Stoic Breath: Sunrise Edition w/ Steve Beattie. Every Monday @ 6:15 AM ET. RSVP here.
Metapsychology w/ Zak Stein. September 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th. 10:00 AM ET. RSVP here. 90 mins.
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Surrendered Leadership w/ John Thompson. September 22nd, 2020 @ 12:00 PM ET. RSVP by clicking the link below.
John Thompson, the co-founder of Circling Europe, visits The Stoa on Tuesday to help us touch into presence, connection, and aliveness.
September 20, 2020
My second wedding anniversary with Camille is coming up, and we spent the day yesterday together to celebrate.
We had a lovely long walk on a scenic trail at a conservation area in a small town called Dundas. I am not a pro at much, but one thing I am a pro at is making Camille laugh, and maybe it is something about small towns and me, because I really hunt for the giggles when I am in them.
After the walk we had dinner, then went home, and took something that makes us happy, and we talked and listened to music until 4 AM. Before we went to bed, Camille went to collect memorabilia from our relationship, mainly love letters and poems I wrote her; most of which were written during the first three months we dated, in the summer of 2008. There was only one thing on my mind that summer: Camille.
I was 23, and she was 18, and wow, I was some romantic dude. I totally forgot I wrote all of this stuff. I was hesitant to read them, as I thought they would induce extreme feelings of cringe. But no, they did not. I thought they were pretty decent, especially the poems. I created this mini-booklet for her, after that summer ended, that contained all the poems. I read them out loud last night. Camille started crying of course. I almost did as well, reading that last poem.
The letters were good as well, and there was a confident innocence to them. The voice I wrote with was similar to my voice in these journals: innocent enough, with a boyish quality, coupled with an earnest attempt at being virtuous, sprinkled with a deep thought now and again. I asked what Camille thought of them at the time, as writing love letters to a pretty young woman is not a common thing to do these days.
She said she loved them, and they made her feel like a princess, in the good way. The pick-up artists would say the love letter approach is too risky, as you could easily be placed in the beta male category, so you probably should stick with negging her with a fake detachment, while you act like a verisimilitude of an alpha male. That might be the strategy you take if you want to get laid in an atomistic society, but when pursuing Camille I did not just want to get laid.
The thing that was most salient for me in those letters was my certainty. Within three months of dating, I knew Camille would be the woman I would marry, and I wasted no time writing about our love in tones of forever. We dated for 10 years after that summer, and I acted like I did not care about getting married, as I had this fancy philosophical justification against marriage. She said she did not care as well, but yeah, she cared, and I knew that.
I surprised her by asking her to marry me three years ago, after I got over being philosophically pretentious, and we got married a year after that, in a magical town in Ireland. Those letters knew this would happen. I do not know how they knew, but they knew, and when I experience the potency of knowingness, things tend to manifest.
These daily journals here feel somewhat like the love letters I wrote to Camille. They are not written to a particular person, and I do not know what I am courting. Maybe I am courting communitas, or maybe I am courting a new world, but this feels cheesy to write.
I do know this: Camille was the first woman I “came alive” for, and she was the first woman I seriously dated; the women before her did not invoke the feeling of forever. Something similar can be said for this project: I have come alive for it in ways that have been noticeably absent in the past.
My previous normie career, which I rebelled against in my soul, was deadening, and I felt like a dead player working in those normie jobs. I followed a dead script at work, and life, because of a felt-sense of obligation: this is something you just have to do. A meaning crisis can be a real bitch.
When you come across someone, or something, that makes you come alive, and makes the world feel meaningful, even for a moment, trust that. Stay with that. You do not need fancy philosophies, with lots of intellectual architecture, in order to find this. If anything, a complete philosophy will blind you from seeing it.
It is better for your philosophy to be unfinished, always in progress, and for you to be cool with that. This way you will be inspired to risk writing love letters, in a bold way, with a heart that is burning.
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