Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Where are you and where are you going?
IlliniDave
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by IlliniDave » Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:30 am

suomalainen wrote:
Tue Aug 08, 2017 12:14 pm
I think the theme has been that since the accident, my internal life has been thrown topsy turvy in a way that has been very difficult to get a handle on. I started reading IlliniDave's journal today, the "Journey of Mindfulness" title catching my eye. Something he wrote really resonated with me and my struggles -- "I think too much." There's a certain myopia to the thinking and even the thinking about thinking.

When it comes to early retirement (or "freedom", which seems to be what retirement symbolizes for me), it's like navel gazing and picking out each piece of lint as it gathers, or more graphically, picking at a scab to see how it's healing. I don't know that it's healthy. So, the struggle has been, as it seems to have been at least in the early entries for IlliniDave, to learn to live in the moment.

...

And yet. and yet. I'm not satisfied. Perhaps I never will be. But what if I could just choose to be satisfied? Could it possibly be that easy?
Regarding your last sentence, it can be that simple, but it is not easy.

I'm afraid my journal has moved away from its original theme and become a bit drier of late. That started around the time my mom became ill and I became quite a bit more guarded about my inner self. That situation for a time became a setback as well as the worrier in me made a heroic attempt to reassert itself as a dominant facet in my person.

I was thinking of mentioning this in my journal but I'll add it here. My job is slightly unusual in that for the last 19 years I've maintained an office both in one of my employers buildings and a second in a facility of a different company we've been teamed with on a long-term project. Due to some major reshuffling I'm having to give up my office in my employer's building (temporarily from their perspective but in reality by the time they finish all the renovation/construction they have planned I'll be retired). I spent yesterday finishing up the clean out of my "on-site" office. I had arranged for some storage space to preserve a modest fraction of my stuff that I did not want to take over to my off-site office (though a partner in some areas, this company is a competitor in others). But I realized that it was mostly sentiment that made me want to keep the stuff, and that keeping it was just an attempt to cling to the past. I had noticed your reference to my journal on Thursday which had renewed my sensitivity to mindfulness, so once I recognized that behavior for what it was, I destroyed everything I'd planned to store.

I wish I could say that that act was a major epiphany of enlightenment. In truth it was really difficult. Unlike many here my "career" was overwhelmingly a positive experience. Perhaps it was because I never let it be a "real career", but that's another subject. So besides a couple of boxes of old college textbooks I have stacked in my garage until I can figure out what to do with them, the scant amount of stuff I need day-to-day for my present assignment, and the very few framed mementos/awards that survived the purge which I'll stick up on the wall of my off-site office, all physical ties to my 30+ year run have been obliterated. So far the feeling is more one of being cast adrift than one of freedom, but I think time will remedy that. And I am still drawing a paycheck from them :D .

The point to that too-long anecdote is that it's not like throwing a switch and suddenly becoming some sort of carefree enlightened spirit. It's a series of incremental challenges that you just have to take one at a time. There's a family of sayings in Zen philosophy that each step (or the present step) is the journey; or alternately that the obstacle is the path. Mindfulness is giving all your attention to tackling what is right now under your control. Being immersed in the moment is just that, it's not a detour around the tough things in life. From a more western perspective you could maybe call it an analog to having grit.

suomalainen
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by suomalainen » Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:41 pm

Shit, so much substance to respond to. Can't you people just judge me silently and move on?!

Anyway, Jason, no Finnish is simple and easy. See <URL url="https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=HtAd78dWU ... </URL>.</r>

And I thought you woulda figured out by now that I'm trying to move FROM solipsistic motherfucker to just plain motherfucker. Alas, 'twil be a long journey, about as likely a success as your journey from asshole. We both enjoy it too much. Actually, I think secretly you're not an asshole. Your a fuckin-disney-grouch-with-a-heart-of-gold-character. Don't deny it. You know it's true.

Noedig, be careful out there - blinkies on the front AND the back. A few months after I got hit, a guy died getting hit from behind. A few months ago a guy died from a cross like wot got me. The difference? He got hit by a truck and me a camry. God bless low hood heights. Poor fucker had a new baby as well as a 6-8 year old (friend's son was on the same baseball team). Just terrible.

