Thursday, May 28, 2015

Living in a Psychologically Discontent State

Living in a psychologically discontent state has become a way of life for me. I am just discontent, so what is there to do about it all? This state of discontent seems to come and go, an attitude, beyond my desire, but I can control it sort of, not directly but by taking myself away. Perhaps I need to give my self a good talking to.

This shows what a drilled cast-in-place belled pile looks like. This one supported a sign, and was removed in redevelopment. It was originally placed into high plastic stiff clay; the cast shows so clearly the teeth marks of the belling tool, and even the center point.

To get back off the tangent....
Marcus Aurelius and many others state that we need a guiding purpose in life, beyond day to day life. We need a reason to get out of bed, to proceed through the day with a sense of urgency toward our purpose, going with the flow of rational activity to feed a flourishing life. We can learn something useful and pass that along to the younger generations, or just pass on that which we know, if someone wants that knowledge. After our purpose, we need to remove the distress from our souls, our psychic self, and then we are ready to move forward. Dump delusions and go forward. Delusions come in many forms, and after we dump our supernatural god, we are still left with a duty to live up to virtue, perhaps even greater than when listening to a god of biblical nature, for the biblical god is a abusive, killing, vengeful, brute. After we recognize that we need to live virtuously, the next order of business is to establish what virtues are, and which virtues to live by.

The greatest wrongs are committed out of fulfilling a unhealthy desire. That is doing something that is wrong and against nature, our nature, others, ourselves, or our purpose, or the cooperation of humans. It is not wrong to resist the pushing of others to do wrongs. It they keep on pushing, perhaps it it time to say good bye to them and leave, to never go around them again. There is no god with supernatural powers, and people who push that concept are to be avoided, or at least not give the opportunity to push their delusions. Those who push bad eating concepts should be avoided. Yet I need to do things to keep busy for two long stretches each day, possible three stretches. It is easier to do something with people, but if there is no one around, it must be solely my motivations. Onto the purpose... what ever that might be.

Ultimately, I have run out of purpose. The dog and I could go for a walk if he would like. . . Dune that.  Moving on.

The Cardinal virtues, as exposed by the stoics vary, depending on which translation we look at.
Fortitude, justice, temperance, prudence, but these imply judgement based on wisdom, knowledge, global plan, self control, impulse control, but it is lacking the compassion component. (III 9 2) Absence of hurry in judgement, a feeling of kinship toward other human beings, and obedient consent to the gods. (God to Marcus was nature, so willing acceptance of what happens). In another version, though fullness, and affection for other people, and a submission to the divine. God may also be considered to be reason, as our directing portion is a chip of the divine ability to reason. So compassion should also be in the mix.  Note that this god is nature and is not part of the god delusion, but an alternate name that is compatible with stoic belief and Roman Law at the time for heresy. Fate or the more positive name, providence, has always been accepted as the outcome of natures action, and by then is historical fact and into past time, and therefore must be accepted.

Courage is often sighted, but that comes as part of fortitude and persistence. Other places it is resist unhealthy desires and persist in the virtues. It seems that part is our ability to make sound decisions, control our desires and impulses toward motion. Type A personalities are out in the absence of hurry in judgements. It is all about doing what is right for the right reasons, and knowing those reasons in the conscious mind, not just going with the flow of the unconscious mind. This is the basis of stoic thought, from adequate impression, judgement control of our beliefs, through prudent desire exercising, and impulse control by diversion, understanding that passions are from errors in beliefs and wrong delusion of how things should be.

But, but, that is a dense summary of stoic thought. This all is remarkably similar to Buddhism's eight fold path; Right: knowledge, intentions, thoughts, speech, actions, mindfulness, effort, concentration, in ultimate behavior. Practicing removes suffering by elimination of delusions, desires, aversions, and allows us to be be free to live rightly.



  1. I really appreciate your thought-provoking posts, Fred!
    Writing is therapeutic for me as well, but w/upcoming court battle (Round ?? I've lost count) - facing threats from ex's lawyer to submit any social-media correspondence in which I might have referred to him or our son, I find myself at a loss for words - also gonna shut down ye olde writing shoppe for now. And you only THOUGHT we lived in a free country ;-)

  2. Interesting to read this post Fred, thank you.

    All the best Jan


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