Epiphanic Absolution.

Holy shit.

I just hopped out of bed because I realized something incredibly important.

University work stops me from knowing myself.

It’s in direct competition with the betterment of my non-intellectual persona. The two are mutually exclusive.

This explains so much, and I’m embarrassed for not seeing it clearly a lot sooner.

19 Responses to “Epiphanic Absolution.”

  1. podle Says:
    May 3rd, 2004 at 1:19 pm

    But….you're not going to be at university forever. Perhaps you could gently re-integrate once you're done? You make it sound so painful!

  2. FunkyPlaid Says:
    May 3rd, 2004 at 8:37 pm

    The process isn't, but the realization and its effects is very.
    No, it's not forever, but it *was* my chosen career track.

  3. dougygyro Says:
    May 3rd, 2004 at 1:23 pm

    Huh.. I'd never thought of that. It makes a lot of sense, though.
    Tthe whole point is of going to University to have our minds melded into finely tuned and honed weapons of analysis. Who hones us and to determines the criteria? An impersonal body of academic tradition…
    Is that honing what you're talking about?

  4. FunkyPlaid Says:
    May 3rd, 2004 at 8:49 pm

    Yes, our minds become weapons (or wet socks) but our souls become stagnant.
    Simply put, there's no time for serious introspection, and for me, there's no time for raising my inner barometer. For rising above the issues that life throws your way, and ones that you've been dealing with your whole life. Maintenance, so to speak.
    There's no time for maintenance.
    University is a great place to learn, but not about yourself. Or myself, which I'm ever on the Quest to do.

  5. agntprovocateur Says:
    May 3rd, 2004 at 2:13 pm

    that's a very important realization. good for you. now, what to do about it?
    i'm fighting similar issues having taught creative design and now having to apply it. i used to be much less anal/perfectionist about it… ie got the work done much faster.

  6. FunkyPlaid Says:
    May 3rd, 2004 at 8:52 pm

    Right, but what can be done, honestly?
    When you're focused mentally on something as overarching as a college curriculum (from either side, I imagine) – especially postgrad – there's just no time to look inside.
    And this is regardless of the amount of work we're actually doing. Just being there, and being in that context, is stunting for me. I'm still exploring it though; it just came.

  7. dangerine Says:
    May 4th, 2004 at 3:02 am

    YAY! It all depends on where you set up your mental divisions of what is self and nonself. You don't have to have a dualistic perspective here. Perfecting your knowledge in one area is learning how to perfect your knowledge. The content is irrelevant. The process is the important thing. Knowing how to research and understand at these levels is a skillset that you can turn in on yourself when the time is right. Learning how to pay attention and question are things that will bring you the keys to your "individual" soul. Your experience does not exist in the vacuum of grad school. These are things YOU are picking up. This is your real life. There is no self experiencing school that is different from the real you. Your real life won't start someday, it's right now. Right now, there is no real time for introspection, but that does not invalidate the moment or the skillset you're learning.

  8. FunkyPlaid Says:
    May 4th, 2004 at 3:43 am

    Re: metaphor
    You make excellent and freeing points, as usual, T.
    I know that I'm not 'unliving' while in school. I also am not forsaking or forgoing all the wonderful experiences that are constantly happening over here. My late-night realization never was about any of those things. I continue to learn and grow from experiences, scholastic and not…but the spectre of academia is a natural impediment to spiritual growth, if you get my drift. Because it's so difficult to be in the now – to just exist, to focus on breathing, to compare and contrast who we were and what we are and how to forge ahead – while your mental faculties are being monopolized with research and logic and cogency. It's hard enough to grade yourself in 'real life' without knowing that your academic contribution is being scrutinized, in my case, by some pretty serious folks in the field. That grading at the same time, physical and non, is quite difficult.
    You know how much energy it takes for people like us to remain progressive and happy? You know how many journals we write, how much meditation we do, how much just closing your eyes and loving the feeling of living we chase, right? Imagine there not being time for that, and even if there was, that spectre makes you feel that you shouldn't be doing it. It precludes that type of grounding, and that kind of focus. It's not impossible to master this, but it takes great amounts of discipline.
    Once that dissertation is handed in, the exhalation begins, and the natural state slowly returns, when you can focus on slow things, and on quiet things, without Information convoluting the simple processes that we already find impossible to decipher in our normal lives.
    But you are sweet, and accurate, and smart to say these things.

  9. dangerine Says:
    May 4th, 2004 at 4:08 am

    Re: metaphor
    I believe you are already in a natural state.
    The focus remains the same all the time being in the moment. Being in the moment with the books and the knowledge is not different from being in the moment on the beach. It takes work to be present. Being graded is part of the moment. Being present to the system in which you are participating, paying attention to where you are at is not different from paying attention any other time. It's the same process.
    You see this as divided, as if there is going to be time to meditate later. Your meditation IS your practice, and your practice is your scholastic life, right now….Paying attention now is not about being different and natural in the future, having time to journal, having time to focus on what you feel are more fulfilling parts of your sprititual life. That separation only works if your spiritual life is separate from your actions, now. Your life is not sacred sometimes. It's sacred ALL the time.
    You know how much energy it takes for people like us to remain progressive and happy? You know how many journals we write, how much meditation we do, how much just closing your eyes and loving the feeling of living we chase, right? Imagine there not being time for that, and even if there was, that spectre makes you feel that you shouldn't be doing it. It precludes that type of grounding, and that kind of focus. It's not impossible to master this, but it takes great amounts of discipline.
    You can only chase a moment if you are not in it. Look at the moment and the judgements and the beliefs….The discipline is internal, taking two seconds to look at the words should, always, happy, how do I know that? Where did I learn that? I don't think you are neglecting real you by focusing on history. Sure, you will not find you out there in any book, but you can find your conditioned responses to school, learning, authority, grades, etc….Understanding those responses regardless of the content is self awareness practice.

