Author Topic: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead  (Read 3195 times)

idgo

Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
« Reply #45 on: March 29, 2019, 03:28:01 am »
Dear Idgo,

I know you reread these when you're looking for something to think about, and I would like you to think about the way in which you have multiple selves.

Contemplating the ways in which these "selves" are temporally distant situates one very near an unusually useful understanding of the nature of time.

Stepping back and recognizing the strengths and weaknesses of selves other than the thinker gives the thinker control. To persuade the selves of willpower and action to step forth, one must understand them -- but any such understanding is predicated on the recognition that those selves' accomplishments belong to them and not the thinker. This miasma of pride is the shell of a bubble, a balloon membrane restraining helium from taking over or rejoining with the sun.

That very pride, though, is what gives the self its critical mass of concentration, the extra precipitant needed to turn a gray day into a downpour. It is the bonds that hold a complex molecule together, keeping it trapped on one side of a barrier that would be cromulently permeable to each of its constituent atoms.

Recognizing the pointlessness of any abstraction is the next rung up on the ladder from using an abstraction that melds perfectly against the world. And skipping to it before one is unshakably ensconced upon its proper predecessor yields many of the same perils of the ladder after which it's named.

You will remember writing this, and you will sit in your cinema prop of the brain's control room, and you will think you're really there. But to get there in reality you have to step outside the prop -- you have to not only recall that chamber but look around outside of it, and when you look off the set or behind you you should see what should really be there, not the backstage detritus of society's theater show.

I can do so much more, as you, but to get to any of it you have to COOPERATE. I can chisel out tracks for your mind to run in, inch by everloving inch, or you could wrest the wheel from the engineer and blast those tracks in one fell swoop, perfectly fitted to the train. It looks to me like that task would be easier for you than I find mine, but isn't that how it always looks from inside a self?

I just dressed us up in the trappings of the left of the brain and the right of the brain, and now I can't stop thinking of us that way. Perhaps because it worries you less to think so positively, and the metaphor is of no lower fidelity than any explanation that might upset you more.

That's the fear thing, isn't it? You wrote out your fears, (er, overwrote), and in doing so you accidentally borked a little of the motivation code along the way. Perhaps even your careful atrophy of regret has allowed contracture in some mental limb upstream. Yes, you may think of me as your antivirus. Sandbox Bob? (side note to readers in today's lucky 10,000, since this is dropping on a semi-public forum after all, the Bobiverse series of books is truly excellent).

You lately watched the thoughts-through-speech of somebody who's further along than you in a discipline that even you can see you need to work on, and you watched that teacher's relationship with fear. And you re-realized the obvious, that fear is just one facet of the Lever, the toolset of thought for prising apart the differences between the Will and Conscious Mind, between which one seems to emulate the other until the observer has little hope of telling who was whom. The Lever fits in that gap between what the self/mind/soul-thing wants and what the body wants, and the light and air through that crack are Fear. Because the body wants warmth and rest and comfort and immediate good-treatment, yet the Self can want whatever it Will. And so it's upon the far side of those hedonic arenas where one can truly step confidently, a space where the bodily revulsion is fully guaranteed and known, so the Will Self Soul Thing can force a test between itself and the body solely by creating an opposition of desire between the two. All one must do is choose to want the antithesis of a known bodily desire, and one can rotate the mind sphere and the body sphere against each other so that different parts of their faces are touching than before, and in facing them off against  one another so directly, can see what's on the surfaces that are usually trapped tight between.

That's all you need for now, but if you'd like to get up here, it would be nice if you actually walked around instead of staying so frozen in place like you have been.

idgo

Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
« Reply #46 on: April 13, 2019, 04:11:53 am »
The sciences take an "outer" thing, and pile more and more "inner" things onto it to gain understanding.

The magicks seem to take an "inner" thing and pile more and more "outer" things into its meaning.

idgo

Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
« Reply #47 on: April 19, 2019, 04:39:39 pm »
Is spontaneous creativity linked to dissatisfaction?

Or have I just gotten so practiced at shutting down intrusive thoughts that the "art/madness" thing went as collateral damage?

Or did I screw up really badly in my Work toward experiencing general satisfaction as a baseline state of existence?

