Rooted

The current fashion for proceeding through life seems to revolve around floating along on a cloud of shared trivia and shiftless experience. We’re completely up-to-date on everyone else and they’re likewise up to speed with us, no matter the depth or value of our experiences.

As someone else (I forgot) said (and I’m paraphrasing), never have lives so unlived been so well recorded.

I think it’s true with coupling, too. Linking with another person is not simply about choosing to link with them, as per online social networks. If we’re to give ourselves a chance of lasting, we need structures, both individually and as a meshed unit. Discipline implies self-control, which leads to being the best we can, which eventually leads to freedom.

By freedom, I mean the kind of joyous interaction rooted in an accurate knowledge of ourselves and our nature. Without the strictures implicit in gaining a solid grip on our place, feckless coupling and its consequences are our destiny, and our children’s, too.

This is what I call personal geolocation; locating our place on biological, intellectual and spiritual planes. Think of it as a kind of 4-D map. (Time is the 4th plane.)

Where are you? Only when we find – and maintain – a known position should we think of co-locating with another. This doesn’t mean our place is fixed. Far from it. Change is inevitable and should always be anticipated and planned for. In life and relationships, those who know how to deal with change put themselves that much closer to success.

One thing I’ve learned this process is that we’ll never precisely share the same space on the planes as another. The best we can work towards is keeping relatively close…which is where the discipline and self-control comes in.

Good luck.

Shifting

We humans are adept at many things – survival, reproduction, losing keys – and not so suave at others. The secret of compound interest escapes most people, as does the futility of casino gambling. We’re not perfect, which makes us completely adorable, right?

In a previous podcast about Authenticity and Sincerity, we canvassed the idea that expressing our every thought directly and completely might not be the path to coupling success. Nor success in any kind of interaction, for that matter, although it might help us find our keys. Social lubrication revolves around masking our unvarnished thoughts.

The mechanics of putting that filtering into practice relies in turn upon a much ignored human skill, that of self-control. Controlling what we communicate includes muting the hurtful, inartful and outright anti-social. And yet it’s so much more.

The picture created in the eyes of others by our verbal and non-verbal communication is mostly within our control. If we choose to project our best self, we actually have to be our best self. For the most part, that means doing some things (honesty, sobriety, diligence, maintaining a positive outlook, flexibility etc) and actively not doing others. That’s the control part of self-control.

Podcast #84 Am I As Attractive As I Can Be?

How delightful life would be if everybody could see into our hearts and spirits, and divine just what evolved and delicious individuals we all are.

Well, we don’t live in a world arranged that way. Appearance counts. People notice how we face life,¬† and, happily, we can take action to make ourselves more attractive. There are no guarantees of success, because that too is the way of the world, but there’s one key…ah, but you should listen to find out what that is.

In this episode Kregg and I riff on making ourselves our best in the eyes of others.

Crazy

If you believe the perpetually aggrieved, our reproductive organs are weapons of mass destruction. Too many people, too many people, too many people they cry again and again and again. We are destroying the planet and everything on it with the avalanche of babies who grow to be awful adults.

And yet we manage to survive and – dare I say it – thrive. Okay, so not all of us thrive. People in Sudan, or Chad or Somalia might not think they’re thriving, but as a species we are.

So what’s the problem? Some people are better off than others, but life’s always been the way; that’s evolution, right? There are winners and losers, and that’s just the way it is. By sheer force of numbers; life expectancy, eradication of diseases and opportunity we are a singularly successful animal.

Here’s the disconnect: If you believe that the suffering needs to stop, you take the single most useful step towards that goal, which would be…what? Cellphones for all? HIV education? Promotion of trades unions? Billions of dollars?

No. If you’re in the business of manipulating others, you’d educate the folks on one simple fact, that sex = pregnancy = more people. Remember that the individuals I refer to don’t like people because we do stuff, like drive cars and eat burgers.

And yet that one equation – that sex has consequences – is the truth least broached by the bleeding hearts, and why? Because they see having sex without thought for the resulting child as a right. The same folks who hate humans fail to do the one thing that will actually start to improve the lot of all of us. Promoting self-control, responsibility, delayed gratification and forethought would encroach upon the human right to reproduce as much as possible.

What’s it to be? Do you think that the poor¬† of the world lack the ability to figure as simple a concept as “if we have only the number of children we can successfully bring to a high-potential adulthood we’ll be doing the right thing by both those children we have and the earth as a whole”.

Or do you believe that everyone has the strength to overcome their mammalian instinct for pleasure to create a better future?

In the most rotten kind of paternalistic pandering, the political meddlers do everything but face people with the truth.

Mind you, it happens here as well. Many of the allegedly well-intentioned say it’s okay to have kids out of marriage, to divorce with minor kids in the picture and for self-actualization to be a priority over raising kids. When you have unprotected sex, the responsibility potentially lasts 20 years. Twenty. Years. If that fact were more at the forefront of our advanced brains, we’d have a very different world. There’d be much less need for social engineering busybodies, who’d stay at home to attend their own kids and stop bothering everyone else.

After The Honeymoon

The job was for a long time the territory of churches and temples, pastors and rabbis, elders, matriarchs and patriarchs. Good examples became models, poor examples pariahs, and the differences and why were explained, if only elliptically.

Traditional cultural guardians have lost their influence. Whomever has a tunnel into every individual’s brainspace now creates the cachet, the mindset and the norms. That’s not to say that civilized society is falling apart, because it isn’t…but it is fraying at the edges, and the day-to-day maintenance looks to be, well, sketchy.

Dating and coupling reflects this as much as anything. We’re all empowered now to think that whatever we feel we need to be ourselves is the best way to find contentment and happiness. All of those fusty old ideas might have worked back then, but they don’t apply to me. And if I make a mess of it, well, I’ll just re-invent and start over.

Which might work for a while. The trouble is that we have only one shot at life, and getting stuff right-ish makes a difference. To protect ourselves from the dangers of nature (and our fellow-man) we build houses. There are right ways and wrong ways to build a house to do that job, and that will always be the case. Learning how to do so by acting on your feelings or relying on others leaves way too much up to chance. Knowledge of and the application of precedents that work are worth learning.

The question remains: From whom will you gain this understanding?