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 The Poetics of Self-Mastery

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Erik

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PostSubject: The Poetics of Self-Mastery    Fri Feb 20, 2015 9:12 am

Order < > Disorder: this dialectic characterizes the universe on so many levels. It extends from the fundamental, material nature of the cosmos all the way to the idealogical and symbolic. People’s ideologies can be seen as entropic or orderly. Conservatism is viewable, as a resistance to the flow of decadence, a maintaining of traditional values against the trenchant impetus of postmodernism and other such deconstructive isms, which run contrary to order, to the past.

For this current post, I’m more interested in exploring the aesthetics of individualized self-mastery. As prior mentioned in my other thread, I’m against the extreme form of asceticism, which entirely forbids worldly indulgences; I believe in harmony and balance. Though the extreme ascetic is of a strong will, he destroys himself with his own power. Extreme asceticism is just as bad as prodigal self-indulgence; symmetry is balance of these polarities — and that which is symmetrical is beautiful.

Religious ascetics abstained from fleshy desires, in order to purify themselves and, thus, appease their god(s). But my asceticism is secular, not based in appeasing some divine other, but rather myself — a strengthening of the will, in order to become more powerful as an individual. I don’t perceive my asceticism as some bland, tedious or onerous task that I must endure; I see it as confluent with the fundamental nature of life, of the cosmos. There is a sublime beauty to it, an aesthetic value.

Men of power have traditionally been considered to be great conquerors of the world, such as Hannibal of Carthage, Alexander the Great and Napoleon. But how about the one, who conquers and masters his own internal drives? Nietzsche believed that this type of man was the greatest. For Nietzsche, there were two forms of ascetics: the tyrant, who gains control over his impulses through peremptory vehemence ---- and the artist, who sublimates his lower drives into artistic creation. The latter was preferred, over the former.

The self-mastered soul is a noble soul, something to behold. All of the greatest monuments of antiquity are those that have endured the longest, who's constitution remains the most ordered, the most intact. The self-mastered man possesses an aesthetic quality for his endurance and self-order, just like the Pyramids of Giza do, for enduring through so much time and retaining their supreme constitutive natures.

From my perspective, asceticism is a quasi-divine practice in an ironic sense, as I reject the conventional, religious form. I see self-overcoming, self-mastery as a self-deification --- a return to the original, primal state of the cosmos: near absolute order, the singularity, " God ". Since I'm not a monotheist, the use of the word " God " is merely symbolic. Self-mastery is a microcosmic, symbolic " Big Crunch", which occurs within the soul of the individual ---- " God " consciousness and will-power re-manifested.

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Erik

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PostSubject: Re: The Poetics of Self-Mastery    Mon Feb 23, 2015 8:01 am

It's in the harshest moments, when you are in the eye of the hurricane, that you have the opportunity to show your true, inner might and grit. Commanding your impulses and drives during rainstorms is easy, but when you are at your personal nadir, in the eye of the hurricane, that's the most challenging obstacle to overcome and when you can truly shine. It's those arduous moments that separate the boys from the men.
Will you acquiesce to a temporary indulgence, or endure and overcome for an eternal pride?

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PostSubject: Re: The Poetics of Self-Mastery    Mon Feb 23, 2015 8:10 am

Two imperative things that the Ascetic ought to possess:

1.) Fire

2.) Technique

By ' fire ', I mean inner-spiritual fire, rage, spirit, ' thymos '. When at your nadir, when it feels like you are about to succumb to a drive or urge, rage can re-kindle your spirit, give you a boost of strength to overcome the obstacle.

Also, having a technique or strategy will assist you greatly; most often it's impossible to completely extinguish a drive forever; it will come back for you, so you need a plan of action, when your commanding power is insufficient. Technique with fire are a potent combination; they will make you unstoppable.

