You will never find the best – of anything – among any top 10 list.

Any top 10 list you’ll ever see is only a ranking of popularity.
Music is (only) one example.

Good music didn’t go away, but good music isn’t on the billboard charts. The good music in any generation has never been on the top 40. If you want to find good music, avoid commercial radio, and find a college station that does not play music that is on the charts.

The whole idea of social proof is backwards. The whole idea that something is good because it’s popular, and popular because it’s good, and not popular because it’s popular, is an idea that will mislead you, not educate your choices.
Social proof finds you the most mediocre, the lowest common denominator; it finds you the Kraft singles, not the crème de la crème, the haystack not the needle.
Nine times out of 10, the best seller is the best seller because of mere exposure and peer pressure.
The top seller is never the top-of-the-line.
Something that is accessible to everyone, is, necessarily in the same measure, the dullest, most ordinary option; the safest choice. It’s a risk aversion tactic: it pleases everyone and thrills no one.

Normality is not sanity

Conformity, that is “normality” is not sanity.
The popularity of an idea does not prove its truth.
But, unthinking people think “what everyone else thinks” is a compass of truth, wisdom, or sanity.
And, that they think what everyone does, means they understand.
‎When that, the fact that they have internalized other people’s ideas as their own, and they have forgotten their original thoughts, is itself exhibit of their dissociation.
You can’t be authentic, or sane, and be disconnected with yourself.


False “negativity” attribution

When I hear someone’s honest, thoughtful, and perhaps careful appraisal and appreciation of real flaws met with dirision, and approached as “negativity,” perhaps lazily misunderstood as a plea or ploy for pity, I must admit….
I lose respect for the person who would think to do so.


I look at it this way: if mention of real time issues and concerns is portrayed….shall I be crassly vernacular, as “just talking shit,” then the implication is that a negative review is only nothing more than “name-calling.”

A label. Nothing more, nothing less. Essentially meaningless outside the concept of team loyalty. Protocol dictating that I compliment you meaninglessly when I’m with you on your side, and trash you when I’m no longer with you on your side. Nothing I say is to be taken as a real evaluation that I put real time and real energy into. Nope. Just rubber-and-glue. If you can say it, I can say it. Meaningless!

Meaning that any praise from them is truly nothing at all but cheerleading. They’ll “like” what you like and what you say because they’re on your team. It doesn’t mean they even thought about it. At all.

Please. Just stop.


Happiness, its mystery

Happiness is the most distinctive thing, therefore the very easiest to recognise…providing you already know what you’re looking at. Yeah, I know. Happiness is the simplest thing, moreso yet than even love, but one the most counterintuitive to find grasp of. Everyone insists they already know, insulted that you want to tell them. They are not as smart as they think.

Happiness is definitely not some self-deluding inner joy. Joy is more like a slow-release pleasure. Joy is not happiness. It is also not better than. Though happiness is an acquired taste. Less sweet. More satisfying.

Happiness is: being approached by pleasure, and saying “No thanks. I’ve got a date with satisfaction.”


A thread

A string for your finger. To remind us always.
That force is not power, and force without power is only strain. Truth is beauty, not beautiful. And you cannot see truth’s beauty until you can actually see the grace in ugliness. Desire is not ambition. It need not be. For it does not need in order to be. That is a very old error. It is ambition not desire that will blind you to who you really are, with its blinders. To meditate, to be, in a moment, without your thoughts. Is not the ambition for silence. It is not to chase away your thoughts, for that is no different or better than to chase your thoughts, and be chased by them. Peace is not unity. Nor is it muted, subdued and orderly. It is this misunderstanding that leaves most wishing for something they don’t even want, simply because they fail to even understand it. Peace can only be found embracing chaos. Peace comes with true acceptance of otherness, not only mere toleration of diversity. And when you come to a genuine experiential understanding of peace, then you will know that youth is not beauty. No one will need to explain this. And it won’t be something you are telling yourself you are “supposed to think”. You will know in a way…that can’t be explained anyway.


Waterloo of authenticity

A good part of authenticity – at least an essential facet – is owning your affectations, elsewise authenticity itself becomes yet another game, you its unwitting umpire. Own them. Check them – like so many basketballs – then release them and move on. You only lose when you “can’t lose”. Lose and you win.


