First Attempt at Grasping Value

Dang, SHP, quite the backlog of Quotations. If they are the key nuggets of your years of reading, pen-and-papering, and attention to the unobjectived self, then I’m allowed some time to be aware of my feelings, attempt words, and point at thoughts. Consider this my first attempt [warning: I have an entrepreneurial prism today, which shapes my thoughts thusly].

Things that have happened, paired with feelings:

  • Worked for big company, got a big unexpected raise.
    • Feeling: Thrilled for a day, quickly dissipating to an anxious feeling of “when is that gonna happen again”. General feelings of emptiness when thinking about it today.
  • Worked for a tiny company, for no pay.
    • Feeling: Extended bouts of creative angst. Fond memories that make the “big moments in life” list. Ongoing feelings of “whoa that was risky, what a thrill”.
  • Worked for a tiny company, and got to an “exit”.
    • Feeling: Watch this at minute 1:30. That’s what it felt like. “Touchdown Iowa with no time on the clock!”, said Gary Dolphin.
  • Worked for a tiny company, and got a paycheck.

Pointing at thoughts:

On the highest level, I’m aware of my insignificant value in the algebra of life’s mystery, but I still feel like creating person-to-person value on the lowest level. This takes a certain amount of action, which, according to Conrad, is consolatory and an enemy of thought. At this young age, I’m unwilling to halt action in favor of approaching wisdom by not disturbing things [although I can’t say much for future-NJP]. In a world of complementarity, can we embrace the value of both action and non-action? Alternately stopping and starting? Acting in a way that provides the feeling of value without the delusion of an everlasting value, and then giving way to a non-acting subject/object-less being? If I pursue one, am I losing the ability to meaningfully pursue the other? Do we become wired-through-repetition in a way that creates a rut of intellect to match the rut of personhood?

Allow me to punch through the philosophical wall here, SHP. I’m gonna go ahead and strive for Gary Dolphin moments in the business world. It means taking risks to create person-to-person value [as opposed to a person-to-universe/god/baby jesus/flying spaghetti monster value] that isn’t dictated by the frequency or size of a paycheck. I think it’ll be a decent way to attempt a life that contains the largest amount of time-effacing enjoyment–of work.

A Socratic Method Question That Kinda Ties Into All of This

Instead of the typical “What would you do if you had a million dollars?” question, I think a more expanding question is “What would you do if you were guaranteed $10,000 a year, but couldn’t make a cent more?” Think it’s a decent way to let the mind wander and grasp at a personal definition of value?

My answer: 6 months of living dorm-style in a place with both a world-class library and entrepreneurial center. Followed by 6 months of couch-surfing around the world observing and allowing thoughts to percolate.



First off NJP, where is this dorm-style place with such great perks?  I want to join you there when I’m not busy making my $9,000 a year or couch-surfing.  Perhaps we should create such a place….

It is impossible for Human’s not to act.  Even refusing to do something is an act.  I think the point is to act without consideration for the fruits of that action.  To act purely, not from an ego/past/future/anger driven place, and with a high level of awareness.  To value action is fine, as long as one realizes the fruits can go either way regardless of intent.  Do not place undo value on the fruits of action.  Person to Person, or Person to Universe, there is going to be action.  It is the accompanying thoughts that are key.  I personally prefer actions that avoid being forced into any sort of rut— though I may at some point approach a rut of rutlessness.

As Chatwin says of a Patagonia sheep farmer: “He was not a clever man, but a wise one.  He was a self-centered bachelor, who avoided complications and did little harm to anyone.  His standards were Edwardian, but he knew how the world changed; how to be one step ahead of change, so as not to change himself.”  Is this the wisdom you are choosing to avoid NJP?

Some feelings rediscovered from the verge of my trip to Patagonia, again apropos before Africa:

—Desires negligible, observations powerful, ambitions non-existent.  I seem to have opened a door or turned a corner.  Been contemplative.

When does the moment come–the moment concern vanishes?   Is it when one realizes opinions do not matter, when belief is tied to things one no longer believes?  Appearances mean nothing, yet they hold the reins of emotion.  One forgets these things–that definitions and generalizations are ultimately impossible–but one cannot live without them.  Dasein is a necessary illusion.  Sense may be as ontologically sound as matter.

To write, even to think, is to betray the truth.  What can one do?  Approximations abound:  approximations/attempts are all that are left.—

NJP, go on attempting, as will I.  Clever, wise, neither, or both, continue pointing at thoughts.  That’s what Atalkata is.


~ by njpeters on November 19, 2008.

2 Responses to “First Attempt at Grasping Value”

  1. […] SHP Re: First Attempt at Grasping Value [this is a response to this post] […]

  2. Every now and then the stars align and a moment of ethical rewarding and challenging business does emerge and success can be achieved.

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