Only part of us is sane: only part of us loves pleasure and the longer day of happiness, wants to live to our nineties and die in peace, in a house that we built that shall shelter those who come after us. The other half of us is nearly mad. It prefers the disagreeable to the agreeable, loves pain and its darker night despair, and wants to die in a catastrophe that will set back life to its beginnings and leave nothing of our house save its blackened foundations.

Whatever moral rules you have deliberately proposed to yourself, abide by them as they were laws, and as if you would be guilty of impiety by violating any of them. Don’t regard what anyone says of you, for this, after all, is no concern of yours. How long, then, will you put off thinking yourself worthy of the highest improvements and follow the distinctions of reason? You have received the philosophical theorems, with which you ought to be familiar, and you have been familiar with them. What other master, then, do you wait for, to throw upon that the delay of reforming yourself?

Epictetus in The Enchiridion. Cf. Mike Tyson.

I was on the streets for more than half of my life from the time I was thirteen years old. People sometimes say that now I’m so far away from that life–now that I’ve got businesses and Grammys and magazine covers–that I have no right to rap about it. But how distant is the story of your own life ever going to be?

Self-Direction « RyanHoliday.net

Think about how easy it has to have one more—to go beyond what you allowed yourself and have one more piece, one more glass, one more handful. And yet, think about how much harder it is to do one more—one more lap, one more page, one more hour, one more rep than you intended. There’s always rationalization on hand for the one and an convenient excuse ready for the other.

This is timely.

Self-Direction « RyanHoliday.net

People just wait for you to grow up and do the right thing. They’re just waiting for you to participate in the improvement of your life as a human being. When are you going to do it?

Mike Tyson. (via) And also: “I’ve learned to live a boring life and love it.” (via)

Black Swan And Bathrooms – Mirror: Motion Picture Commentary

Interesting essay on self and Black Swan. (via)

Solitude welcomes a self or selves that does not, cannot, appear when in the company of others. Private selves refuse to manifest in public because other personas are at the front lines. Like mother Elephants circling their calves, our public selves form ranks. Each is a layer of armor, tweaking our interactions in the unconscious name of self defense.

Black Swan And Bathrooms – Mirror: Motion Picture Commentary

Black Swan And Bathrooms – Mirror: Motion Picture Commentary

Interesting essay on self and Black Swan. (via)

Solitude welcomes a self or selves that does not, cannot, appear when in the company of others. Private selves refuse to manifest in public because other personas are at the front lines. Like mother Elephants circling their calves, our public selves form ranks. Each is a layer of armor, tweaking our interactions in the unconscious name of self defense.

Black Swan And Bathrooms – Mirror: Motion Picture Commentary

Forer effect – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

And now I know the name for this. (via)

The Forer effect (also called the Barnum Effect after P.T. Barnum’s observation that “we’ve got something for everyone”) is the observation that individuals will give high accuracy ratings to descriptions of their personality that supposedly are tailored specifically for them, but are in fact vague and general enough to apply to a wide range of people. This effect can provide a partial explanation for the widespread acceptance of some beliefs and practices, such as astrology, fortune telling, and some types of personality tests.

Forer effect – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


http://mlarson.tumblr.com/post/1116156258/audio_player_iframe/mlarson/tumblr_l8p5ngdnPt1qzcye0?audio_file=http%3A%2F%2Ftraffic.libsyn.com%2Fphilosophybites%2FCynthia_Freeland_on_Portraits.mp3

Philosophy Bites: Cynthia Freeland on Portraits. This is a really great episode. Art history, portraiture, photography, self-representation, etc. One of the topics that came up was Roland Barthes’ book Camera Lucida, a short volume on photography written after his mother’s death. (See also his journal excerpts from the same time period.) Given the choice, Freeland would like David Hockney to do her own portrait.

The Wrong Stuff : Those Three Little Words (“Honey, You’re Right”): Harville Hendrix on Being Wrong

Anger is an attempt to coerce a person into surrendering their reality, so that there’s only one reality in the relationship instead of two. And when the anger triggered by the anxiety doesn’t work, people experience depression. Depression is the experience of the loss of power: “I can’t make my world happen.”

Once they go into depression, couples—if they stay together—will then enter a bargaining stage. The bargaining goes like this: “Well, OK, I’m different and you’re different, so let’s make a deal about whose reality is going to be in the forefront.”

The Wrong Stuff : Those Three Little Words (“Honey, You’re Right”): Harville Hendrix on Being Wrong

Interview with Joyce Carol Oates | Arch Literary Journal

Who knew Joyce Carol Oates was a runner? On how running and dreaming are alike:

I think that when we’re stationary, we have a somewhat thickened sense of the ego or the “I,” and we’re just sort of self-conscious and aware of ourselves. But when we’re in motion, or when we’re in a dream, the “I” entity starts to dissolve. Some people, including myself, and possibly you, are capable of having dreams in which your own personality is really almost dissolved. You know, way, way down in the depths of the ocean there are creatures that are transparent. They’re like jellyfish, a lot of very transparent creatures. And I was thinking it’s almost analogous to the human experience of sleep, where when you’re really, really deep into sleep, your own physical self is often not even there. It’s like you’re transparent. And, it may be a process that we just will never understand, descending somehow deep into the primitive brain – like the brain almost at the brain stem – and away from the consciousness. And, somehow running replicates that, I think. I would think that if you were running very fast, if you were in an instinctive situation where you were terrified – say you were being pursued, and your life was in danger – you would be flooded with adrenaline. I would think probably the “I” or ego was almost gone, that you’re just running like a physical entity, the way a soldier might just start [running], or a boxer, or someone like that. But when you’re writing, there’s … as I say, we have this more thickened or more solid sense of the self, because it’s usually in some stationary situation with social definitions.

Interview with Joyce Carol Oates | Arch Literary Journal