Expectation (Part 1) – Depth

“And in the calmest and most stillest night, with all appliances and means to boot, deny it to a king? Then, happy low, lie down! Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown” – William Shakespeare

What is the worth of expectation? How much weight does foreshadowing carry? How far is the reach of a dream? How deep is your desire for delayed rewards? How crafted is your will, that you can place all confidences within this expectation?

Times of late simply have been the exact order disrupting, chaos creating and opportunity providing moments that demand those exact questions of our fortitude. As a need for survival, we have had to become suspicious, closed off and separated from those very markers in life which externally let us know. How we are calibrated. Our “order: chaos” balance. We have had to take a forced pause. Ripped out of our momentum, and stuffed away as old toys and winter linen are. It is no shame to be feeling out of sorts.

The devil makes work for idle thumbs! We all have been victim to this statement, with the overwhelming need to be useful. To remain as we were. To hold space, to not touch. Until, and only, until we are allowed to again. A bit like a child promised more marshmallows, provided they do not eat the marshmallow in front of them. How torturous. It is only later in life where the child will learn that if you are to wait too long for the promised or expected abundance in marshmallows. You might find yourself as a waiting fool. Duped by the tardiness of bated breath. Expectant on something deeper than expectation alone is what is called for. It is no longer simple enough to call our days as we used to. Our collective consciousness is now forever geared at understanding our surroundings as contaminated spaces. Worse than before. Being more than 100m from a rat is the last thing on our minds now. It’s the person standing too close which has our focus now. Oddly ques are longer.

So with this blockade of creativity and external psychological markers. We have begun picking away at the scabs in our lives. Flicking away at the fragile flakes that line partially healed wounds. Preening and prodding, particularly at our perceived insecurities. It is rare that even those used to comfort and safety are visibly grateful for their fortunate place in life. The plight of those with nothing or less than nothing is a distant cry. Now we each are to be concerned with our own homes. The frustration of lacking in functionality is a feeling more are familiar with than before.

It has been a time where the chaos has now entered the mundanity of our lives. The areas where chaos is minimally suspected or even indirectly envisaged. Or, areas of decompression, that are needed to maintain our reasons for having our said order. I mean, even the best functional alcoholic will still endeavour to be at work come Monday morning, so the Sunday drink is tapered off earlier to accommodate this. The areas we so thought were untouchable, or so wholesome, have been pointed out as the main causal factor for a global health pandemic. Hugs have become risky behaviour.

In essence, we have been disallowed our ability to use the very thing which binds us all together. The need to be agreed with. Our collective acceptance that we are of good use. A bar and a church, more so on the first Sunday, tend to be of a similar vein. In that, there is a collective conscious agreement into what each of us is there to find. In our workplaces and sports teams, we share a common goal. A collective ideal. The achievement of this common ideal is dependent thus on the roles we agree to play for one another. If, we do this well we are usually validated. High fives too are now classed as a social no go.

We miss that sense of connectedness and head nod understanding that we previously had. Gone are the days where the escalator was the grimiest place in the shopping mall. Everything that we base our understanding on. All of those normal, perfect conditions, are shattered. It is understandable that in our efforts to avoid chaos during these interesting times, we seem to be in the state of hypervigilance, partnered with the inability to actually do anything about it. It is thus why we ask the questions, it is this very moment which demands a belief or expectation that can withstand foreign influences.

What is the worth of expectation? How much weight does foreshadowing carry? How far is the reach of a dream? How deep is your desire for delayed rewards? How crafted is your will, that you can place all confidences within this expectation?

Servitude of Duty (Part 2) – Own Your State

“Take care always to remember that you are a man and a Roman; and let every action be done with perfect and unaffected gravity, humanity, freedom, and justice. And be sure you entertain no fancies, which may give check to these qualities” – Marcus Aurelias

To plunge the depths of my soul. Oh, what a terrible swim that would be. To dive into my hearts desires. Oh, what a treacherous task that would be. To leap into my mind. Oh, what a daring act of uselessness that would be. Some may call you brave if you succeed, lest you fail and be stupefied. Stupefied and befuddled to find simplistic chaos and undefined order. To climb the walls which encase my spirit. Oh, what an arduous activity. For it is only the ones who toil and strive for turmoil. Sadly find themselves sooner complete in the soil.

Life is struggle. It is a total miss-match of what we hope to expect and what we truly come to find. When this happens and we are not particularly sure of where we stand in terms of our definitions. Meaning, when we are forced to unlearn the filters through which we build our order from. Now, this might be very small, such as a new layout of your favourite restaurant, or the discontinuation of a product. Or when you found out that WWE was a scripted show and the wins were decided beforehand. There are of course more impactful, incidental, interfering injunctions, inflicting injury to our general being.  Such as a child learning that they have been adopted. Or father learning his son does not wish to enter the family business. A mother whose name and nursery ideas are shot down by her expectant daughter. Or a teacher finding out her favourite student does not think of her subject as their favourite.

