Eudaimonia

  
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Twenty-five thousand years ago, the pre-Socratic philosopher Heraclitus recorded the aphorism Ethos anthropoi daimon in his fragments—which we have taken, nemine contradicente, to mean character is fate. The word ethics, though etymologically derived from the Greek ēthos, is entangled with theological and eschatological conceptions, owing to the later Roman and Christian religiosity that adopted and adapted its meaning to suit their purposes. In its original form, as intended by Heraclitus, ethos is character. It is something engraved on the soul, formed by the repeated action of habit. Hillman¹ defines character as the “deep structures of personality that are particularly resistant to change” and habit the “invisible source of inner consistently”. Character is engraved on the soul and the daimon is our genius, according to the ancient texts. In modern terms, the daimon is likened to fate; it is where your wisdom and creativity reside; it is your unconscious self, your undermind. According to Ancient Greek myth, the daimon is potentially divine and is the intermediary between the mortal and the divine. In the Symposium, Plato wrote that Eros and other demons were intermediaries between human beings and the gods. But to better understand what the daimon is, we must return to the ancient myths; that of Plato’s Myth of Er.

Plato concludes the Republic with the Myth of Er. When Er dies in battle, his body is piled away with his other slain comrades. But, even after ten days, his body remains undecomposed and is sent to his home for cremation. Twelve days after his death, he wakes up on the funeral pyre and tells the extraordinary tale of his sojourn in the underworld. Here, the souls of those who have departed this world await their lot in the new life, as allotted by Lachesis, the daughter of Necessity, whose name derives from Lachos – one’s spiritual lot or portion of fate. In Timaeus Plato tells us that the demiurge created the world and all living creatures from their eternal paradigm. Our paradeigma is thus a moving image, which is a semblance of eternity, and is also the “lot” that encompasses our fate. This lot is infinitely extensible, or conversely, fully collapsible. It is everything we are and are given in our lifetime, including the portion of the world we occupy, all that comes into it or is taken away from it, and all of this is rolled up into that single image, your paradeigma. It is Lachesis who allocates to the soul its lot, based on the soul’s particular temperament, and sends with each soul a daimon as guardian to its life and as fulfiller of its allotment. Our soul is guided by the daimon to our particular body, our singular circumstances and place in the world. The daimon is your inner spirit, your psuché. It represents your potential, that life of the higher soul which you can live only when you recognise its presence and heed its call. It is the essence of our passions and potential. Living in harmony with our daimon brings happiness and fulfillment to our lives. Living in harmony with the daimon is called eudaimonia, since the Greek prefix eu- means good, well, pleasant, or true. Living in harmony with your daimon means embracing the life, customs, and traditions that are a part of your paradeigma, in the place you were meant to be. The Ancient Greeks called this divine act of contemplative soul-searching Moira, personified as a goddess, and derived from the root mer (from merimna, meaning to consider with “thought and care”). While the daimon binds us to our lot, it has no dominion over the outcome of our life. So we need to carefully consider what is apportioned to us by fate that we have no control over as well as that portion of destiny which is in our hands, representing all we have done, could have done and can do². Rousseau says that this harmonious questing of our “natural desires” is the path to happiness, for when our desires are in tune with our inclinations, we are less removed from being happy, for “unhappiness consists not in the privation of things but in the need that is felt for them.”³ Dostoevsky, the preeminent psychoanalyst, informs us that “man lives most of all when he is seeking something and striving; at such moments he feels within himself a most natural desire for everything harmonious, for tranquility, and in beauty there is both harmony and tranquility…”; and when we are no longer seeking that which is in harmony with our natural desires, when life is “choked by the absence of a goal,” the future no longer impels us forward and we seek to only maximise gratification in the present. “Everything passes into the body, everything plunges into physical debauchery, and, in order to fill in for the higher spiritual impressions which are lacking, people excite their nerves, their body with everything that can possibly arouse.”.

