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One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. -Nietzsche

  January 28, 2009

Failure is normal

The normal state of the world is failure. The appearance of civilization, culture, intelligence, quality, and organization is a rare and fragile exception, usually noticed only when waning. Anything valuable is easily destroyed, and sure to be targeted by the jealous who do not possess it, but to assert protection even from innocent vandals requires a consuming defensive posture -- a psychological casualty often worse than what it attempts to defend against.

If scavengers remove something of value, this is just the erasing of an exception. One sees this comedy in former colonies that inherited the gifts of previous organizers but lack people who can uphold them. A normal state of civilization returns despite the temporary aberration.

Successes are typically effortless applications of vision and will upon the blank slated world, but you can learn more from disasters than successes, especially great disasters where much value is lost. This is why breakups, financial collapses, and unnecessary deaths are so interesting, especially when they result from phantasmagoria, instability, or speculative gambits. After destruction appears, the cause no longer matters, but the type of wreck often gestures at a larger repeating idea of which the event was only a single instance.

Thus there is greatness revealed in the terrible as a wonderful example of a type. What more could one desire but to see well formed examples? The car wreck, the biting snake, or the collapsed hedge fund are all performed by splendid actors quite believable as the exemplary villains or innocents they portray.

Spending time in third world nations and sensing the tempo and substance of daily existence is a great reminder of the normal conditions of life. The third world is a great liberation because it punctures the bubble of first world unreality.

  • minimalism (food, clothes, shelter, water) -- and this is enough
  • almost no pretense. pretenders are obvious and appear ridiculous
  • no promises of safety. life is risky and people are aware of this
  • rawness of life (also seeing life considered as having little value as measured in the local currency)
  • so little is needed for a good day
I get food poisoning in first world nations only, despite the sketchy food preparation conditions of the third world.

Life here is easy and beautiful. The eternal feminine draws us onward.
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