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PostSubject: Re: The Poetics of Self-Mastery    Mon Feb 23, 2015 9:40 am

Erik wrote:
It's in the harshest moments, when you are in the eye of the hurricane, that you have the opportunity to show your true, inner might and grit. Commanding your impulses and drives during rainstorms is easy, but when you are at your personal nadir, in the eye of the hurricane, that's the most challenging obstacle to overcome and when you can truly shine. It's those arduous moments that separate the boys from the men.
Will you acquiesce to a temporary indulgence, or endure and overcome for an eternal pride?

That is one awesome image. I love it.
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PostSubject: Re: The Poetics of Self-Mastery    Mon Feb 23, 2015 9:47 am

Erik wrote:
Two imperative things that the Ascetic ought to possess:

1.) Fire

2.) Technique

By ' fire ', , spirit, ' thymos '. When at your nadir, when it feels like you are about to succumb to a drive or urge, rage can re-kindle your spirit, give you a boost of strength to overcome the obstacle.

Also, having a technique or strategy will assist you greatly; most often it's impossible to completely extinguish a drive forever; it will come back for you, so you need a plan of action, when your commanding power is insufficient. Technique with fire are a potent combination; they will make you unstoppable.


I would have thought that self-discipline would be a more important imperative than inner-spiritual fire and rage, Erik. Isn't ascetics about harmonizing our desires with our spirit by denying ourselves those things which can be seen as detrimental to us? Perhaps the lack of discipline leads to the fire and rage but I can't see how these things develop a harmony and balance of self within us.

I do agree with you though about having a technique or strategy which works to let's say "return us to self". I don't feel that the fire which IS the spirit needs to be destroyed - just harnassed and to work in harmony with our natures.

I might have the wrong idea of what ascetism is though.
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PostSubject: Re: The Poetics of Self-Mastery    Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:03 am

Arc wrote:
I would have thought that self-discipline would be a more important imperative than inner-spiritual fire and rage, Erik. Isn't ascetics about harmonizing our desires with our spirit by denying ourselves those things which can be seen as detrimental to us? Perhaps the lack of discipline leads to the fire and rage but I can't see how these things develop a harmony and balance of self within us.

I do agree with you though about having a technique or strategy which works to let's say "return us to self". I don't feel that the fire which IS the spirit needs to be destroyed - just harnassed and to work in harmony with our natures.

I might have the wrong idea of what ascetism is though.

I suppose self-discipline could tie into technique. But it could also be a third imperative, if not.

Perhaps ' rage ' was too ambiguous a word to use. What I meant by 'fire/rage' is spirit, vitality, vigor. One can have a perfect technique, but if there is no fuel ( spirit ), then there will be no motion.

No, I don't think you have the wrong idea of asceticism. You seem to be familiar with it, esp. considering that you were thinking of becoming a monk/priest at one point.

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PostSubject: Re: The Poetics of Self-Mastery    Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:46 am

Quote :
I suppose self-discipline could tie into technique. But it could also be a third imperative, if not.
I was actually speaking of a technique which could allow us to return to a more disciplined and calm mind.
I think discipline IS an important imperative - in any realm.


Quote :
Perhaps ' rage ' was too ambiguous a word to use. What I meant by 'fire/rage' is spirit, vitality, vigor. One can have a perfect technique, but if there is no fuel ( spirit ), then there will be no motion.

Are we speaking of the same kind of ascetism here? Maybe i really do not understand it.
When I read your words, I'm thinking of a warrior or martial art like tai kwondo or something. lol Did I spell that correctly?
An ascetic to me would be as an example a monk who does go find some cave to live in...



Quote :
No, I don't think you have the wrong idea of asceticism. You seem to be familiar with it, esp. considering that you were thinking of becoming a monk/priest at one point.

