Trying to See the Matrix

February 24th : The Real Source of Harm

Our reaction is what actually decides whether harm has occurred. If we feel that we’ve been wronged or get angry, of course that’s how it will seem. If we raise our voice because we feel we’re being confronted, naturally a confrontation will ensue.
But if we retain control of ourselves, we decide whether to label something good or bad. In fact, if that same event happened to us at different points in our lifetime, we might have very different reactions. So why not choose now to not apply these labels? Why not choose not to react? – The Daily Stoic

I imagine this idea is the basis behind the saying that the best way to get rid of bullies is to not give them the satisfaction of knowing they hurt you. (that was poorly phrased, but you understood) Though I can certainly agree, it must be incredibly hard for a child/teenager, an age where a person is figuring out their personal identity, and how they fit in society, to adopt this philosophy. Most adults have yet to feel comfortable enough in their skin that they could deflect all insults.

I feel that the ability to fully inhabit stoicism will depend a lot on your comfort with accepting yourself. Once you are released from your need for external validation, it is much easier to let things slide.

I think this might be again why I feel there is such an importance that a sports team be clear on what its driving philosophy is. As long as you focus on staying true to it, the external stresses become less important. I wouldn’t be surprised that this will also lead to more sporting success.

February 25th : The Smoke and Dust of Myth

Eventually, all of us will pass away and slowly be forgotten. We should enjoy this brief time we have on earth – not be enslaved to emotions that make us miserable and dissatisfied. – The Daily Stoic


He’s named that way for a reason.

My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
OzymandiasPercy Shelley

Nobody exists on purpose, nobody belongs anywhere, everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV. – Morty Smith

Peace Among Worlds! 


You can continue defying entropy by trying to be eternal – through the creation of art, through the education of your offspring, through your contribution to society. Nietzsche dedicated his life to figuring this out. Just know that the act of infusing meaning and purpose to your life also implies suffering. The Oatmeal did a great job of exploring this idea.

I think here, there’s a distinction to be made between the suffering that external circumstances can cause – suffering that we don’t want, yet sometimes let ourselves be victims of – and suffering that we choose to go through, in our relentless pursuit towards something greater. If this self-imposed suffering is greater than the passion related to your pursuit, then you aren’t pursuing the right passion.

February 26th : To Each his Own

“Another has done me wrong? Let him see to it. He has his own tendencies, and his own affairs. What I have now is what the common nature has willed, and what I endeavor to accomplish now is what my nature wills.”
– Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 5.25

Something I heard many times is that when somebody slights you, you must stand your ground. You don’t want to start letting people think that they can walk all over you.

I think the key here is to make a proper judgement of the situation.

  • Is this matter something I hold dear?
  • Will the effort of defending myself cause me more harm than it is worth?

Where I’ve had problems in the past is when I was around people who felt that everything required a response, since everything was an attack on their person. I think my response is that if the demand pertains to something that needs to be done regardless, then let it slide. If it’s about something inconsequential, tell them “no”. You won’t bother with their attitude over something that is of no importance. Finally, if the demand is important, but the manner it was asked is reprehensible, defend your tolerance level.

…Am I suggesting to act like an erupting volcano? Nothing…nothing…nothing…BAM!

Hmm…I guess it depends on how you defend yourself. I need to think about this more, and it’s late. Next time.

A look into one of the most successful people in the world, and a reminder that everybody’s strengths are also their weaknesses. Everybody can gain from working on some balance.

I was reminded how bare-bones Altis is. As an outsider, we should look at this as something comforting : all you really need is great staff, dedicated athletes and a minimum of facilities to develop world class athletes. This means that it doesn’t take much to replicate this kind of environment anywhere! Though to be fair, I think my previous statement can make people underestimate the value of great staff, and how rare it really is.

Stu is granting me a look into his brain. I’m going to take an attempt at organizing it, drawing out some kind of mind map, and helping him deepen the exploration of certain nodes. Wish me luck.

Finally trying out some Four Sigmatic after hearing about it from Jason Ross. I believe he had posted a fascinating video that got me interested in the power of mushrooms. Very curious to see what a month worth of supplementation with this will do.

Also, definitely curious about trying out some blood marker tracking, either from InsideTracker with their DIY program or WellnessFX and their free program. Honestly, might consider doing both just to see what each has to say.


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