  10. msjen Says:
    May 3rd, 2004 at 3:08 pm

    Thus, the typical portrait of the confused graduate student lost in the ivory tower. I totally hear you on that one.
    Could you write your dissertation about hedonism and do some participant action research, perhaps? 😉

  11. FunkyPlaid Says:
    May 3rd, 2004 at 9:01 pm

    See, there's no real Ivory Tower in a research degree. There's lots of cafes, libraries, and procrastination amidst forests, castles, and pubs. It's self-paced and extremely obtainable and manageable.
    But it's the context of that mindspace for me, and the immersion, and the ingrained idea that study should take priority over everything; the grade is permanent, and its effects forever. I'm sure it's left over from just about the age that your students are at.
    If I threw a tantrum and puked all over everything, I'm sure it would all be better. 🙂

  12. seolta Says:
    May 3rd, 2004 at 5:57 pm

    Ach, dinnae be embarrassed!
    Epiphanies can only _be_ epiphanies when they come at the right time for us to take that new awareness and use it… all this means is the universe now has a solution up its sleeve for you to find…
    …if you dare 🙂

  13. FunkyPlaid Says:
    May 3rd, 2004 at 9:32 pm

    Well said.
    Don't know if there's a solution, but rather a compromise to be made. I guess I've been doing that for a while. Think of it this way: you spend your life working on who you are, and where you want to be. On how to be a better person, and how to get the most out of your experiences by absolute immersion and enjoyment. Because of the intellectual focus needed for high-level university, you gear up for it by shutting off the more retentive and absorbent elements of your Inner Self. You *have to* in order to steel yourself for the upcoming intellectual input and synthesis. It's almost a necessity, and why you see these soulless zombies running around campuses all over the world. Either they're totally immersed in study and completely detached from themselves, or totally forgoing the normal academic routine and ignoring that intellectual mindspace. So you are, essentially, who you were when you started the term, and stay that same person until you're done, when you can focus on other growth again.
    I'm sure there are middle grounds, and people who can deal with both, but I'm not one of them…at least now. But I won't be doing it forever, and it's really more of an observation than a complaint.

  14. nickys Says:
    May 3rd, 2004 at 6:31 pm

    To an extent that's going to be true all your life.
    If it's not university work then it's paid work, or the stress of looking for work. There's always going to be something in the way of you finding yourself.
    I guess the trick is in finding a balance you can be content with.

  15. FunkyPlaid Says:
    May 3rd, 2004 at 9:37 pm

    University work is unique in that it is a graded, purely-intellectual pursuit that is completely separated from personal growth, though there might be elements of the latter to be found in the former, in the form of socialization to a detailed, bureaucratic system of authority and input.
    I don't feel this way in any other area of my life.

  16. nickys Says:
    May 3rd, 2004 at 10:24 pm

    > I don't feel this way in any other area of my life.
    Could that be because you had different expectations from academia than from other aspects of life?
    Nobody really expects their day to day job to fulfill them completely, unless they're extremely lucky, but academia is often seen and portrayed as an opportunity for personal growth as well as a way to get qualifications.

  17. anjylle Says:
    May 3rd, 2004 at 8:51 pm

    See, that's why I like my current Uni situation: it doesn't matter what degee I walk away with because I'm here to learn what I want…
    Unfortunately, the career description of "professional artist/writer" doesn't automatically come with a high salary. I need to get a job for the summer ^_^;;

  18. thedarkcyde Says:
    May 4th, 2004 at 2:13 am

    know thyself
    i think you KNOW thyself…. you're just caught up in the academia of the worst kind.. research. yes, you dive into all sorts of delicious, exciting, mind-blowing information while connecting with the past, present and future …… ego: there's no time you
    how 'bout this. i'd stop talking for a second, a couple of minutes , what have you and contemplate life & consciousness ,i.e. chill.
    what you need is silence to set this shit straight.
    no dark nights of the soul….. just a chill time with yourself. you'll see that, you're still there.
    spend some non-intellectual time doing your stuff, whatever that may be. i think you should do something with your photography….. and something not online….something physical. maybe a book. shit, write you're own damn book about simply being in auld reekie losing your mind to the foundations of academia.
    you gotta fool your mind, cause your brain is in one mode.
    this is my two cents, fifty.
    Current Birthday Music: Falco – Manner des Westens

  19. FunkyPlaid Says:
    May 4th, 2004 at 3:53 am

    Re: know thyself
    Your two cents are worth about a pent over here, but really they're worth infinitely more to me.
    You're absolutely right, and I think you've just demonstrated the key to cutting through that veil of nacreous obscurity that stops Inner Vision cold in its tracks. The answer is to chill out, and to take deep breaths, and to do things mundane. Things that remind us of us.
    And I have, but as you stated, my brain is in ONE mode. Fooling it is difficult, especially from so far away. And I am *very* busy with non-academic projects and activities, sans, of course, my painting, which might very well be part of the whole thing. But during this busy time even, you can guess that I'm thinking about ONE.
    That damned bitch academia.
    So I'll listen to you, and think about ME, and focus on it, and know it…and see how much better it was to concentrate on University.
    Thanks for your words, darlin'. And happy fucking birthday to you!

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