You do realize of course that I am a female, right Erik? Wink
Although I know there can be female buddhist monks it was a nun or a sister that i was thinking of becoming when i was in the orpahanage - i didn't know any better at the time...but then who is to say who does or does not know any better. The thought didn't stay with me for too long though - i was just on an emotional high on god, let's say. Under the circumstances of where i was - well, it could have been different - not every female there wanted to become a sister. Personal psychology of course had a lot to do with it but let me not derail this thread.
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PostSubject: Re: The Poetics of Self-Mastery    Wed Feb 25, 2015 9:42 pm

Quote :
Are we speaking of the same kind of ascetism here? Maybe i really do not understand it.
When I read your words, I'm thinking of a warrior or martial art like tai kwondo or something. lol Did I spell that correctly?
An ascetic to me would be as an example a monk who does go find some cave to live in...

You think correctly! I do tend to view my asceticism from a warrior perspective. I'm a man of balance, so I view my practice as organized chaos, silent rage. I cultivate a calmness and turbulence of spirit simultaneously.


Arc wrote:
You do realize of course that I am a female, right Erik? Wink


Ha! My apologies about the spelling errors...of course you are a female! You are the high-priestess of this forum.

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PostSubject: Re: The Poetics of Self-Mastery    Fri Feb 27, 2015 9:32 am

Erik

Quote :
Are we speaking of the same kind of ascetism here? Maybe i really do not understand it.
When I read your words, I'm thinking of a warrior or martial art like tai kwondo or something. lol Did I spell that correctly?
An ascetic to me would be as an example a monk who does go find some cave to live in...

You think correctly! I do tend to view my asceticism from a warrior perspective. I'm a man of balance, so I view my practice as organized chaos, silent rage. I cultivate a calmness and turbulence of spirit simultaneously
.

I say this with affection for you Erik - but where are you a man of balance? Razz
Can rage really be so silent when one is screaming inside from rage? It may appear to be silent but it isn't.

Give me an example of your "calmness and turbulence of spirit  simultaneously.

Calmness and turbulence seem to me to be in conflict. Show me an example. Prove it to me, Erik.



Quote :
Arc

You do realize of course that I am a female, right Erik? Wink


Ha! My apologies about the spelling errors...of course you are a female! You are the high-priestess of this forum.

lol The only reason I would appear to be the high-priestess of this forum is because at this point in time I am the ONLY female here. At some point, you may knock me off that pedestal. I so hate to be on pedestals. So knock me off right this minute, Erik!!!!

Where was the SPELLING error? Show me. I don't think that it was in the spelling but I may be wrong. lol!
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PostSubject: Re: The Poetics of Self-Mastery    Fri Feb 27, 2015 9:44 am

Arcturus Rising wrote:
I say this with affection for you Erik - but where are you a man of balance? Razz
Can rage really be so silent when one is screaming inside from rage? It may appear to be silent but it isn't.

Give me an example of your "calmness and turbulence of spirit  simultaneously.

Calmness and turbulence seem to me to be in conflict. Show me an example. Prove it to me, Erik.

Ha! Well, you have a point; I've been rather....extreme....in the past, anyways. But I've appropriated a new found set of values and aesthetics, classical ones.

The contradictoriness is more poetic, than literal. So, for example, when I say something, like " silent rage ", what I mean is that I have an inner force, a ' thumos ', which motivates me. Others may not notice it, hence the ' silent ' part; but it's there, as an impetus.

Arcturus Rising wrote:
lol The only reason I would appear to be the high-priestess of this forum is because at this point in time I am the ONLY female here. At some point, you may knock me off that pedestal. I so hate to be on pedestals. So knock me off right this minute, Erik!!!!

Where was the SPELLING error? Show me. I don't think that it was in the spelling but I may be wrong. lol!

Ok, I knocked you off! ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?!!! Oh yeah, by the way, I smashed that pedestal right on your back!!! How do you like that, huh? HOW DO YOU LIKE THAT, WOMAN?!!!

Too much? Yeah, I know....

You, really, are a nit-picker aren't you, Arc? How about 'erroneous linguistic designation'? Does that satiate your eternal thirst for technical correctness?  Twisted Evil

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