Hey beautiful people,
The applications for Beyond Self-Discipline (BSD) are up. Click “apply today” on the Maven website. We are being super selective, choosing only 12 people. We are aiming this to be a lovingly intense and transformative experience. Here is the teaser for BSD and here is a video from Daniel explaining the application process. The non-optional in-person sessions are April 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 10th, 12th, 17th @ 12 PM ET. Reply to this email if you have any questions.
Next week’s events:
Game B Meets the Dark Renaissance w/ Jim Rutt, Zak Stein, Alexander Bard, and Cadell Last. March 8th @ 12:00 PM ET. Patreon event. 90 mins.
Mapping Metamodern: Charting an Emerging “Metamodern” Ecosystem w/ Rufus Pollock, Theo Cox, and Anna Schaffner. March 9th @ 10:00 AM ET. RSVP here.
Product Managers Will Save the World w/ Daniel Kazandjian. March 13th @ 12:00 PM ET. RSVP here.
Check out what is happening in our wisdom gym:
Collective Journaling. Daily @ 8:00 AM ET. Patreon event. 90 mins.
Collective Presencing. Every Tuesday @ 2:00 AM ET. RSVP here. 90 mins.
Collective Presencing. Every Friday @ 8:00 AM ET. RSVP here. 90 mins.
Collective Presencing. Every Friday @ 12:00 PM ET. RSVP here. 90 mins.
Stoic Breath. Every Sunday @ 10:00 AM ET. RSVP here. 60 mins.
March 6th, 2022
Here is a passage from Hartmut Rosa’s The Uncontrollability of the World…
Let us consider our relationship to our own body. Everything that we perceive about it tends to be subject to the pressures of optimization. We climb onto the scale: we should lose weight. We look into the mirror: we have to get rid of that pimple, those wrinkles. We take our blood: it should be lower. We track our steps: we should walk more. Our insulin level, our bustline: we invariably encounter such things as a challenge to do better, even if it is a challenge we can ignore or reject. Moreover, we ought to be calmer, more relaxed, more mindful, more environmentally conscious. Even those things we encounter outside ourselves take on the character of a challenge: Mountains have to be scaled, tests passed, career ladders climbed, lovers conquered, places visited and photographed (“You have to see it.”), books read, films watched, and so on… More and more, for the average late modern subject in the “developed” Western world, everyday life revolves around and amounts to nothing more than tackling an ever-growing to-do list.
Wow. I am so fucking over modernity. I do not want to be a “modern subject” anymore. This to-do-listfication of life feels accurate, and it sucks. It leads to a society of burn-out. It also leads to the “deadliness of doing,” until the doing just feels deadly, because all these things we are obligated to do feel pointless, another item to check off until we reach the last item on our existential to-do list: death.
I do not want to be in modernity. I do not want to be in premodernity, postmodernity or metamodernity either. What other options are there? Hypermodernity, supermodernity, transmodernity, neomodernity, remodernity, post-postmodernity. These are actual terms coined and used by smart people. I am not that smart so I’ll coin another one: stupidmodernity.
I think it is time we drop this modernity thing. It seems hard to escape though. I just looked at the etymology of the word modern: pertaining to present or recent times. How can we escape the present? Are we doomed to be forever modern? I know people differentiate between the words modern, modernity, and modernism, but really, all these modernish words feel like a trap. Some argue that modernity started during the "Age of Reason” and ended either after World War II or sometime in the 1980s. Some say it is still here, ontologically hiding under fancier words like postmodernism or metamodernism. The thing Rosa describes does seem like a phenomenon of the modern worldview, a phenomenon I have not fully escaped.
It is a phenomenon I want to be done with. So yeah, I want to be done with modernity, and I also want to be done with slapping prefixes on the word. But my inner dudebromodernist is asking me right now...
But bro, if you are not a modern subject, then what are you?
Why do I have to know? I do not want to know. Maybe we do not need to know. Maybe we do not need a word to know what comes after modernity. I will stop dunking on modernity. I feel silly doing so. I am a grown ass man shadow-boxing a construct, while dropping f-bombs to sound badass. I blame this on all the espressos I am drinking. I can also blame this on being a child of modernity, growing up in a worldview that never made me feel enough, so I aggressively act in showy ways to feel enough.
My inner Stoic is now telling me to chill, stop blaming things, especially a construct like modernity. It is also telling me to lean into this untangled mess of feelings I experience when life feels like an existential to-do list - frustration, anger, confusion, sadness, fear - along with more existentially knotty states that come along with the ride: overwhelm, stuckness, too-lateness, not-enoughness. My environment is a constant reminder that something needs to be done. I do not have the desire to do anything except follow the daemon though. I do end up getting things done when I do that of course, but I am not doing those things to get things done.
I have a lifetime of being in the world in the modern way. My whole physical environment is an embodied reminder to be modern. Becoming a non-modern subject is not going to happen overnight. I will oscillate, weave, and stumble back into the ontology that modernity invokes. Going crazy a bunch of times helped me see that things could be different, not to mention more real, more enlivening, and most inspiringly, more beautiful. Forcing myself to go crazy strikes me as unwise though.
Besides, I want the tomorrowless way to stay this time, and I want to become artful enough with being, so I can pass this art on to my children, assuming God wills me to have some. This art is something that many of us are figuring out how to do, in a decentralized way, understood through various reality tunnels. I do not think this art is going to be a one-style-fits-all approach. The one-style-fits-all approach is the modern way to do things. I am not betting on the modern approach to get out of modernity.
I sense experiments are needed to find a way, ideally transparent ones, that do not sell a way as the way. A man who is good at selling is coming to mind: Tony Robbins. When I was going through my self-help junkie phase I read him, and I would recommend reading him, especially if you want to become effective in the modern world. His stuff works really well in the modern world; perhaps it can also work to get us out of it. He is an NLP guy, hence he advises we take care with the words we use. As Tony says: The words you attach to your experience become your experience. Perhaps a way to leave modernity starts when one stops using the word modernity.
This will be my experiment: I am going to say goodbye to this word, stop using it, regardless of how many smart people still argue for its use. It has an energy I do not vibe with, and this energy is still there, despite how many prefixes are thrown in front of it. I am not going to be modern, postmodern, or metamodern. I am not going to revert to being premodern or identify as non-modern either. I am just going to put the word to bed.
I am going to strap a saddle to this primordial creative energy I call the daemon instead. I will hop on, hold on, and see what words and worlds I ride into.
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