Mindfulness (/as capitalist nonsense)

Corpsey

call me big papa
You're absolutely right

I've been on holiday for basically a month - it's the only thing that's made this year worth living

Didn't read a book the whole time, either - only bits and pieces
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
You like to tell yourself

'Oh if it wasn't for the work the holidays wouldn't mean anything'

You don't want to think about how great a full time holiday would be

Don't dare think of how good life could be
 

luka

Moderator
That gestalt concept of 'unfinished business' is very real and applies at all scales but equally we all resent having to turn our lives into a to-do list. We resent having to do anything. This is the problem. Happiness or wellness or spiritual beatitude, is essentially a set of obligations, just as physical fitness is. It ties you to a treadmill.
 

luka

Moderator
Like, we pretty much all know what is good for us, what we should be doing, what we must on all accounts avoid, but because it's felt as a fait accompli, we want to push back. No, assert our independence, be wilful. Notes from underground. No palace of crystal.
 

luka

Moderator
Saved & lost a thousand times
in swift succession/rising and sinking
beneath the grey wave
always wanting whatever
we currently lack.
For good or ill
mere greed
for change
and shifting circumstance. The price-
obedience/dearest of all sacrifices


To adhere to the circle of that spotlight
moving as it moves/dancing within that white disc
disavowing all the growling, fierce pleasures
of the dark.
 

luka

Moderator
I almost never read on holiday. I had a beach holiday once and that was good for reading otherwise no. I always pack about 15 kilos of paperbacks and ignore all of them.
 

luka

Moderator
Somebody say something. Keep talking. Otherwise I'll have to do a Jordan Peterson and tidy my room.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
That gestalt concept of 'unfinished business' is very real and applies at all scales but equally we all resent having to turn our lives into a to-do list.
I've ended up having to make lists because I often get bogged down trying to remember what I need to do, but the lists are becoming increasingly elaborate and starting to include the other lists.
 

luka

Moderator
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.
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
I've been keeping lists since I was a kid

I think even then I knew my mind was a cluttered mess

As version says, it becomes a list of other lists

And certain to dos hang over me for years on end, becoming like a stamp of weakness
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
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
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
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
 

jorge

New member
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
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
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.
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
. 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.
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
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.
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
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.
 

thirdform

Active member
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...
 
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