David Kirkpatrick says that, at 15, River Phoenix could never understand why he was “always waiting” and “never arrive”. “Except when the camera rolls. I never quite know who I am. I am only alive when I am somebody else.” Eight years later, he collapsed on the sidewalk outside a Hollywood club and died of an overdose. Contrast Pheonix’s turbulent and short-lived struggle with that of Billie Holliday, who at twelve years of age would run errands and scrub floors at a brothel just so that she could listen to Louis Armstrong and Bessie Smith on the victrola in the front parlour. “I remember Pops’ recording of ‘West End Blues’ and how it used to gas me” she recalls “It was the first time I ever heard anybody sing without using any words. I didn’t know he was singing whatever came into his head when he forgot the lyrics. Ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba and the rest of it had plenty of meaning for me—just as much meaning as some of the other words that I didn’t always understand. But the meaning used to change, depending on how I felt. Sometimes the record would make me so sad I’d cry up a storm. Other times the same damn record would make me so happy I’d forget about how much hard-earned money the session in the parlor was costing me.” A beautiful, fulsome, young lady, she lived a lifetime by the time she wrote Strange Fruit at the tender age of twenty two; a song that would make her physically sick every time she sang it, so much of her heart went into her singing. “When I sing it, it affects me so much I get sick. It takes all the strength out of me… I was in no mood to be bothered with the scenes that always come on when I do that number in the South… When I came to the final phrase of the lyrics I was in the angriest and strongest voice I had been in for months… When I said ‘…for the sun to rot,’ and then a piano punctuation, ‘… for the wind to suck,’ I pounced on those words lake they had never been hit before”. At forty-four, she had cirrhosis of the liver because of chronic drinking; heart and lung problems from chronic smoking; and ulcers from where she had started injecting herself with street heroin that her husband, according to Miles Davis, used to keep her on so that he could control her. “He kept all the drugs and gave them to Billie whenever he felt like it; this was his way of keeping her in line”, he wrote in his autobiography, adding that Holiday confided in him that “I told him he could leave me alone. He could have our house, everything, but just leave me alone.”

Franz Kafka’s daimon compelled an unrelenting exhumation of the skeletons of the past. A disinterring that reveals itself in the myriad of obscure and dense metaphors that he has left his readers to decipher. Like Holiday, the evocations though cathartic, were also physically trying. To stymie their tide meant to also cessate the flow of life itself. Aldo Carotenuto writes that in his last days, Kafka could neither eat nor speak. For John Updike Kafka “epitomizes one aspect of this modern mindset: a sensation of anxiety and shame whose centre cannot be located and therefore cannot be placated; a sense of an infinite difficulty within things, impeding every step; a sensitivity acute beyond usefulness, as if the nervous system, flayed of its old hide of social usage and religious belief, must record every touch as pain.” Tolstoy understood the power of the daimon and the need to channel and direct its forces. “At the time I felt that this world had some meaning” he wrote in his confession, “Living as I was then, like any individual I was tormented by the problem of how to live a better life. I did not yet understand that in answering “live in conformity with progress”, I was speaking exactly like a person who is in a boat being carried along by wind and waves and who when asked the most important and vital question, ‘Where should I steer?’ avoids answering by saying, ‘We are being carried somewhere.’”.

The daimon is the driving force in our lives, but it is also the real unconscious; what Needleman describes as the “sensitive current of feeling that is meant to permeate the entire being as an indispensable organ of knowledge”. A according to the ancient teachings, this real unconscious is the wholeness of being whose memory has been eradicated on the plains of forgetting and left behind in childhood. But it still subsists within man, and where his wisdom and creativity come from in those brief moments when he gives up the struggle for life. Needleman calls the emotions of fear, self-satisfaction, self-pity, and competitiveness, the emotions of the ego, which when blended with the “extremely volatile and combative energies of sex”, appear to be so innate that they are deemed to be the real nature of man, once he has shrugged off the veneer of public propriety.

In the ancient teachings, the real unconscious is the hidden psychic integrity, which has been forgotten and left behind since childhood, and which requires for its development not egoistic satisfactions, not “recognition from others”, not sexual or labidinal pleasure, not even physical security, food, and shelter… Thus, according to tradition, there is something potentially divine within man, which is born when his physical body is born but which needs for its growth an entirely different sustenance from what is needed by the physical body or the social self.Jacob Needleman, Awakening the Heart.

To nurture the divine daimon, we need to strive for true freedom. We need to learn stop demonising fate and strive to realise our inner potential. Virginia Satir, the eminent family therapist, cast fate in the light of five freedoms that are available to us if we so choose: The freedom to say what you feel and think instead of what you should; the freedom to feel what you feel instead of what you ought; the freedom to ask for what you want instead of always waiting for permission; the freedom to take risks on your own behalf, instead of choosing to be secure and not rock the boat. Our inequalities are what make us unique and, paradoxically equal, for there is no other being who is exactly the same as me, therefore it is only I who am blessed with one or more unique skills and abilities, whose confluence with my experiences yield the essence that is my singular character. In the absence of any sense of self-worth, it is human nature to cling to the notion of racism, confusing hubris for spiritual belonging. To see the true image of the world is to look with the heart instead of the mind, to see people for who they are, and not what they are said to be by types and classes.

