RE: The Quest and I and We (was virus: maximal)

Dave Hall (
Mon, 17 May 1999 16:39:44 +0100

Hi Brett,

Everything below is just my opinion ...

>wanted to say, I understand the feeling. BUT, I don't understand the
>attraction. Someone please explain the merits of this "lost" feeling...
>this "hanging out" mentality?!?!?!? I think it is plain *dumb* (I also

The lost feeling I think you're referring to is what a bloke called Nietzche called nihilism. His writing is on the subject is mind bending/blowing/tearing philosphical stuff that I'm struggling hard to get a grip on and genuinely *think* about (as opposed to read about, "get" and then think I'm smarter than someone else cos I "know" stuff). I guess I'm on a different trip to someone trying to get a Ph.D in Philosophy, though those people are useful, writing heaps of analysis against which one check one's guesses and assumptions.

Anyway Nietzche spent his whole life thinking about nihilism and it's future. You should do your own backround reading if this "lost feeling" is enough of a "problem" to you, cos IMO we're currently living in the future that Nietzche predicted. There are no merits in it and no attraction towards it. It's the "system" .. you know, the "way the world works", the "thing" you've been told all your life you cannot change .. the reason you feel you need to "dumb down" in order to get some meaning of out something. So the quest, at least for me, is figuring out what exactly "it" is, what to do about it, and then doing something about it in my own small way.

To try explain myself: you, as an individual human organism, are only around for a little while, and if you're lucky, you'll only be "waking up" around about now, ready to make some contributions towards adjusting the culture(s) in which you participate .. otherwise you may never have found this list, as an example. So in the Big Scheme of The Species, by default you're way higher on the enlightenment rung than, for example, the little pack of machette wielding 8-year olds in the refugee camps of Central Africa who're out hunting other packs of 8-year olds to try get some food to eat and water to drink. Coping mechanism/survival skills .. same thing. They don't know any better, so they're not "stupid" or "dumb" .. it's just a pity the big "east vs west" culture clash of the 50s-80s spilled it's weapons and war-culture into that particular zone on the planet. It's a total fuckup now, IMO.

As for feeling lost, and then waking up and "getting it", and then trying to figure out what "The Quest" is (it'll be yours, whatever it is), this list is not the end .. a haven for nearly-got-it and got-its who're "hanging out", but only a means to an end, and the end is only within yourself .. just need to decide how much individuality you want, and how much herd participation you want. Then you can decide whether you want a quest of your own, what it should consist of or whether you'll just live out someone else's quest. I think this is called having a purpose of your own.

IMO most never wake up, most never get the chance to even know they're "asleep". On the other hand your culture(s) have been around for a long time and are evolving all the time, and if you get hit by a bus and cease to exist, the cultures won't even know .. they'll continue to evolve in the direction the herd was going when you croaked. At best, you can expect a few tears from close family and friends, but those are for their sake .. not yours. Invariably you get all the direction you ever need from the cultures you participate in. Most you never get to choose .. you will simply "appear" into them in the form a baby/neonate, being programmed by the cultures until you can "fend for yourself" (usually never). In your late 20s-30s, depending on your performance and obedience to the "cultural system", you may be allowed to use your own brain to think up ways to "improve" the culture .. create new laws, design products, teach students etc. You will have achieved "Middle Manager" status, and it's all downhill from then on ....

>think it is similar to the "stupid" feeling one gets when one smokes
>marajuana... so "off to get a joint" is just more of the same. HELP.).

You may enjoy torturing yourself around a table of like minded friends eating "red hot chilly peppers", that's your choice to make (or theirs). My choice is between 1800mgs of lithium per day for the rest of my life, which I'd do if it worked, and continual risk of renal failure, or "something else". So I try various things and amongst them have found that the amotivational properties of THC can put an end to a need to "work" continuously and allow me a few hours sleep. If you feel "stupid" having smoked a marajuana cigarette then don't do it. On the other hand, the same goes for feeling "smart" after doing a line or a full days "day trading" ;->

Hope my rambling was of some use ...