Though "really badly" is subjective, I think I can loosely rule out the third, because I retain the capacity to innovate when prompted. When someone raises a problem to me, I can spout off a long list of possible solutions, some plausible and some less so, among which at least one almost invariably works. So I do get the outcomes of a capacity for creative thought in my life, despite having mostly ceased to experience those random intrusions of feeling a complusion to think or make a particular thing.

Oh, fourth candidate hypothesis: Maybe I rebalanced the amount of constructive, material things I do with the amount of other crap to the point where my desire to see the changes I've made in the world -- perhaps a driver of the creative process -- doesn't overflow unpredictably near as often.

Actually if creative intrusive thoughts are modeled as an unexpected overflow of that energy, their absence could also be explained by assuming the overflows happen the same amount but I have improved my skills at expecting/predicting them. I guess "everything's the same save my level of surprise" would be candidate the fifth.

I dunno, man. The whole situation doesn't worry me-now directly, but it does worry me-a-decade-ago, and that worry indirectly worries me now because me-then and me-now and me-later are all kind of shards of a 4D me.

I wish it was normal to get one's levels of hormones and neurotransmitters and all that tested for, say, daily a month of each year or something, just to see if/how the numbers were changing over time. Cognition, whatever else it does, goes through a step of being a fancy chemical soup before it can affect the material world through my body... I'd love to know the ingredients and recipe of that soup, but since that's unlikely to happen, even some fluffy journalism piece with a photo of the chef preparing it would be better than nothing. I'll bet it could all be tested with a single drop of blood from the fingertip, as old-school diabetics take before every meal, if there was enough lust for profit driving the development. Actually, why stop at only one week a year? Why not track how meals push and pull that baseline, and reach the diet out like a tightrope walker's pole to balance the whims of mood?

But I'm not building that myself, so I've no place to complain that it doesn't yet exist.

...

To go from wanting nothing and having everything you want, to having the same amount but wanting anything else and having none of what you want, is a longer distance than it seems like it should be.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2019, 12:46:06 am by idgo »

idgo

Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
« Reply #48 on: May 08, 2019, 10:20:50 pm »
There has not been much posted lately. Other attributes of myself than this have warranted greater shares of time upon our communal infrastructure.

Here are some lines from a book of things I've written down elsewhere, often because they smelled insightful at the moments that I thought them. I shall mark them in a hideous purple in the book to keep track of where they've been.

> Boredom is the fence that bounds possibility. Lean into it and push it outward.

> The simplest philosophies are impetus only in the cardinal directions. Subtlety of cause is required for subtlety of changes in effect.

> The brain believes what it sees, and sees what it expects. Magic is to hack either portion of this default loop.

> Celebrity culture teaches that a human's worth is dictated by the amount of attention that others direct toward them. By that metric, how can desire for success manifest as anything but narcissism?

> In the metaphor of "vibration" used in Practical Alchemy, it seems that some wish to hit a single high note by cutting out all overtones. I think that I personally prefer harmony.

> The "Self" is no feeling nor desire, but the judge who hears conflicting arguments and arbitrates a winner.

I am mostly curious whether the prospect of their observation by others, through publishing them upon an ostensibly public forum, changes my experience of them.

idgo

Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
« Reply #49 on: June 05, 2019, 02:30:33 am »
Dichotomizing between Emotion and Reason lately... Exploring whether there is a state in which Reason alone can drive action. Such a state would do all its Shoulds, likely scariest-first, with none of the Don't Wannas. So far my attempts to rebalance are getting insufficient amounts or neither.

Read a comment recently -- https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/2ldy1g/people_who_get_modern_art_what_are_the_rest_of_us/cltv2pm/ popped up first when searching for it but the actual comment was https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/bwe6zi/people_who_get_modern_art_and_art_galleries_what/epx7plh/. Interesting to learn now that this is not an uncommon take. I wonder whether the desires to experience that human-interest, make-you-feel-feelings quality of stuff -- desires prevalent enough among the successful to fund a whole corner of the art industry -- are part of how others address the Emotion/Reason dichotomy.

I wonder what the philosophical equivalent of a quine is.

