writing

Wanting to Believe

It occurred to me recently, when seeing someone talk about how much they want to believe in a benevolent creator, that maybe most people have that desire. That desire to believe some creator set things in motion, and that it all has a purpose. But there’s this question that pops up in my head, completely sincere: Why?

I don’t understand it. Never will.

Even if there was a god, it wouldn’t be one to believe in.

If ever there was an exercise in futitlity…..

Advertisements

My Old Lectures

Sometimes, I’d like to disown some of the lectures I’ve written. Like when someone references it in a discussion. Or when I happen to be revisting some of my own, and see one that’s gotten worse with age. Fortunately the ones this usually applies to, with how far back they were written and the age I was, that’s not to much of a real issue… It’s not that I ever really want to pretend it was someone else that wrote them, it’s that I’ve come far enough in my understanding and actual practice that I pretty much just look down my nose at those past writings. None of them are that bad either, to be honest; especially not for what they were at the time.

Some of them, I even have enough fondness for to rewrite. I did that with The Necessity of Power. It’s just that I’ve come so far since writing things like Power, Arrogance, & Corruption and The First Line: The Lie, I hardly know where to begin when I think about revisions. They seem so alien to me, and clumsy as hell. The message wasn’t conveyed clearly enough, the tone wasn’t as confident or definitive. When it comes to catologuing though… whether they fall under the category of what I’m talking about here or not, it would be nice to have some of the dates for when I wrote them. A select few… their age really ought to show as much as possible, because they’re just so far off from what I might say now.

That is, if they’re included, because in the end maybe they just don’t deserve to be archived or preserved. Case in point being with something like Power, Arrogance, & Corruption. You could probably find it somewhere anyways, with enough research. But as far as making an effort to keep it “logged”, so to speak, it just isn’t good enough to include. I kind of revisited the same things I wrote about recently in Arrogance & Modesty, and while that’s far from what I’d consider an adequate ‘replacement lecture’, it still gets across a more up to date understanding of arrogance than what I had back when I wrote my first contribution to the written lectures of the Sith.

The Star Wars Canon

I’ve come across a link to an article (Lucasfilm Have Convened A Star Wars Story Group And They’re Working On Defining A Single, Coherent Canon) basically explaining just what the mouthful of a title implies: an effort to synthesize the “core” mythos of the six movies and the expanded universe. It’s for continuity, for a ‘coherent canon’. But I guess what I’m failing to understand is… what, exactly, makes it so incoherent right now?

As far as I know most of the expanded universe lines up pretty damn well with the films; what doesn’t, well, doesn’t even line up with the rest of the expanded universe and is already deemed “non-canon”.

Back when there was talk of abandoning the expanded universe when putting together the story for the new Disney created movies set to come out, I didn’t get it. You’ve got a whole galactic history spanning thousands and thousands of years, and pretty much all of it ties in together neatly. Who in their right mind would disregard that?

The talk about reworking the hierarchy system of Lucas’s “core” works as he primary, and the “expanded universe” as the secondary, seems somewhat reassuring. It still leaves me wondering though, what exactly does the work of this “story group” consist of? The currently designated “canon” is, as far as I can tell, almost entirely coherent already.

Take a look at wookiepedia sometime: there’s an existing distinction between non-canon that doesn’t match up with everything else, and canon that does. They’ve done a pretty good job of that over the years. I guess what I’m saying is, they don’t exactly have a lot of work cut out for them, because it’s already been done gradually and (imo) pretty effectively over the years. A quote from the article…

“Anyway, it’s clear that Lucasfilm and Disney want to tie all new Star Wars anythings into the same continuity, and I can’t say I blame them.” ~Brendon Connelly

Well hell man, neither can I.

It just kind of puzzles me that they could think there’s all that much to do in the way of tieing things together for continuity. Unless there’s a lot I’m just totally unaware of; which, I suppose, is a (remote) possibility. After all, all except for one of the book stores in my town are gone, and I almost don’t count that one because it’s mainly a used book store.

They’ve only recently branched out into carrying new books, and acting as a middle-man for people that want to order one through a store instead of through a computer. It’s still slowed me down a bit though, in staying up to date on every detail of the newer developments. So who knows, maybe the canon designations for all the difference stories need re-examined with a magnifying glass… I just kind of doubt it.

Whatever happens though, I’m looking forward to the new movies. Hopefully they have enough sense to build on – or at least refrain from contradicting – the expanded universe. If they can do that, then they won’t have to worry about killing my interest in the new movies they’re planning to put out.

Helper Monkeys…?

