, no personal touch of your outer messaging then no one can appreciate your uniqueness. If one says about a rock that is beautiful, that rock has something about it: the color, the texture, the shine. There is no such thing as a plain flower, they are all distinct so the bees come to them. So must you become a unique flower and get a personality in the process.

Nothing beats confidence. This is borderline easy and hard. However it is not as hard as you think. Confidence in general is a helper for those around you. Here is the gist: we are scared and unsure every single day of our life. This is not a fault is a consequence of appearing out of the blue in this world. Therefore we constantly search for sure things to base our assumptions about reality on them. Confidence relieves us of the effort to make sure, it helps us stay at ease because we get outside feedback about the truth of a problem. In beauty terms, confidence halves our evaluation effort — that is why a self confident person will appear more beautiful than a fledgling unsure stunner.

The first duty in life is to be as artificial as possible. What the second duty is no one has as yet discovered — Oscar Wilde

The hard six

Weight is hard to get right and hard to hold in place. The problem with weight is that skinny is not beautiful by default nor is fatty beautiful by default. To get it right is to give great consideration to proportion and symmetry and this really sucks when its about yourself. Above all is the constant social pressure on this item. Today is skinny, 300 years ago it was the other way around. Then its the control problem. You can control bad hair days but how fast or slow your metabolism is, not that easy.

Fashion is hard. It is a mobile target and very, very expensive. Also the taste you have in fashion might be bad for your appearance as beautiful. It means that using fashion to enhance beauty requires talent, and because talent is a natural given, not everyone has it. Fashion advice is one safe route to depression so this leaves huge fashion expenses as the way out for those untalented.

The look is how you present your image conceptualized. The look is the overall message that you send out from your appearance. You are for example a hippie, a hipster or a hepcat. You could be normcore, casual, metrosexual, antisystem etc. But this may or not help your outside perception as beautiful. For example say you are an Emo kid. That is a look but, if you have say a lengthy bone structure, the slender black accents of your look will make you appear dead and constantly dehydrated. Dead is not beautiful, if someone likes it: its a fetish.

Behavior that reflects in beauty perception is about: manners, elegance and posture. Manners make you more beautiful because people feel you are positive towards them. Elegance makes you pretty because it underlines your confidence and posture sends out signals like strength, openness and accessibility which all influence the perception of beauty.

Soft fixes are makeup, push-ups, extensions of any kind, highlights, stretching stuff you name it. These are hard for the same reasons fashion is hard. It requires acquired taste or talent. It can have a negative effect easily, a bad makeup is more negative then a bad outfit, and for quality you must shell out heavily.

Hard fixes are surgery most of the time. Now, these are the hardest because usually they hurt like hell and they require external, professional support to be achieved. If you ever judged anyone for having their nose shortened, breasts enlarged or fat sucked out, you are doing a bad thing because these people defeat their self conservation instinct — the same one that keeps one from jumping off a bridge — just to be beautiful in their eyes, while you expose to them how naturally superior you are for accepting yourself. Bad.

Yet, as a very important note, hard fixes are the extreme thing and like all extreme things that humans come in contact with, they do a lot of harm. Therefore if you are not in a situation of “killing millions to save billions” avoid them as much as you can, and be sure that you are not actually missing one of the easy six instead.

Happiness = Reality — Expectations?

This is the formula of happiness. No go be happy! Just kidding …

(a rebooted response)

It is exactly this line of thinking that, in my opinion, underpins unhappiness, said Alex Schiff in an article.

But it does sound believable right? Happiness = Reality — Expectations. After all we’re our biggest enemies in the race to happy-land.

Isn’t it true that should we lower our expectations, happiness would soon ensue?


bad news

The formula is good, but the interpretation is wrong.

People expect all formulas to be as simple as 2 + 2 = 4, but in reality most formulas have meaning attached, that is a certain correct interpretation that makes them valuable.

In this case, the problem is that:

Expectations are always maximal

Expectations = education x culture x personality. How can you lower that? Be stupid, be ignorant, be a simpleton. Otherwise prepare to be unhappy.

If you get this, then you’ll work to maximize Reality!

If you didn’t get that, you’ll work you ass off to lower your expectations to lonely monk limits. Then, when expectations will be close to zero, we’ll get to:

Happiness = Reality – 0 (zero) => Happiness = Reality,

… are you kidding me?

