Our Problems Are Not Our Problems, They’re Just Symptoms Of Deeper Problems (2-5-21)

Richard Spencer tweets Friday: “I’m taking a substantial break from posting on Twitter, though I might check back in occasionally to see news and such. This site has taken too much of my energy for years now, and it’s time to focus on more important stuff.”

if you are spending too much energy on Twitter or on extreme sports or on talking to the secretary at work or in caring for homeless dudes, that’s not the problem. That’s just a symptom of a deeper problem of a lack of connection. When we connect normally with ourselves and others, these things naturally sort themselves out. When we attack symptoms, we’re just going to play whackamole.

If you have somebody or something that is taking too much of your energy for years, then that person or place is not the problem. It’s just a symptom. If you’ve got a problem in one area of your life, e.g. tweeting too much to get that dopamine rush, you have the problem (dopamine chasing leading to unmanageability) throughout your life. That does not mean it is a bad idea to quit something cold turkey or to permanently abstain from a process or substance, but you are only dealing with symptoms not root causes, which will inevitably get back to selfishness and lack of normal human connection. My dad would often say, “It is easier to abstain than to be moderate.” True, but what is even easier is to ignore the root of a problem and only concern yourself with the shoots. If you can’t handle social media or chocolate or wine or politics or TV sports without indulging to excess, then you’ve got miswiring problem and the solution is to rewire. You’re reacting to stimuli in ways that don’t serve you, so rewire your reactions. I often hear people say how much better they feel when they abstain from social media or TV or politics, but it is the toxic way one compulsively and helplessly uses these things that is the problem. If you can’t stop yourself doing something that is bad for you, you need help. Usually people have to hit a wall or pass the age of 40 to become willing to do the work to get recovery. Ideally, one would not need to crash to get help.

Richard Spencer, who earlier in his life wanted to devote himself to theater, appears motivated by attention seeking and uniqueness seeking. I think I recognize that because I have the same tendency. I don’t like analyzing people by their motivations, but if you can come up with one explanation that seems to explain otherwise mystifying behavior, then you are using abductive reasoning aka reasoning from inference. You are behaving like a detective in a genre detective story. You start with observations and you seek the simplest and most likely conclusion from the observations.

I don’t think I live stream out of compulsion. If I have nothing to say, I don’t go live. I don’t tweet, blog, make content out of compulsion any more because I’m learning to come to peace with myself. If you are wasting your energy, you are not at peace with yourself. How would one know if one is live streaming or tweeting out of compulsion? It will interfere with the rest of your life, not complement it. It will produce unmanageability. When I want to meet up with a friend, I usually move around my livestreaming not vice versa.

If you live for sports or politics or gambling, you live to escape from your life. Extreme fandom means you are a marginalized loser. The more you need to bask in reflected glory, the less glory you are building for yourself. If you are good with God or with yourself or with others, you probably don’t need as intensely to bask in the reflected glory of others.

The more intense your emotions about sports or politics, the more messed up you are. Notes this article: “Fans invest time and energy into sports because it’s an escape from the other parts of their lives. Fans are fans, because they are part of the team. Fans are fans because they want to be a part of the story.”

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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