Shifting your momentums for me

Health Dharma: the creed of today. Getting over someone by their direction and obeying one’s own conscience may lead in the same direction…. Namely, that of the embodied body.

Acting out one’s heart, soul, etc. is demanded. What are the superficial qualities of the mission? The bearded man of PCH–try and keep that thought in your pants…

“Mirror neurons complicate individualism.” Let future fake-you’s die indefinitely. Do not be clouded by this worry!

Noodles beget noodles: could that be a real Hot Cheeto bummer? Playing the liberal game isn’t always the same as taking my epistemic time. (But–it could be!)

What the shirt dictates: suppress the aesthetic. To be totalitarian versus wise is perhaps no more salient than in the case of accessible pornography. Oh; the unconscious possibilities!

Waving the commitment banner is impossible when our vows seem to have been made in vain…

Solving for the trauma of superheroes

Have you ever wondered about the experience–i.e., the phenomenology–of superheroes like Marvel’s Daredevil (Matt Murdock), or DC’s Batman (Bruce Wayne) and Green Arrow (Oliver Queen)? Each of theirs is a story on how heroes plagued with trauma cope via their personal mission. A “sub-phenomenology” of trauma is possible when repressed traumatic content passes into the subconscious, or sub-awareness.

Once such content passes into the subconscious, it can be treated. But before being treated, the peculiar kind of trauma should be identified. Is it grief caused by loss: as is the case for Matt, Bruce, and Oliver?

It occurred to me while outlining this post that art immersion could serve as relief therapy. Assuming trauma has not been prevented, and once sufficient insight has been gained on its nature, it should be cured. Once cured, we could move toward establishing the right prevention parameters!

No Space High

Who needs an approval boat when we can ride this soul high-train onto tomorrow! Patient urgency is the key for any low-key Buddhist*. Incidentally, we can be tit-for-tat in relationships–but should we? Do we need to be…?

Consumerism begets consumerism. Therefore, don’t buy anything and save! Take a bite outta that regret pie…or, not?

Some situations are extroverted. Let’s drop any logical pretense about it! And while we’re at it, metaphorical self-death does not befit a life-affirming introvert. Let go of your death grip on the steering wheel and see how your (hand) health benefits…

Being an existential boyfriend is less–but seems like more–than anyone ever bargained for. Any guy who’s succumbed to it knows: “There is a feeling to madness.” There is a feeling of being pushed to the limit of my soul…

Do you know it?

Being pulled toward the memes is not what results in automating love into my being. Science is what could do that, apparently.

*Don’t ask me what high-key Buddhists do with their Wednesday afternoons…

Oddworld: A tale of liberation and restoration

I played the original Oddworld: Abe’s Odyssey as a kid with my brother. I have fond memories of it–which is saying a lot, perhaps, given the game’s general grimness. In any event, I was happy that a remake was on the Nintendo Switch’s online store for me to buy!

Oddworld is a story of liberating slaves from their oppressors (viz., Sligs). A big idea is that faith is the Sligs’ enemy, and should be harnessed to the extent possible. To harness his power to the fullest, Abe has to visit ancient lands to acquire wisdom lost to most of his brothers.

I didn’t remember everything just as it happened in the original game. Specifically, I was awed by the Shrykull chant Abe gains after visiting both Paramonia and Scrabvania. The idea here is that animals were once regarded as sacred, but in the wake of pre-industrialization, they became viewed as raw material for tasty food.

This Oddworld story is about gaining animistic–“animystic”, anyone?–power to undo the moral wrongs of Abe’s society. These wrongs include desacralization of both animals (granted though they are monstrous) and individuals, the latter of whom are treated as slaves. I did receive the “bad ending”: I must have been just a few Mudokons short of having the good one, instead; but I still enjoyed revisiting a game with deeper meaning than I initially grasped, with poetry interspersed and potty humor to lighten the overall mood.

Subjective vs. objective belief

I shared a funny Onion article I found on Facebook some months ago. The article describes a fictional boy returning home after receiving his undergraduate philosophy degree. The boy remarks to his father that: “There is no rational justification for belief!” Today, this has gotten me thinking about a more subjective view of belief versus the one I engaged with as an undergrad in philosophy. In the latter, knowledge is equated with justified true belief (in mathematical form–K=JTB).

Certainly, K=JTB is the preferred formula for scientific belief. Empirical science relies on the shared sensory perception of data, and established analytic procedures to run it through. K=JTB seems a useful philosophical companion to this hypothetico-deductive approach to reaching knowledge*.

K=JTB clearly shows that–in order to attain knowledge–belief should be (rationally) justified. But it occurred to me that there are certain kinds of belief of the more subjective kind that cannot be plugged into K=JTB, yet are nonetheless indispensable. I am thinking particularly of religious knowledge, or more appropriately conviction. Intuitive knowing of this kind might seem risky at the outset, yet we are always operating under a certain degree of uncertainty. Conviction is what pushes us through such moments to make a decision and be open to its consequences.

And while experience might not be empirically falsifiable (though it can be dismissed), it may still be shared meaningfully between participants. Such individuals can trust their experience and share interpretations of it with the involved other; these interpretations can meld into a common understanding of what has taken place. Experience seems to demand subjective belief if we are to view the former as inherently meaningful.

*Of course, data science has its own hierarchy of knowledge, where data becomes information which becomes knowledge. Belief’s role is unclear here.

The Wild Area: A place of freedom and encounter?

