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Imperator Majora

A Commodian Wit - Purpose

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A majority of this blog will be invalidated on the spot by those who take the understandable path of 'it's life man, just live it, stop thinking about it'. It is healthier to be so. It allows philosophical obsessing to fade away. It, indeed, helps sooth the pain of all fading away, as it inevitably does on the path of time.

Yet my existence, my perspective, my drive is built on the pursuit of purpose, an ironic thing from one who doesn't subscribe to conventional religion. Yet this blog is really not about that. If anything, it is about the underlying logic. Reality is built from perception, and there is no thing better subject to perception than purpose. Even so, there is a level of common ground to be had on that topic, and I hope this blog will at least clear some of the path as vague as it is.

I believe I am more subject to the problem highlighted because the journey is not my strength. It is not my ability to type things out that's gotten me any further than 'in the door'. It is simply doing things, as much as I am motivated and able. I don't sell people on the path to the destination. I don't want to. I fumble my way to anything good. I make many wrong paths in the maze and undergo many wrong opinions and take in various perspectives before anything I have in mind comes together truly. I'm self aware of this to the point I am tired of being reminded of it, for how often I remind myself. I seek the destination and to simply flow along the journey or expedite it as I can, for it is at the destination that what follows bears fruit, for I can have the admittedly selfish satisfaction of being a core catalyst to the path proceeding as it is. I'd like what comes after to be good, or at least more efficient, or at least more... intentional.

Purposeful. Singular. 'Along the vision', as it were.

What's my point? Who knows. I suppose it is two things. Firstly, the issue of purpose in the wider sense, what am I doing, what are you doing and in particular, what's going to be left behind as a result. Secondly, purpose to action, the more active term that has strong correlation with planning, cohesion, and vision. All things working to a goal, as compared to all things working for themselves, in apathetic relation to each other save for rare cases. What are you doing to reach the destination - indeed, what is the destination? Are the routines necessary? Could they be more efficient?

Are they what need to be done to achieve the purpose, or are you taking a very slow path, or worse, have gone the wrong direction?

It is my belief that a thing without purpose is a thing that will flounder and fail. This is not the entire story by far. Entities without a plan have become today's apexes, and entities with clear goals fail persistently every day. Yet a thing without clear purpose or that has lost its origins that becomes true to itself in the now, self conscious of what it is and what it will be, may find itself renewed as compared to simply riding the path to the destination, making ever so slight snips at the issue along the way until the inevitable end comes to pass - for make no mistake, all things have their end, and all you're really going to do is delay that and make the thing you contribute to influence all that succeeds it. And that's really the key here. A purpose should not be immortality of self, but immortality of concept. By leaving your mark on all that comes after, you achieve longevity greater than your however long 'five minutes of fame'.

Still, having another peak before that happens is as good a way as any to make that mark.

And now back to me. My system is nothing particularly unique, but it is distinctive because all I do and seek to do tends to be in pursuit of the above. I like to see things mirror on history. I am fascinated by the power of influence. I grasp at it as would a child, insufficiently skilled at the arts needed to be the figure I speak of that is best able to do these things. But that perhaps is my strength. It's a matter for another blog entirely, but in failure, one can find purpose. It's only as effective as you can reflect on it, but if you do so successfully, you will gain tools in your perspective that allow you to work towards the same purpose again, or at least use the insights elsewhere. I try to be that individual, and yet while I hold purpose for many things - well, there's the problem, purpose for many things, the drive for one, the very drive that sees lesser things that are more achievable and goes for them, the very same drive that will then go for the lofty golden apple for the challenge and the result, the drive that will do several of both at once. Such a drive compromises the effectiveness of an insight-laden perspective that has had many experiences to draw from that would be a great asset to any one thing - though no more than anyone else who has lived a life - and results in a great curse to the pursuit of purpose, the lack of singularity. In the effort of achieving the collective, the individuals fail, and the collective blinks out of existence.

One who holds a purpose may encounter several vices along the way, namely conflicting purposes, apathy, means, motivation and vision. Vision is yet another subject entirely, but purpose should be applied to vision, granting the purpose a path to its execution that holds clarity even in issues of great complication. In clarity comes simpler answers. If I was to write this blog as less of a ramble, perhaps I would achieve my point far more easily. Likewise, if the things I seek to help have their own paths clear from the very top, the path to the destination becomes more clear, and review of the steps in achieving the purposes within becomes much more viable. Yet in the mystery where the inside itself is as fallible a collective as any collective of Man, the inside struggles, and the outside cannot make meaningful contributions. If there is no clear purpose and the path is vague, the whole will fall into apathy, and the result is a swifter path to the inevitable without as much influence per above as it could have wielded.

With that, the catalyst of this little rant. While I am quite aware of the merits within it, I propose the counterargument, something which is a perpetual back and forth long before this response.