When you get to bare reality (it bites by the way) it will slap you in the face because reality is rough, simple and it ain’t got no time for you. Because if reality was so darn pretty and a constant source of happiness, then you wouldn’t have had any Expectations to begin with, amirite?

good news

Humans are transformative beings which create constant change. We change ourselves, we change others and we change everything around us; after all humans are the only beings on this planet who are in a constant race with the limited time they have, perpetually running away from it (change, by the way, makes time go slower).

more good news

Expectations are the product of education, culture and personality. The product, not the sum. A small dent in your education, culture or personality produces a huge dent in your Expectations. Yet education, culture and personality are the strings we’re all playing our existence on, so prepare for updated levels of Expectations the older you get.

We also shouldn’t mix concepts here. Expectations are not the same thing with entitlement or privilege. Also, spiritual paths such as mindfulness or thankfulness are just as well grounded on Expectations. These paths only guide you towards your Expectations, they will not magically make reality any prettier, than the ruthless bitch that bytes everyone, which reality is.

Maximize reality so that it overcomes your expectations. Then, only then, happiness results. Happiness may be specific and complicated but it does have one advantage: it is an essential state. Like any essence, one small drop of it and, kaboom, you’re happy! That means you need to maximize reality just a tad over your expectations, and keep reality a tad up as your Expectations grow.

Simple? What’s more beautiful than a happy human being?

life is great

How to avoid the Stockholm syndrome

Two responses stitched together

Empathy. The beloved of peace makers. It means according to Google:

the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

In her recent new Medium hit, Emma Lindsay writes:

there is no way for you to know what another person is feeling.

I have seen this idea in many other situations dealing with political correctness subjects and it was a favourite weapon of the PC police: calling the discussion off because feelings cannot be questioned on the basis of feelings having an unsharable status.

But this intrigued me because I know we are not, as a species, islands. We don’t know everything another person is feeling, but the fact is we know enough if we try harder.

And in fact this makes it even more shameful to deny the reality of others.

Those who deny the reality of others actually do it because they themselves live in denial of reality itself.

I mean, isn’t empathy built in? We do have brain regions specifically built to mirror another’s internal lived experience into us so that we can get them, so that we can exactly feel what they feel.

Isn’t art a proof for shared feelings on common stimuli? From music to visual arts, from food to dance, we have collected in our civilised history mountains of descriptions on the experience (a.k.a. strings of connected feelings) given by art. And we have analysed them over and over and found themes, common traits in the reactions humans have to it.

If there is no way empathy exists, then how would one explain our humble hundred thousand years long survival as groups? We stick to each other, more so when the times are hard, closer when pain is shared or imminent, selectively when pleasure is shared or imminent, I mean, there really is a quite intricate web of ways in which we show outward the fact that we do share feelings of other humans around.

Not only that, we’re also eager to do it. Biologically we get amazing positive feedback for empathy, as anything from blood sugar, heart rate, blood pressure, endocrine secretion and many others are directly modulated positively following social interaction, but, do note, especially so social interaction where we empathise.

Aren’t manipulation and its younger hotter sister persuasion based on the fact that we do have ways to know how other people are feeling? Sure they are so.

And it is not only empathy as a way for one to know what another is feeling.

Empathy is biologic, and like any biologic aspect some people have more of it. Just like talent.

Compassion too is there to help. Compassion does not occur spontaneously, it is a side effect of an attempt to understand rationally the behaviour of another. It is when we feel like we understand the behaviour of others that we turn to compassion as a means of communication. Compassion is granting the humans around us the right to be themselves.

Sympathy is also a real thing. Sympathy though only appears when we share the experience of the humans around. Only once you have actually, viscerally experienced that which “the other” goes through you can display sympathy or act sympathetically.

So, we, like in we humans, I believe, should give up this idea that the basis of mutual respect is our inability to perceive one another, but exactly embrace the original idea that this is actually the foundation: our shared humanity, and shared brain structure, and shared smelly shit and sweat, and hairs in places we can’t tell, and pain in invisible places, and suffocating longing, and fear of loosing our sanity, and spinning sinking never ending inner turmoil, and joyous trembling of guts and hearts, and chocking tears of happiness, all these things we know about each other, which are a mile long list if ever enumerated, are the foundation of mutual respect.

