My girlfriend isn't interesting!!!
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Hey guys, I have a problem. It's not strictly lit related but I figured I'd find the most sympathizers here.
In short, my girlfriend is basically one of those drooling zombies from Infinite Jest.
We've been together a few years, and at first we were really well matched intellectually.....we used to talk about heavy 'existential' type of things, and she was definitely the smartest person I'd ever met.
In terms of like raw IQ I'd say she still is.
But lately I've found her to be incredibly boring. She has no interests....at all. Outside of work all she does is watch tv or browse the internet or play video games, anything that's upper case e Entertainment. The catch is, though, she realizes those things are bad for her and does them...not ironically, per se, but without any illusions.
As for me, I've taken a big interest in lit stuff, especially after reading camus and realizing that all the stuff I was thinking of in my own crude terms was shit people had already been writing about. If I had to sum up what takes up the vast majority of my head-space I'd probably say "Culture"--how it manifests, what things mean, etc etc, big picture stuff. Dialectical materialism is a term I'm familiar with.
I have friends I shoot the shit with about this stuff but it's increasingly becoming something I think more and more about and as a result it's creating a gulf between my girlfriend and I, who, while being super intelligent and really freakin intuitive, has zero motivation to learn any more than she already knows.
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Are the mystics and sages insane? Because they all tell variations on the same story, don't they? The story of awakening one morning and discovering you are one with the All, in a timeless and eternal and infinite fashion.
Yes, maybe they are crazy, these divine fools. Maybe they are mumbling idiots in the face of the Abyss. Maybe they need a nice, understanding therapist. Yes, I'm sure that would help. But then, I wonder.
Maybe the evolutionary sequence really is from matter to body to mind to soul to spirit, each transcending and including, each with a greater depth and greater consciousness and wider embrace. And in the highest reaches of evolution, maybe, just maybe, an individual's consciousness does indeed touch infinity — a total embrace of the entire Kosmos — a Kosmic consciousness that is Spirit awakened to its own true nature.
It's at least plausible. And tell me: is that story, sung by mystics and sages the world over, any crazier than the scientific materialism story, which is that the entire sequence is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying absolutely nothing? Listen very carefully: just which of those two stories actually sounds totally insane?
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"What is Bazarov?" Arkady smiled. "Would you like me to tell you, uncle, what he really is?"
"Please do, nephew."
"He is a nihilist!"
"What?" asked Nikolai Petrovich, while Pavel Petrovich lifted his knife in the air with a small piece of butter on the tip and remained motionless.
"He is a nihilist," repeated Arkady.
"A nihilist," said Nikolai Petrovich. "That comes from the Latin nihil, nothing, as far as I can judge; the word must mean a man who... who recognizes nothing?"
"Say — who respects nothing," interposed Pavel Petrovich and lowered his knife with the butter on it.
"Who regards everything from the critical point of view," said Arkady.
"Isn't that exactly the same thing?" asked Pavel Petrovich.
"No, it's not the same thing. A nihilist is a person who does not bow down to any authority, who does not accept any principle on faith, however much that principle may be revered."
"Well, and is that good?" asked Pavel Petrovich. "That depends, uncle dear. For some it is good, for others very bad."
"Indeed. Well, I see that's not in our line. We old-fashioned people think that without principles, taken as you say on faith, one can't take a step or even breathe. Vous avez changé tout cela; may God grant you health and a general's rank, and we shall be content to look on and admire your... what was the name?"
"Nihilists," said Arkady, pronouncing very distinctly.
"Yes, there used to be Hegelists and now there are nihilists. We shall see how you will manage to exist in the empty airless void; and now ring, please, brother Nikolai, it's time for me to drink my cocoa."
Why don't you read /lit/'s most fitting coming of age story?