“As human beings we are deeply insecure and we do not know who we truly are. Of course this problem does not show on the surface of our lives. We are always telling ourselves who we are, based on this notion that we are separate from everything else. This sense that “I am separate” is the ground of our sense of self. It is reinforced by various false identities that we cling to, notions that “I am this” or “I am that.” Whatever beliefs we have about ourselves are just another extension. Most of the time when we look around, we immediately see that our surroundings are validating these false identities. For this very reason, it is a challenging endeavor to deconstruct this illusion of self. Every time we look into our mirror we might have some thought about ourselves. Each of these thoughts adds up. They become the conceptual bricks we use to keep building this illusory castle of self. Yet, there is a suspicion that this notion of self might be very fragile and transient, and this thought is silently lurking somewhere in our consciousness. Most of the time this suspicion is not brought into the light of awareness, but if it is, some deep, inner wisdom will arise without choice. Our suspicion of the fragility of this false notion of self can go in one of two directions. In general it becomes a source of fear, anxiety, and insecurity. We often see people who are fearful and overly defensive when it comes to their own identity. We ourselves tend to become fearful if our identity is threatened. But at other times the suspicion can go another way. When that happens, it can be a life-changing revelation that can lead us to the realization of the highest level of truth. This idea is not some new, lofty theory. It is timeless wisdom that has been realized by many people in human history. Buddha taught this wisdom, and in his tradition it is called anatman, or “no self.” Anatman, or “no self,” is the term used to mean that one has seen through this false sense of self. One has seen that this false sense of self is merely an identification with one’s roles in life. It is just a mask, not the truth.”
“There are no gods in the universe, no nations, no money, no human rights, no laws, and no justice outside the common imagination of human beings.”
Ever since the Cognitive Revolution, Sapiens have thus been living in a dual reality. On the one hand, the objective reality of rivers, trees and lions; and on the other hand, the imagined reality of gods, nations and corporations. As time went by, the imagined reality became ever more powerful, so that today the very survival of rivers, trees and lions depends on the grace of imagined entities such as the United States and Google.
-“Sapiens”, Yuval Noah Harari
It is strange to consider that I spend eight hours a day producing essentially epheramera that exists only on a screen, that is sometimes not even used (I caption phone calls, some people obviousy don’t use them or seem to have a great need for them), and somehow through a complicated system of what are essentially lies, I get rewarded with paper that isn’t backed by anything, and can cook up some chicken in my own small but much cherished living space.
I believe the wonderful desertcurmudgen recommended this book to me a long time ago, and this book is an important and strangely uplifting account of the history of humanity.
So much in our world just is not based in objective reality, and our species has spent most of its time destroying itself over literal nonsense. Sounds like a rough ride, but this book flits around happily from our origins, to our belief systems.
Is anyone interested in Ted Morgan’s biography of William S. Burroughs? “Literary Outlaw: The Life and Times of William S. Burroughs”.
Pick a number between 0-333, closest one gets it. Will mail out around the 15. It is attractive, and also large enough to be informative to most, and if that fails, it is definitely weaponizable.
Bought the physical copy of the book, turns out I’ve had the ebook since the beginning of the year….sigh…
The bookstore in the mall across from where I work is tiny, but amazing. HP Lovecraft, R. Crumb, William S. Burroughs, books on spirituality …clearly whoever buys books for this place is a soulmate of mine in some capacity.
Is anyone doing the book challenge on GoodReads? Turns out your books don’t count for the challenge unless you have the date you finished reading them set. I’m actually at 65 books, which is nice to know, and a lot better than trying to get through ten in a panic.
Otherwise, I am now the proud owner of a Chromebook and a internet connection.
It was a wise old queen—Bobo, we called her—who taught me that I had a duty to live and to bear my burden proudly for all to see, to conquer prejudice and ignorance and hate with knowledge and sincerity and love. Whenever you are threatened by a hostile presence, you emit a thick cloud of love like an octopus squirts out ink . . .
-William S. Burroughs
“If I had my way we’d sleep every night all wrapped around each other like hibernating rattlesnakes.”
-“Queer”, William S. Burroughs
This is a quick read on boundaries and learning to spiritually protect yourself from outside influences and the energy of other people. It’s been a good read, and taught me a few forms of meditation including shield body meditaiton and chakra meditation. If you tend to overburden yourself with others, this is definitely worth the three bucks to get a greater sense of peace of mind.
You can discover new talents and interests at any age. People who stay open to their inner inclinations and remain true to themselves commonly discover more about themselves throughout their life.
-“Controlling People: How to Recognize, Understand, and Deal With People Who Try to Control You” by Patricia Evans