We need to strive to prevent the image that was transmitted with our daimon from being distorted and fragmented by an egocentric world and begin to construct an image of ourselves based on what we see, feel, and believe about the things we encounter in life. This image should be adaptable; it needs to be constantly compared and contrasted with your paradeigma, which is the only true representation of your being and which you must edge closer towards as you encounter new vistas of experience and revise the image accordingly. Only then can you truly live the life you were fated to live. Only then can you truly make a difference to the lives of the people around you.

The thing-ing of us

How we became the sum total of innumerable fragments

In a segment of the film My Dinner with André, André and Wally discuss the tyranny of cultural roles:

André: You know, every day, several times a day, I walk into my apartment building. The doorman calls me Mr. Gregory, and I call him Jimmy. Already, what’s the difference between that… and the Southern plantation owner who’s got slaves? You see, I think that an act of murder is committed in that moment… when I walk into that building. Because here’s a dignified, intelligent man… a man of my own age… and when I call him Jimmy, then he becomes a child, and I’m an adult… because I can buy my way into the building.

Wally: Right. That’s right. I mean, my God, when I was a Latin teacher, people used to treat me—I mean, if I would go to a party of professional or literary people, I mean, I was just treated—uh—in the nicest sense of the word, like a dog. In other words, there was no question of my being able to participate on an equal basis in the conversation with people. I mean, I would occasionally have conversations with people, but when they asked what I did, which would always happen after about five minutes—uh, you know, their faces—even if they were enjoying the conversation, or they were flirting with me or whatever it was—their faces would just, you know, have that expression like the portcullis crashing down, you know, those medieval gates

The philosopher Josiah Royce said that, to us, our fellow man is a “little less living” compared to ourselves for we have “made a thing of him”, a half-living object whose life is “a pale fire beside our own burning desire”. A solipsism that has justified many a heinous act against our fellow man throughout history. Not to mention the cruelty with which we subdue and dispose of the lower creatures that inhabit our world. To Royce, we are all cut from the same fabric of consciousness and that “pain is pain, joy is joy, everywhere … everywhere, from the lowest to the noblest, the same conscious burning, wilful life is found, endlessly manifold as the forms of the living creatures, unquenchable as the fires of the sun, real as these impulses that even now throb in thine own little selfish heart.”

What maketh a thing? A thing is something that is fixed, concrete, and exists independently, as a whole. Things change only slightly through changes in time or space. You can take apart the legs of a table and then put them back without any detrimental effects to the constitution of the table itself. But tearing leaves or petals from their stalk in order to analyse them is a process that must necessarily sever the functional continuity of the organic whole of which the leaves are a part. The integrity and interwovenness that define the organism as a whole are forever destroyed. This predilection to take apart things is a product of a scientific tradition that has dominated since the time of Descartes. While this approach works well for the study of inanimate objects or non-living things or inorganic things which are in fact things composed of a relatively small number of other things whose apparent movement is periodic and predictable, it doesn’t work, in principle, for animals, which are composed of billions of independently moving parts that work together symbiotically.

All living things, no matter how small or apparently immobile, are in perpetual motion. Their very form depends upon the dynamic motion of their constituent parts. The word live comes from the Latin vivus, which means to be moving and changing, which in turn comes from the Sanskrit jiv. Animals in particular are a dynamic arrangement of multifarious entities that subsist within the bodily ecosystem. Man on average is composed of 37 trillion cells that organise themselves into various functional units depending on their constitution. Some into sharp and hard boulders that dash together to reduce what we eat to a pulp, some band together to form the supple and delicate apparatus of sight, and still others roll themselves up into narrow tubes that absorb the nutrition from the food processing system and purge the waste left behind. Cells are built up from proteins; the basic building blocks of protein are amino acids; and the particular type of cell that forms the substance of all living things is called a eukaryote. Eukaryotes are composed from many simpler prokaryotes such as Mitochondria, which at one time were completely independent life forms¹. Though they now abide symbiotically within the nucleus of host cells, they still have their ancient DNA, though in a diminished amount.