Yes, we Finns are a sorry bunch. What's it say when I'm sorta (darkly) proud that we're number 2 worldwide in suicides, after Japan? Pretty fucked up. But I love my peeps even if I'm an outsider as an American-Finn.

IlliniDave, I hope this doesn't come across as (too) gay, but, damn, it's like I'm reading my future self. Maybe that's good or maybe that's depressing, I dunno. Either way, I did notice the change in your writing. I just chalked it up to "it's hard to focus on peace when your whole life is fucked up." At least in the sense of facing impending death for not just one but three family members. I do wish you peace in your journey as well as peace in your family. What a bump in the road.

But yes, I am trying to focus more on today being a journey and there not really being a destination at all. Tangent - I've hated my old house for years now. I've replaced the windows and doors and plumbing and electrical. Today I swapped out the toilet because my fucking 8 year old flushed his toothbrush down the old one and toilet paper and shit kept getting stuck on it and blocking the damn thing and I couldn't get it out. $200. Oh well. My shrink tells me that my hating life's challenges is like saying I don't want to live. What is life if not challenges?

Anyway, thanks to all for reading, for offering a bit of yourselves to this anonymous Finn and for calling me on my bullshit. Lord knows I'm full of it. Can you imagine my wife?! Putting up with me all these years is just....I should stop complaining about her.

I may have had a few before / as I typed this. I love New England IPAs. And to think I used to be Mormon. What a journey.

Jason
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by Jason » Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:02 am

RE: "I used to me Mormon." I am assuming that you were the first person in their history who was asked to leave.

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Lillailler
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by Lillailler » Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:18 am

Thanks for the Finnish lesson, very amusing, although I thought the most important word in Finnish was " "hätäuloskäynti"?

suomalainen
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by suomalainen » Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:54 pm

Well this week has just been a kick in the nuts. I'm visiting my parents ahead of my mom's heart surgery. The first few days were fine, but my dad's anxiety has slowly ramped as surgery day approaches, and their codependent dynamics (both between themselves and how they play against me) drives me absolutely bonkers. Anyway, it's a serious surgery, but only a 1% chance of death/stroke, so I've chosen to not get worked up about all the bad shit that could happen (unless/until it happens). Very zen of me, I know. Somehow I'm able to do that with certain things, but not with others. Maybe it has to do with almost dying myself a few years ago and going through the wringer until you just can't do it anymore. Anyway, I'm rambling. Where was I?

Yes, right, mom's surgery is day after tomorrow, which in all likelihood will be fine. The more immediate shitty thing is that my newly crowned best friend quit his job this week effective immediately and is moving to the intermountain west. WTF?! Observing my reactions to it, I wonder whether our friendship had started to slide into the codependent territory. We saw eachother 2-3 times a week, we drank together, we philosophized together, we were the creepy old guys at a bar together, it was great. Even my DW referred to him as my boyfriend. But, in the shadow of my sadness I see a glimmer of opportunity. To find space apart from my family that doesn't require another person. I can go hike by myself, play disc golf by myself, do other things by myself, without trying to immediately fill the physical hole left by my best friend.

I dunno. Too many things to psychoanalyze that I end up with the three stooges syndrome (everything trying to squeeze through the door at once - Simpsons reference).

Jason
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by Jason » Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:24 am

Surgery is always serious, especially with older people. I don't know the exact age of your Moms. My mother-in-law had heart surgery a few years back and she lived, albeit with issues. That's the best I can do on that front. Ok, I can do better. Your moms will be fine.

Now with regard to you Huckleberry Finn, let me tell you a story. Before I married my wife we were living together in sin. I had a friend. Lets call him John. Actually, his name was John. John and I were in a band together and John and I snorted cocaine together and John and I fought over fucking the bi-polar stripper who sang in our band (he won) and John and I had those stories you would expect to have with people in those conditions, like the time he sold his father's camera for an eight ball and a blow job from a hooker and lost his car in the process and upon asking me for help I said I couldn't but because I was snorting an eight ball with a hooker at the time. So, one day I said to my future wife, I am going to see John and she said, "Ok, I'm going." And I knew right there I would never see John again (I haven't) and I don't miss him one fucking bit.

Moral of the story: Don't tell your wife you are going to visit your friend. No. That's not it. Well, it kind of is. Let me think of a better moral. OK. Here we go: Commit as early as you can to the people who will be at your side when you are dying and fuck everyone else.

