Monday, July 28, 2008

The Spin-Cycle

Remember in high school or college, when you read Ayn Rand for the first time and then spent weeks afterwards obsessing about Objectivism and drawing dollar signs everywhere before someone finally turned to you and said, "well, what's so wrong with being NICE?"

I feel that I've been spending whatever little time that is not being spent buried in spreadsheets and powerpoint, doing that all over again.

Except not about Objectivism.

I've been thinking reflections and pictures and mirrors and how they are often not accurate but that the inaccuracy can be both the strength and the weakness of the image. Blah blah blah.

I had a conversation today about a person's fundamental self. And that sometimes, people need to focus on the "just me."

"Just me." I don't know what that means. Aren't we defined by our relationships - with work, with lovers, with friends, with family, with neighbors, with strangers, with conflict, with our interests and passions, with solitude? And aren't all of those relationships critical to who we are?

Any one of those mirrors tell an incomplete picture, so don't we need all of them? And if all those mirrors are removed, what's left? My friend would say that what is left is the "just me." Intellectually, I sort of understand that. There needs to be something there in the first place, something to reflect. But isn't that moot? What value does the "just me" have in a vacuum? How do you work on the "just me" if it's not in the context of a relationship with something else, someone else?

Perhaps I'm stuck in the spin cycle of mental masturbation. Perhaps I don't fully understand because I'm not as wise as my friend; her greater wisdom has been proven repeatedly.

So I'll end this post with a quote. I can't remember exactly where it's from, and I'm too tired to Google it:

"...a river, suffering because reflections of clouds and trees are not clouds and trees."
- Czesław Miłosz


Anonymous said...

People confuse being 'self-sacrificial' with being 'nice'. Helping an old lady across the street or supporting a charity you believe in is being 'nice'- it's voluntary and honorable and perfectly fine in Objectivism. Giving up your dreams to please your parents, bankrupting America to help the poor Iraqis, or letting your loved ones die to save a stranger- that's self-sacrifice. See XCOWBOY2 on YouTube.

ergo said...

MrsCooper said...

For fun:

C-Belle said...

MrsCooper - I wasted HOURS this morning obsessively watching that video over and over again and then finding and watching all the other Eddie Izzard voice-over, lego-animated clips I could find.

MrsCooper said...

I’m glad it was entertaining. I couldn’t stop laughing when I watched it. I was very impressed with how creative one can be with lego.
Decades ago, they started off with a boy and a girl and then introduced red flowers in green garden container – that was a big deal. Now, they have dark characters from Star War and even from Batman. I’m certain that Lego has done extensive research on what the society perceive as fun by introducing all these characters in their product line. I was born too early!

C-Belle said...

I think what that youtube video teaches us is that you are never too old for lego play.