Somewhere along the evolutionary line, and perhaps at the development of consciousness² and language, we began to designate ourselves and others in terms of the symbols that we used to previously identify the countless other inanimate objects in our world. More specifically, we began to look upon the mind as being the essence of us and our bodies as being the vehicle, the object, the thing that is. “I” am the master controller of that which is “me”. “I” am everything that I wish to be, while “me” is everything that I am and is thus only a poor representation of myself. “I” must continually make changes and improvements to “me” so that it conforms to what “I” believe it needs to be. What the “I” believes it should be is the I-persona or the self-system in today’s psychological parlance. This persona³ is an amalgamation of the innumerable loosely connected “psychophysical cysts in which we are steeped from birth through to our formative years—like social customs, conformity through schooling, religious indoctrinations, family values, and so on. A large amount of energy must be diverted and consumed in upholding this secondary, wishful monolithic entity “I”. It is a lie that is ingrained within the neural pathways of our being, so much so that, even if we want to, we cannot subvert the persona that we habitually and automatically pretend to be. We are expected to be firm in our convictions, to have an opinion and stick by it, to be consistent and predictable so that we can be relied upon by others and by ourselves. Our being scattered and multiple is seen as the cause of all our problems and suffering. If only we could gather ourselves together and take responsibility for who we are. When we try to conform to this characterisation, we must inadvertently identify with some parts of our being and reject others. The parts that we reject lead to further inner division and become the object of our scorn, when perceived in others. At the same time, the subterfuge necessary to preserve some illusion of coherence leads to suffering.

But surely we weren’t always like this? To perform a root cause analysis on this affliction, we must go back some two million years, to the advent of language. Until then, man had no way of communicating thoughts and ideas about the objects around him. He received impressions and sensations from the environment around him, which were shared by the entire species. Some of these common impressions were sunshine and darkness; the colour of the sky and stirring of its clouds; the twinkling of the night sky; the sun’s rising and setting; the shape and nature of the earth, its oceans, forests, lakes, and mountains; the calm of the earth’s surface or the tempestuousness of her upheavals. Sensations were also shared, such as warmth and cold; taste and smell. When man developed the special mechanism within his brain that gave names to these outer impressions, a common set of symbols emerged and spread among the entire species. The symbol was a means of holding on to the object in a universal context so that it could be referred to and recalled unambiguously. However, one of the elementary characterisations of language is its parsimony—because the name or symbol was an abstraction, other (similar) impressions could be grouped around the denoted thing. This ambiguity is a powerful construct of language, enabling us to flexibly extend associations indefinitely with a relatively small number of symbols. But in designating the countless myriad objects around us as symbols, language facilitated this social transubstantiation in the names and pronouns used to identify us: “I”, “he”, “she”, “you”. Language demands an agent and receptor, a performer of an action even when the agent and the receptor are one and the same and there isn’t a discernible action being performed. When we say “I decided…” or “I chose…” this conventional syntax implies that there is an active controller “I” who is influencing the action. Language even demands that an agent is conjured up for phenomenas and occurrences: “it is hot”, “it is raining”. But language was shaped by the mind and is only a manifestation of the mind’s need for stability in a constantly fluctuating universe. The faculty of our “reasoning”, seeks to make order out of disorder, because the chaos is only assuaged when the mind finds the recurrent and persistent in such a mercurial universe. “Static ideas”, according to Lancelot Law Whyte, drug the mind by “inhibiting excessive awareness of the uncomfortably pervasive fact of change by drawing the attention elsewhere.”

Once man is torn away from the prehuman, paradisaical unity with nature, he can never go back to where he came from; two angels with fiery swords block his return. Only in death or in insanity can the return be accomplished - not in life and sanity.Erich Fromm, The nature of well-being—man’s psychic evolution, Harper Collins, 1970.

As the great humanistic philosopher Erich Fromm solemnly informs us, there is no going back to the state of unity that existed before awareness ever arose. The only way to overcome the separateness and alienation is to embrace those disparate parts of ourselves more fully; to stop treating them as objects and instead respond to the world in a real way and in the process, realise what is real within ourselves. The vita contemplativa (contemplative path) shows us that the pain and disappointment we experience is the direct consequence of the struggle and the effort we expend to try and maintain a consistent identity. This is the choice we must make when confronted with our innate need for personal fulfilment and the spiritual search for transformation and transcendence; when we seek to rid ourselves of the tranny and shame that comes with failing to meet the demands of an egocentric life.