I don't know you, you seem like a good guy, a little tortured, a little neurotic, a little prone to feeling sorry for your Finnish ass. But I think if you just decided to commit to what is right in front of you every morning things would become simpler. And remember, simplicity is complex. Making simplicity look simple is the key and you can only do that by practice.

suomalainen
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by suomalainen » Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:58 pm

I read part of Siddhartha on the flight to visit my parents and finished it on the flight back. A few observations from this trip, this book and the stream of my thoughts generally:

1. I like lists, apparently.
2. My parents' relationship drives me nuts. I generally see my dad as a self-centered bully-asshole and my mom as a weak, subservient enabler. And that may be fair from some limited viewpoint. There is also incredible pain and insecurity and weakness and mental health problems that go into my dad's behavior, some of which I know about and some of which I don't. There is also incredible strength and fortitude and selflessness that go into my mom's behavior. Perhaps all I can say is that I don't get to judge them or their relationship; all I can do is choose how to behave myself in my relating to them, in my part of the relationship I have with them individually and as a pair, and it is entirely fair for me to say that I don't like this or that or that this or that isn't healthy for me, so I choose to separate myself from it.
3. At the same time, their patterns set the relationship/life patterns for my life and I find myself spending the rest of my life trying to fix the results of their personal, marital and parental shortcomings, including that I am one co-dependent motherfucker. I find and fix one way and feel pretty damn good only to discover just how fucking insidious pattern imprinting during child development is and...just...the myriad ways my co-dependency expresses itself is...well, it's irritating is what it is.
4. My wife was 22.5 weeks pregnant when, on Christmas Day, her water broke. We rushed to the hospital, the looks on the faces of the doctors and nurses telling us all we needed to know. He was as good as dead. Somewhere in those first few hours, all the worry and fear and angst just evaporated (full disclosure, it happened during a prayer as this was during my somewhat religious period). The way it evaporated was just that I had to confront this most terrible of fears and to realize there was not a goddamn thing I could do and I just let go of it. In essence, I was the rawest, most vulnerable, most helpless I have ever been in my life, save for perhaps at my own birth, completely at the mercy of the universe (god, at the time) and there was nothing to be done but accept the raw, vulnerable helplessness (give it all to god). (Post-script - the boy survived after being born at 23.5 weeks, at 1.5 lbs. He is a special soul; mostly normal, but he is the purest, most genuine, least guarded person I have ever met. Watching him experience joy and sorrow is exquisitely beautiful.)
5. My mom is having heart surgery tomorrow and one could say I am blasé about it. As I was discussing my attitude today with my sister's boyfriend, I remembered my experience with my son's "death", and it suddenly made sense. Somehow, life and death are things that I have for 11 years been able to completely let go of, just accepting it, come what may.
6. At the same time, I can be incredibly tenacious in holding onto other thoughts - my regret at not experiencing a wild, sow-my-oats 20s; my current chagrin at being married to a very religious woman now in the height of my cold rationality about the universe and man's place in it; my desire to not work any more / be retired; and likely many other neurosis, but these three are primary.
7. All of the above swirling in my mind, I read about Siddhartha's journey and the idea that "Oh, were not all sufferings time? Were not all fear and self-torment time, were not all difficulty, all hostility in the world over and overcome as soon as time was overcome, as soon as time could be thought away?"
8. My mind is often in the past or in the future. When in the future, it is there to plan for and seek some future wonderful life. Perhaps I am "seeking too hard, that you seek so hard that you do not find... [because] when someone seeks, then it easily happens that his eyes see only the thing that he seeks, and he is able to find nothing, to take nothing because he always thinks only about the thing he is seeking, because he has one goal, because he is obsessed with his goal. Seeking means: having a goal. Finding means: being free, being open, having no goal."
9. I too am a seeker - having even prided myself on being an eternal one. But what if the seeking is the problem? By focusing so much on this ERE journey, this "retirement" finish line, it tends to blind me to the great and wonderful and IMPORTANT! things happening right now in front of me. What if there is no finish line? (as halfmoon titled her intro). How can I be so accepting of life and death (things completely outside my control) while winding myself up so much on lesser things, things over which I have some control for fuck's sake!?

