“It is only possible to succeed at second-rate pursuits - like becoming a millionaire or a prime minister, winning a war, seducing a beautiful woman, flying through the stratosphere or landing on the moon. First-rate pursuits - involving, as they must, trying to understand what life is about and trying to convey that understanding - inevitably result in a sense of failure. A Napoleon, a Churchill, a Roosevelt can feel themselves to be successful, but never a Socrates, a Pascal, a Blake. Understanding is ever unattainable. Therein lies the inevitability of failure in embarking upon its quest, which is none the less the only one worthy of serious attention.”
-Malcolm Muggeridge.

Welcome back, sir.

posted on 11.26 at 03:23 PM.


posted on 11.26 at 05:21 PMjackrusher

Yes. Welcome back.

posted on 11.26 at 08:26 PMJane

That’s the accommodating thing about The Void…it waits, patiently, continuing its non-existence while we vacation in our distraction. It knows that we will return. It knows and yet, in its patience, it seems to us as though it cares not for our interest. Again and again we will return. We always do. We must. For what else is there truly worthy of our time besides its contemplation?

posted on 11.27 at 02:31 AM.

The Void, ah, yes, the Void. Our eyes slide off it, and yet return to it, as if it were a stray thread in a tapestry. We try to ignore the silence behind all words, but it rings in our gut like a tinnitus of the soul. It is where our dreamless hours go. We fear it for precisely that it lacks.

We can stop worrying! We ask too much of the Void, thinking that it can somehow eat our being and let us feel nonexistence at the same time. When we have truly been to the Void, we do not remember terror: we remember, if anything, sleep. The Void is not lack. The Void is possibility. The Void is the chalkboard, we are shapes in the chalk.

Maybe that’s the problem with Truth, too. How can one possible pattern be more true than another? We cannot know them all, for we exist only in one at a time. The pattern of the universe around us is mirrored in patterns of thought within us, and yet the pattern of our own thoughts and feelings and sensations is the truth we can know right now; it cannot be All Truth. A part of all possible patterns cannot know all possible patterns of reality, except (perhaps) by growing into something (perhaps) not human. When we seek understanding, we can feel a thrill of achievement: yet when we say we seek understanding, is it more true to say we seek that thrill?

What you call a defense can equally be termed a simple pleasure: a play in life, an otter-like leap into the fascinating and absurd world we are lucky enough to inhabit, in a universe Timothy Ferris suggested looked just as we would expect if it were made as an arena of creativity. An arena of creativity is your natural home, is it not, Jaime? And even the pain is an ingredient, as long as it is not the master. It’s good to remember the advice of Zen Buddhism: after you achieve enlightenment, what is there to do? Chop wood, carry water, that’s what. Chop wood, carry water. The difference is, it no longer feels like a waste of time.

Welcome back, great-souled cobbler, and may we journey long in the shoes you give us.

posted on 11.27 at 03:55 AM.


posted on 11.27 at 08:21 AMPierce

Good to see you again. Made my day.

posted on 11.27 at 09:50 AMsimon

Link to the Hardest Logical Puzzle ever

Link to the Solution

posted on 11.27 at 02:33 PM.

truth. delighted to see your return!

posted on 11.27 at 08:10 PMLiam

Thanks all. Glad to be back, in whatever capacity. And thank as well to those of you who sent me missives by back channels. Appreciated.

posted on 11.28 at 07:13 PMjmorrison

Welcome back slugger

Speaking of Pascal…

“For in fact, what is man in nature? A Nothing in comparison with the Infinite, an All in comparison with the Nothing, a mean between nothing and everything.  Since he is infinitely removed from comprehending the extremes, the end of things and their beginning are hopelessly hidden from him in an impenetrable secret; he is equally incapable of seeing the Nothing from which he was made, and the Infinite in which he is swallowed up.
    What will he do then, but perceive the appearance of the middle of things, in an eternal despair of knowing either their beginning or their end.  All things proceed from the Nothing, and are borne towards the Infinite.  Who will follow these marvellous processes?  The Author of these wonders understands them.  None other can do so.”

posted on 12.05 at 05:03 AM.

Man, those damned philosophers always seem to beat me to the punch on things. The important part is figuring it all out for yourself I suppose. But man… perfect quote Viscount.

posted on 12.10 at 09:38 AMjmorrison

I like the seducing a beautiful woman part

posted on 08.09 at 12:39 PMTinnitus Treatment

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