About rumination and its effects

The very real effects of continually focussing on a stressful event and what you can do about it.

Must one remain always alone? plaintively asks Obermann, the eponymous protagonist of Étienne Pivert de Senancour’s 1804 novel, in contemplating happiness. Renouncing happiness would make one happier, he concludes, but such peace would be a mournful “mournful gift if one has no hope of sharing it”. The book was quite popular in its day and, depending on whom you asked, an exquisitely crafted masterpiece or the fullest expression of ennui thus produced in literature. The poet Matthew Arnold was so captivated by it that he wrote two poems in reverence of the book and its author, while Robert Louis Stevenson, on reading the book many years later, confessed that he always bore Arnold a grudge for leading him to the “cheerless fields of Obermann” and introducing more dreariness into his already despondent youth¹. Obermann, told in epistolary form, is pervading sense of futility when pitted against the demands of life and its vertiginous ascent to its ideals while being constantly thwarted by forces beyond his control. It is a tired soul sapped of all its energies so that the ordinary impulses that are the teleology of natural desires to live and the actions they engender for the sheer pleasure of the exercise of doing. Just like a century later, Kafka would come to epitomise the existential angst and alienation, the horrors and traumas of modern times, and the byzantine absurdity of the bureaucracy orchestrated by totalitarian demagogues. For Kafka, it was his progressive ill-health, social ostracism for being a Jew and a German in Czech Bohemia, and most especially his overbearing Father who “ruled the world from his armchair” and would abuse, threaten, and mock his son throughout his life. Such a haunting figure did he pose over Kafka’s work that in a letter written in 1919 to his father, Kafka states that “All my writing was about you.”².

to undertake useless labours, to embrace distasteful cares, to struggle painfully to an undesired goal;…daily to speak and act without grace, naturalness, or freedom; to be utterly sincere and yet suppress one’s frankness; to have a true soul and refined feelings and yet to exhibit neither nobility nor energy; to be for ever silent about one’s dearest projects, and only to accomplish others very imperfectly—that is what it means to lose the whole of one’s fortune.Senancour in a note to his editor Levallois in the third edition of Rêveries (1833)³

Rumination is the act of focussing on something that makes you frightened or angry. It is a continual occurrence into consciousness of stressful events that occur uncontrollably, more so than the ordinary process of thinking. Such non biological needs and perceived threats trigger the same priming of the bodily system as biological needs and genuine threats do. Since these ephemeral constructs of the mind cannot be located and therefore cannot be placated, they continually trigger the critical parts of your system, depleting the limited supply of cerebral current in the system. If you are someone who focuses excessively on the negative aspects of yourself or life then your brain’s vital energies are going to be taken up with this hollow pinging back and forth of areas of your system so that you have less free energy to notice and make sense of the world in front of you. Fear, in particular, activates the most primitive part of the brain, the amygdala, whose only functions are, rather crudely, referred to as the four Fs—flight, fight, feed, or fuck. The other primary regions of the brain that are involved in the pathology are the hippocampus, which is the seat of your memories and the motor cortex, which controls your movements. All regions of the brain are controlled by a region at the front of the brain know as the prefrontal cortex, which acts as the master regulator. Rumination brings on a flood of emotions and increases the activity in the amygdala which in turn cause waves of fear to traverse through the system, shutting down the cognitively sophisticated anterior cingulate and releasing a deluge of toxic neurochemicals into the brain. Because such a heightened state of alert is resource-intensive and highly debilitating to the system when prolonged for too long, the only way for the system to assuage or alleviate the feelings of irrational anger, guilt, loneliness, or the myriad other intrusive and obstreperous thoughts that plague the mind ad infinitum, is to detect them early as they are welling up and inhibiting or numbing the areas that they trigger. Just like our body automatically controls our actions by subduing stray muscular reflexes until they are necessary, the mechanism in our brain stops unwanted thoughts from occurring. In a 2017 research study of this inhibitory behaviour by Dr Taylor Schmitz, the transmission of messages between nerve cells is mediated by a neurotransmitter known as GABA. GABA secreted by one nerve cell can suppress the activity of the other cells it is connected to. The hippocampus is the storehouse of the GABA chemical and its available concentration determines how effectively different people are able to block the retrieval of memories and prevent thoughts from reoccurring. However, inhibition is like a brake that must be continually depressed and the system must continue to be in a state of hypervigilance, ever alert to the possible outcropping of unwanted states—the net effect being that cerebral energy continues to be sapped but now with the added necessity of having to be maintained over an indefinite term. When the critical receptive areas of the system are ever vigilant for possible threats in the stream of awareness they are processing, it’s hardly likely that they will be efficiently able to act on and react to your rapidly changing environment. As your mind is so preoccupied with keeping at bay painful memories and as it continually scans your stream of consciousness in order to preempt and avoid things that trigger those unwanted memories make you anxious, you fail to notice the speeding car at the intersection, the note of worry in your wife’s voice, or the . Or, as in the case of Senancour’s Obermann, you sink into despondency and ennui as the constant struggle against forces from within and without leave you disenchanted by life’s hopes and dreams. The zest for life’s lofty prizes like pleasure and success seem hollow and unsatisfying and therefore not worth the effort of the attempt.