Yep, helper monkeys.
The wordress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,800 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 7 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

It’s not something I was sure about posting here, but then I figured… fuck it, why not. Maybe someone will find it to be of interest. If it’s not, you can always skip over this post. I’ll probably put out one more “end of the year” post after this, maybe list a few ‘notable’ posts from 2013. Then, if you’re like me and only mildly interested (or not interested at all) in posts like these, it’ll be over. I might post something about the reader’s choice thing at OotS, which (sort of) has to do with “looking back” at 2013, in a sense, but it’s a little different, and as it’s almost midnight right now it probably won’t be posted before the new year begins.

Blog Updates

A few new pages here have been up for awhile. They’re still kind of works in progress, but the indexing has come together rather nicely. I organized it by year, so the list isn’t ridiculously long per each section. Each sub-page is titled for the year of its listed posts (e.g. 2011, 2012, etc.), with it’s parent page being Lest We Forget.

The lectures I’ve written (and favor enough to have posted here and, in some cases, touched up), are listed, as is some of the poetry… however, the whole Vanitas section is still a work in progress. (By the way: “vanitas” is latin; feel free to look it up if it’s of any interest).

I’ve also been posting aphorisms. Started doing that on twitter, actually, but with the “aside” feature for posts I had been mostly using for quotes, I decided to post them here to, in a similar way. Who knew twitter would actually have any uses beyond the obvious ones.

I’d have included some of the quotes from others, but, well, it didn’t quite click with the way I wanted to use them for this site, so I’ve been using some of my own cute, concise one liners. That might change, but we’ll just have to see.

Sojourn

It is a constant struggle for me to cast aside dead skin, or burn it away, to keep from being smothered by it. It seems as if I am always in danger of asphyxiating on the ashes I can’t help but inhale, or suffocating as I make my way out of the husk of old growth that’s wrapped around me. More often the latter, actually, because it takes an intense flame to burn it away and I don’t seem to always have that. And so I wrap myself in dead skin, like a cocoon that’s warm enough, comfortable enough… and miserable enough, but that I’m compelled to break out of.

Even in creating a journal I’ve struggled in trying to reconcile it with the ones I’ve kept in the past; the intentions behind them, the value they’ve had, how I might find inspiration from the way I went about writing in them. Again and again I kept getting stuck on the possibilities, and worrying about a new journal I’ll just lose interest in writing in if I don’t figure out how I want to go about it, and what intention the tone should be set with. But I’ve finally decided to just say fuck it. See, I know better. The idea, as ever, is to choose, and act. Far more effective an approach than over-thinking and getting all indecisive about it.

I’ve returned many times to the question of what a journal is, what purpose it serves, and I have plenty of answers. To many. This is one of those times I’ve had to collapse the overwhelming amount of possibilities to bring the important things into focus, because a journal can be used in countless ways. Reflectively, contemplating memories and lessons of the past. Actively, tracking progress in the present and leaving a trail that can be looked back on later. It can be abstract, intellectual, centered around ideology, concepts, and explorations of one paradigm or another. Or it can be visceral, emotive, filled with emotional texture and tied inseparably to the context of the present moment of each and every entry.

As a notebook too, a collection of quotations, rough notes, fragments of thought, preserved bits of text from external sources, and personal studies of people, methods, experiences, or anything else deemed noteworthy enough to put into a book of notes. And it can be a place to preserve certain lessons, exercises, assertions, and any other material one might wish to be showcased in the manner of a journal, a sort of disorganized compendium to store less refined materials and unpolished writings. There’s really no shortage of possibilities.

So to choose and act, I am incidentally brought back to the sweet scent of ashes I all to often get seduced by, only to choke on. As unintentional as that circle jerk was though, I don’t think arriving back at some of my own self made, fiery dust is going to have the usual effect. It was made from something William Blake said about desire only being restrained if it is weak enough to be restrained. That, and a poem I wrote a few years ago. Neither being likely to trip me up because I arrived at them quite by accident. See, it might be a struggle, but that’s how I operate, and I just keep on ticking. This is what brought Blake’s words to mind…

When there is a want, there is a way.
Whether it’s found depends entirely on how bad you want to find it.
I wanted a journal that felt right, and now I have it: Sojourn.
Which, like this blog itself…

is whatever I want it to be.
A managerie of poetry.

Filthy love or clean hate.
Parts of the self I won‘t sedate.

And other things from inside of me.
Begging and tearing to be free.

Unplugged…?

Sometimes, we all need a break from these little glowing boxes. How do you know when it’s time to unplug? What do you do to make it happen?