If we’d only stop ignoring our shared humanity. If we’d just stop being in denial of our own reality. But instead, we fake empathy, compassion and sympathy everyday.

We fake empathy pretending to feel for the others, and actually invading their intimacy. We fake compassion pretending we know the others, and actually attacking their dignity. We fake sympathy, pretending we’ve worn their shoes, and actually stealing their identity.

However, when you read mr. Van Jones’ idea that:

When those of us on the left assume that every Trump voter actually endorses every extreme idea Trump has voiced, we miss opportunities to truly understand the human motivations and dilemmas that produced this outcome.

… you realise that outside of Political Correctness and into the realm of politics, empathy can be completely harmful for those that drew the short stick at birth.

Don’t have empathy for your oppressors, because you may become your own oppressor.

The oppressed for the oppressor would be better off to experience:

  • mercy
  • forgiveness
  • compassion

Why I believe these words are thrown around so weirdly, well, it is because we’re so bad at googling word definitions and word etymology, and because they tend to press painful wounds when needed.

Take a child molester and the adult today molested child.

There cannot be any empathy from the molested to the molester, unless the molested child becomes a pedophile, which many times is a form of self inflicted harm originating in low self esteem. If the molested pedophile actually molests a child too, then sympathy can wake up as a sentiment.

Take the recent discussion around here on sober pedophiles being open with their challenge. Very few people were compassionate, and most were angry. Why? Because as an outsider empathy for any kind of different sexuality is hard because we when we mirror those feelings we get sick as we’re biologically conditioned so. So, no empathy, but anger and disbelief in their soberness. I have no clue … but, what I can rationally say is: innocent until proven guilty, opens up on the hardness of an unasked for experience, therefore I can try to understand what they go through by intellect which brings by the possibility of compassion.

I think this is the same mechanism that explains why there were church folk who cared for AIDS sick gay folk and church people who yelled „you deserve it”, while both parties agreeing that being gay is fundamentally wrong. Some had compassion some hadn’t.

The oppressed can feel mercy. Mercy is a form of passive aggressiveness that a lot of people confuse with compassion. They cannot be more different. Mercy is when you believe one is essentially fixed in a lower human state. It is confused with compassion because it is rational, but unlike compassion, mercy is about the state of the human, not about the human. That is why I get a sudden fever when I hear „have mercy for the poor” and I immediately know they’re pinned to that condition by the so called help they get.

Some say indifference is the death of love, I say mercy is the death of love. Mercy is for love like water for the lungs.

The oppressed may feel forgiveness, which is not as a way to comfort the oppressor but as a way to smother the inner suffering of the oppressed. Forgiveness is the true antidote to suffering. Communicating forgiveness is completely optional and it is an act of generosity. Not altruism, because there is no sacrifice, just an optional decision with some possible societal reward.

The oppressed may feel compassion, but that should only be seen as the best way to disrupt the oppressor, not as a blank check for more oppressive actions. The oppressed’s compassion is a weapon, or at least a tool and it should be used because it basically means understanding the inner workings and life of the oppressor. This is useful to prevent more oppression, not to cuddle the oppressed.

Vengeance is when the oppressed uses compassion without forgiveness. That is why vengeance always will hurt both sides. That is not to say vengeance is wrong, like our over the top morality claims, but just that you should not use it to soothe wounds but as a kind of sacrifice you should be at least aware of.

the Stockholm syndrome

can thus be avoided and such things as

potentially be cast as mere accident of thinking. Otherwise, embracing the poster child of pseudo fascist discourse with the kindness of empathic thought might cost not only your life and freedom but also those of many others who have yet to come.

How to handle time

“Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.” Macbeth, W. S.

Live in the present. Think of the future. Learn from the past.

We humans do not have monolithic existences. Instead, we have an existence made out of components. I propose three major components as the main experiences of existence: living , thinking and learning. Here is what they mean.

Living represents most of the physical, biological and some psychological activities. Living is the tangible part of the experience, the part that produces pleasure.

Thinking represents the exploration of the experience and it is between tangible and intangible. By induction, inference and deduction we discover life and we expand it way beyond the immediate stimuli, we push our lives towards some imaginary horizon. That is why thinking is the part of existence which produces joy.

