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Sep 9, 2023Liked by David Pinsof

So... I am reading this post as if you were writing me a personal letter. I am pretending that you are one of my mentors. I know I don’t have all of my ducks in a row and that is why I am looking for insights into my specific human condition. I keep repeatedly asking myself the same questions every sentence or two... is this me? Am I, at my core, defined by these ideas? At first glance I have to admit that I am suspicious. My intuition is waving a vaguely red coloured flag. Maybe I find this idea insulting at some level... Maybe I need to think about it for a while and coax out what is stirring. I have to be honest though, something tastes a little off. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that you are wrong, I am just saying that this post makes me uncomfortable. Well done!

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Thanks, Gregory. Given that so much of our bullshit is designed to cover up this unflattering stuff, it is not surprising that it gave rise to this reaction in you. It actually is kind of insulting. Not toward you or anyone in particular, but toward the human species in general. It made me uncomfortable for a while too, so I can sympathize with your reaction. But if I’m wrong, it can’t just be because of a feeling. There has to be a hole in my logic or something I’m mistaken about. Maybe I am wrong—I’m open to that. If so, let me know where I went astray. In any case, it would surprising if the truth about our species was flattering, given our penchant for self-flattering bullshit. That makes me think I’m on the right track here. Thanks for reading and glad it got you thinking. Cheers.

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Jun 27, 2023Liked by David Pinsof

There is a comprehensive and effective philosophical system that provides a direct escape route to all the constraints you describe: it's called Buddhism - an effective antidote to the constant suffering caused by desire. This entire blog can be seen as an argument for going on a 10-day Vipassana sit - which means "to see things as they really are." Your blog expends a great deal of energy to describe "what things really aren't," so perhaps some discussion of this antipode is worthwhile.

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Thanks, Donald. It’s a great insight. I do have a lot of sympathies with Buddhism. I like the philosophy, and I like meditating (though I’ve fallen off the wagon recently). At some point, I plan to write about how the “self” is bullshit, and I have a post coming up soon on Robert Wright’s Why Buddhism Is True. Stay tuned.

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Jun 28, 2023Liked by David Pinsof

Kind of you to reply. Eager to read your thoughts on Buddhism as the intersections w your xclnt observations are exciting to imagine. Tuned in indeed. PS forgive yourself for “falling off the wagon” - even episodic meditation is so beneficial.

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May 10, 2023Liked by David Pinsof

Took by breath way !

This innate thing coupled with current American culture is literally making people sick

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May 9, 2023Liked by David Pinsof

Love this. It seems to align with my skepticism about the [probably not uniquely] American thing of "Never settle for second-best."

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the lengthy, convincing and only proposal I found is in The Listening Society book by Hanzi Freinacht

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It's not easy, but it is possible to transcend desire.

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Sorry if this is a dumb question or if I’m misunderstanding you, but if you truly transcended desire, wouldn’t you just stop eating and die?

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In your post you referenced thirst as being an exception to the kind of desire you were discussing. Hunger is also an exception.

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Ah, was your claim not that desire in general can be eliminated, but that the specific kinds of competitive desires I’m talking about can be eliminated? If so, I’m somewhat skeptical, but I’m curious to hear how one could do it (if it’s capable of being summarized).

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With regard to desire for status your post has all the answers. Oh, if knowing were as easy as speaking! You correctly point out that 90% of human activity is status seeking and that status seeking is of no value. You define this as a problem.

Firstly, something is only a problem if I judge it to be such. I have no problems. Secondly, if you knew, as you claim to know, that status seeking is of no value you would simply not do it. The hard part is being able to believe ourselves. I believe status seeking is a waste of time, therefore I have no desire for status.

On the general topic of desire, I have no desire regarding living or dying. I find myself living and see no reason to change that status. If I were non-existent, and somehow obtained the option to live, I would pass having no reason to change things.

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