Fight (from the SEAL ethos)

I loved the following from the (US Navy’s) “SEAL ethos”:

I will never quit. […] If knocked down, I will get back up, every time. […] I am never out of the fight.

I was thinking about this issue recently. I get “out of fight” ridiculously easily. As soon as I think that the fight is “illegitimate”, I essentially lose the will to fight. (‘Illegitimate’: that such a fight should never have been necessary in a decent world. Apparently, I often wish to chide God for not paying sufficient attention to beauty!)

So, when I face an “illegitimate fight”, I withdraw. Then, there is a positive feedback loop and my world collapses.

I do no service to myself by this. If I fight, I would be far better off. “Why fight?” Because fighting is healthy! Fight now — and cry later! Fight now — and condemn later! I see I need to be a man!

Link: https://www.usni.org/magazines/proceedings/2020/february/none-us-man-all-must-aspire-be

On pornography

An objection to pornography:

The pornography which you find somewhat ok meshes into normal physiological and psychological processes, and you can enjoy it. But there is a cost.

In enjoying pornography, there is a wholesale rejection of standards. Normally, you choose a degree of interaction (and intimacy) depending on the person. However, in pornography, a de-personalized human (you know, or care, not about the person) is allowed entry into the sanctum sanctorum. One could argue, “Bah, I know it is all fake”. It, though, does not work that way – your inner world will be influenced anyway!

Imagine sex with someone you do not care about every so often. Can you imagine your standards about humans, and about life, will survive this? I have noticed the effects of such contamination in many departments. Inevitably, your standards lose potency. (With me, thankfully, the loss is pretty fast – it never takes more than a few weeks. So, I notice, get distressed, and generally manage to correct the mistakes.) I now think that pornography is as bad as real sex of the above sort.

Masturbation in itself is probably ok, as long as you are constructing your own stories! Down fall into others’ insipid, cul-de-sac, worlds!

On arrogance

‘Arrogance’ comes from ‘to arrogate’ — to seize. The opposition to arrogance (from the social-minded people) is the opposition to anyone “autocratically” claiming “rights” — especially, the right to not notice others!

I have always liked seeing it, specially in women — when rightly done! In the good arrogance, a woman, say, ignores you because she has no reason to notice you! If there is weighing at all — there ought to be a judgement. And the judgement must be grounded on decent factors. Moreover, there must be a weighing before rejection! (If there is no weighing at the moment, it is ok, for maybe the person was busy then.) This is healthy. You remain open for “new business”, new influences, new ideas and opinions, but you keep a tight control over who is allowed to pass in too! (Also, it may be possible to create a beautiful world too, by noticing only the beautiful parts of the common world, and declaring the other parts to be “of no consequence and therefore to be harmlessly ignored”. I have not succeeded it in.)

In the bad arrogance, the person feels complete and secure in what he/she has — “family and friends”, and has no interest in “random others”. It is bad because it is ugly to watch, and unhealthy. Humans ought to be “open”! Humans ought to be “moving”. The bad arrogance is ugly because it suggests a “halt” in living.

The socially-minded people do not make the above distinction, and condemn all arrogance.

(For completion: there is a place for kindness too, even towards those you choose not to notice.)

I have been struggling with the issue for at least a decade and half now. What has bedeviled me is the question why, when I like or (in some circumstances) love arrogance in others, do I not inculcate it in myself? Even on the streets, I notice well-dressed women out of politeness, because Heinlein says it is polite. (This is mad, I know.) In general, I essentially keep judging everyone anew all the time!

I understand the reason now. I hate hurting others, and arrogance hurts many people. (People like to be noticed — for what they are, how they are.) (Though, to me, being on the receiving end is invigorating! When I am in good mood, the idea is, “fine, ignore me — let me earn the concern”.)

The only way I see out of the trouble is somewhat harsh to hear: One must be prepared to be brutal. In many cases, the choice is simply between hurting oneself and hurting others. Even though hurting oneself may seem cheaper, for the sake of yourself, you should choose hurting others!

On coupling, disinterest in new people

A lot many people are on the one hand are eager to couple (with someone of the opposite sex), and when coupled not very interested in other people. I have found it inexplicable. But I think I see the reason now.

People desperate for coupling wish to lose their freedom! They probably wish to settle — to fall out. They probably find the idea of stopping to worry about the future, of going through months and years thoughtlessly, appealing. So, once they are settled, why welcome “disturbances”?

On gentleness

Gentleness, mildness and the rest of them are relatives of death.

Gentleness is suitable (as the receiver) for ill people, occasionally children, people on bed who are going to sleep, and perhaps other such temporarily weak people. Healthy living things want and need exuberance and struggle.

It more and more seems to me that the consideration of Right and Wrong is already wrong. Make the most expansive claim and let the other person fight back! Healthy living things would love this fight – this fight may be what living is!

In negotiating, why should you be modest? Make a ridiculous claim and let the other person deal with it (by laughing, perhaps). The itsy-bitsy calculations, the gold-scale measuring, the desire to be exactly “just”: these don’t beautify living. As I said, this is right only for those you know cannot defend themselves. (When the weakness is temporary, it is fine. When it is permanent, you better watch the company you keep!)

It was I who once said: Even gentle kiss is ugly.

On ugliness

“In the long run, ugliness always wins” is merely saying, “in the long run, nature claims everything back”.

We see beauty as that which is refined, and therefore, that which is created and upheld only with struggle. No wonder beauty is transient and unstable. This need not be seen as an objection to life.

A maxim (on criticism)

Anyone not grateful for criticism is not a person worth knowing.

Notes:

Normal people find criticism invigorating – and curious. Perhaps you’ve been handed a key to future developments?

People who have no hopes for the future – i.e., constitutionally depressed people – take criticism as ‘beating’. Change doesn’t come organically to them – if they do change their behaviour to satisfy you, they feel ‘oppressed’.

Someone who isn’t improving is sure to be becoming worse.