Matrix: Reloaded Explained
The essay
Selected reader comments

Matrix: Revolutions Explained
The essay
Selected reader comments

Archive for November 2008

Perceiving Will

09 Nov, 2008 | Brian |

Some alternate titles for this article: Carving Lamb With a Samurai Sword, or How I Learned to Shut Up at the King's Table.

I wrote in a previous article about putting yourself into the service of something bigger than yourself. This is really about setting aside your will, which is often focused on getting and keeping. The getting part is the desire for acquiring things and experiences, and the keeping part is the desire to preserve what you've already got. Those impulses seem sensible enough in a capitalist sense - we're just looking out for ourselves and our families. From the point of view of personal well-being, though, these ideas turn out not to be so wonderful. When I don't get what I want, I become resentful. When events (real or imagined) threaten what I have, I become fearful. I end up living most of my life drowning in fear and resentment, and blaming everyone else for it, instead of accomplishing anything useful.

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Lamb Chop Versus The Almighty

03 Nov, 2008 | Brian |

"You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato. There's more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!"

- Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

I cooked a fantastic lamb chop last night. The consumption of said chop was sublime. The flavor, texture, and aroma from the cooking and the eating blended with the lasting (albeit minor) euphoria that comes from the pleasurable digestion of a high-quality meal. As the crispy flesh settled in my stomach and my eyes drooped a bit, I felt a blooming positivity toward the world, an emotion of happiness and security. Unable to not dissect the moment, I settled into a post-ingestive meta-analysis of the feelings that I was feeling. What does it mean to feel an emotion? What is the experience of an emotion?

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