Learning is the integration of the experience and it is completely intangible. Even the purpose of learning is vague and undefined. We’re not talking about the learning done in school, but about the human possibility for self improvement, the capacity of spiritual, material and physical evolution. The motivation for learning is different in each and every individual, and it is in a direct connection with the lives they’ve had. Because learning leads to evolution it is that part of the experience which produces happiness.

What I propose further on is that each one of these experiences should occur at the right time, and at the right time only. Let me explain.

Living in the present begets trust.

Living in the present connects us with the our senses and by doing so it creates a positive feedback loop allowing us to repeat pleasant activities. The human living in the present is more organized, it has more time because its past and future are not busy with living. One who lives in the present feels everything as more intense and often concludes that life is worthwhile.

Thinking about the future begets comprehension.

Thinking about the future forces one to create a logical string of events and to predict their outcome. The human who thinks about the future has more success, more stability and becomes wiser every day. They’ll often conclude that life is beautiful.

Learning from the past begets humility.

Learning from the past hands us the possibility to see that everything makes sense, a sense that is something bigger than oneself, and this acts like a shield against the existential crisis, which is the worst blow of our egoist natures. The human who learns from the past has more patience, becomes open for compassion, see the bigger picture and probably concludes that there is at least some divinity in life.

The human who is confident, wise and humble is an individualized human.

These three processes, confidence, wisdom and humility lead to individualization. Today, across the world, there extremely few individualized humans. The reason is that most of us experience some of the following combinations, bad ideas.

Bad ideas

I live in the future and I think of the present

Bad idea. Living in the future begets disappointment because nothing ever gets to be experienced and felt at maximum intensity. Thinking of the present generates worries, because it is simply an effort to figure out what happens while it is happening. This is impossible and hence there is a constant fear that everything could collapse at any moment.

I live in the past and I learn from the present

Bad idea. Living in the past is the sure path to depression because all experiences have been already had and leave the present flavorless. Learning from the present is another way of defining shallowness: all I know is what is, what was and what will be is of no interest to me. Shallowness removes everything out of context, because of the scarcity of information which the fleeting present provides. The present IS and that’s about all you can learn from it.

I think of the past and I learn from the future

Bad idea. When you think of the past you give birth to regrets because all you do is a constant sorting and ordering of events by our skewed ideals, denaturing their meaning by ripping apart the sequence your events occurred in. Idealization crates regret (in its easy form we call it nostalgia). The frustration regret builds grinds the human spirit to the finest of sands. Learning from the future makes one a control freak, because it is as if you would apply the scientific method — hypothesis, demonstration and conclusion — to life itself. Unfortunately this activity, by which you really get over yourself to have the future happen in one specific way, so that you can test your hypothesis, makes of you a control freak AND it puts you in everyone else’s path to stumble upon, individualized or not.

All the bad ideas above are not random combinations I made up, but instead they are the result of one single error: the time of your existence are never empty. If you live in the future, then you occupy that time of existence with living and therefore thinking will occupy the free spot in the present. And that’s what happens for all the bad ideas above, one of living, thinking or learning is misplaced and the vacancy is occupied by another activity.

All the bad ideas make one thing and one thing only: justifications!

Disappointments justify worrying (so much has happened to me, of course I am worried), worrying justifies disappointments; depression justifies shallowness (if I can’t find anything worthwhile, why bother looking in the depth of the world) and shallowness justifies depression; regret justifies control (it was better before — calling out ya’ll Trumpist baby boomers — so I must make things in the future as they were), and control justifies regret.

Instead of an ending, here is an exercise of consequences:

  • lucidity is the peak of discerning, discerning is what makes the wise,
  • wisdom is the peak of of reason, reason is what makes the evolved spirit,
  • evolution is the peak of of an accomplished life, and accomplishment is what makes the individualized
  • individualization is the peak of of self-knowledge. self-knowledge is what makes awareness

Awareness is the peak of of existence.

love me, i dare you!

Here is how to be your best self

This time in lyrics and more.

Control yourself but never
Deny yourself.

Loose yourself but
Protect yourself.

Apply yourself don’t
Do it yourself.

Touch yourself but
Keep it to yourself.

Grab yourself and
Save yourself.

Be yourself but
Suit yourself.

Work with yourself to
Express yourself.

Contain yourself but don’t
Kick yourself.

Top yourself but don’t
Fuck yourself.

Validate yourself but don’t
Praise yourself.

Push yourself then
Treat yourself.

Help yourself to
Love yourself.

