Self-Transformation & Build A Better You.

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
Craner is a European, chic, sexy, glamourous so I can understand why he regards Larkin with horror.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
Totally - fandom as opposed to grey vampirism, the thrill of feeling that Bryan Ferry or the new Terminator film could ignite transcendent passions in you, lift you from your slump, launch you beyond yourself.
I don't think I have suffered from depression, i might be wrong, but I don't think so but what I did used to do was launch into these periods, maybe a month, six weeks, of very heavy skunk smoking which were in many ways analogous to depression and emerging from them was like emerging from a period of depression. It was like being reborn and you'd be replete with this fairly wild, ragged energy. Manic really.
 

poetix

we murder to dissect
Lulls and fallow periods are common in life, I think, especially creative life. That feeling of being re-energised on coming out of one is often a bit deranging. I don't know how much the self-improvement racket can really impact on this either way. I'm suspicious of any scheme that offers a vision of you at your most effective all the time, because that seems like a path to burn-out to me.

The story people like Adam Phillips tell about boredom is that without the childish ability to be bored - inert, and frustrated within our inertia - we can't find new objects of fascinated absorption. But is a long skunk-slump frustrating, or just becalmed, anaesthetised? Is there a dissatisfaction building within it that must eventually come to a head?
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
Yeah well obviously the boring answer is it's a balance you have to know how hard you can ride yourself when to crack the whip and dig in the spurs, when to ease off on the reins
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
The other thing I'll answer later this evening because I have to remember what it was like.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
Yeah well obviously the boring answer is it's a balance you have to know how hard you can ride yourself when to crack the whip and dig in the spurs, when to ease off on the reins
This is dad advice though. Not appropriate for an adolescent cult of intensity.
 

poetix

we murder to dissect
A lot of actual adolescence is very boring. Like life in the trenches: boredom punctuated by terror. David Mitchell's Black Swan Green really gets the flavour of this. Each chapter ends with some horrible crisis blooming, then the next chapter begins and it's as if it never happened.

I think cults of intensity tend to be based on emotion recollected in tranquility: you remember the bits where everything's fizzing and popping, and want to recapture that feeling, but the feeling itself couldn't exist if it weren't contingent and precarious, you can't lock it up in a temple and expect to be warmed every time you visit by the Holy Flame.
 

kumar

Well-known member
with adolescence, loads of people say things like,
its a time when you get a sense for the first time that, other than for all intents and purposes, a you doesnt exist. a period when there might be moments where the biographical descriptors of yourself careen out of sync with your experience in a pressing way. where it might suddenly appear that information structures like born in london, male, bad at football, whilst real in the sense that they can be communicated, and everyone will know what you mean if you describe yourself by them, dont all confirm the existence of a fixed singular self, to which everything that you experience is accountable. your early experiences of being unable to walk in the same river twice.

people have this to different degrees, having the piss ripped out of you on a daily basis at school exacerbates a fragmentary understanding of yourself, and of course drug experiences can make this quite striking and unavoidable. but a sort of widespread, low level of this might be the gnawing feeling of faking it, a constant anxiety that some ghastly true self will be imminently revealed, the grotty little nose picker made visible to all. and i suppose a lot of self improvement stuff tries to replace this phantom self or at least put it in context, to view it as a bit of grout around the plug of an otherwise admirable sink.
 

kumar

Well-known member
the most self improving things that i had happen to me when i were a young lad were very occasional moments of enlightenment having taken acid, where an idea of an i seemed to momentarily become evident as a makeshift referent. feeling like the embodied process of production line quality control for all personal experience. inspecting and sifting through the various trains of thought, sensations, memories, horrible versions of myself, nasty habits, shit you’d want to wipe off your system, and not being alarmed at them, because they suddenly appeared untethered to a singular self. the bad things didn’t get swept under the rug but appeared as being things that could be changed, that in some sense i was responsible for, just clearly not things that warranted the kind of insecurity that a fixed rigid self, compromised by inadequacy would produce. it felt like suddenly being able to speak another language and then forgetting it completely, only left with the memory that it happened and the frustrating feeling that why couldnt it be like this all the time. probably counteracted as well by the far more frequent times on acid when you’d end up pooing yourself slightly outside the disabled toilets in mcdonalds or something.
 
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