Thursday, February 04, 2016

(Objectless) Hope and (Purposeless) Discipline!

My father is big on discipline, along with reason and logical thinking, and that's why I have a negative gut reaction to all of them, and at the same time, for most of my life I have been a very logical, reasonable, and disciplined person! But I have left all that behind in the past few years. Logic, reason, rationality, and discipline, all gone. Or at least that's what I like to think.

I wrote about ordinary hope, that is centered around an object or goal, and genuine, deep, hopeless hope that is centered around nothing, a lack, or an emptiness. (Maybe not in these exact terms but alluded to it in [Warrior without Hope] post.) Ordinary hope has a lot in common with fear, because hidden in it is the fear of losing the object of hope. Fear is a good motivator and so is ordinary hope. This morning I struggled with this question, how does hopeless hope motivate? This is a very practical question, if you actually try to implement the hopeless hope. (I have not described how, maybe at the end I get to the implementation issue.)

I had a very strange intuition for the answer: Hopeless hope does not have enough potency to get you off the ground, so it requires you to be already moving. That's why discipline is the basic of living with hopeless hope. It keeps you in motion and provides the necessary condition for the hopeless hope to interfere and change the course of actions. Our most potent motivations are object related: we are mainly driven and directed by our needs and anxieties. If we want to separate our navigational system, to some extent, from an object driven mode of operation, then we need to create steady motion by another mechanism. I think the best candidate is discipline.

What is the advantage of a object-less motivational system? First, it is more esoteric. (As in the Taoism kind of thing! Strong argument.) Second, the object related motivational system imposes a very rigid frame on life and specially our sense of time. It creates an hyper-logical system of cause and effect around the axis of time. I have a strong intuition that the rigidity of the worldview and time is an important component of most psychological disorders, specially depression.

This also hints at another interesting notion: the source of discipline needs to be outside the realm of logic and reason, which is exactly what traditions and religions do. They create a set of illogical rituals, and by following them, one can let go of an object oriented sense of time and purpose and hope. They provide necessary conditions for an objectless/hopeless hope to take root.

That is essentially how one go about implementing a hopeless hope scenario. Basically, we would like to make the flow of time and logic/reason less binding and consequential. The pillar of such approach is what I described in a previous post, [Revolving Doors], kind of: letting go of the opportunity-based view of choices and decisions. If time is not linear and uni-directional then we do not have to worry about `losing' time and not having enough time, and losing opportunities. Of course, such an approach creates huge anxieties, so one needs to be an expert in self-calming.

Not sure how this experiment (maybe my last experiment ala [End in Sight?!] post) is going to end, but then, who cares in an object-less world?!? ;)

2016-02-05 9:05 a.m. Update: I am trying to get myself fired up for the start of my (purposeless) discipline, but I am feeling more depressed than excited now! Well, there is always something to work on and an obstacle to work around ...
I think the modifiers, objection-less (for hope) and purpose-less (for discipline), are very important. As soon as object (of desire) and purpose (of action) enter the frame of mind, some sort of rigidity creeps in that fosters depression.

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