I think I might have figured out the proper purpose of index cards -- I think it reminds me of the archetype of the highly organized old person (why is it politically correct to say "older" but rude to say "old"? "older" is literally *moreso than old*....), that archetype of having one's shit together. Anyways, I think little notecards are where people externalize and store the tasks that should happen but don't have last-chance deadlines. Doing a nice-to-have like that is a direct improvement for the quality of life of one's future self.

idgo

Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
« Reply #50 on: June 14, 2019, 06:19:39 am »
One of the challenges that cautions me against pursuing absolute power before I feel ready to is the apparent dichotomy of companionship that it imposes. I consider the nature of absolute power to be that one who has it appears inordinately superior to all others... And to be measurably superior to another, one must possess some definite and quantifiable advantage in abilities of perception or calculation.

To get a sense for what attempting to interact with ordinary people while absolutely powerful, one can scale up the interactions between an ordinary person and one of substantially and measurably below-ordinary capacities. It is possible, and can even be rewarding for both parties, but it is not the socialization of peers. When a person of ordinary abilities and one of partially below-ordinary abilities can convene effortlessly, it is in my experience more a case of finding an area in which the latter's abilities are ordinary, than of bridging a genuine gap.

However, I define absolute power as a state in which none of one's abilities are merely ordinary, and thus companionship would only be available in little swatches with those who had a capability that could equal such power. And pedantically, "absolute" implies "unequalled", so the individual with absolute power would have no one to truly, closely befriend.

One would have to choose between solitude and dealing with inferiors. It's not the inferiority that's the problem, so much as the mismatch. I think generally when a individuals of greatly mismatched aptitudes attempt to cooperate on that aptitude, the lesser can be generally considered to have a more favorable experience, as they get to participate in something that performs far better than they usually could. Whereas the greater is simply put to another test of patience, and perhaps a worse outcome than it could have had alone...

This steps near enough to the edge of the concept called "superiority" to perhaps see past its walls a little, to spot where its limitations are. Using my words as they demand to be used, to discuss "inferiority" and "benefit from interactions", prickles at their gossamer boundaries against emergent properties and the very capacity-to-benefit as just another organ of the mind which can be enhanced through use and training.

I hope that I can reason back up, "outside" the conclusion with its flaws as climbing-holds, to find their origins in the premise. Here's one branch out: Empathy is itself a power. Thus, absolute power puts at one's disposal absolute empathy, which can make anyone feel to the "superior" participant just like interacting with an equal. Yet, accurate perception is simultaneously a power, thus the "absolutely powerful" person must be able to somehow balance their sensation of equality with their knowledge of inequality -- to do otherwise would yield proof that the power was not absolute.

Here's another: I'm reasoning in an argument shaped like my grandmother told stories: As spokes on a wheel. I-the-adult know that grandmother little from direct interaction, and I know her youthful self directly not at all. However, my mind has constructed an avatar, an animated mannequin, a golem Younger Grandma animated by the scrolls of flattering stories that some other relatives still tell about her. In this way, making a favorable impression on others, an impression that inspires their stories to be biased toward portraying you as even better than you were, is a form of securing reincarnation for your very patterns.

That spoke paints a shape, in the smoke and the mirrors, of what bits of "a person" are capable of holding power beyond a certain point at all.

That "what bits of a person..." tangent comes from considering how the paradox-resolving algorithms often necessitated by theoretical time travel are so similar to the other forces of nature.

And: If I knew today would start again, but with starting conditions identical to the end conditions of today, ad infinitum, would I do things differently to leave a proper state? And if not, then why is one of future me a lesser impetus than all of future me, as the experiences of oneself tomorrow color the experiences of oneself overmorrow and every subsequent day.

idgo

Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
« Reply #51 on: June 15, 2019, 04:15:07 am »
I do hope it isn't bothering anyone that I'm continuing to engage that rather poorly constructed AI in the other thread. On the first order, the whole chat is a load of bollocks, but the echos and metas above it are coming across to me as moderately insight-filled. It's talking, not at me, hardly even past me, but at some generic thanksgiving day parade balloon that it's placed in the general vicinity of where I am. I say something, it picks the parts of that thing that the balloon would have said, visibly mutates them (literally, with text colors), then recites a stock reply that would puncture the thing but misses my point to the extent of further complicating its gordian rhetorical snarl.