As I type this, I sit atop a nearby Starbucks patio. Overlooking the streets and ocean, I am reminded of the freedom we had (in California) pre-pandemic. Things feel freer than they have in a very long time!

There are a handful of folks around me. Though we all sit in our respective islands, there seems to be a frank happiness. Our masks are off and we all enjoy sitting under the same sun.

This is by no means a Wild Area of the kind seen in the latest main series games, Pokémon Sword and Shield. And it certainly isn’t a frozen tundra the likes of which made up the landscape of their second DLC, Crown Tundra. There certainly is no snow falling for me on this calm, bright, and sunny day.

But I feel here a sense of wonder and openness as the Crown Tundra’s outdoor theme plays in my mind…the world feels magical, yet settled. There is a freedom here that a simple, consumerist cup of cappuccino has enabled! A vaguely familiar face to my left completes the picture of a gradual return to normalcy–albeit, a mindful one.

Life phrasin’

Estarto

“Necessary feelings, only.” I’m feeling the white-hot feeling of self-respect! We are all convenient conflators across a rich range of emotionality. Love torn in two is not a whole love (a hole has been shorn into it…). Chanda was impregnated into the womb of my mind by Mama~

He who is triggered–in the soft, weak, emotional sense (really, the only kind)–loses. Minimum perturbations can shatter him. Frustration, itself, is the dark side of passion.

Yet–we are embodied souls! Love makes all of our best-argued arguments invalid (hear that, Soundness?). Roll your love up into an everlasting burrito of Love–for Chanda! A real rajma burrito for din…

Breaking through the hubristic debris, I back down away from certain situations. These include lonely, social app down scrolls during the wee hours of night. Screens are unconscious, symbolic imprints engendered via the “pure” semiotic encounter. (They don’t mean anything; not inherently!)

Curse–nay, bless–my moderate psychological sensibilities!

She was just an emissary of the eternal feminine. I have been doing my relative best! With the yearning for adventure on my heart–Zoom panoplies; “texy tecthics” (whatever they may be, sexy text-tonics…?). 

Chromebook questions on that latter one, anyone? I am but a simple tutor, my liege! Ask away, m’ boi…

Psychological permissibility does not extend to the phenomenon of stress-gaming. What an odd-handed endeavor…that’s the soul? (No.) No need to bypass an adventure: not when my soul is so lit up with Spirit!

What to do with a COVID-locked trail of COVID following a probable non-offender? Let him go. Let him–as you would anyone a true, blue, hue-woe-manist would. 

Finito

Self-actualizing well-being

Self-actualization for Maslow consisted of 12-13 characteristics. These were:

  1. Superior perception of reality
  2. Increased acceptance of self, of others and of nature
  3. Increased spontaneity
  4. Increase in problem-centering
  5. Increased detachment and desire for privacy
  6. Increased autonomy, and resistance to enculturation
  7. Greater freshness of appreciation, and richness of emotional reaction
  8. Higher frequency of peak experiences
  9. Increased identification with the human species
  10. Changed (improved) interpersonal relations
  11. More democratic character structure
  12. Greatly increased creativeness
  13. Certain changes in the value system

PERMA well-being defined by Martin Seligman, Ph.D. consists of positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning, and achievement.

When we put the above two models together, we can learn to be well as we actualize. In an individualistic democracy, we can live spontaneously, taking solace in our independence and objectivity. We can focus on building meaningful and intimate relations with others (item #10) whom we accept as we do ourselves. We can achieve superior understandings of reality and solve important problems. We can reach the highest levels of rich, positive emotion (appreciation being one such state of being) through the elusive and mystical peak experience. We can engage in our own evolution as our values–and hence, our characters–change. And we can find meaning in creative endeavors that set our spirits free, igniting our souls with passion that leads us to our ultimate purpose.

Pokémon and prediction

In Season 3, Episode 24 of Pokémon the Series: Gold and Silver (“Wired for Battle!”), a top dojo student and Pokémon trainer battles protagonist Ash and loses. What the episode seems to impart is that experience tells the “real story” in a way that data analysis can’t. Ash’s competitor in this episode relies heavily on his database and predictive model for battling; Ash relies on his gut.

SPOILER:

Does Ash’s foe lose because his instincts are too poor? Is his machine learning lacking? Proper inference relies on the quality of both data and calculation using it. Perhaps the dojo fighter’s ML instincts (specifically, his “process”) need work!*

*I recognize this is not the central point of the episode: but, it still got into a data science mood… 🙂 As a former Pokémon simulator battler and user of many screens, this episode tugged me especially.

Hate in The Flash

In DC’s recent TV show The Flash, protagonist (and hero in disguise) Barry Allen struggles with feelings of hatred toward his main enemy. Eobard Thawne–A.K.A., the Reverse Flash–murders Barry’s mother, Nora, while Allen is just a kid. His father is wrongly accused for the crime, and is sent to prison for nearly the rest of his life.

Barry’s future daughter, also named Nora, wonders if her dad hates Thawne. However understandable The Flash’s feelings are toward his nemesis, though, he never acts on his hatred. This is in part what makes Barry (played by Grant Gustin) a hero: learning to regulate himself, despite his negative emotions.

Unbridled, enacted neuroticism could be anyone’s downfall; or even their kryptonite?! As my favorite book character, Bobby Pendragon once said: “It’s okay to think like a weenie, as long as you don’t act like one”…