Brent Pottenger, author of the healthcare epistemocrat blog, asks:

How should we invest our intellectual and spiritual energy and capacity?

His answer lies within the confines of tradition. Take a look at his m=1 Story Systems example. I’ve been experimenting in an n=1 fashion for quite a while now, but the idea of an m=1 personal mythology—or my-thology—is somewhat new to me. Recently I’ve been thinking about my “personal mythology” more seriously, although I suspect I’ve done this unconsciously for all my life: created a narrative from my past with which to derive purpose and meaning.

The philosophy department director at my university is an ordained Soto Zen priest. I’ve been attending his Zazen sessions once or twice a week in the on-campus Catholic-esque chapel. The combination of incense, meditation, and Catholic atmosphere creates a warm sensation in me that brings back memories of my grandparents’ heritage: Romanian Roman Catholic. Though I don’t particularly identify myself with any one religion, I can’t help but feel a loss of tradition without the Romanian portion of my heritage. And perhaps that is the challenge to the Fight Club Generation—creating our own traditions, our own mythologies. Although, I think it’s tricky to do this without falling prey to the narrative fallacy/soundtrack delusion.

I would agree with Brian though: “we need to find peace with a finite number of conjectures that we’ve tested in our lives,” ie. the mythologies we’ve created that work for us. Tread carefully with your intellectual energy, only devoting 10-20% to diversifying and exploring new intellectual and spiritual ground.

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Brent Pottenger on “Self-Experimentation with Story Systems”

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