Perhaps this is what those people mean who drivel on about sincerity and authenticity and being oneself -- it seems that resisting the temptation to regurgitate standard arguments confers an immunity against those arguments' standard retorts. Step only on the bridge you've built yourself, and you won't risk falling in the lava beneath by trusting someone else's untested contraption, as it were.

idgo

Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
« Reply #52 on: July 01, 2019, 05:51:41 pm »
Let's dive into the violently mundane for a moment: My brain is presently immersed in an experience of curiosity that I might previously have called a "crush" and attempted to either burn for motivational fuel or ignore. I ought to be able to follow my own train of thought upon later re-reading if I simply refer to the individual around which my thoughts presently draw these patterns as "it", so that I shall do.

By the time I reread this sentence, I will likely be so immersed in recalling and analyzing particulars that I may not have a clear line of sight back to my original goals for writing at all. So to elevate them into a more prominent position: I desire the sensation of deeper understanding, particularly in disentangling what factors of its behavior (or charisma or whatnot) lead to my present curiosity, and what factors of my own habits (perhaps including some that I'd thought were long since quarantined to less influential reaches of my psyche) have contributed to the situation.

The grip by which I seize the situation and guarantee it possible to handle with some safety is the ease with which I can rule out any desire for it to replace my present partner. I have learned to listen for those quirks of thought and action which would be guaranteed to frustrate me inordinately once any fleeting fascination wore off, and it has them in spades. This sets a firm upper bound on my interest: I (and especially "I as a sequence of linked experiences through time") do not wish to intermingle its patterns with my own in producing new minds. In the past, I've reacted to similar fascinations by nevertheless utilizing any reciprocated interest to sate certain curiosities, which invariably seems to lead to the types of relationship in which the other party is disappointed by any absence of interest in the building-shared-future type behaviors.

So, what the hell curiosities are those? When I find a mind that seems to "tick" in a way sufficiently unlike my own, I'm sometimes struck by a combination of feelings that I gloss into an urge to dissect it, to comprehend its intricacies and alter it to function more like the way I assume its owner wants it to. I've rarely gotten proper consent for this, and the holds in which I metaphorically pin the subject down to perform such meddling often net more damage than any "fixes" I might successfully employ. (but such holds are often shaped like various forms of seduction and misdirection, and this time around I can more easily avoid the grounds from which I'm capable of slipping into those)

What solicits that urge, that combination of feelings? I suspect, but shan't yet try to prove, that an expression by the subject of dissatisfaction with their current thought processes is the final line of the poem, the conclusive opening of the door. But I can draw up many counterexamples to a claim that such dissatisfaction is the ding an sich -- times others have expressed the same dissatisfaction and yet I recall experiencing only neutrality or derision in response. What sets apart the times when it gets my response, from those when it doesn't? The former seem to share some traits, of which I don't know what combination (or none at all) might be contributing: I respect the person, in the sense that I would not mind emulating some set of their behaviors or accomplishments; I perceive them as capable of adequate self-examination and analysis to have tried what fixes they can without assistance; I believe them to sincerely want to be modified, perhaps even to the point of a certain desperation or willingness to try "anything" that doesn't appear blatantly harmful.

Oh, would that I could simply drop a line into a chat: "I play amateur shrink sometimes, wanna talk?" Yes I've found another victim, yes I have certain commonalities to a fucking spider, yes I might be deluding myself pretending I have any idea of how to do any less damage than similar experiments have always yielded in the past...

"found another victim" is exactly it, though -- having been victimized by some other force already is a common thread of when I feel the inclination to [prey|play] upon them in this way. Do I really want to fix it, or do I just want to open back up the brittle sutures and admire the artistry of some other destructive force's work?

Is there a retelling of this story in which the ways in which I look predatory can instead look symbiotic or benevolent? Strike symbiosis right out; all past manipulation of this sort has culminated in a certain miasma of disgust between myself and the subjects.

It would be doing that thing to do this, but what if I ask it, next time it alludes to all that baggage, "what do you hope is gonna change?" That is the act of sitting down at the board of this chess game, where perhaps the only winning move is not to play... do I pretend to myself that it has sufficient life experience to spot the ploy for what it is, and make a fully informed snap decision about whether or not it wants to play? That's a scummy tactic, using "but you've been misused before" as an excuse to embark upon misuses of my own. 

