If you have nobody to live with at least live with integrity – I said to myself today. Who else could say that to me if I have nobody to live with? I don’t feel responsible for my cravings yet I am kind of forced to take responsibility for my actions. Accepting my cravings and responding in the best possible way seems like the only rational thing to do if I want to create actions that I do not want to be ashamed of.
One of my gurus Sam Harris, said in some interview that If you are petty, judgmental, self-serving asshole, forcing yourself to be honest with other people holds a mirror up to that side of your life very very quickly. If the truth about why you don’t want to go out with someone is that you only want to date people who are fifteen yours younger than yourself and look like they are fitness models, that’s the truth you have to confront if you don’t give yourself the out about lying. On point.
As much as I would like to be free from caring what other people think about me I clearly am not free from that. The more self-inquiry I practice, the clearer can I see the craving for attention. Not just any attention but a particular type of it. In general, I am very liked person. Thing is, I crave for being liked for the reasons that I want to be liked. For example, when I drive a nice car, eat in an expensive restaurant and have an interesting philosophical conversation with someone, I crave for being liked for my intelligence, experience and insight with some value added from the car and expensive food. Quite often, I am more liked for the first two and quite often people are even discouraged by me paying less attention to what seems important to them than to what is important to me. On my bad days – fuck these people. On my better days I understand where this differentiation comes from, I accept it and still distant myself from them a tad.
And even though I understand I should not expect high levels of understanding from people who are way different than me sometimes I am mindlessly trapped in a craving for connection in an encounter where it cannot plausibly happen. The closer to my nest the higher the danger of a trap. That’s why it is more commonly happening for me in Malaysia or Singapore to feel grateful just for being among other people. Among people towards whom I have hardly any expectations. When I give way or when someone gives way to me or when I buy groceries, coffee or cocaine. Just kidding. Free coffee is included in my gym membership so I don’t have to buy it. But seriously, the further from more or less metaphorical home, the less of a subconcious craving for understanding I notice in me.
It goes on a larger scale with creating content online. Whether it is youtube videos or just pure text like this I am motivated by the right attention and demotivated by the wrong or no attention. Since I am not into marketing or targeting some particular type of audience I feel that the right action is just to put it out there openly. Full transparency creates an extra mirror to be held up to me and enables me to look even more closely into myself. Yet not directing my words to any particular person or group of people removes the pillar of craving the understanding in the place where it is most likely unavailable.
This whole process of an honest self-inquiry builds a great level of knowledge and leads to a great liberation. I feel we very often don’t know why we do what we do. Sometimes it feels right, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes people lie to others just because they managed to lie to themselves first. The more I really know myself the more integrity I feel between my values and my actions. Between what I think and what I say. And because of that there is less and less pressure or even fear that somebody will find out anything. I give out everything. Almost everything. The remaining part I hope you will never find out.
PS. I ate two chocolate bars and four snickers yesterday and there is nothing you can say or think about it that makes me feel bad.