This is why this forum and others' experiences are so valuable to me - to be able to see that no one's life "fades into the sunset" upon achieving ERE (except maybe Spoonman. Where is he?!). Life goes on. The business of life will remain the same, and the question of how you fill the balance also remains the same. It's just that the volume changes.

Jason
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by Jason » Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:18 am

I actually read this.

I am never going to Finland.

wolf
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by wolf » Sat Aug 19, 2017 8:23 am

suomalainen wrote:
Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:58 pm
8. My mind is often in the past or in the future. When in the future, it is there to plan for and seek some future wonderful life. Perhaps I am "seeking too hard, that you seek so hard that you do not find... [because] when someone seeks, then it easily happens that his eyes see only the thing that he seeks, and he is able to find nothing, to take nothing because he always thinks only about the thing he is seeking, because he has one goal, because he is obsessed with his goal. Seeking means: having a goal. Finding means: being free, being open, having no goal."
9. I too am a seeker - having even prided myself on being an eternal one. But what if the seeking is the problem? By focusing so much on this ERE journey, this "retirement" finish line, it tends to blind me to the great and wonderful and IMPORTANT! things happening right now in front of me. What if there is no finish line? (as halfmoon titled her intro). How can I be so accepting of life and death (things completely outside my control) while winding myself up so much on lesser things, things over which I have some control for fuck's sake!?
regarding point 8 and 9, I understand, too. Sometimes I have similar thoughts. It is a challenge to stay in the presence when your mind is wandering between the past and future. I am constantly switching between the past (my experiences), the future (my goals), and my presence (just being). At some point I have accepted that and I think I have found something like a balance. Ignoring one or two times is not good, IMO. Well, I am very thankful for all experiences, therefore of the past. I am looking forward to set and achieve goals. And then I sometimes only want to live and be. Meditating has also helped me to be aware of my thoughts. It is very interesting how many thoughts there are on your mind, when you calm yourself and just observe them.
Recently I have tried to figure out what comes after FIRE/ERE? I understand now, that FIRE/ERE ist just a means and no absolute goal. It helps me to achieve others goals in life. There is no finish line. Life continues after FIRE/ERE and I want to be prepared. Therefore I try to imagine other aspects of my life than FIRE/ERE.

What do you want to achieve in your life besides FIRE/ERE? Do you think about "what comes after ERE"?

suomalainen
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by suomalainen » Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:19 pm

Well @mdfire, that's just it, right? There is no "what comes after ERE". Thought experiment - you know nothing about me but these two facts: 1) I say I'm going to pick up fishing as a hobby starting tomorrow; and 2) I've never fished in my life. You'd be forgiven for having your doubts about my statement, right?

So, instead of focusing on what's after, I think the more rational answer is to focus on what's now. For me, that means I'm going to stop being so codependent, both in space and time. Meaning is not found "out there", it's made "in here". Other people can't make me happy. Marriage and kids can't make me happy. Past me, future me can't make me happy. Stuff can't make me happy. Achieving a fairly arbitrary level of assets that I label "financial independence" can't make me happy. Surely, there's a (limited) place for learning from the past and planning for the future, but that's not where life happens.

I don't know what happiness is, but I do know it can only be experienced now, and I guess I'm at the point where I want to increase my odds of "being happy" by doing more of the things I enjoy with the people I enjoy. The kids are getting old enough where I can take them with me on adventures I'd like to have. Maybe that will have beneficial effects on them too, but I do feel a sense of opportunity as I emerge from that period of life where it was nothing but work and young dependents. I even hope it'll be fun!

PS. My mom's open heart surgery went great. She's back home not 5.5 days after having her heart exposed to the air. Crazy.

PPS. My best friend is now driving across the country with his family. He described what happened as a mental/nervous breakdown. I hope to continue on the path of having fun / being alive that we started together. Would maybe be more fun with him, but I'm at least grateful that he gave me the push to get started.

wolf
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by wolf » Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:40 pm

suomalainen wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:19 pm
Well @mdfire, that's just it, right? There is no "what comes after ERE". Thought experiment - you know nothing about me but these two facts: 1) I say I'm going to pick up fishing as a hobby starting tomorrow; and 2) I've never fished in my life. You'd be forgiven for having your doubts about my statement, right?

