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Thread: Mindfulness (/as capitalist nonsense)

  1. #31
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    Tolstoy was a great list keeper

    He made lists of things he'd do to improve himself and then systematically fail to follow it

    It made me happy when I read this

  2. #32
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    As an aside, here's a list Tolstoy done of books he found either Enormous/very great or greatly influential on him...

    WORKS WHICH MADE AN IMPRESSION

    Childhood to the age of 14 or so

    The story of Joseph from the Bible - Enormous

    Tales from The Thousand and One Nights: the 40 Thieves, Prince Qam-al-Zaman - Great

    The Little Black Hen by Pogorelsky - V. great

    Russian byliny: Dobrynya Nikitich, Ilya Muromets, Alyosha Popovich. Folk Tales - Enormous

    Puskin’s poems: Napoleon - Great

    Age 14 to 20

    Matthew’s Gospel: Sermon on the Mount - Enormous

    Sterne’s Sentimental Journey - V. great

    Rousseau Confessions - Enormous

    Emile - Enormous

    Nouvelle Héloise - V. great

    Pushkin’s Yevgeny Onegin - V. great

    Schiller’s Die Räuber - V. great

    Gogol’s Overcoat, The Two Ivans, Nevsky Prospect - Great

    "Viy" [a story by Gogol] - Enormous

    Dead Souls - V. great

    Turgenev’s A Sportsman’s Sketches - V. great

    Druzhinin’s Polinka Sachs - V. great

    Grigorovich’s The Hapless Anton - V. great

    Dickens’ David Copperfield - Enormous

    Lermontov’s A Hero for our Time, Taman - V. great

    Prescott’s Conquest of Mexico - Great

    Age 20 to 35

    Goethe. Hermann and Dorothea - V. great

    Victor Hugo. Notre Dame de Paris - V. great

    Tyutchev’s poems - Great

    Koltsov’s poems - Great

    The Odyssey and The Iliad (read in Russian) - Great

    Fet’s poems - Great

    Plato’s Phaedo and Symposium (in Cousin’s translation) - Great

    Age 35 to 50

    The Odyssey and The Iliad (in Greek) - V. great

    The byliny - V. great

    Victor Hugo. Les Misérables - Enormous

    Xenophon’s Anabasis - V. great

    Mrs. [Henry] Wood. Novels - Great

    George Eliot. Novels - Great

    Trollope, Novels - Great

    Age 50 to 63

    All the Gospels in Greek - Enormous

    Book of Genesis (in Hebrew) - V. great

    Henry George. Progress and Poverty - V. great

    [Theodore] Parker. Discourse on religious subject - Great

    [Frederick William] Robertson’s sermons - Great

    Feuerbach (I forget the title; work on Christianity) [“The Essence of Christianity”] - Great

    Pascal’s Pensées - Enormous

    Epictetus - Enormous

    Confucius and Mencius - V. great

    On the Buddha. Well-known Frenchman (I forget) [“Lalita Vistara”] - Enormous

    Lao-Tzu. Julien [S. Julien, French translator] - Enormous

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  4. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corpsey View Post
    That post

    I can't concentrate on it too much because it makes me feel queasy and weary
    the job interview thread does this for me

  5. #34
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    mindfulness/meditation can be very easily coopted by rightwing thinking cos it is all about taking responsibility for your own reactions. your suffering is the result of your reaction to pain and pleasure and not the thing ostensibly causing the pain.

    the thing is this is valid and true in theory but in the real world there are often greater barriers to a satisfying existence than your own responses to things, societal systems stop many from being able to get to the base level where this is useful and you might argue that the meditative contentment stops you from doing anything about it. I dont think thats true though because meditation is kind of the opposite of feeling numb and indifferent, instead fully embracing the bad and the good but not allowing your aversion or desire for either to cause misery.

    I spent 10 days doing a goenka vipassana course last year and it was quite an incredible experience. its hard to seperate the effects of isolation, lack of stimuli of any kind, intermitted fasting, healthy eating and hours of practising a meditation technique every day but i have no doubt that its one very effective way to free yourself of unhelpful feedback loops and stubborn mental knots that we inevitably form throughout life. the hard part is keeping it up day to day

  6. #35
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    I'm in favour of meditation or anything that lifts depression.

