Come unto me, sycophants…

Looks like I’ll be out of the office for a week, starting tomorrow/today. I’m going on vacation — someone from my trusted inner circle has offered to whisk me away; I’m off to beautiful, remote Atlantic beaches to partake of dangerously delicious samsaric delights!

Hey, pipe down! I’ll only be gone for a week! Here….take my hankerchief. Sorry, it’s just…. even I need a vacation every once in a while! I can’t be pampering and spoiling you with all this high-fallutin’ self-absorbed nonsense 365 days a year. After all, when you’re in trouble, you’re on your own. I won’t be there to hand you your opinion.

On that note: the best way to avoid mental suffering is to avoid making conscious value judgments. Finalized opinions on things are always wrong. They always bring regrets. ‘Coz everything changes: abilities, opinions, perceptive range, influences, and so it goes forever. I mean, isn’t it totally useless information when someone else says “Mr. Wang is a good person” or “the new Batman movie was bad”? Totally insignificant information. It’s not really information. The best you can hope for from these comments is cleverness or comedic entertainment.

In fact, only lazy people genuinely want to hear broad “value-based” opinions from other people. I’ve tended to believe that the act of asking another person a question is a way of trying to shirk personal responsibility. It seems like an attempt to place one’s own well-being in the hands of another. Religious salvation!

But yeah, at the same time, having an opinion is important, right? You can’t just dance to somebody else’s tune all the time (ahem!). Then you’re only half-alive. I guess value judgments are just emotional reactions or exaggerations of how we perceive other things in the world. I think this is where academic critique comes into the picture, as something that attempts to be more objective.

Ah, but really my point is that pretty much every decision brings some potential for regret, all sympathies are manipulations, one can always be nicer or meaner, and all conscious intentional actions are arrogant ones. And so I rave.


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