You're not apathetic. You care, and you keep busy doing stuff. Sure, they only almost get completed, but you keep busy, come with new ideas for old fish and you work on. Whether it be the wiki, administering the finances of some people who like to look at rocks or simply adressing past issues to gain a larger light on then, it's not apathy.
As an individual who seeks completion, there are really two states these things can be in (could overlap to an extent, of course). The first is vegetative education, a fancy term to say 'it didn't achieve anything, but I learned from it'. The second, 'it helped achieve my goals'.

I'll do my contributions to date credit by classifying them as the former. They brought insights. Nothing substantial I've ever been has been without heavy slumps or abject failure in this regard. For the latter, they cannot quantify, as the unmentioned parts achieved nothing but setbacks to the goals relative to this community, and as all I've currently completed has been incredibly minor and the things in progress lack motivation on my part to reach their conclusions. I should note that regarding the rocks, it's more webadmin/organization than anything financial, I'm just privy to the events of that side including rough expenditures and current balance. Its meeting was cancelled this month anyways.

My apathy is best understood through the lenses of purpose. I hold a purpose for the various things I go for in my online hobby pursuits. I haven't been able to take communities on community merit for a long time. The early 2010's was the spark for this, when I played at a bit of community management, discovered some of my prominent issues in leadership and tried something different. That something different became what we discuss in detail elsewhere. For this blog's edification, I became more interested in the essence of community than the act of 'community-ing'.

The trouble is twofold. Firstly, I'm weak. The path of least resistance, the path that's most quantifiable in my obviously slightly fudged mind, is the path I will err towards even if there is a more intricate path that I know exists. This breeds my laziness and is often a catalyst for the second - I believe in purpose, yet I hold none. I have no individual intent, merely a feeling I seek to grasp through my odd ways. I seek that feeling in every form of community I've attached to, be it Total War (though that one's been a bit more troublesome than the rest), Battletech, Minecraft, or others. I seek to spread the essence of my philosophy everywhere, at the same time. Individual things vie for attention. My communication problems complicate the process tenfold. So pair that with an intellectual laziness in approaching certain matters, a stubborn refusal to do less than a dozen things at a given time, and an insistence on taking on things beyond my scope, I am in a self defeating cycle that can only be broken by ironclad investment or clear vision - and if the purpose is too vast, unclear or problematic, that does indeed become troublesome. Chaos helps, too. But that's another blog.

I recognize the problems. I know likely remedies. I am too weak to take them. I am subject to a critical case in point of guilt for my own apathy. There are few things more quintessentially apathetic than knowing the problem, having the means to fix it, and then taking the easy way out of doing so.

Frankly, I don't even know what the purpose of this post is now.

Maybe I did that on purpose.
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Comments

  1. Flinn's Avatar
    Dude, your level of thinking is so deep that there isn't much to add to it.. and you are quite smart, knowing what one like me could have said about this blog:

    A majority of this blog will be invalidated on the spot by those who take the understandable path of 'it's life man, just live it, stop thinking about it'. It is healthier to be so. It allows philosophical obsessing to fade away. It, indeed, helps sooth the pain of all fading away, as it inevitably does on the path of time.
    What to add then? I'll be subtle, if you don't mind: you know everything, you have understood everything, so don't look for excuses ("I'm weak") and choose to take the next step... or just don't, but stop bothering yourself then
  2. makanyane's Avatar
    Frankly, I don't even know what the purpose of this post is now.
    I have that feeling most of the times I finish writing something - but I think mine's more of an age-related memory issue than yours...

    Interesting post! I'll try and have a better read of it later, if I remember
  3. Turkafinwë's Avatar
    It seems to me, and I could be wrong, that this blog isn't only about the pursuit of purpose but also of the pursuit of perfection. It looks like you are disappointed by the things you do because they don't meet a certain standard (set by you) or have not reached their full potential. Doing things without achieving the highest possible outcome of said thing still has merit. It seems you are trying to make a Magnum Opus of your life, to min-max your existence towards a single purpose that when you're on your deathbed you can look back and say you lived towards some great interconnected purpose.

    I have come to understand that purpose can be whatever you want it to be, doesn't matter if you decide you "just want to have fun" and that's your broader life goal (I know it's mine). Life inherently is meaningless and it is no use trying to find any great purpose in it so why don't we just have a lot of fun before the end comes? That's at least what I have come to believe and it has saved me after many dark years. Perhaps it can help provide you with another perspective on life, for the better.
  4. Imperator Majora's Avatar
    Lets see and thanks for commenting in advance; welcome to me having a purpose of a fairly concise reply and instead writing a comment-blog.
    Quote Originally Posted by Turkafinwë
    It seems to me, and I could be wrong, that this blog isn't only about the pursuit of purpose but also of the pursuit of perfection. It looks like you are disappointed by the things you do because they don't meet a certain standard (set by you) or have not reached their full potential.
    This wasn't really the point, although looking back I probably blended a lot of lines that didn't need to be. The aim really boils down less to a perfect result, than coming to a fair conclusion - and importantly, getting there. It can be an ambitious purpose, or a very humble one, and it should be reframed if it is not approachable (ie, perfection). Since this entry I've reframed a few things and felt far better for it. I refused to stress over the things that gave me the most stress. I refused to beat on certain walls that would not fall without more than I care to input. I let go of some of my purpose obsession that marked this post's writing in favor of more humble purposes and wants, even some selfish whims I know would be seen as vices, yet keep me afloat. And I do feel all the better for it.

