Adonis Diaries

Archive for August 20th, 2017

Notes and tidbits on FB and Twitter. Part 55

La joie de vivre est liée a un sentiment d’avoir réussi. Si seulement on pouvait abaisser la barre de ce qu’on considére “Réussir”

Pourquoi écrire si on se croit supérieur aux romans qu’on écrit?

It is Not worth reading the fundamentally “rootless” authors: They cannot worry about any society. Worst, those “rootlessly” living in their own country

Si on sent que le roman envoie des signes de prévisibilité de l’avenir de l’histoire, alors on avance difficilement dans la lecture, on s’ennui.

Les characters et les passions doivent etre décrite comme des entités Libre, pretes a tout moment d’actes imprévisibles.

Le romancier n’a pas le droit d’abandonner le terrain de la bataille.

Considerer la “conscience” comme un Black Hole qui rejette tout ce qui ne tient pas debout et essaie de s’introduire dedans. Question: comment les premieres idees furent introduites? A t-on cree notre Black Hole par nous meme?

L’intentionalité est la conscience qui ne peut exister que relier a d’autre chose que soi.

“Toute conscience est consciente de quelque chose” de la haine, la crainte, sympathie, ce qui parait amiable,  les reactions subjectives

Ces maniaques intelligents et raides, digne et toujours humiliés dans l’enfer du raisonnement, se moquent de tout et ne cessent de se justifier dans des confessions truquées qui laissent apparaitre des désarrois sans recours.

Day 28. Palestinian prisoners, 1,700 of them, on hunger strike. Israel again detained administratively 8 Palestinian youths. Intimidation tactics

C’était mathematique: les enfants de USA faisaient trembler leurs méres, les méres terrorisaient leurs maris.

L’infantilism de la politique Americaine s’expliquait de ces liens: les hauts placés exhibaient leurs familles et leurs rejetons pour obtenir plus de voix. (Observations of Louise Weiss on her 3-month tour sponsored by Foreign Affairs association in 1925)

Senator Borah de l’Idaho, USA (in 1925), á peine débarassé de ses Indiens, commencait a dénombrer ses interets communs avec l’ensemble du pays

Comme la harangue du sénateur Borah de l’Idaho (1925) valait á peine pour un sheriff de Western, il me parut plus raisonable de ne point lui répondre (Louise Weiss)

An age difference of 24 years among couples is problematic for many when the woman is the older one, as with new French President Macron. In the USA, Macron would have been defeated for just this factor.

Soon, all sciences will fall in desuetude because of AI robots. Psychology will survive: everyone thinks he is a psychologist

Nothing but this daily repetition of parents to their growing ups children “Come visit me for 5 min every day” may make a difference to your loneliness in old age

When the other children come to visit the old mother once a month for 5 min, ho,ho, ho ka2anno ejo min al safar. Bte7taar keef tashteshon

Par definition, toute énigme a sa solution. Pourquoi les solutions se font si rares aux milles énigmes qui nous tracassent? Même ces rares solutions paraissent subjectives

Avant le début et après la fin, nous ne savons rien.

Life of total work? How to care less about this trend?

“If I’m not just a worker, then who am I?”

Olivia Goldhill, June 11, 2016

We live in an age of “total work.” It’s a term coined by the German philosopher Josef Pieper just after World War II—describing the process by which human beings are transformed into workers, and the entirety of life is then transformed into work.

Work becomes total when all of human life is centered around it; when everything else is not just subordinate to, but in the service of work. Leisure, festivity, and play come to resemble work—and then straight-up become it.

Even our co-circular habits play into total work.

People work out, rest and relax, eat well, and remain in good health for the sake of being more productive. (In my case, just to stay healthy and have enough hope for a better tomorrow, or a better luck in life)

We believe in working on ourselves as well as on our relationships. We think of our days off in terms of getting things done. And we take a good day to be a day in which we were productive. (Does that include being passionate about a hobby?)

But caring as much as we do about work is causing us needless suffering.

In my role as a practical philosopher, I speak daily with individuals from Silicon Valley to Scandinavia about their obsessions with work—obsessions that, by their own accounts, are making them miserable. (Many young people are losing their head hair out from the stress of finishing a project on schedule)

Nevertheless, they assume that work is worth caring a lot about because of the fulfillments and rewards it supplies, so much so that it should be the center of life.

I think this is an unsound foundation to base our lives upon. The solution to our over-worked state isn’t to do less work; it’s to care less about it.

There are many ways to train yourself to care less about work.

