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Ontological Resentment

Who am I?

A simple as the question may seem, I have yet to see an effective way of answering such a question. Is identity really so simple as such that it can be broken down into components? I feel that formal education has always pushed us to look outwards for answers, by rationalizing and mapping our material world and attempting to find answers to all questions through the process of scientific inquiry. As I reflect on all that I've learned in the past 11 years of school, I can't help but to question what the practical uses of what I've learned are. Honestly, when posed with a question so fundamental as that of identity, what good is "the process of elimination", what good are the hundreds of math formulas we've memorized, what good is my biological understanding of the the way my body works. I feel that formal education has always preached us to look outwards for answers to all of our questions, seldom have we ever looked inwards. I wish not to blame school for my inability to answer the question of ontology, but rather to trivialize the modern conception of "knowledge." To revisit the question, I believe that such a question asks not for an 'answer' in the traditional sense of the term, but rather a methodology by which we can begin to uncover our ontology.

The question to be asked then is not "who am I?", but rather the more geniological, "how did I become who I am." This is not to imply that Identity is formulaic, for that could not be farther from "the truth". Honestly, to define our being as the sum of the biological componants which construct it would be to deny our uniqueness, and thus deny our spiritual existence. I, for one, contend that we are the sum of our experiences. Who I am is shaped by nothing more than what I've experienced, the things that I've done, the people I have known the places I have seen, the things I have learned and the relationships I have had.

If we are to accept such a theory of our ontology, then what does it mean to feel resent? What does it mean to reflect on our experiences and wish to have never willed. To wish away our experiences because of the pain that memory of such an incedent induces would be to deny our ontology, or in Nietzsche's words - to deny life. For if life is nothing more than a collection of our experiences, if you and I are both defined by our relationships with others and with fate, then when we resent a particular moment in our lives, and resent the pain that that experience has caused do we not resent life itself? In wishing away experience, do we not wish away the life we have and will a life absent of that experience?

The past few weeks has tought me that decisions are decisions. And for better or for worse, we are defined by the decisions we make. Weather it be as intricate as a lifestyle, or as simple as what we choose to wear every morning - the conceous decisions that we make on a daily basis define our lives and I believe that instead of wishing to "go back in time" and alter the decisions we've made, we must accept those decisions for what they were, and in doing so accept their ramifications.

That's all I've got for today.

-Shikhar

Mood: 'Voxtrot - Sway'


Thus Spake Shikhar

So it has been quite some time, to say the least, from my last post - and I must say, much has changed.

I just got back from austin, and I met a lot of interesting people there, but lets save that story for another time. (sorry?)

I would rather, like to take this post to discuss a book i've recently taken on, -Thus Spake Zarathustra. Now granted, I've not yet read very far into the novel, so some of my analysis may not be entirely accurate - but enough of the disclaimer, let's delve into the mind of Fredrich Wielham Nietzsche.

Upon desending from the mountains after years of lonely thought, Zarathustra finds at the bottom of the mountain, quite ironically, a Saint. I feel that the purpose of this parable is to make a distinction between the outlook of Zarathustra and the outlook of modern religion. The saint comments on the impurity and insanctity of man, claiming he is too imperfect for he. The saint proclaims to love god for he is all that is pure. After a brief conversation, Zarathustra embarks to the city, but speaks to his heart of the peculiarity of the saint. "had he not yet heard of it?" Zarathustra ponders, for "god is dead."

In saying this, I believe Nietzsche seeks to seperate his thought from religious thinking. Although, Thus Spake Zarathustra does follow the poetic form of much religious discourse, Nietzsche does this not because he seeks to associate his concept of Ubermanch with the idea of god, but he feels that challenging truth through means of religious parables is a much more effective means of challenging modern religious thought.

The prolog of Zarathustra is written as a story, but I feel that Nietzsche only seeks to convey with it one point - that Zarathustra seeks 'not sheep, but companions'. In saying this, Nietzsche makes it very clear that he who reads the discourses of Zarathustra should be willing to look into the Abyss and not 'follow' but question.

The first of the discourses of Zarathustra speaks of speaks of the three Metamorphoses of man, Spirit to Camel, Camel to Lion, and Lion to (at least) a Child.
Strange as it sounds, these 'metamorphoses' outline what Nietzsche feels is man's quest towards Ubermanch (or Superman - absent of marvel's bastardizing). The metamorphoses from Spirite to Camel is a result of a moral outline designated by a higher power- it outlines the idea of 'load bearing' as a camel does, and speaks of the 'heaviest load to carry'. Zarathustra describes the idea of a moral burden as being paradoxial. The next transofrmation is of a Camel, to a Lion. The lion has the ability to break free of imposed burdens. The lion speaks in the face of the 'dragon' "I will" in response to "Thou Shall". The purpose of the lion is to break free from imposed values, and imposed burdens and 'say nay' to such impositions. The third metamorphesus is from the Lion to (at least) a Child. For the brith of the child ushers the birth of innocence, and thus allows one to forget about the epic of the dragon, the lion, and the camel.

That's as far as I've gotten, so I'm not quite sure if that made sense - The book is very interesting so far, although quite difficult to understand.

