self-sabotage

I was unwilling to believe this at first but I honestly think one of the biggest life hurdles/obstacles is learning how to avoid self-sabotage.

We often hold ourselves back from the things we truly want in life

Maybe out of fear that achieving our dream will leave us listless.

Maybe we don’t believe we deserve the good life, or true love, or true happiness, or genuine peace, or whatever virtue it is that you seek.

So we create excuses. We build up these walls and force ourselves to run into them.

Brick by brick, these obstacles eventually stop us from getting anything done.

And we’ve now built a wall surrounding ourselves, feeling safe from life’s arrows. But building this obstacle around you is self-sabotage. You’re constricted. No more freedom.

Self-sabotage is ugly. It’s an internal battle against yourself.

But you need to fight it. You need to break down those walls.

Freedom is virtue.

and I intend to use it

Philosophy makes you more sad

One of the most popular maxims in the world of philosophy, granted to us by good old Socrates, is that “the unexamined life is not worth living”

Surely, the unexamined life is less interesting. But does it make a person sadder?

To be a true philosopher, you must contemplate life and approach your transcendence.

Simone de Beauvoir, my favorite philosopher, and area of study, explains of the stages of freedom in her book Ethics of Ambiguity.

Now, I won’t go into too much detail about each step of the ladder, as there are 5 steps before we approach “genuine freedom,” which is ultimately how we reach our transcendence. But the important thing about de Beauvoir is that she addresses nihilism.

Nihilism is the third and inevitable step towards transcendent freedom.

Nihilism is an attitude; it is a conclusion that life is meaningless.

Now there is both active nihilism and passive nihilism, the latter of which we want to especially avoid.

Passive nihilism is what I would call modern-day dispassioned depression.

This is a dangerous combination because it is an awareness of one’s own sadness but also paired with a lack of passion or willingness to actually do anything. It’s almost like a complacency with one’s own conclusion that life is meaningless. Quite a sad attitude to carry for the rest of your life.

Eventually, you’ll burn.

Active nihilism, on the other hand, is how we are able to escape the nihilistic attitude entirely and approach the next steps to transcendence (which is called the “adventurer,” a person who does things for the sake of doing)

The active nihilist is in a rather precarious situation (as nihilism, in general, is quite a dangerous rope to cross). The active nihilist is aware of his conclusion that life is meaningless, but he fights against this conclusion—contemplating the notion and challenging his own predicament.

Eventually, the active nihilist, after much (or little) contemplation, will either move on towards his transcendence or revert to a passive nihilism.

I think every philosopher will approach nihilism at some point in their contemplative career, and often many times. Nihilism isn’t something we are able to just escape entirely unless you have approach full and complete transcendence. I know of no such person, except maybe the Buddha.

So yes, philosophers, true philosophers who are dedicated to a life of contemplation, will reach nihilism at some stage in their path to transcendence. Simone de Beauvoir calls transcendence “genuine freedom”; Nietzsche calls it the “Overman”; Plato has the “Good” and “Truth.”

All-in-all, if we want to truly achieve our philosophical potential, it’ll be difficult, it’ll be confusing, and it’ll also have a lot of sadness.

A sadness in nihilism. A sadness in lack of direction. A sadness through too much contemplation. But just know that sadness can be turned into passion and used to approach our transcendence.

Good Luck.

If you’d like to read some Simone de Beauvoir, check out her book Ethics of Ambiguity where she discusses freedom, humanity, and the meaning of life, etc. (She has a special place in my heart; she also essentially founded the second feminist movement).

Transcendence, or whatever

We are condemned to a life of freedom.

Now, more than ever, the youth are imbued with an immense power

We have the freedom to do anything we want

but this freedom is a double-edged sword. Too much power and we fail to recognize it

Paralysis of analysis occurs

Choosing one project means closing the doors to an infinite number of other doors

Other projects

How do we do them all?

Transcendence requires us to be the best version of ourselves

But how do we know we are choosing the right path? Our freedom has given us infinite possibilities. So which one is the right now? It’s inevitable you might fall into phases of nihilism while pondering this thought

We are condemned to a life of freedom

But transcendence has no asterisk next to it that entails we must choose the best option.

Transcendence requires us only to choose the path willingly, independently, and aware of our freedom to choose that particular path.

Transcendence does not require us to necessarily pick the winning lottery number. Instead, it’s an absolute dependence on self, on self-awareness of self-actualization.

Transcendence, or whatever, is about having the power to exercise our freedom.

What I’m Afraid of

What I’m afraid of right now is not actualizing my potential.

When I was 16, I self-studied psychology and learned that on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, that “self-actualization” was at the top.

I suppose to a subscriber to Maslow though, you could say that self-actualization is the meaning to life.

In a nutshell, self-actualization is achieving one’s full potential. Whatever that may be.

To achieve our potential, every decision we make needs to somehow push us forward. Even the failures. Even the missteps.

There is no such thing as “right” steps towards your transcendence.

There is only just living life in the aura of transcendence. That way, everything you do fulfills your potential.