    It's a trap to fall into perfection; purpose easily leads in that direction, but it doesn't have to. Purpose can be as little as having a direction when setting out to a task; ie, acting with purpose.

    Quote Originally Posted by Turkafinwë
    Doing things without achieving the highest possible outcome of said thing still has merit.
    Allow me to be a tad contrarian here. There's a few different outcomes I measure in. Complete success (not so much perfection as matching up with the goals), partial success, meaningful progress, a learning experience (that being pretty much all I get in sum, the others can still have this), a bump (did something, didn't do much, but maybe someone can work on it and do better) and a waste of time. The lattermost would apply when there is nothing gained and the drive goes complete circle, when something is abandoned and left to sit for eternity until it dies, or fails and its lessons are not learned, but rather ignored, or worse, the problems repeated. You could argue certain wars fall in this category because people fought and died en masse and the only result was to have another spiraling war that mutually reduces resources and population. What was the purpose of that? It's hard to judge these without hindsight though, and there's always the potential that someone will happen on what was done and be inspired by it.

    But I still think there is worth to distinguish things that had a marked impact, things that at least taught you something, and things that don't do much. The former, to be encouraged, the middle, useful, yet not to be repeated the same if possible unless necessary, and the latter, to be avoided if it hasn't so much as taught you something or achieved anything, including give you a base pleasure that, while basic indeed, serves purpose to you and thus counts. Of course, what impact there is and how much it means to you is an entirely individual question.

    Quote Originally Posted by Turkafinwë
    It seems you are trying to make a Magnum Opus of your life, to min-max your existence towards a single purpose that when you're on your deathbed you can look back and say you lived towards some great interconnected purpose.
    Yes and no, really. I'm in a philosophical stage even if a lot of where I was at last week has pretty much bled away in favor of wanting to live a little. It's fruitless to really dwell on the singular purpose, at least in my mind, and much more fruitful to do things that give you keen pleasure. My pleasure, unfortunately, is derived from doing and achieving particular things, even if I try too many of them at once sometimes. Doing for my own sake has had far fewer successes than finding someone or something, finding support for my drive, and then doing my upmost for that particular thing, which not only validates myself, but results in a net gain for that community, and the positive net impact is what really gets me going. It's a weird system. It doesn't make me bend over to be friendly - I instead attempt to achieve it by having opinions and trying to express them. I don't do it very well, but sometimes it works. And I think I've helped more if I am generally in opposition to someone who often makes poor ideas and propositions and decisions by making it clear they've done those things, but then turn around and support them when I believe they're not as bad as they're made out to be or deserve a fairer approach to their content. In other words, I refuse to be governed by 'you hate me, so you're never going to be fair towards me', 'everyone thinks x so support it to make things easier', or 'it's not your place, go away'.

    My pleasure is in expressing what I believe to be correct in a world prone to narrow paradigms and limited reaching for a picture that is unreachable, but is at least more so than usually attempted, and this should have a perpetual recursive disclaimer that I am bendable, fallible, and probably on the wrong track somehow even as I type. And I welcome the clash of opinion if that is the case. So long as an opposition attempts to address my angle and work civilly on an even field, I thrive. It is blind acceptance or perceived flawed refusal that misses my point or doesn't address it that sees me at my worst, for neither truly challenge my assumptions, and this is not an individual problem so much as something every human being on earth is subject to one way or another (see: all politics).

    Not very clear, but then, I'm not striving to the one thing. To slightly return to point, I do have a guilty interest in being able to look back and say 'I was something at some point'. But I don't particularly want it to be one big 'gotcha, see what I did world' because I know that's not a reasonable expectation. I measure in individual effect and in the minority I can give benefit to. One out of ten that gives a is a one I'm going to cling on to continue, even if I still try to strive for four through six and hope others find me acceptable. I can never appease the nine, but maybe the one, or two or three from there, will be the highlight. Such philosophy defines my very small, but highly appreciated circle of friends, the impact on whom I find far more important and achievable than the impact upon the world itself that invariably forgets or distorts me in the end.

    I think the food for thought is more than aplenty here. Probably should have made another blog for this length, probably would have if it wasn't terribly disjointed. Oh well.