Please tell me if you have an alternate analysis of Nietzsche's writing, any criticism would be appreciated.


-sorry for leaving you for so long, blog.

-Shikhar.

Lose yourself.. debate style =P

So here's what I was trying to flow on the way to UIL =P

Lose yourself, Debate edition =P


Look, if you had one shot, one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted
One moment
Would you capture it or just let it slip?

--

His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy.
There’s blood on the flows already, oh its graty
He’s nervous, but on the surface he looks calm and ready
To spread fast, but he keeps on forgetting
What he wrote down the judges ask for a road map now
He opens his mouth but the words wont come out
He’s choking, how the other teams’ hopen now
Prep times run out, times up over, BLOAh!
Snap back to reality, oh there goes 1NC
Oh there goes 2NC, he choked.
Hes so mad, but he wont give up that
Is he knows
He wont have it he knows his whole back circuits ropes
It don’t matter he’s on dope
He knows that, but he’s slow
He’s so mad that he knows
When he goes back to his school table that’s when its
Back to debate lab again yo
This whole debate shit
He better go capture this moment and hope it don’t pass him

You better lose yourself in the speeches, the moments
You own them, you better never drop the arg
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to flow

This opertunity comes once in a lifetime yo.

Okay, so lets take a step in the opposite direction of my recent posts, no philosophy this time guys... not even in rounds, atleast not at UIL anyways.

So lets talk about Eisenhower first, since we do tend to progress chronologically.
Singh/Mistry went 3-0 in prelims
We "downed" to dules' number 6 team in Ocs. (apparently 'F' sounds bad)
-We did better than we expected to do considering that Raj had gotten braces the day before, but its kind of a bummer to know that you could be double qualled as of now (not to mention that Raj would have qualled at his first CX and LD tournaments :D )
--Congradulations on the quall though Michelle / Andi see you at state!
-FX was a bummer, I got 3rd in semis *tear*
---ofcourse this just added to our "3rd" place ballot pile xD

SOMEHOW *wink wink mr. J* Hightower pulled 1st place sweeps out of nowhere.

***Results***
Ha Nguyen - 1st place impromptu, 4th DX, 1st LD
Asif Ansari- 5th DX, CX quarterfinalist
Singh/Mistry- CX Octafinalist
Span - FX finalist

A lot of you guys broke, tagged... but not speifically mentioned - if you want it then just ask.



***************************************************************************
UIL DISTRICTS
***************************************************************************

Considering we weren't originally on the UIL team, we did pretty damn good.

We went 3-0 day one, and beat Dulles 'b' in qrtrs only to concede to Asif/Nick so that they could go to state. Honestly, I don't know what happened in that round vs. dulles 'A' - I get the feeling that if i had taken it more seriously, we had a shot. And at this point, I just feel terrible farrukh.


I'm incredibly sorry for letting you down man.


Here are the results.

Asift Ansari - Top speaker
Ansari/Brown - 2nd place CX! **GOING TO STATE!**
Milan Raj - 3rd speaker
Raj/Hemani - 1st place CX! **GOING TO STATE!**
Singh/Virani - 4th place CX! - Second Alternate.

Good job guys, Hightower takes 1st place overall after 7 fucking years =D


**Notes**
1.) Kevin bites thighs
2.) I can never look at the travis coach the same way again
3.) Raj can't talk.
4.) Asif owes me dinner
5.) Raj better be a damn good partner next year.

theres probibly more, but i'm fucking tired.


Goodnight



-Shikhar.

The quest of universality began with communication. The first task, was developing universal meaning. This simply meant recognizing that "ug" would mean "LOOK! There's a dinosaur behind you!" in every instance of its use. May I add that although we havn't reached this goal yet, our "friends" in the white house are working very hard to impose... i mean transcend... our beliefs on foreign nations. (Thank you Mr. Bush for your policies of Imperialism.) This quest for the universality at its most primal level gave birth to a new ambition. The crusade for universal applicability which yealded aphorisms. This, not unlike the middle century crusades, shaped society without actually being too successful. This thought ushers in the thought of the day; Are the aphorisms we use to justify our daily being truly universal? --with a cool tongue, I must respond in negation.

Take for example the aphorism "Kill 2 birds with one stone". As an alien to our culture, seeing children use such violent discourse, would lead one to propose that our society is indeed inherently violent. This discussion however stands on a later date. This aphorism of killing 2 birds with one stone speaks utility. Simply saying that it would be beneficial to accomplish two things with the same action, but is this truly universal? Is it applicable in EVERY instance of life?
I for one will argue not, for in some instances of life, utility isn't the only factor to be observed.

There are countless examples which can be used in negation, but I won't waste your time with that. This question also ushers in the question of why men (and womyn) look to Maxims and Aphorisms for solutions in life? Why is it that we believe that these phrases that have proven themselves to not be universal hold such importance in today's society? I for one conjecture that it is the last sliver of philosophical thought that remains valued in our society.

The era of philosophical thought has ended, our existence is no longer appreciated by the masses. Though scarce, the flame that burned so passionately in the hearts of Nietzsche and Socrates contenues to thrive in the hearts of those who no longer look to the skies for direction.










-Shikhar.

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