The Power of the Impersonal

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Just as traveling externally light facilitates movement through space traveling internally light facilitates movement through time, that is psychological time, the world of daily thinking. We leave the psyche and all its baggage behind as a dead weight. The impersonal has a power that the egocentric can never hold as their own.

Some have survived the most difficult trials – such as WW2 forced labor camps – by dissociating themselves from their surroundings and actions, finding only in this distancing the strength to deal with their predicament. As we switch off our mental selves the experience itself counter-intuitively becomes switched on. It actually becomes closer, more real and less abstract if much less personal.

We can elude the personal mindset by thinking of each day starting anew and unconnected with previous days. We can instill objectivity into the body – which includes the brain – by thinking of it as being on loan for that day like a rental car, one that we treat well to return in good condition.

Subjectivity is not quite the total proof we imagine it to be. Our own particular experience becomes partly counterfeit when placed against the reality of the complete picture. We weight our changeable feelings and unreliable experiences too highly. It’s useful to remember we’re a sample size of one.

If there’s one single trait that underlies effective living it’s objectivity. Objectivity is simply the truth seen once we abandon our personal biases of position and experience. The universal delusion that reality varies depending on our place in space and time robs us of the gift of sight. What has higher meaning and value than to see more clearly?

Wrestling with a false sense of self is a undertaking that has to be carried all one’s life and one where victory can never be declared. For the satisfaction of victory would itself be defeat.

Understanding as art and science