    Depression can be (and probably usually is) a valid response to personal and societal problems but it's also massively inhibiting of action. It's not pointless, but it's not helpful either.

  7. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by poetix View Post
    . But I reject to my core the notion that it will fix me
    This is implicit to most meditative traditions though, right? Most meditative traditions that are grounded in some kind of spirituality would tell you the idea of fixing yourself is an illusion, in large part 'cos meditation exposes the idea that "the self" is an illusion and how can you fix something that doesn't exist? Choygam Trungpa called the notion of the fix "spiritual materialism" - which lots of Western rips off of mindfulness are of course. This is the paradox at the heart of any programme of self improvement that involves self-acceptance.

    Pretty sure there's a flash counselling term for the paradox of self-acceptance but I can't remember what it is right now.

    I used to really enjoy meditating when I did it. My brain would get quieter, I'd liken it to getting into a warm bath of peace and quiet. Took a few months to get there.

  8. #37
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    Agreed that it can all these insights can be ripped off by capitalism. Pretty sure that the reason they are being so keenly appropriated is precisely because we live in such a overstimulated, distracted world. There's a dialetical relationship between McMmindfulness and the rise of the smartphone. Problem/solution. Carrot/stick. That old trick again.

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  10. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannyL View Post
    Agreed that it can all these insights can be ripped off by capitalism. Pretty sure that the reason they are being so keenly appropriated is precisely because we live in such a overstimulated, distracted world. There's a dialetical relationship between McMmindfulness and the rise of the smartphone. Problem/solution. Carrot/stick. That old trick again.
    Same thing with mattresses, I've noticed.

    It's actually quite interesting looking at adverts on the tube, they're a sort of subconscious diagnosis.

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  12. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corpsey View Post
    One reason art is important is that otherwise we let the maths nerds run the show

    Mark Zuckerberg vs William Blake
    you say that but algorithmically generated UKG is cool, even Atch! thought it was an unreleased wideboys liveset...

    https://soundcloud.com/resonance-ext...-29th-may-2019
    Quote Originally Posted by vimothy View Post
    I respect islamists

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    Quote Originally Posted by DannyL View Post
    Agreed that it can all these insights can be ripped off by capitalism. Pretty sure that the reason they are being so keenly appropriated is precisely because we live in such a overstimulated, distracted world. There's a dialetical relationship between McMmindfulness and the rise of the smartphone. Problem/solution. Carrot/stick. That old trick again.
    also capitalisms political conservatism breaking down - but by no means its counter-revolutionary terror...
    Quote Originally Posted by vimothy View Post
    I respect islamists

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  15. #41

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    Age 50 to 63

    All the Gospels in Greek - Enormous

    Book of Genesis (in Hebrew) - V. great
    Legend.

  16. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by luka View Post
    The most neurotic person I've ever met spent all night every night drawing up incredibly detailed timetables for the day ahead. No hour not accounted for. I've always said I'll never write a to do list but last year I did start writing things on the calendar. 7th of July- job in woolwich. That sort of thing. I've fallen out of the habit this year and it's really fucking me up.

    I've just done the dishes btw. Other big tasks are filing away the papers that are strewn all over the floor and all available surfaces and taking some bedding to the laundrette.nif I can complete these tasks I will be in a better position than I've been in for several months. Things have really got ahead of me recently and I've suffered for it.
    Boundaries are the most useful thing ever. I see the timetable as another form of that. Even if you don't do half of what's on the list, it provides a container. Obviously it's more of a problem if one's superego is particularly strong and has confused the imperative to do practical things with an ethical imperative.
    Last edited by baboon2004; 09-07-2019 at 04:52 PM.

  17. #43
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    I remember reading the original anti-mindfulness article and being appalled by how wrong the author had got it all. As if anything at all couldn't be hideously perverted by capitalism.

    Mindfulness is very useful, but stripping it of its original holistic meaning and presenting itself as an efficiency solution was bound to happen. As with taking yoga out of its original context and turning it into another site of spectacularised competitiveness.

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