I’ve come to find that everyone hates correction. We don’t mind being wrong. Hell, we don’t even mind being morally off base and socially repugnant. Just as long as nobody dares to correct us. It is quite troubling since we now even fear self-correction. We slip-slide our way through our rationalisations and justifications. While trying out damndest to make our bullshit Michelin star of palatability. While working furiously at polishing all our turds. Nip and tuck. Obfuscating through pure chicanery.

Paying no mind to the damage we do to others, even less to ourselves since the goal is only to create a façade that the palace is not held together with excrement and that we are quite incremental to societies, and we are not doing anything other than self-experimentation. Childish to the point that it is never wise to use personage as our first, only and primary test subjects. Yes, we gain a full lived experience of just how disastrous we can become, or just how high up the ladder we can climb. Regarding nothing for the transactional costs, we have offered as an unsure sacrifice. Yet we are so high up and have climbed so far. We lie to ourselves, similar to the gambling addict. That our big win and pay-out’ lurks around the corner, damn anyone trying to stop that. I call it the Prior Success Fallacy.

 A falsehood, which lay a trap for the spiritually unbound. The emotionally listless. The assured drifters. The directionless explorers and the late-arriving pioneers. Those clueless of what is around. Those too cowardice to stand for themselves, crucially by-themselves. Those in regular need of a crutch, who often just use it as a comfort rather than necessity. Those who cry out in pain at the sight of their destructive behaviour. The prudish exhibitionist who cannot bear with the self-realisation of what they represent and what they truly manifest as. Those who choose to bully, abuse circumstance, twist it to their advantage and cry foul when the fault in their intentions is shown to them,

Those who run enthusiastically into chaos, with no new opportunities gleaned from their experience. Other than victimhood of perpetual failure and underachievement. While lacking the nuanced introspectively required to leap out of grandiosity of made-up reality. And front up and recognise the personal ownership of one’s duty. All aligned at repaying the structure out of which we are to gain strength, solace, security, serenity out of. See I was taught on. An old-school coloured principle “Jy praat nie uit die huis uit nie”.  A simplistic notion of protection from the world. It is a promise of safety that your frailties are to be kept as they are so that even when these weak areas need to masquerade as strong, They can stand up to the scrutiny of those who have but only one job in life. To probe for weakness. An existence so sad, that their vision is so obscured by the beam in their eyes they can only see the lint in yours.

I have seen a lot of imitations of people. Brave enough to attempt a performance, but stupid enough to expect applause and fanfare. My advice. Recognise in your life who shares ideas and commits actively to making those a reality. Versus those who talk only of things and people yet do nothing to achieve similar status but rather couch coach the perfect lifestyle, from the comfort of their bog-palace. Be wary of those well-polished turds. Be careful of those with vision only precise to capture and describe your flaws, idiosyncrasies and pet-peeves. Yet are strangely blind to the glaring incongruency of who and what they are.

Articulation as First Expression (Part 2) – Your Name

“But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him. You may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned” Titus 3: 9-11

Have you ever been lied about? Have you ever heard a rumour of yourself? Have you ever seen your good intentions changed, altered and shifted so far beyond its thesis? Have you ever spent a year in isolation? Away from friends, family, support structures or any sort of social interaction? Have you ever been so unable to challenge that which has been said about you? Have you ever had the truths and the secrets you hold deeply, exposed so innocuously, as though they were universal knowledge? Have you ever been so powerless to the opinions of total strangers? Have you ever been so downtrodden that those you once called allies, turn on their heels and choose to believe rather than a question?

Have you ever had to strive for the perfection of self, simply to rewrite a falsified story? Have you ever been a scapegoat, persecuted and denigrated by all, just so that a lie can survive? Have you ever been deeply disliked by your peers simply for trying to be your absolute best self? Have you ever been made the cause for all others failings in life? How does a name survive? How does a reputation remain truthful? How do the complexities of personality, begin to infiltrate the understandings of personhood? How do we remain ourselves, while fundamentally changing as the minute’s march on? How do we remain the same we’ve always been while rejecting everything that has led us to the chaos in our lives?
From previous postings, I have highlighted why central life philosophy, is that of Truthful Articulation. I made the point that truthfully articulating ourselves. We can thus reduce those potential areas of conflict or pain which are inconsistent with how we interact with the rest of society. How we engage in the pursuit of our goals. How we go about doing just that, and our impact on others. Essentially how we conduct our lives.

These workable ideologies sit within how well, or rather how consistently we can truthfully articulate ourselves. They begin to be composite of our viewpoints and our non-negotiable states of Order. Drawing from the definitions of Dr Jordan Peterson; this form of expressionism allows one to navigate the world. To reduce the lack of understandings or complexities among beings.

Hence, when we make a statement which we hold, to be true.  Or make a disdainful difference to that which we hold as untrue. We do so particularly when we feel as though others are taking undue advantage of us. It is this expressionism which is our first foray into a perusal of our philosophy. It is the most original manner in which we bring life to the very definitions by which we conduct our lives. It is how we set our stake in the sand. Our Truthful Articulation is the only tool in setting Order to Chaos.

