Diary, 2/16 to 2/22/20

N came to the Hemlock Club today and we talked for four hours.  I told him about “the friendly voice” idea and that I thought I might give it a try.  The idea is that you publish an ad saying “A friendly voice” and your phone number, hoping to encourage lost souls to call you to talk, hopefully thus relieving some suffering in the world.  I used to worry that this would become a burden, and that indeed could happen; but I am not required to answer every call, necessarily, and I can limit calls to fifteen minutes.  I originally wanted to have a separate phone number for this, and perhaps I’ll do that, though it would be some expense.  Possibly Craigslist...

Diary, 1/5 to 1/15/2020

I see here “Lisa Simpson observing the conjunction of the moon and Venus.”  I have subsequently realized that the moon is facing the wrong direction; that is, instead of “C” it should be “Ɔ”.  This “spooky” coincidence is the most surprising and remarkable I’ve ever experienced, I believe.  I see or assign no particular meaning to this “synchronicity.”

Diary, 11/1 to 11/6/19

910 words so far this morning on The New Book. So far it is a “book” of “thinking on paper,” and so far it is thinking about weight loss. Obviously, I don’t intend and could not think about weight loss every day to the tune of a thousand words; it would be nice, but I don’t expect this, if I could “think on paper” each day, thinking about self-mastery, and so get my book written.

Diary, 8/11 to 8/17/19

Morita Therapy advises, “do what needs doing.” In my case, that would be housework. Is housework self-actualizing? Is housework flying high? Do I have any excuse for not doing housework? Yes, it’s called “housework be damned.” Housework is not my goal, it’s other people’s goal. It’s society’s goal for me. I say this even though I value accomplished ...

Diary, 8/5 to 8/10/19

Last night I started reading Mark Epstein, M.D.: Thoughts Without a Thinker: Psychotherapy from a Buddhist Perspective. I was unpersuaded by the author’s delving into “the wheel of life” for insights into human psychology; what I saw was obscure metaphor after obscure metaphor, nothing I could use or even understand. Buddhism offers a way to escape the otherwise endless cycle of reincarnation...

Diary, 7/31 to 8/4/19

Colin McGinn: The Making of a Philosopher: My Journey Through Twentieth-Century Philosophy is regrettably tedious because it labors over some pragmatically useless, thus very dull, points of analytic philosophy (via Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations and Kripke’s interpretation thereof). There’s only ninety pages to go, but I’m thinking that I’ll skim the rest, to see if it gets into anything I’ll find useful to my own thoughts. I was thinking early on that this would be a great introduction to philosophy for beginners...

Diary, 7/24 to 7/31/19

I’ve been reading Richard Rorty: Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, which I think of as “my next step in philosophy.” I read this once before with the feeling that it was rather over my head, and have occasionally reviewed my typed quotes. But the “Introduction” by Michael Williams seems very comprehensible and persuasive—if I can keep its lessons in mind, probably by periodic reviews, I can pretty much let the sticky parts go.