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.
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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.

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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.

Why?

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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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