“I,” my connections, the adventure thing, and the language we speak

WEDNESDAY, 8 MARCH 2006

09:28

I tried very hard to sleep in after finally crashing at 03:30. I once again dreamed all night of making money, e-books, files on the computer, and so on. Then, suddenly, one so-called marketing guru pronounced in a dream: “Of course there are other, more important things than money. There is our connection to everything that is.”

Soon after that I thought, still half asleep, “I am also connected to everything that exists.”

Yesterday I contemplated for the umpteenth time in my life the great divide between what is beautiful and what is good, and the total opposite end of the spectrum: people who are tortured, and then, after they had time to become properly aware of their situation, are killed in the cruellest manner.

As I was still lying in bed (was I still sleeping?), I thought: I am connected to both the torturers and the tortured – even if only in my head, because I am aware of their existence.

I also realized that my connection to these two groups is not exactly conducive for a good consciousness. On one end of the spectrum, I hate and fear those who torture; on the other hand, I feel deeply sorry for the tortured. And I know it is in many cases a roll of the dice – it could just as well have been me.

What does one do with these negative connections?

FRIDAY, 17 MARCH 2006

19:07

[…]

She, too, was looking for a home – a place, an environment where she doesn’t have to be on her guard all the time, where she can relax, where she would not constantly have to be serious, where she can be who she is and give free expression to how she feels at any specific moment, and to how she sees herself, the world, and herself in the world.

TUESDAY, 28 MARCH 2006

13:52

Why is it that in many Christian churches it is preached that members should move away from an emphasis on the “I”, and instead should focus on “Christ”? What is the psychological effect on the “I” – which is always there, no matter how hard you try to move away from it? Does it have to do with a mostly unspoken ideology of contempt for the “I” – that is human, fallible, flawed, with a perpetual tendency to “sin” and that is involuntarily tied to the mortal body of the unique “you”? Does it have to do with a desire for the timeless and immortal? Is this healthy for the “I” you inevitably have to be until your body perishes?

* * *

There is a new documentary series on, I think, National Geographic, which tell stories of adventures gone wrong that have brought one or two adventurers close to death. For example, one guy was stuck in the Amazon for three weeks – he was constantly hungry and wet, covered with disease, and he felt how his flesh was being eaten little by little by ferocious ants.

It made me think: your chances of survival drop dramatically if you put yourself in an environment not exactly conducive to human survival (for example, desert or rainforest). Yet, people often place themselves in such environments and call it adventure. These so-called adventurers believe that adventure is exciting, and fun, and in contrast describe people who do not seek adventure as boring.

What exactly is this adventure thing? What needs are satisfied with adventure? What need is therefore not satisfied if you do not bother to seek adventure, and specifically in environments that undermine your chances of survival? And will it work if I tell an adventurer that I do not have the needs that drive him or her to putting their lives at risk?

(Note to myself: A proper definition of adventure might be useful, for my adventure is your boredom. Beware also of coming to conclusions too fast – a so-called sense of adventure is sometimes necessary for civilization to progress, and even for personal improvement.)

THURSDAY, 30 MARCH 2006

09:35

I think: to my core, I can feel it – the mother and child reunion is getting close.

Then I thought: “My core”? We are taught from a young age that it is wrong to say, “I talk to I,” and “I very core,” but is it?

Language plays a vital role in how we think about ourselves, how we talk about ourselves. But should philosophers or psychologists not have a greater say on this particular issue than linguists?

Is it justifiable that language rules and linguists dictate to us in what philosophical terms we have to think of ourselves and talk about ourselves?

The word “my” is a possessive adjective used to indicate ownership, as in, “my house”, “my book”, “my pen” – but it also indicates relationship, as in “my wife”, “my child”, and so on. Still, “I” and “myself” are not two separate entities – I am myself. Would it then not be more accurate to say, “I talk to I,” and “I very core”?

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