So, I want to be a minimalist. But I just like my stuff too much. I buy a complete new capsule wardrobe and put my old clothes in a duffle bag in the attic. Is that minimalism?
I have three full duffel bags.
I keep buying new watch straps because I want the perfect duo. One strap for looking sharp. One strap for water sports.
I have one dozen watch straps.
I have a box of things I definitely don’t want anymore. But I keep pulling things out and using them again. Honestly, I feel so ridiculous. I should take a Saturday and put all of those little things on eBay. But I’m too busy on Saturdays, organizing.
What I really wanted to talk about was whether or not anything exists at all.
In college I wrote, “Of course I exist! Even if reality is just a perception by my consciousness, it doesn’t matter. I’m perceiving it, so it’s real. For me, at least.”
That was 20 years ago. I’m not so sure anymore.
Anymore I’m starting to believe that consciousness and perception might exist—might be what constitutes “me”—but everything else is constructed. By my experience. By the description others give me of their experience. Perhaps only ideas exist. Because people don’t have ideas; ideas have people.
But if I get rid of all the duffel bags and the clothes inside of them, I will be less encumbered by choice fatigue. I want to dress like this:
– Midnight blue Merino wool v-neck tee shirt
– Blue jeans
– Leather belt
– Brown leather pull-on boots
– Automatic divers watch (with two straps!)
– Brown leather wallet
– Merino wool underwear and socks
That is how I want to dress every day. No choice in the matter. If I can achieve that, then I can focus on making other, more important choices. Or maybe not make any choices at all.
I spend a lot of time thinking about this shit. Sometimes it drives me insane. For a couple of minutes.
It’s why I used to drink.
I stopped drinking.
Am I my body? Am I my thoughts? Am I my experiences?
Am I anything?
I read something yesterday by James Altucher. But I can’t remember what it was. It struck me, was profound, something about writing in the voice you use for talking. But I’ve been described as Laconic. So, what do I sound like? What is my voice?
Do I have a voice?
What I really admire is the ability to present a philosophical argument clearly and precisely in an attempt to uncover truths about the human experience. Like Jordan Peterson does.
But I am unable.
I didn’t completely quit smoking until a couple of months after I quit drinking. I would take trips, usually for a couple of weeks, to Africa. For work (no, I’m not a full-time writer; yet).
Did you ever notice that people today don’t want punctuation? They want periods. They want exclamation points! Do they want question marks? Maybe. But they certainly don’t want semicolons; semicolons are weird. But I love semicolons; I love connecting ideas.
Maybe I use the semicolon incorrectly; who knows?
In any case, when I travelled on these trips I would smoke. For two whole weeks—sometimes starting in the airport on the way out. But not on the way back in. I stopped smoking a day before I returned. And then for weeks and months between trips, I was smoke-free.
So, would you really have called me a smoker?
Anyway…. That’s my brain dump for today. The reason I share it with you, is because I don’t want to hold ideas inside that might one day make me believe I am either insane or have something to be embarrassed about. If I own my thoughts—publicly—then no one can ever blackmail me with them.
At least, I don’t think so.
What I mean to say, is that I want everyone to know about the ideas that have me. Because they might have other people too. And we should be aware of the ideas that have us. Because some ideas are Really Bad News. They are ideas that can wreak havoc on our fragile egos, our intemperate minds. And maybe if we listen to the ideas that have other people, maybe we can dispel those people of those ideas. Maybe we can exorcise the ideas. Because I don’t want to see any more violence done by humans in the name of ideas.
That’s what the history of the world has been about forever. Wars of ideas, one against the other.
Stupid, harmful, ignorant, untrue, POWERFUL ideas.
So, share you ideas! Tell people what you’re thinking. We’re just conscious animals, barely elevated above the other animals, thinking crazy shit. But talking about it might act as a relief valve and keep us from doing something Really Bad and making a mess of things.
Unless you have REALLY BAD IDEAS. In that case, keep them to yourself! Or start a religion. Like the other people with bad ideas did.
I’ll leave you with a paraphrase of something Derek Sivers said: Humans suck; try sucking less. How’s that for a simple philosophy?