So, instead of focusing on what's after, I think the more rational answer is to focus on what's now. For me, that means I'm going to stop being so codependent, both in space and time. Meaning is not found "out there", it's made "in here". Other people can't make me happy. Marriage and kids can't make me happy. Past me, future me can't make me happy. Stuff can't make me happy. Achieving a fairly arbitrary level of assets that I label "financial independence" can't make me happy. Surely, there's a (limited) place for learning from the past and planning for the future, but that's not where life happens.

I don't know what happiness is, but I do know it can only be experienced now, and I guess I'm at the point where I want to increase my odds of "being happy" by doing more of the things I enjoy with the people I enjoy. The kids are getting old enough where I can take them with me on adventures I'd like to have. Maybe that will have beneficial effects on them too, but I do feel a sense of opportunity as I emerge from that period of life where it was nothing but work and young dependents. I even hope it'll be fun!
Your answer makes me thinking. "...focus on what's now" that is important, I understand. Being independent is important. Meaning is made from within. Absolutely. I too understand, that things, people, ... outside of yourself doesn't make you happy. I am also in this process. But, sometimes it is difficult to make myself happy, because if I subtract everything outside of myself, what is left? Sometimes I feel emptiness and sometimes I feel fulfilling. I have read "The power of now" from Eckhard Tolle and he explains this very good. However, who are we, when there is no outside. That leads to some hypothesis, that we are only, because of the outside. We define ourselves, by the outer world. At least in some aspects of life. I absolutely sure about self believes, subconsiousness, ... What we belief, we become, get, do.... What is for sure, that life happens in the presence. Thank you for your insights, maybe I gotta think about that another time.

suomalainen
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Financial Update

Post by suomalainen » Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:00 pm

I really liked @spoonman's approach of dividend investing and the graphs. Super cool to follow along and watch the growth. I'm sure it's not the best (US) tax strategy, but I view dividends as first (tax free) dollars in, with wages coming second, effectively making my working more expensive. A bit of additional motivation, as it were.

Anyway, I hope this works, but here's my dividend graph:

<IMG height="680" width="400" src="http://i.imgur.com/0hitC15.jpg"></IMG>

Here's the address if it doesn't work. I'll figure it out later. http://i.imgur.com/0hitC15.jpg

It may be that the image is too big but I don't know how to resize images on just my phone and that's what I'm using (I have a separate "financials" laptop for accessing and tracking my accounts; call me paranoid, but I won't access other websites from my special red laptop and I won't access my accounts other than from Red).

Anyway, I just also wanted to address my asset allocation. I moved my 401k and HSA assets into stable value / bonds in August 2016, nervous about the election. I've missed the market gains since then, but am nonetheless pleased at the "floor" such an allocation gives me. New money has gone and will continue to go into index equity funds. If there's a substantial correction, I'll move out of stable value / bonds back into equities. I also started a backdoor Roth IRA this year, invested in a dividend index fund at Vanguard if memory serves.

I also liquidated my personal account last August (which is what the graph represents). I did it because I was nervous about the election and because I thought I might need the cash to buy / build a new house and couldn't handle volatility in that amount. I think I've been cured of the build bug, but we still might move. In any event, I moved that cash (plus some more) back into individual equities. It's dumb, I know, but I like being invested regardless of current valuations. On the plus side, I have more cash to buy down my basis should there be a correction. Sidenote: net worth seems to be a fairly arbitrary/useless metric due to volatility, so I don't really care about it even though I do track it (greater than zero now!). What I do care about is what income my assets throw off, so that I know when I no longer NEED to work. Anyway, that shift to cash is reflected in the tailong off of dividends in the graph and it should go back up in the coming quarters as dividends are declared/made in my new positions (unless I picked real dogs, which is about a 50/50 probability!).

Peace out.

suomalainen
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by suomalainen » Sat Aug 26, 2017 10:07 pm

I'm just gonna piss and moan for a second (not like all my other posts :roll: ). My best friend was my only "fun" friend. It's hard to be self-motivated to go have fun by myself. I'm much better as a follower than as a leader (or as a solo, at least with trying new things). I managed a few things this week even if it ended with a $320 trip to Cabela's to buy a bow and some arrows and a target to shoot with the kids in the backyard. Anyway, I'm watching the Mayweather McGregor fight at home (another $100) tonight because I tried 4 guys to go to a sports bar with me and they are all lame. And the kicker is that boxing is BORING. Damnit.