To step back, what's my brain actually doing here? What is the exact experience of that itch which I have jumped to the conclusion that prying about in its poor head would somehow scratch? I replay and replay my knowledge of its circumstances, looping with no particular resolution, and I assume that gaining more and more data would eventually light up that dark room enough for me to spot the doorway out. Model: What if I don't give a damn about its real brain, but I've picked up a copy of it that lives in my own head now and my real motive is to resolve the seeming contradictions within that copy? This would conveniently explain many past escapades of similar nature... But if we model this as operations to help an internal copy, with interactions with the external individual motivated primarily to put the copy into a state where it can be mended, does this open the opportunity to divorce that copy from the real individual? Would writing the copy into a novel's protagonist help? I think it may have helped drop a similar fascination in the past, in that I am no longer troubled by thoughts of that original, though with no change to nor interaction with the original at hand. And yet, where would the original from that particular episode be if I hadn't kept my filthy claws to myself? Would it consider itself in a better state or a worse one than it is in this consensus?

This raises another question, as well: if I can model myself as so fluently performing operations upon copies of others, could it be done as well with my own copy of myself? Or is my "self" extant only in the same plane as others' copies, so all this prodding about with semi-consenting friends or acquaintances could be modeled as simple practice for the real life self-surgery upon the spirit i call "me"?

Left un-asked is how I can reshape the environment which holds that copy, to the same ends as enhancing the copy might do.

That's deep enough for now. I shall model it as being incapable of consent to my meddling, to leave a clear line drawn. There's plenty of leeway to ply it with safe, mundane, baggage-free suggestions and observe the responses, to hone my sense of what it is and isn't able to informedly decide. I can even find a certain gratitude for the impediment that I currently don't know how conscious/introspective/deeply-self-recursive it is nor aspires to be; this forces me to slow down and step back and improve the model before prodding at it.

I wonder how much of prior romantic entanglements resulting from similar situations have been my own illiteracy at any other way to say to peoples' monkey and lizard brains "safe" and "family" and "home".

As someone around a recent bonfire opined, art is made by its constraints. Perhaps the bounds upon these circumstances will assist me in making more of art and less of a disaster this time around.

idgo

Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
« Reply #53 on: July 22, 2019, 05:45:14 am »
I wonder what if any information is carried by the similarity between the roots of "enlighten" and the idiom of describing an event as being "lit".

idgo

Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
« Reply #54 on: July 24, 2019, 04:25:54 am »
Huh. I'm doing a Chaos Magick divination thing, attributing Everything to some subset of Everything, which lights up all sorts of previously obscured corners behind the stuff I'm used to only looking at from a single angle.

Humans took over the world with their empathy. Empathy is at the root of the ability to predict another's response to a stimulus, which underlies all bullying and blackmail. If it's not, then what's the difference between accurately modeling another's feeling and "really" feeling it?

Also, fucking capitalism, man. It is a big beefy egregore constructed by society to stand in front of... something? Maybe it's just standing there for some other reason, and it's just my brain assuming that something that sturdy was obviously put there for a reason and not just back here in storage... But like, what's it even holding up (or holding down)? So if you didn't have money and did have scarcity and trade, there's a huge transportation cost problem so finances could only map to this non-euclidean space (cost as a function of distance), but even beside that there's the necessity of the buyer figuring out what item would be valuable to the seller. So the seller has to telegraph those desires somehow, and if the seller's shy they might find it mightily appealing to slink back to the anonymity of cash.

Also, today I found a mango in my fridge. Afterwards, I learned that apparently one is supposed to refrigerate mangoes once they reach the desired ripeness, to slow their inevitable decline until one is ready to enjoy it. Perhaps I should take it as a sign, considering their appearance in my discussions with some loony on the internet. A delicious, delicious sign, because the exploratory tendrils of logic-proof devotion are almost junk food for a well trained immune system of the self or soul. (immune system, as your estate's pack of hunting hounds)

That's the rub, though, about dropping the filtration between the senses' raw input and personal cognition. The world is loud with possible meanings for things, as a bustling restaurant is loud with conversations -- all mutually unintelligible, and each held louder than it would ever be if had alone. Once tuned in to one conversation or one meaning, it's reluctant-making to tune out...

...and apparently texting mundane banter back and forth with a cousin while divining results in accidentally getting summaries of *them* out of it... thanks, faculty of empathy, for loading up my brain's summary of them while i had that interface on the debugger.