Daily Prompt: Unplugged, October 8th, 2013

I guess I kind of play it by ear. When I get tired of all the different parts of the online world, when I feel overwhelmed by all the different things I might do, or all the things I probably ought to be doing, or even when I can’t make myself feel interested in any of it, I just take a break. The “how” of it is pretty simple: I just don’t bother going online, or don’t sign on as frequently as I usually do, and don’t go to more than one or two different platforms. Basically, I don’t bother if I’m not feelings moved to it. I suppose that’s really the long and short of it… at least, in terms of how I currently approach “unplugging” (though I have to say, I don’t usually think of it that way, it’s not normally that deliberate).

A Reflection

Think of your blog as a mirror: what does it reveal? Consider your blog name, theme choice, design, bio, posts… what does every element tell you about yourself?
Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall Aug. 14th

The title is Latin for Evil Love. It might be taken as a nod to the dissonant forces within myself, to the nature of polarities and how they coexist and compliment each other (e.g. passion and reason). Assuming, of course, that there’s an awareness of them and that the individual can be decisive. That there’s conflicting forces within (and without) that can be coupled together to great effect, directed, doesn’t mean choice gets taken out of the equation. If you’ve got mixed feelings on whether you want to buy a composition book or a leather-bound journal, if you don’t pick one you’re probably not going to get either… or you’re going to settle for something you’re not sure you want. Being indecisive isn’t ideal.

The theme was chosen because it appealed to my aesthetic tastes, it’s clean, simple…. I might even say elegant. Plus, the black and white is another allusion to polarities. The home page was a big selling point. It displays the latest post, so whatever was last posted (especially in a splurge of three or four posts at once) was posted last on purpose. So it’s be the one on display. Most of the time. And the widgets are set out in what I feel to be a simple manner, in line with the reason I picked it. The number of posts displayed on the home page is usually determined by how everything else looks with the size of the posts listed, and (more so) by what I know of numerology and the meanings associated with certain numbers – when I was the Head of the Dark Aspect at the Force Academy, there were seven of the most recent posts on display there; now, it’s set to nine.

On the home page are also included widgets for my twitter account, the Facebook page for the Order of the Sith, and links to my home sites. The last of which is due to be changed again, I think. There is still a link to The Sith Resource, and that might be removed since everything I was interested in exploring with that has been redirected to the Order. And though I still check in to see if there’s anything of interest, the Force Academy is hardly at the forefront of my mind. I’m really quite over the place, to put it in clearer terms. So it might stay there, but it might not. The twitter feed isn’t going anywhere though; I fucking love that platform. The last tweet I make on any given day, or the last of a bunch of them, is usually tweeted with the fact that it’ll show up on the home page in mind, as with the latest post.

Throughout all of this, my way of life (as a Sith) is impossible to avoid running into, in one way or another. I suppose one thing that’s obvious is my fondness for simplicity, and in presenting things with that in mind, and that I enjoy things having a meaning, even if it’s often hidden. I mean really, who the hell out of the people that read this would have guessed my choice in the number of recent posts displayed is almost always tied into the interest I take in numerology. Beyond that… what all of this says about me, I leave for the reader to decide. I could do what’s suggested in the prompt, tell you what I see in this ‘reflection’, but where’s the fun in that.

I’ll Eat Your Heart

Cartoony Heart

We all want something.
Or lots of somethings.
You do, and so do I.

We’ve all got hearts.
You can follow yours,
And I’ll follow mine.

But if you take what I Want,
I’ll eat your heart,
If only to please mine.

daenarys-eating-heart-600-thumb-560x300

Due Consideration

(Free-write on the idea of seeking agreement and how disagreement is taken?…)

You know… I don’t always want people to agree with me. Aside from the fact that I can’t be ‘right’ about everything, %100 percent of the time, personal preference comes into the equation. So does experience, but I don’t really factor that in as much when I’m dealing with people, because more often than not it still goes back to preference. But when there is disagreement, most of the time… I try to give some consideration to viewpoints that contrast with mine, and hope that the same respect is afforded in return.

With people I genuinely feel to be either stupid or stubborn, I sometimes get angry and do what I can to affect them, to make them consider my perspective, but there are times I’ve felt that someone was being dismissive, or wasn’t grasping my point(s), when in fact they completely understood. They just disagreed. Very rarely do I feel this way, at least with the former, but every now and then I do.

It helps to know the difference, to learn to spot it, and to ask questions to find out if need be, for the sake of effective communication. If nothing else, I think it’s important that people don’t feel like they’re wasting their time with each other – I know that when it comes to my own choice as to whether to bother, I don’t like wasting my time and elect not to where and when I think it’s going to happen.

But I’ve also been returning to an earlier disposition I once had, because the fact is, no interaction is a waste of time unless I make it so. Worst case scenario, an exchange or conversation goes nowhere, but there would still be the option to learn something. The fact is, whoever you deal with, whatever you do, you’re the only one that can choose to make anything a waste of your time.