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Every act of rebellion expresses a nostalgia for innocence and an appeal to the essence of being. (Albert Camus)
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    Opting for idleness (of will)- envisioning more nuanced scenarios of freedom
    My dear friend,

    Knowing how busy you claim you are, performing all these social tasks you call duties, at work, at home, with your hobbies but more particularly in your mind, I shall (hopefully) take only a little of your reading time

    Walking on nothing, which is now the official name of this series of letters addressed to you but published publicly because I carry this strange idea that they may be useful for others as well, is an interesting state of affairs.

    Allow me to state the reasons, why walking on nothing is interesting, and only then explain them in some depth.

    Firstly, walking on nothing is interesting because by annihilating the need for absolutes (the very first necessary condition for walking on nothing) the event of mind opens up into many options not previously deemed possible, or even existing. This first reason implies that an exploring critical mind is inherently limited only by the particular absolutes, which this mind believes to be true. The fact that no such absolutes exist is beside the point since by their very nature, absolutes, are immune against either self-criticism or criticism from an ‘other’. The point however is that absolutes are very specific (and quite hidden) sense thought memes that paradigmatically hinder and block exceptionally interesting states of mind. In that the annihilation of absolutes eliminates the fundamental barrier of and to interest. You may discover in this process that creativity, that hard to pin down sense of excitation and interestingness, is awakened afresh. In the sense I am writing to you here, walking on nothing, as a different layer of description of non-absolutism, is really an opening of the senses to the infinite variety of experiences the mind event allows.
    That makes walking on nothing interesting.

    The second point I would like to propose to you is that walking on nothing is interesting because it allows you to merge with your desires in intensity.
    I know this is a point that fascinates you in a particular fashion, because you have this tendency (that you still do not approve of in your mind) to equate your inherent desires with their apparent fulfillment. Moreover you carry a very intimate knowledge of that which gives you pleasure and believe as all humans at some point do that this pleasure starts and ends where it is located (i.e. with your desires). Merging with your desires in intensity is a fundamental concept of walking on nothing that permeates the membrane of immediacy, in fact transforming your awareness into one of freedom. It is in a way the unleashing of your senses nerve endings to an avalanche of impressions that is quite formidable indeed. However the point I am trying to convey to you here is that this flood of sensations managed correctly (meaning non localized in a particular desire) results in this intensity I wrote to you about before.
    It is a very special kind of intensity and at first you will mistake it for stress, as it does (at least initially) carry similar manifestations; eventually however you will come to see that the manifestations of intensity and merging your desire in intensity have nothing in common but habits, or leftovers from our evolutionary heritage.
    Again I stress the point that merging with your desire in intensity creates an abundance of options (especially of the emotional capacity kind), which needless to say is an indicator of interestingness.
    In this sense, there is indeed, as you have already guessed, a very high and closely coupled correlation between freedom of mind and high intensity. Critically though, high intensity, is also the very self-management tool of desire.
    Desire need be in full intensity yet strangely it must also be idle. Idle of a particular direction, which allows the horn of plenty, the cornucopia of abundance in sense thought, to be free.

    That makes walking on nothing interesting.

    The third point I wish to make concerns busyness, or that which you currently hide behind when you say:” I am busy”. This really is the most salient issue here, for is it not the case that the statement ‘I am busy’ whether explicitly presented or simply implied by your inattention is a manner of hiding your disinterest in the moment? And please do not mistake the busyness argument with the fact that some things you ‘really’ like and ‘need’ to do. Being occupied with a particular task (as I am right now whilst writing these words to you) does not mean that I am ‘busy’. Of course some times I would like to not be interrupted, though I will tell you that it very much depends not so much on what the interruption is about but more importantly ‘who’ the interrupter is (that is for another discussion though). When I refer to being ‘busy’ I do not mean the above though, I mean your usage of the term ‘busy’ to deflect the possible upheaval created by interest. For you see, my friend, interestingness has this tendency to disturb your mind event, your flow of the moment, as it were. However, this is a welcome disturbance for it is in fact the disturbance of abundance, the riot of options, which are the hallmark of a free and intense mind, a mind that walks on nothing.

    That makes walking on nothing interesting.

    Having said all of the above I wish to put forward to you the idea that Idleness is not such a bad option. And opting for idleness is really a fashion of envisioning more subtle scenarios for your freedom.