The milestone of responsibility

The milestone of responsibility is this:
There is never a good reason to do anything except simple prerogative. If your reasons compel you, you have no choice.

I think the reason this needs said is that it is too easy to “be responsible” in such a way that side-steps being responsible. Actually owning your choices, your prerogatives. Easier to do what you must, to believe that “responsibility” and imagined harsh consequences force you to do certain things – being “forced” ironically washing away your choice, your responsibility: I didn’t want to, I “had to” – than to unapologetically just do what you want. Within all of us there is a fear that there are not these imagined consequences, exactly because there is a deep seated fear of freedom.


Don’t shoot the messenger

Some people get more mad at words than at whatever acts those words represent. To really see this (and know that’s what I saw) when it happens is something that gives me pause and makes me tilt my head.

As a device, I try to imagine the same conversation I’ve overheard where they were talking about each other with them both discussing third persons. A pattern becomes only clearer.

They don’t like certain words. Much more than they even care if they are true. Not only do they not only not resent their possible truth, they don’t seem to have invested much enegy worrying about that possibility, really, nor do they plan to….as soon as that word goes away.

How curious. How odd.

Words, are just the messenger. Talk is only thought made aloud. That should always be remembered, that direction, thoughts first, shaped into words (with or by less if possible). Reversing direction is a device employed by those fishing for conversation where there is no thought, or had not been at least concerning those words. That creates awkward and obviously manufactured conversation resembling either early social networking’s “50 questions” style list quizzes or lame interviews from teen magazines of yore. What’s your favorite color! Pass.

Yes, words are just the messenger of thought. Words are not magic. Words are just a device. They cannot create the things they describe. Nor destroy.

Dirty words? Wrong to say, even if they’re true?

“Don’t say that!”

Fine, but me “not saying” something doesn’t suddenly make it not true. Neither is something suddenly “magically” true because you say it.

“Oh yeah! If you can say it I can say it too!”

Acknowledgement cannot create a truth.
Denial of acknowledgement cannot destroy a truth.


Sure, all clichés are born of a truth

The cliché about “living in the present” is no different. A lot of people give that unthinking lip service and just drain the meaning out of the words. Making it only a slogan. A sad fact:

Some people don’t really accept or believe the present moment. Not with an open impartiality. They only “see” the present through a lens/filter of the past. They think this is caution, and makes them less gullible. But, it’s not wisdom, it’s baggage. And it engenders the most ironic gullibility, where that was what they were straining to avoid, the susceptibity to believe in their own cynical paranoias unquestioningly. Eagerly racing headlong into easy conclusion blindly, that this makes something feel “obvious”. Not as it should, a little too pat. You don’t know something you don’t know, no matter how you feel.

Mistaking plausibility for proof is both spurious and specious.

So yes, there really is something to “the moment” but really seeing your moment with your own eyes is different than absently passing off a token phrase.


Shallow looks deep….

Shallow feelings look like deep feelings to those with inner blindness. To those who do not own the introspection to honestly look impartially at the shape of their “feelings”, fearlessly, without a strong desire to avoid unpleasant answers, with an open curiosity.

Very strong feelings are often taken to be very deep feelings, usually by someone uninterested in understanding the difference, especially if this proves a threat to the belief of validity of those feelings.

Also conflated are reactions and feelings.

To them, strong means “real” and strong means “true”.

Intensity takes the place of, replaces, indelibilty.

However, what is deep is indelible.
Quiet. Subtle. Not obvious like the very bright chalk on the sidewalk, which screams its neon drama, but that nonetheless will not wash away with the next rain. It will not wash away, period.

Without understanding perspective, things that are sudden seem of more substance than things that are timeless. Like a large building you’re near seems grander in scale than the moon. But as you traverse, away from that building, you’ll find that that same moon will never seem nearer or further, or larger or smaller. That, is a grand scale. That is truly big.

To a the immature perspective, that which is brimming is thought to be so much more than what seems unchanging from any distance or any angle, that which is actually….deep.

Perhaps it wasn’t “brimming” because there was so much, but because so little would overflow it?

That is the difference between strong feelings….and deep feelings. Strong feelings are obvious. They seem undeniable because of how loud they are. Deep feelings by comparison seem as if they could almost go unnoticed…..until everything else has washed away, and wait, what is this little stone, when did this get there? When it was there the whole time.