Edit: I'm not complaining about the family/kids - it was actually a great week with some walks/hikes, some swimming, frisbee golf, laser tag, bows n arrows, listening to a book, etc. all good stuff. But I miss my fun friend. :(

Jason
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by Jason » Sun Aug 27, 2017 1:21 pm

Funny, I was just on Floyd Mayweather's Instagram account looking at pictures of him wiping his ass with Finnish currency.

suomalainen
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by suomalainen » Sun Aug 27, 2017 2:08 pm

You mean the euro?

Random thought:

Sometimes, and I don't mean to be offensive to any religious types here, I think back to my religious days and remember the comfort of having some "sure strong man" tell me what's what. "Just do x, y and z and you'll be saved/happy/whathaveyou." I don't think the particular x, y or z really mattered all that much; the real trick was the sureness. It was AN ANSWER.

Now, it's freeing, yes, to make my own decisions as to what my x, y and z are gonna be, but it's lonely. Not because I'm necessarily doing x, y and z by myself, but because I'm exposed. Vulnerable. It's just me making these decisions and I know I don't know what the fuck I'm doing.

So I sometimes miss religion and its authority figures (edit: and its moral absolutes/certainty). Not that I can ever go back. They don't know what the fuck they're doing either. The emporer has no clothes.

Jason
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by Jason » Sun Aug 27, 2017 2:45 pm

So you are absolutely sure there is no absolute surety. That is not only a worldview as totalitarian as one that claims there is absolute surety, but is in fact a default epistemological position i.e. that which my net cannot catch is not fish.

suomalainen
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by suomalainen » Sun Aug 27, 2017 8:40 pm

Nope, didn't say that. It's not really an epistemological statement. And I really didn't even say anything about theology. It was merely an observation that among humans, I can choose to trust a guy I've never met (i.e., any number of religious leaders), or I can choose to trust me (if/when there's a difference of opinion). After a lifetime of trusting other people and not trusting myself, I learned that everybody is making it up as they go along, so I may as well trust myself.

I am not suggesting that I know more than "experts" in various subject matter areas, but rather I am only addressing the issue of what I should think, what I should do and what I should be. There is no "right answer", regardless of what any number of people have told me; I think/do/am what I choose to think/do/be. Some will agree that I'm doing it right and others will disagree.

halfmoon
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by halfmoon » Sun Aug 27, 2017 9:32 pm

suomalainen wrote:
Sat Aug 26, 2017 10:07 pm
I'm just gonna piss and moan for a second (not like all my other posts :roll: ). My best friend was my only "fun" friend. It's hard to be self-motivated to go have fun by myself. I'm much better as a follower than as a leader (or as a solo, at least with trying new things). I managed a few things this week even if it ended with a $320 trip to Cabela's to buy a bow and some arrows and a target to shoot with the kids in the backyard. Anyway, I'm watching the Mayweather McGregor fight at home (another $100) tonight because I tried 4 guys to go to a sports bar with me and they are all lame. And the kicker is that boxing is BORING. Damnit.

Edit: I'm not complaining about the family/kids - it was actually a great week with some walks/hikes, some swimming, frisbee golf, laser tag, bows n arrows, listening to a book, etc. all good stuff. But I miss my fun friend. :(
Soumalainen, I'm going to express a very personal, lecture-y opinion here. Please feel free to skip it completely since I've chosen not to have children of my own and am therefore suspect.

You have a wife and three kids of impressionable ages. You entered into each of these relationships voluntarily, and they come with obligations. The obligation to your children is non-negotiable because you chose to give them life. You don't need a fun friend; you don't have the time or emotional energy for a fun friend. The fun friend is a way of avoiding the other choices you've made and pretending that you can magically be someone else without obligations. You have X amount to give to the choices you've made in life. X is not infinitely expandable. Those kids and wife need every bit of your fun side and every other damn side you have. If you commit yourself wholly to that mission, you may even find new sources of fun and meaning.