So if we cannot suppress unwanted memories how can we overcome their dilating effects? One way is to disassociate ourselves from the memory so we become outside observers of our thoughts and, with time, learn to numb ourselves to their presence. The other way is to embrace the unwanted memories more fully, to develop your reason, awareness, and capacity to accept all things to such a point that you transcend your egocentric involvement and reach a new harmony, a new solidarity with the world. Psychology gives us the method of detached mindfulness as a means of numbing ourselves to unbidden thoughts and stimuli. In Freud’s free association exercise, the repressed memory is elicited from the patient as a word spoken out in response to a string of spoken words. More recently, Wells and Matthews (1994) have proposed metacognitive therapy as a way of teaching patients how to stop engaging with the thought with what if? and why? questions. Both, free association and detached mindfulness attempt to dissuade our brains from using worry as a coping strategy and instead learning how to disassociate from thoughts.

Meditation works on the principle of reflection—that facility of the mind to leisurely explore dormant and underlying thoughts in a languid and unhurried way without the pressing need to resolve them. It is the opposite of rumination. Rather than suppress and inhibit the offending memory, meditation trains us to watch it unfold and cultivate a friendly attitude towards all excursions of the mind, so that the constant struggle with noxious thoughts and neurotic habits is replaced by an unconditional acceptance. Buddhism calls this Maitrī (मैत्री)—endeavouring to approach our fears, insecurities, emotional with warmth and compassion so that we try to “get to know” those parts of us that we find so abhorrent and repulsive. When we do not try to control negative experiences, subdue them, and direct them in a more pleasant directions, the mists of confusion and conflation dissipate and the inner struggle against fear subsides. Unlike therapeutic practices that are concerned with sorting the experience and training patients to improve themselves over time, meditation teaches us how to be with ourselves. After all, the pathology of these second fears is a revelation of ourselves as being and not being; who we think we are or what we are said to be; and just like every act of living it is deeply personal and must be undertaken solitarily. No one can hold your hand and guide you across the chasm.

The shape of things to come

A short introduction to this newsletter and the website

Any work that involves a discussion of truth and the human condition is bound by complex, intertwining sinews of cause and effect so as to put one in a quandary as where to begin. This is as much of a stumbling block for the writer as it is for the reader. To give myself enough legroom to flesh out an idea and also to give you ways of jumping straight to topics that interest you, each issue of this newsletter has been categorized at getundermind.com. Except for the subscriber-only issues, the archive is also searchable.

The issues in Being are concerned with how we may approach knowledge about ourselves and use that knowledge to develop social courage in our public interactions. Living concerns our actions within our world and the moral responsibilities we are charged with as denizens of a living, breathing world. Becoming is my attempt at developing and presenting life hacks—tangible, actionable ways of thinking and acting that can get you over something, through something, or to something.

Everything that I write about is gleaned from countless articles, books, and other media. My views may not always agree with yours, as perspectives and perceptions are wonderfully unique. With that in mind, I have recorded extensive footnotes from my research and marginalia in the issues on the website (Substack currently lacks the facility for footnoting). I’ll also keep adding more resources for those of you who are keen to forge your own path. This whole thing is very much a work in progress and I am enormously grateful for the chance to share my learnings and views with you.

And that’s all I really wanted to tell you about in preamble. I hope you stay tuned for the next (first) issue that’s coming up very soon.

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