    By more subtle scenarios, I mean high-resolution scenarios that carry within them the immediate sensation of the enterprise of freedom of mind, and for sure, quite an enterprise it is.
    I have this thought that in your case the idea of freedom need be looked at as a kind of entrepreneurship. It is of course an analogy, but an interesting one I think, if for no other reason that for some, as I believe is the case for you, the way forward need be one where the release button is a DIY kind of affair.
    I’ll write more about why this is particularly true in your case (your love for bric-a-brac comes to mind) however at this point I wish to tell you about idleness from the standpoint, not so much of social politics, as Bertrand Russell so famously did at the beginning of the 20th century but from the standpoint of the infinitely creative free mind, the mind of she that walks on nothing.

    Idleness is a necessary condition of the free mind; it is a configuration of sense perception that allows a certain loosening of the will into the gentle flow of desire. The point in this case is that idleness is the state of affairs of mind when there is no product at the end of the process. It is sense thought, or extended emotional reflectivity ‘for its own sake’. In other words it is ‘love’ with no specific direction or manifested destiny.
    Idleness of will does not mean that one does not wish for ‘things’ or does not ‘do’ that which is required by the circumstances of his immediate existence, not at all. It does however mean that the abundance of the event of mind is made explicit when one has a ‘will on demand’ but unless the ‘demand’ is locally manifested, the ‘will’ remains idle.

    In our modern ‘civilized culture’ it is commonly assumed that idleness when referring to a person is a negative state since that same person produces nothing of value. The erroneous-ness of this statement cannot be emphasized enough, not only is it a misconception of what idleness means it is a method to exacerbate the scarcity of openness.
    I could go on and on about why idleness is important and necessary but at this point suffice it to say that idleness allows the event of mind ascending into freedom the extended capacity to envision more nuanced scenarios for its own freedom.

    In your last interaction with me, you asked if I was not too busy to reflect upon some of your questions, my answer is simple: I am never busy, I lay idle, lazily walking on nothing until interest is piqued, then almost instantaneously the reality of my intersubjective extended cognition rallies to the call of ‘demand’, suddenly a ‘will’ is made manifest, a desire flows, resources are mustered, a letter is written. This is not so common I agree; yet it is also not so common to walk on nothing.

    Until next,
    Whilst Verbing the flow,

    "I don't think necessity is the mother of invention. Invention, in my opinion, arises directly from idleness, possibly also from laziness - to save oneself trouble."

    Agatha Christie

    Part of the Ultrashorts Project

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    Autotelic     Sun, May 12, 2013  Permanent link
    Wu Wei my friend...
    Wildcat     Sun, May 12, 2013  Permanent link
    But of course, that is obviously why 'Shun' made it so.. :-)
    Autotelic     Tue, Jun 11, 2013  Permanent link
    The only "shun" i need is a further explaina"tion"... Sorry i couldnt resist the pun but im not sure how shun made it so? To shun - seems to imply some sort of agenda which would actually PREVENT such a thing as walking on nothing. Just my opinion though
    gamma     Sat, Jul 6, 2013  Permanent link
    Ha-ha, great writing, even though my role in this universe is to disagree. I think that you rely on being alive, therefore, on energy and high-frequency ticks of awareness, so that would be complicated to obtain. Once the surprise of knowing that that has happened begins, would it not be beautifully complicated?
    whiskey     Sat, Jul 20, 2013  Permanent link
    Thank you for your very thought provoking post.

    I had some thoughts .... please forgive the rough format.

    “Desire need be in full intensity yet strangely it must also be idle. Idle of a particular direction, which allows the horn of plenty, the cornucopia of abundance in sense thought, to be free.”

    This thought brings to mind a mathematical explanation. The sine / cosine curve.

    “Desire need be in full intensity” – I read as the peak (high or low) of the curve.

    “yet strangely it must also be idle” – the exact point at peak of curve has no vector, it is the point of shift of change of direction but for one instantaneous, infinitely small moment is idle.

    “which allows the horn of plenty” – which is the magic moment because all is possible as it is the point of shift.

    “That makes walking on nothing interesting.” – The peak of the curve is the most interesting, most exciting and most scary. It is the maximum. It is the minimum. It is the point of change. It is the point of possibility. It is the edge of the abyss.

    Idleness, perceived laziness, in-action, and nothingness is necessary as it allows the opposite to emerge. One cannot exist without the other. It is not a negative, rather an imperative opposition that allows something TO exist.