Jason
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by Jason » Mon Aug 28, 2017 6:24 am

suomalainen wrote:
Sun Aug 27, 2017 8:40 pm
Nope, didn't say that. It's not really an epistemological statement. And I really didn't even say anything about theology. It was merely an observation that among humans, I can choose to trust a guy I've never met (i.e., any number of religious leaders), or I can choose to trust me (if/when there's a difference of opinion). After a lifetime of trusting other people and not trusting myself, I learned that everybody is making it up as they go along, so I may as well trust myself.

I am not suggesting that I know more than "experts" in various subject matter areas, but rather I am only addressing the issue of what I should think, what I should do and what I should be. There is no "right answer", regardless of what any number of people have told me; I think/do/am what I choose to think/do/be. Some will agree that I'm doing it right and others will disagree.
Ultimate commitment's are by nature a "religious" commitment and my point is that your assumption that all religious matters are merely subjective (this guy vs that guy) removes the possibility of a totalitarian, transcendent being outside the universe imposing a heteronomous power over the created order i.e. a creator-creature distinction. You refuse the possibility that your intellectual committment to viewing man as autonomous and man's mind as the determinate of reality could be the result of non-belief of said heteronomous being.

Nothing personal, but do you really trust yourself and your mind that much that you would believe its ultimate truth claims i.e. truth is just a marketplace of competing ideas (specifically Marx's view of religion as an opiate of the masses which was really just a watered down Christianity itself but that's a whole other matter)?

I don't trust myself that much and I'm not the one who paid $100 to watch the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight.

suomalainen
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Re: Suomalaisen Päiväkirja

Post by suomalainen » Mon Aug 28, 2017 12:19 pm

@halfmoon: I respectfully disagree. I give and have given more of myself to my wife and kids than you could know. It may not come across in my posts, but I'm a great dad. Sure, my kids will have things to discuss with their therapists when the time comes much like I have plenty to discuss with mine, but for the most part, I'm doing the best I can to love and teach and guide my children. That said, kids don't deserve or need my everything, and in fact, I think that that kind of approach is suffocating to them. I am no helicopter parent and I deliberately and knowingly refuse to be. I believe in my children. I believe that they can figure things out on their own and that they SHOULD figure things out on their own. Failure is definitely an option and one that should be embraced and learned how to be dealt with. And I am there to provide as much assistance as is developmentally appropriate (given my worldview of teaching them independence). But I also have my own needs and it is not appropriate for me to ask my children to fill my needs for me. It is my responsibility to meet my own needs. And one of my needs is for adult friendship. There is nothing inappropriate about that. For context, the "fun" we would have together would be weekly racquetball, weekly disc golf (usually bringing the kids with us) and dinner/drinks every so often. This isn't like hookers and blow fun.

By the way, I'm catching up on your journal (about halfway through) and am enjoying it. Maybe it's discussed later, but I'm curious what happened to DS and how he's come to view your lifestyle choices as he's gotten older.

@Jason: Maybe we're talking past each other here. As to myself, I think it is correct to say that "man's mind [is] the determinate of [HIS] reality". I (for some value of "I") can perceive "reality" in no other way than through my own senses and my own mind. In other words, my experience of reality is, in fact, entirely subjective for it can be nothing else. It is impossible for me to perceive reality through your senses and through your mind unless you communicate to me and I adopt the substance of your communication. Given the choice between you and me, why should I choose you? Why choose the Prophet? Why choose the Pope? Why choose Buddha? What do these guys have that I don't, and more importantly, how can I be sure that their SUBJECTIVE perception of reality is better or more accurate than mine?

I have said nothing about a heteronomous power or of ultimate truth. I take no position on those issues - I am fully agnostic. But the problem is that those things are "out there". Certain things that are "out there" can be discovered, understood, explained and backed up with evidence and methods by experts that allow other people to follow along and arrive at the same conclusions. We can all agree on gravity, on electricity, on indoor plumbing and how they work. When it comes to other things "out there" that can't be backed up with evidence (i.e., the nature of god), why should I just trust what some guy (prophet, pope, etc.) says? Is it not the case that he is merely broadcasting his own personal, subjective perception?

Maybe this is an epistemological argument. My original post on the subject perhaps could have been more clear if I had used "organized religion" instead of "religion". I hope you can see the distinction I'm trying to draw, but if not, that's ok too.

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