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Thread: Mindfulness (/as capitalist nonsense)

  1. #1
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    Default Mindfulness (/as capitalist nonsense)

    https://www.theguardian.com/lifeands...t-spirituality

    'All the promises of mindfulness resonate with what the University of Chicago cultural theorist Lauren Berlant calls “cruel optimism”, a defining neoliberal characteristic. It is cruel in that one makes affective investments in what amount to fantasies. We are told that if we practice mindfulness, and get our individual lives in order, we can be happy and secure. It is therefore implied that stable employment, home ownership, social mobility, career success and equality will naturally follow. We are also promised that we can gain self-mastery, controlling our minds and emotions so we can thrive and flourish amid the vagaries of capitalism.'
    Αι ψυχαί οσμώνται καθ΄ Άιδην.

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    These days I meditate, because it's pleasant and why not. But I reject to my core the notion that it will fix me, not out of stubbornness, inflexibility or pessimism but because I know cruel optimism when I see it, and I see it as the fundamental ruse by which the dictatorial superego gets its claws in us. Mindfulness as a collection of potentially helpful practices is one thing; mindfulness as a moral imperative (with the accompanying remonstration: "you're falling apart again! have you been mindful enough? Be mindful harder!") is an assault on our own reality. It tells us that we are struggling because we have failed to discipline our own minds, because we are indulging our distress, because we have not prayed earnestly enough for magical deliverance. It's injurious bullshit in the guise of healing balm.

    What would most settle my anxiety is, roughly, a 4-day work week, rent control, a room of my own, and comprehensive provision of necessary services - childcare, mental health support - for myself and my loved ones.

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    Well you have this with anything don't you. How much are my problems my own stupid fault and how much is The System which is oppressing me? Given you can't do fuck all about The System beyond letting it crush you to grey paste you're left with what you can do for yourself and take responsibility for. If you look at Mark Fishers stuff he veers wildly between two poles, the spinozist free yourself from the matrix bit and the capitalist realist it's hopeless we're fucked bit.

    Dunno. Sometimes life is too difficult and too unfair and sometimes it's alright, fairly tolerable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Corpsey View Post
    https://www.theguardian.com/lifeands...t-spirituality

    'All the promises of mindfulness resonate with what the University of Chicago cultural theorist Lauren Berlant calls “cruel optimism”, a defining neoliberal characteristic. It is cruel in that one makes affective investments in what amount to fantasies. We are told that if we practice mindfulness, and get our individual lives in order, we can be happy and secure. It is therefore implied that stable employment, home ownership, social mobility, career success and equality will naturally follow. We are also promised that we can gain self-mastery, controlling our minds and emotions so we can thrive and flourish amid the vagaries of capitalism.'
    this is basically pretty much mark fisher's argument in capitalist realism as well ie that depression medicines and talking therapies like CBT focus the problem as being 'you', and you need to get fixed etc, thereby shifting the blame off 'society'.

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    btw I've tried meditation and I think it's a good idea

    It is depressing to see it appropriated by the business world though, ditto ayahuasca
    Αι ψυχαί οσμώνται καθ΄ Άιδην.

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    They swallow everything. Subsume any outside, even psychedelics. It's fucked.

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    Mechanistic
    Statistical
    view of the world and
    'Wellness'
    Αι ψυχαί οσμώνται καθ΄ Άιδην.

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    One reason art is important is that otherwise we let the maths nerds run the show

    Mark Zuckerberg vs William Blake
    Αι ψυχαί οσμώνται καθ΄ Άιδην.

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    Everyone I know who's had a real serious crack at meditation for a prolonged period of time (like, at least a year) says its brutally difficult and painful. I really like the idea of it but doing anything, exercise, reading serious books, writing, meditating etc is so hard to get started on and even more difficult to carry on with.

    Whereas I kept up a skunk habit for years without ever having to argue myself into it at all. What's it all mean corpsey? Is it worth reading the penguin history of the world and doing 6 press ups or should we just stay in bed and pull the covers over our eyes?

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    It's short term reward vs long term reward

    Our culture provides us with so many short term rewards it's no wonder it's nearly impossible for me to read Ulysses when I could watch YouTube for 8 hours instead.
    Αι ψυχαί οσμώνται καθ΄ Άιδην.

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    Meditation is sort of like a mental game - but a game as in something that you have to practice all the time in order to not be shit at it, not as in a fun game like Street Fighter 2.

    If only the things that are good for us could be as fun as Street Fighter 2.
    Αι ψυχαί οσμώνται καθ΄ Άιδην.

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    Maybe we should find a monastery to join.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Corpsey View Post
    Meditation is sort of like a mental game - but a game as in something that you have to practice all the time in order to not be shit at it, not as in a fun game like Street Fighter 2.

    If only the things that are good for us could be as fun as Street Fighter 2.
    What happens when you get good at it?

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    Seems like it would be boring.

    I am a capitalist pig insofar as I want meditation to clear the path for me to achieve all the capitalist things I want - money, power, women.

    Rather than letting go of all desires and attachments. I just want to be free to pursue those things.
    Αι ψυχαί οσμώνται καθ΄ Άιδην.

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    Quote Originally Posted by luka View Post
    What happens when you get good at it?
    Not that I've ever got good at it but

    I PRESUME it's about establishing control over your own mind.

    This is the issue with depression (assuming it's not 'the system', which it could be for sure) - you can't control your thoughts, they circle and circle, you're obsessive, you're in thrall to your worst fears.

    It's training a muscle in your mind, as far as I can tell.

    BUT

    From a spiritual point of view it's more about obliterating all these thoughts and realising how insignificant your 'self' is.
    Αι ψυχαί οσμώνται καθ΄ Άιδην.

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