Day 58: On the Experience of Writing about Morality

I have been asked, a few times, about my experience of writing about morality. In my last post, I have laid out the blueprint of my reasoning for moving from writing a longer blog post to a shorter series of aphorisms, or, as defined by a dictionary, a concise statement of a scientific principle. Typically by an ancient classical author, aphorisms are a series of words laid out to bring home the point that are hardly contestable. I have been enjoying doing it for about three months now and I am inclined now to move to the next experiment: the haiku (俳句) or a traditional form of Japanese poetry, consisting of just 3 lines. I, however, will leave that to the next post. For this post, I’d like to write, shortly, about my experience of writing aphorisms and receiving comments regarding them.

I don’t think that my words and thoughts are that great. I think they are true but they are still not perfect. All I hope is that they may be useful to some people; that which would already make my day. I once had a friend, with whom I hung out a lot until one day I found out about our difference when she said to me:

I don’t think anything that we do could make the world a better place; I don’t even think that the world will be a better place no matter how hard we’d try. So, I do what I do just to survive, have a confortable life. It doesn’t matter if other people don’t.

I decided to walk away from our friendship on the spot, and I felt as though I had a good reason to do so. The world won’t be a better place over night, but I believe that in everything that I do, for everything step that I take, I am moving the world closer to the betterment for all. I can’t be a friend of someone who doesn’t believe in this very thing that I believe in.

Ok, let’s get to business: The comments I have received have given me a few lessons:

  1. Lesson One: There are people who have their very own problems — their counterproductive sense of pride — and won’t open to you no matter how hard you’d try to open them up to help them. The reason for which may have to do with their own sense of insecurity — in fact, it’s usually just about their own sense of security, which usually leads to the lack of self-respect (although they wouldn’t see it that way). For these people, they can be helped, but not through powerful words, but through powerful medications. Through the consumption of prescribed medications, these people may be able to get through their own counterproductive sense of pride to receive help and support for those who love and care about them. Described, sort of, clearly in this meme:img_5548
  2. Less Two: There is so much your words can help others. Sometimes the only reason why you can’t help them is because you simply do not have the access to their subjectivity. Described in this meme.img_5550
  3. Lesson Three: There are people who always see anything that other people would say to them as different from what they would have in mind, even if that which is not the case. These people have the same problem with those from whom I have learned in Lesson One. These people will not accept even a paraphrasing of their words even if such paraphrasing would make their words convey meanings to the ears of the audience with better grace and clarity. There are two reasons for these people to act the way that they do. First, they do not like you — which is often because they see you as a threat to their authority. In this case, it’s natural for them to reject your words even thought what you were trying to do was to help them. They will reject everything you say because they aren’t hearing you, but only hearing their own sense of insecurity telling them that if they’d let other say things that they would like to say better than they could possibly do so they would lose face and sense of authority. These people are easy to detect. Just last week, I had this silly encounter:

Mark (pseudonym): I have just read this book by Jacques Derrida again and I think that what he means in his work is: X is an expressive Y and Y is Derridian version of Z; and because Z and also the form of A; I think X and A is the same thing. [Note: these X, Y, Z, and A are just being represented here as arbitrary symbols of philosophical ideas that we were discussing at the same. I have also simplified what this person said to disguise the typos and grammatical mistakes that this person had  made throughout his philosophical yet unsyntagmatic locution]

Non: Wait a minute, just because some aspects of X is the same as Y doesn’t mean that you could make the leap in your argument that Y and  is the same, let alone saying that then Z and A are synonymous.  Right? Are you saying, instead, that X, Y, Z, and A have something in common?

Mark: Non, you go to hell and go fuck yourself. You don’t even have a PhD. You don’t have anything to prove that you know more than I do. My argument is logical because I have a PhD in philosophy [from a local university in the Philippines] so I know EVERYTHING ABOUT PHILOSOPHY. PERIOD.

Second, they are being possessed by, what I would like to call, the curse of egotism. These people always want their voice to be heard the way they want to because they want their uniqueness to be seen, their irreplacability to be perceived, and their existence to be praised. There is no way to help them, but to leave them alone. I always leave them alone. However, there is a way to help yourself to not being like these people. Do constantly check yourself whether or not you have become like these people, and don’t give up on making sure that you always set a goal to learn more today than yesterday — from everyone and everything. And maybe the way to let that go is this:


Took this at Japan’s first capsule hotel in Osaka built in 1979 by Kisho Kurokawa.

Now, here’re a few  more I have been thinking about lately.




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