Hi umair haque, somehow my feed gave me your article right after I posted the playful poem above. I responded because I think we do have a best self, although, indeed, it’s not what “pop-therapeutic culture” preaches.

A person’s best self is a notion talking about individualization. The best self is the answer to the quest to know thyself! Your best self is that one which has those keys to all knowledge, including the Universe and the Gods.

“Compassion, justice, wisdom, creativity, kindness, humility, gratitude” are personal attributes, actions, states, choices, personality traits, they have nothing to do with the self.

I don’t know why people are so eager to move beyond their self even before they’re able to know what it is. I find no virtue in selflessness on its own. Selflessness is a waste, unless it is paired with something that has meaning: selfless action, selfless love, selfless experience, and even then, it is a dangerous path to step on: most of the selfless people are the prey of manipulators because of the void that remains when the self is shooed away.

Selflessness is not the opposite of selfishness! Generosity is the opposite of selfishness. Selflessness is the opposite of egocentrism, but egocentrism is not a bad thing. Egoism is a bad thing, and the antithetic action to it is altruism.

Egocentrism is a state that helps the human find itself. We are born dumb and with only small traces of archetypal and ancestral cellular memory. We require years and years of attention to “remember” who and what we are, and this is done with a kind of focus on and grooming of the ego. The ego is your unique and particular manifestation, it is the separation.

One should not hope to achieve the communion we’re so desperate about, the communion with humanity, the communion with the universe, the communion with our own awareness if you will, without embracing the principle of separation first! I like the original Vedic story of Brahman who is sleeping and dreaming of itself. The same idea is found in the Yetsirah world of the Kabalistic universes, where the arrow of existence points to itself, a marvelous allusion to how our mind only and only gets itself and nothing else.

Everything we believe, think or perceive is mediated by our previous “selves”, and that is why it is of groundbreaking importance to know thyself. And when you do, you integrate all those layers upon layers of experiences and interpretation into one single ordered and contiguous unique entity which is your best self. You cannot know thyself without being egocentric.

Selflessness is a bad teaching in a world already filled with empty humans.

Loose the FIMO

Fear of missing out is just not worth it.

The cost of missed opportunities in the current shape of the world is not as high as we think it is. Think about it. We live in a highly secular society, most of us free of the fear inflicted by eternal consequences. This being a given you are free to retry. Then the workings of the world, be they damn cold capitalist, are in the end learnable. Its not like it used to be, an ever changing “the king is dead, long live the king” system anymore.

The cost of missed opportunities lies in the value of retry.

The value of a retry is not that high as long as the world stays in its current shape. You can start over after pretty much any number of failures, because food is abundant, comfort levels are at historic records and overall world stability is apparently held in place.

Therefore the stress of missing out on life becomes unjustified. Lets take some examples.

Marriage. If you want to get married and feel the excitement of doing so, do it. You will not be the village weirdo if you decide it was a bad idea, nobody will judge your sins if you divorce and in no scenario other than stupidity will your financial situation be affected. So loose the FIMO and buy that ring.

Entrepreneurship. Do you have an itch that doesn’t let you sit at work? Scratch it and go for the start up dream. Its not like you’ll miss company in the long tail of 98% failure rate in this adventure. But you’ll learn so many things that unless you are a lazy prick, coming back to a job in case of ruin will be easier than you think. So loose the FIMO and incorporate!

Youth. Young age has finally transcended the biological age. There is no social norm anymore that states how you should behave at 30 or at 45. So instead of a mid life crisis why not just be young again? Go bring youth back, you’ll have a much better time than fitting into the lame cliche of the oiled gym guy or the hyper sexual vixen. So loose the FIMO and feel life!

Career. It is never too late and never to early to either stop or start one. A “career” is no longer something good by itself. We took some 80 years to finally conclude that a career without personal growth is not worth more than a fake watch at retirement. On the other hand bohemianism is overrated too and stability has some unbreakable perks. So loose the FIMO and enjoy working again.

Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else’s.

FIMO is stress. Stress is blocking. Blockages stop progress. No progress means death. It is no better time, and it never was a better time, than now to just go the old pop cultural way and just do it (TM).

P.S. If you like the quote go read the gold standard of inspirational articles, by Mary Schmich in Chicago Tribune, 16 years ago. And Medium should allow citing for quotes, justsayin’