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Record My Mind: Banal Records of a Pedestrian Life

Suffering and evil overwhelm me and I stew in my own juice. 

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

3/02/2005 03:01:00 pm - Comparing navel gazing notes over Tony Cafe's Chicken Rice and Peninsula Shopping Centre's Teh Halia


Had lunch with Chris today. Two INTPs talking.

He took 3 days to digest the fact that I'm ready to commit to someone again instead of staunchly embracing depravity and selfish, irrepressibly irresponsible free-spirited singlehood. While discussing casual, non-committal open (CNCO) relationships, he brought up the distinction between involvement and commitment. Lack of commitment does not entail lack of involvement and it often turns out surprisingly painful to let go of CNCO relationships because of the involvement and attachment. I suppose the converse holds too. There must be many committed marriages that lack deep and meaningful mutual involvement.

Chris choked on his tea when I said that once I started recording down my life, I see that it's actually quite interesting. If I had not recorded, my short term memory fails me and I forget that I've actually lived through some interesting moments.

We talked about ourselves and a close friend (What better way to enjoy life than to get a bunch of self-centred egoistical people to talk about themselves). I made the observation that people often get frustrated, annoyed and dismayed by me because of my strong rationalistic streak. In my calculus of principles I use to guide my behaviour in dealing with others, I focus too much on being rational and objective, to the extent that I fail to include the irrational but nonetheless legitimate and valid emotional needs of others. We both agree that my calculus and guiding principle is flawed. Just as people often complain that the ruling party's use of rational arguments and statistics isolate people and leave their hearts cold, I now similarly understand how my behaviour can isolate others.

But there is hope yet for me. Identifying and being aware of a problem allows me to work on it. My only fear is that this is a rationalisation of a weakness that has other unconscious and unpalatable roots, e.g. selfishness and some other fucked-upness. If so, I hope I have the self-honesty and courage to find out in due course.

He then commented that one common feature that all three of us share is an analytical approach to ourselves, our friends and life. However, we both never form judgements about people unless circumstances force us to, preferring to accept them as they are. Also because judgement is not necessary? I used the empty glass (emptied of Teh Halia by me. good stuff.) before us as an analogy. To me the cup is just the cup, I never analyse it or notice it or judge it, to me it's just there and I accept its presence. But the superior way that Chris mentioned is not to judge but to understand and address the other person's concerns.

Back to our friend, who is a tragic genius character that is unstable and intense. We hope that he can skilfully use the intense emotions within him to achieve the dreams and hopes he has for himself. And that he does not choose a goal that condemns him to a lifetime of misery and bitterness. Especially after having been a polymathic prodigy, then having lost many years in his teens to unfavourable circumstances and now having to risk mediocrity unless he makes great sacrifices in a great gamble to achieve his great dreams. I'm convinced that what appears to be excessive self-revulsion and self-flagellation on his part will not further his goals but instead drain away energy that could be used to further those goals. One should take oneself just seriously enough to achieve a goal, but no more than that.

More insightful comments on our mutual friend were given by Chris. But I've forgotten them now.



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