Social Meditation w/ Vince Horn. July 11th @ 3:00 PM ET. RSVP here.
Epictetus on lying:
The first and most important field of philosophy is the application of principles such as “Do not lie.” Next come the proofs, such as why we should not lie. The third field supports and articulates the proofs, by asking, for example, “How does this prove it? What exactly is a proof, what is logical inference, what is contradiction, what is truth, what is falsehood?” Thus, the third field is necessary because of the second, and the second because of the first. The most important, though, the one that should occupy most of our time, is the first. But we do just the opposite. We are preoccupied with the third field and give that all our attention, passing the first by altogether. The result is that we lie – but have no difficulty proving why we shouldn’t.
Yeah. This is why I like the Stoics. Practical stuff. Do not lie, or to frame it in the positive: be truthful. Being truthful is the main thing I have been trying to do with these journals. You can be truthful and not speak the truth, because you could be truthful and wrong. That is why it is good to be truthful in front of others, so they can tell you where you are wrong.
I am not just trying to be truthful though, because I can say truthful things in the spirit of manipulation. There is something more going on here, and it is a certain type of truthfulness I am gesturing towards. The term Gregory Kramer, the creator of Insight Dialogue, said to me when he came on my podcast feels most accurate: truth power.
The way I understood what he meant by truth power is a certain type of speech where you speak what you believe to be true, and it is a truth that wants to be spoken. There are many truthful things we can say at any given moment, but some are more alive than others, and it is this aliveness I want to be available for.
Courage is needed, because you need courage to speak what is most alive. I think this is key to what Samo calls a live player. If we cannot speak what is most alive, we risk becoming dead players, who only follow approved scripts which can only create what already has been created.
So what is most alive for me right now?
There is a part of me that wants to purge, and remove any false impressions I have cultivated here, even though this might be impossible. I want to sacrifice my image: maybe this image is only in my head, but maybe it is in your head as well. Wherever it is, I want to tell it to fuck off. I do not want to live vicariously through an image. I want to be so truthful that every journal entry is a sacrifice of whatever image may be forming.
There is a part of me that wants to tell you all the things about me that I do not like about myself, like the embarrassing facts about my life, or how I feel under-lived and under-skilled. I also feel pretty intellectually ignorant for somebody who rolls in spaces full of intellectuals. I could speak about my bad habits as well, about how I eat way too fast in a mindless fashion, or how I go on Twitter way too much.
These are innocent enough I guess, and there is nothing dark or creepy about any of them, but they are associated with that feeling of that inherent inadequacy I wrote about before. I am not going to tell you all of these things though, at least when it comes to the dirty details, because there is no truth power in that.
I suppose the desire to gesture towards them is to prepare my mind for future struggles, and all the messiness they entail. If I am going to attempt to build something in front of you, something that has not been built before, I will struggle in front of you. I will have to risk failing in front of you, and I will need to be raw in front of you.
I am definitely not this super talented high IQ superman. When difficulties strike, feelings of being flawed, unworthy, and ugly do come online. The last thing I want is having an untruthful gap between my image and my reality if I continue, so I will continue to be truthful, in the spirit of truth power.
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