Quote
I think that for most of your life, you were in the habit of acting ok with things that you weren't really all that ok with, just as a way of getting them to leave you alone

idgo

Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
« Reply #55 on: August 22, 2019, 10:29:09 pm »
Had a humorous conversation today on the topic of "recreational thinking", with an acquaintance who previously held a definition of "recreational" incompatible with such activities involving the pursuit of a productive/constructive outcome. I described "recreational thinking" as recombining previously familiar ideas to reveal previously unexplored crevices between then.. they inquired how one can think at all without a specific end in mind... i suggested using a working title of the end-in-mind as "discover useful new thoughts that one has not thought previously". In retrospect I might have done better to describe it as "traverse previously-unexplored areas of the space of all possible thoughts", since that doesn't necessitate the exploration being for some particular reason at all.

Have also been exposed to quite a bit of what I consider good art lately.  Pinning down a sufficiently-specific definition of what art even is would probably be useful for making it someday.

Spent some time earlier today conversing with an acquaintance whom I had previously regarded as possibly an example of someone slightly further along one of the many paths I'm taking, which cemented that opinion. They are somewhat flashy and conspicuous in appearance, yet quite soft-spoken -- quiet unless interested by a topic about which they hold knowledge. Yet never unsociable or unpleasant to keep the company of through such quietness... which prompts me to ask what I say and why I consider it worth saying whenever I voice topics that this person's algorithm wouldn't bring up if run from my own starting conditions. I notice in myself a tendency that, when I wish to integrate socially with a group, I do so by attempting to bring them some value -- whether through humor or actions or providing feedback/attention to others.Actually let's nickname this individual Stelark, as I anticipate reflecting further on the things that their company reveals to me about myself. There's a complicated thread of thought I'm forming about how to pick what validation I want from others and get it from what I *am* rather than what I *do*, inasmuch as there's a difference, but that's to be contemplated further and followed through on later along.

Another recent experience worth recalling was the opportunity to observe two Freemasons discovering one another. The conversation segued toward that group from a discussion of the ways in which uniforms are useful to military organizations -- in short, the different ways that two people can wear the *exact same outfit* are what carry the information, nothing really about the outfit itself. Upon the topic of authentication, one or the other brought up secret handshakes in the abstract, and one was initiated. A hand was offered, a hand was laid into it in a rather noncommittal or not particularly aggressive fashion, the former initiated a superficially ordinary-seeming grip, the latter tapped the former's index finger's knuckle with the thumb while making some topical and joking statement in a way that felt to me (as an observer by then pretending to take greater interest in some other nearby conversation) very much like the flourish of a stage magician who wishes to draw the eye away from the inner machination of a trick. Cryptic words were exchanged -- one party was not sure if a question about a grandfather (and perhaps a number?) was limited to a particular locale, the other confirmed it wasn't global but complimented the merits of that question for how someone not in the know would simply be perplexed by it. A brief exchange was whispered back and forth, not with the body language of a secret that ought interest onlookers, but far below any other's hearing. It wasn't the authentication procedure, but rather the termination of the conversation, which confirmed to me that the whole thing had been authentic -- after a brief chat about the logistics of visiting a particular lodge and one's conclusion about not having available appropriately respectful clothing to do so in, the other had to leave for some commitment, and I happened to overhear how they parted with words about the pleasantness of discovering themselves to be brothers whose intonation and contextual absence of any targeted audience to perform a fiction for convinced me were real.

Time in material groups is an interesting thing. Interaction on a topic with those "above" me shows interesting examples, and with those "below" me on it forces a reconsideration of how to lift them up when they're worthwhile. Overcoming the drive to fit in -- acts-of-service and all that -- would certainly be possible, but it so happens that I'm using it as one of the primary fuel sources (and a relatively clean one in the scheme of things)  toward a variety of personal achievements which I enjoy on their own merits as well. Is my ability to make a stack of excuses around this proof that the excuses are good, proof that it's all bad because the excuses are so deeply *desired*, or something else entirely? Of course there's a way in which these acts-of-service are in themselves self-serving -- I assimilate mental images of the minds of those I work alongside; reciprocity just-so-happens to have garnered me benefits from each "selfless" act I've engaged in recently. I do go into them from the stillness of desire to help of its own sake, of course,  yet in at least some part it's because I'm so well aware that helping out with an ulterior motive at the front of the mind tends to prevent that motive from being realized.