I felt incredibly comfortable at the time when publishing Part 1. How naïve of me. A year has since passed, and the desire to articulate truthfully has become a cross upon which I place myself. Since last year January, I made it my sole aim to be sure that I keep my principles easy enough for me to understand first. And to only speak up, if these non-negotiable traits have been unduly trodden on. It has been a glorious catch 22. To attempt to reduce misgivings through truthful speech. To stand by your spoken word, to be a promisor of your Stipulatio. with the knowledge that should you be errand in your truth. The consequence is the same as the violation of this ancient principle. One would be at pains to be found untruthful. The atonement is nothing less than a public stoning, by the ones left pooer by your lack of reverence for truth.  The admonishment of those who lie with proficiency has been greatly diminished of late.

I thought about how impractical it is to be consistent in one’s articulation, no matter our best intentions. Sometimes it is also serving to omit truths if they are not readily sought or beneficial to our cause. Even in cases where it is morally repugnant to not tell the truth, and one is to lay all bare. Even if this is an explicit duty.  We still may choose a lesser truth or even a cold concreted calloused lie. As self-serving creatures, we will always tend to the side of preservation of our current Order. This has left me feeling as though many others might feel too that Truthful Articulation, at all times, not the best strategy for life. While inherently good, and based on spiritual principles. Life is not entirely played on the strictness of the rulebook.

So after some searching, it hit me. It is not the art of being an “Honest Abe” and dependably telling the world as it is. It is also not about having the inability to lie by some spiritual affliction like in “Liar Liar”. Nor, is it about wielding such manipulative deceptive powers, like Ricky Gervais has in “The Invention of Lying”. Our lives are governed purely by the principle that we stand on truth-based purely on how we represent ourselves at our initial point of asking. People are always judging each other. Always tending to their side of caution. A caution which in itself leads to its own fed and nurtured paranoia. All stemming from the lack of their truthful articulation, at initial contact.

Our complexities are reduced on the validity of what we first say to the strangers we meet. Our defence against the undue infractions is sent out with immediacy once we truthfully articulate our name. It is that simple. Our first test in the interactions we have with strangers, or even those we are newly engaged with.  Our birth rite identifier is what we should strive to express truthfully. Whether carried through our lives since birth. Or if altered, amended or completely changed in later life. If it is how we truly identify ourselves, in all areas, then it should stand as the very first tool in our armoury in the defence of our Order.

When we make the pronouncement of the name we call ourselves, and which all others call us too. If it is the name used on legal tender. If it is the name which you answer to when called. If it is the name you wish to protect from damage or ill-spoken words. Then it is the very essence by which you begin to claim that which is yours. Through the truthful articulation of your name, you set yourself aside from the rest of humanity. You create for yourself, at least for that moment, a niche area in the world of many others.

While many others may have the same name as yours, and you don’t feel it be particularly special. Its specialness is that its representation is unique to you. The manner, in which you carry it, is based in all that you as an individual do daily. I mean, not all Neil’s walked on the moon. Nor did all the Neil Armstrong’s. Instead, this special, unique duty was carried out by one specific Neil. While it was a victory for ALL Neil’s at the time, the experience is only that if one.

As such your name becomes your first point of contact with Chaos. It is how you announce your entrance and associated participation into the “game” currently in progress that you wish to enter and play. It is this simple means of communication which we dispense with, through very little consideration which has a significant bearing on our commencing interactions. If we start our interactions with a lie, how are we then to understand where we are to engage the truth. How are we to know when someone is taking undue advantage of us if we can not at first instance invoke our initial point of truthfulness?

In legal matters, people always talk about “clearing my name”. It is known Chaos when we are faced with the demand to defend our name, or the incorrect representation thereof. It is a minor situation if someone is to at first mispronounce or misspell our name. The reduction of Chaos is evident when we correct this with immediacy. However, if we allow these failings of our articulation to fester. It turns into acquiescence that that is what we wish to be referred or identified as.

We can create further complexity just by being polite. We incorrectly allow the moment of correction to pass by since we are unsure how the correction will be perceived. So to not rock the boat, we allow it. Yet, months later, when the same incorrect articulation of our name is made by others, we choose to blow up and rant about how our name is not respected and we are not being taken seriously etc. All the lovely victim emotions warm our souls and we feel empowered by making this correction now. The irony being, that the conflict and negative perceptions we looked to avoid. Are now more rampant than ever. So instead of being known as someone proud of their name and origins. We now look passive-aggressive and undefined. Character traits not always associated with those many want to be around.

By neglecting our duty to truthfully articulate ourselves, even when being mindful of future “games”, we lose the opportunity to remain socially authentic. A social authenticity which falters and shifts just the same as a rumour, a bad reputation or reverence of self. It is a central praxis I believe, not only as a part of your truthful articulation strategy but as a successful key into the entrance into games which are fulfilling, their rewards truthful and their representations of good future value. If we lose the ability to remain truthful when saying our names, we begin to lose the unique identifications which separate us from beasts into conscious creatures. It allows us to transcend matter, into something that matters.

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