11·29·01 Very Early Morning

29-NOV-2001 00:00


"You know, given enough time, I can logically explain to you why you feel drawn to damsels in distress."

"Well, if you ever have enough time, let me know."

"I could try. Doesn't mean you will agree with my logic."

"Perhaps I won't."

"Okay, everything you know about the world comes in through your senses, correct? Now, sometimes our senses lie, right? And, really, we have no way of knowing if our senses are really sensing anything real in the first place. Basically - there is no way we can know anything for sure outside our own heads. Since there is absolutely no way to really know how anyone else feels, then we really can only seek our own happiness. No one else's happiness really matters to us, because there's no way we can possibly feel it."

"I don't really agree."


"Certain other people's happiness affects mine."

"Yes, but only indirectly. You see them happy, you're happy. You don't even really know if they exist. I'm getting to that part, but I have to establish the base first. Okay, so, now, you know nothing about the world. But, we still know stuff about "the world", whatever the hell it is or isn't. This is stuff we get from our senses. We have a mental reflection of the world in our own heads that we get from our senses. So, basically, the world exists, if only in our own heads. First question is, why do we feel bad when bad stuff happens to us, good when good stuff happens to us?"


"We also have a reflection of ourselves in our head; call this our self-image. When we see bad things happen to our self-image, we interpret these as bad things happening to us, and we feel bad. Basically, we absorb emotion from our self-image. What we think it should feel because of what happened to it, we feel, because we think that's us. Okay, so we've got a self-image in our heads that we absorb emotion off of. Now, if we know of other people, then we must have a reflected image of other people in our heads, too. So... to take a simple example... why are we happy when we're, say, petting a kitten?"

"Because kittens are cute."

"Yes they are. Basically, we imagine ourselves to be them [in a very non-literal way]."

"Like, we're the ones getting petted/loved?"

"Yeah. Or, moreso, we see them purr, we know how that must feel... so we can feel it a little bit ourselves. Essentially... we're now absorbing emotion of of other people [and animals]."

"Other emotional beings."

"Yes. [Well, it can become more complex than that, but for the meantime... yes.] So... we can absorb happiness of our own self-image, and we can absorb happiness off of other's images in our heads. Now, we don't always know how to solve our own problems, or make ourselves happier. But we see other people who have problems that we do not, and we think we could make them happier. If we make them happier, then we can absorb that from them, and be happier ourselves. Essentially - be selfless for selfish reasons."

"But then why do girls seem less attractive once the help is done? Shouldn't the resultant happiness be what I was aiming for?"

"Are they really happier?"

"I don't know. Since I can't really know what they're thinking for sure, or even that they exist."

"That's right. I haven't really considered every individual problem, but I'm pretty sure it can work for everything. Once you solve their problems, they are not as happy as you imagined they would be. Now comes all the complex stuff. Most of what we see comes out of our senses, but it's affected by our mind. Like, if we think of something and get angry, even if it's not real. So - the refection of the world can be made up, too. You see someone you want to help, and you imagine how happy they will be when you help them. You absorb the imagined image's happiness. After you help them, you see they are not as happy as you imagined. Now you're absorbing happiness off of the reflected image and not the made up one. Plus, your self-image failed to make them happy... you still absorb that, too."


"Heh. The real tricks are... once you learn the basic rules, you learn which parts you can bend. Essentially, the better you know something, the clearer the image is, and the better you can absorb emotion off of it. Which is why you're ususally prone to absorbing stuff from yourself.
      "Basic bending of the rules... First, and probably best, you can change your interpretations of things. Basically, change interpretations that make you feel bad to make you feel good. Like, say you have a terrible day and things keep going wrong. If you look at it in a comic sense, it becomes funny.  So, bad days are now funny. Yeah, it's not exactly easy. Better way, learn to accept things. Or, people, rather. Still very tough to do.
      "If you get to know people better, you can absorb emotion off of them better, and sometimes, you can steal their interpretations of things. Like, to take the example of someone you know, I talked to Lindsay a long time ago.  She likes rain.  I ask why, we have a conversation about it. Next time it rained after that, I think to myself, think of this they way Lindsay thinks of it. And, I started to enjoy the rain. I don't always enjoy rain... images can fade, and I didn't talk to Lindsay for a long time."

"Man, how could you not enjoy rain?"

"''Cause it gets you wet.' 'So why is that bad?' 'I don't like to be wet.' 'Why?' 'Because then your clothes have to be dried.' ... And so on. Basically, my reasons for anything make no more sense than anyone else's. I asked Lindsay why she liked rain, she responded 'It's beautiful.' I asked why, she said 'How could it not be?' She didn't have any real rational reason for it. But there doesn't need to be.
      "The other options - once you learn the basic rules, you can practice absorbing emotion from others [by sympathizing - they're smiling, I know how that feels]. Once you learn to do that - you don't always have to absorb from present images... you can absorb from the past if you remember something well enough. [We often do, actually.]
      "If you really want to stretch rules... you can absorb off of imaginary people too. Basically the idea behind an imaginary friend."

"Nah, my imaginary friends were jackasses. We don't talk anymore."

"Hehe - didn't say you absorbed good emotions off of them. But they're just as real as anyone else. Now, I'm not saying go talk to your new imaginary friend. But, you can do other things with it. Like, you want to change your interpretation of something. So, imagine that concept personified. And then justify their reasons. They ususally become your own. They don't have to exist as anything more than a concept, a character design, a name... whatever. Basically, become someone else."
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