Sure, you could become completely indifferent to life and not care about anything, or develop a distaste for working that reveals itself in extreme procrastination.

However, both approaches leave us stuck in a cycle of aversion and feeling deep dissatisfaction. The better option is to care less about work because we care more about other things.

Most of us have had meaningful experiences—finding love unexpectedly, feeling awe when asked an intriguing question—that we quickly dismiss as being no more than passing moments, or which turn into nostalgic episodes to be recalled wistfully now and again.

But these experiences are clues that reveal a different lens through which we can see life: The more important things take us out of the endless pursuit of “being useful” while enabling us to lose ourselves in the flow of time.

By caring less about work, we open ourselves up to caring more about other dimensions to life—about what matters more. But that’s easier said—or written on a to-do list—than done.

How to care less about work

To get started, we need to become less attached to our notions of work.

The Buddha helpfully suggests that there are “3 poisons” at the root of our attachments: attraction, aversion, and indifference.

In this case, to become less attracted to, and therefore less hung up on, notions of career success, you should pay close attention to how those occupying positions of power are often over-extended, run ragged by infinite demands and herculean ambitions.

They are rarely leading well-rounded or well-ordered lives. The cost of their single-minded striving for success is unvoiced suffering, loneliness, and the loss of other things worth caring about. If career success too often brings misery, then should it be esteemed as highly as it usually is?

Once you’ve detached the notion of success from that of happiness, you need to work out how else to find that satisfaction—but without actually achieving anything.

This exercise opens us up to Oscar Wilde’s famous dictum, “All art is quite useless.” We can refute total work’s claim that only useful things are valuable by taking Wilde at his word, and considering how we can perform fascinating but totally useless artistic experiments in our own lives.

For example, we could partake in the “art of roaming” without an aim or plan. This is an idea advanced by French theorist Guy Debord, who proposed that we let ourselves “be drawn by the attractions of the terrain” and the encounters we discover.

Alternatively, we could write a haiku, walk through the woods in the spirit of “forest bathing” (shinrin-yoku), or lie perfectly still in a moving rowboat, as 18th-century philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau reports having done in Reveries of the Solitary Walker.

We could take part with others in breaking out of an escape room, immerse ourselves in sensory deprivation tanks, or practice calligraphy, an art that master calligrapher Kazuaki Tanahashi calls “brush mind.

By these means, we can plunge into life, engaging our senses while suspending our buzzing, noisy workaday concerns.

Once we’ve gotten the knack for embracing the idea that certain things in life are wondrous because they’re not focused on getting through, onto, or ahead of something, we can turn our attention to ourselves, inquiring into our own lives.

Socrates’ great insight involved showing his conversation partners that they thought they knew themselves, but it turns out that they didn’t.

Following Socrates’ lead, we can ask ourselves, “If I’m not just a worker, then who am I?”

Let this question sit in the back of your mind for a few weeks before you try to answer it.

“Who am I?” you might ask while getting bogged down at work. “Who am I?” you might think while you notice your thoughts inclining once again toward completing tasks, planning, strategy setting, and making insurmountable to-do lists.

“Is this who I am? Is this all I am?” This philosophical question, posed over and over again, is intended to arouse great doubt in you, inviting you to prod your deepest ambitions, why you’re here, and what it’s all about.

If your destiny is not to be a total worker, then what could it be?

Exasperated, a character in Voltaire’s Candide says, “Let’s stop all this philosophizing and get down to work.” What a waste of time, he seems to be saying—and maybe you’re thinking the same thing.

We could, of course, follow his advice and just keep our heads down. Or we could insist upon working less without caring less about work.

Or we could try to find a time-management guru who would allow us to continue a regime of total work by plying time-saving techniques. But aren’t these approaches just more of the same: total work in action?

If the solution to your anxiety is keeping your head down, easing up a bit, or working more efficiently, you’ll someday regret the awakened life that will have ultimately, tragically passed you by.

Exercises like these shepherd us beyond the world of total work, helping us to remember why we’re here. They allow us to shed our worries, anxieties, irritations, and busynesses.

By caring about work a little less, we can afford ourselves experiences of what is truly meaningful, and let us rest for a while in the unfolding present.

You can follow Andrew on Twitter. Learn how to write for Quartz Ideas. We welcome your comments at

Note: How to behave once you retire? I say: Etre a la retraite veut dire: j’ ai le matin jusqu’a 1 pm pour mediter, lire et ecrire, et toute la nuit pour tout autre chose. Sleep my fill and sleep when I feel like to or when just bored. C’ est comme ca qu’on change une vie de labeur pour survivre.




August 2017

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