When I can face “the bad” with levelheaded objectivity, any craving for “the good” fades away, and I can navigate both with clear attention.  Enjoyment, even.

Ironically, at that point, it’s ALL good.

10 thoughts on “Musings

  1. This “level-headed objectivity” sounds a bit like being dead or in a coma. Personally I like the orientation and structure that the pleasure principle gives to my life. It would be kind of confusing if sex (“the good”) were neither more nor less desirable than hammering a nail through my left testicle (“the bad”).

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    • I’d argue it’s anything but; knowing yourself well enough to clarify your intent takes away the inherent dogma associated with any action. If the nail through the testicle saved a bunch of lives, it would be an unpleasant but necessary action. If the sex happened to result in the abuse of others, then it would be a course to avoid. The “level-headed objectivity” is another phrase for “self-awareness,” which allows one to understand the best course of action, regardless of emotions tied to being a certain identity.

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  2. Being open and objective is the exact opposite of a comatose state. It requires a higher sense of awareness to notice states of mind and not react impulsively to label them as “good” or “bad”. If you could drive a nail through your testicle and observe the subsequent emotional and physical sensations as states of mind, much like any other, one could limit the cascade of negative emotions that accompany such an act.
    Limiting the flood of negative, nonproductive thought, could allow the individual to examine the thinking that brought about the nail/testicle union. This insight could limit a reoccurrence of the the nail through testicle episode in the future.

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    • Right. Being levelheaded and objective allows one to avoid getting caught up in procrastination or the “more more more” mentality. It takes away the social dogma attached to an action, and lets you weigh whether it’s really worth it or not. The more one resides in this state, the more instinctive it becomes, or so I believe.

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  3. Don’t mistake this “level-headed objectivity” for a lack of emotion during “the bad” or a lack of appreciation for joy in “the good”. It’s about getting through the trials of life – both “the good” and “the bad” – in a more harmonious and understanding manner. It’s about applying your intelligence to everything and trying to understand the why and how before letting emotion take control. I would even posit that one can learn from life better in this state.
    I think what DSFB is saying is that you can remain somewhat positive, even in bad situations, if you can stay level-headed. Yes, it appears that some of the highs of “the good” are sacrificed, but the lows of “the bad” are definitely less damaging and easier to deal with. Just remember… even if the high is RELATIVELY less during “the good”, it’s because you weren’t that low to begin with.
    I have achieved this state a few times in my life – once in particular when my father died. Believe me. There was no lack of emotion during that time, but I managed to stay level-headed throughout the process of getting my father buried and dealing with all the family matters that come when a family member dies. I learned a great deal more and was able to handle the process far better than others in my family DURING that time BECAUSE I stayed as objective as possible. The emotion and grieving still came, but in a way that did not prevent me from doing what needed to be done to get through it all. While I take little comfort in it, I am still comforted knowing that I will be able to deal when I lose another family member.

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    • I’m still articulating exactly how to explain it to myself—I guess anecdotally, if I identify heavily with the phenomena in front of me, it seems as if the entire world is with me or against me, and that can certainly be thrilling or devastating. If I don’t identify with it, then I can still enjoy it and be appreciative of the nuance, harmonizing with it because it’s not the end of the world if it goes the wrong way. I think it’s kind of like the difference between appreciating a drink and getting sloppy drunk.

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