An informal tea ceremony with a friend.
Beginning the New Year is always something that seems foregone the minute January 2nd appears, though I'm trying not to see it in such a light. I've always been of the opinion that one's practice (i.e. how one lives one's life) shouldn't be so whimsical as to change just because a calendar year shifts. But, new goals are rarely a bad thing when authentic, reasonable, and calculated, and if these require their genesis in a "Resolution", then so be it. Among my plans (read: goals) for the New Year are:
1) Publish one article per month. (This will be tricky.)
2) Find a PhD program that will accept (and ideally fund) my stupidities and further my education.
3) Attempt publication of a short story. (Another pipe-dream.)
4) Progress in older, more fundamental goals, like meditative practice, continued physical fitness, and my own human development through reading and thinking.
1) How do you plan on growing this thing?
I don't, honestly. Since my goals are based in personal understanding and contributing to the greater pool of human knowledge and appreciation, I have no plans to promote my work in any way. I long ago decided not to be a proselytizing force in the world, and that, if people were lucky, interested, or determined enough, they would find their way here, and hopefully take something of value away. (Or, better yet, improve upon my work and give even more unto the world.) I am deeply, deeply opposed to instant, cheap, and petty fame, and to those incentivization structures that enslave people into feeling the need to post constantly about nothing, promote sensationalized, disgusting material, or fret about how many "followers" or "friends" they have. Nothing on earth is more geared toward our baser impulses and desires than these schemes to drag user data and attention from us. If you find yourself caught in such a structure, please find a way to escape. You, and the world, will be better for it.
This is not to say that I will deny any opportunities given to me (like my interview with Le Monde), but I have never been an attention-seeker. (Finding the golden mean between privacy and publicity is always a razor's edge.)
2) Why don't you make money from this?
I have no desire to, and why would I? This project has ever been a hobby to me. I have a full-time job in education to pay for my worldly needs, and there is no reason to monetize what I find pleasurable and meaningful. To admit money into the environment would . . . well . . . poison the thing. It would add another dimension to what I do that would ineluctably sap some of the purity of this work, and I have always been skeptical of people who seek to monetize every action they take in the world. Of course, Patreon would be a less-intrusive way to manage this aspect of things, but, again, even the approaching scent of money is enough to sour the waters of philosophy and aesthetics. Call me jaded.
3) What is the good of this project? Why bother with it?
I'll admit, this is my question, posed to myself. I do entertain this subject at times, though I always come down on the side that: it is worth it, both to myself and to others. I have three primary virtues in life, being self-growth, mindfulness, and balance, and this website is but one canal into which I can pour the waters of my energy. I think humans are happiest when connected to larger structures of meaning, other people, and with their own deepest thoughts and ambitions. Yet, we live in an age wherein none of those things is incentivized and encouraged. We are pushed toward atomized isolation, superficiality, and frivolous plenitude, none of which is healthy. And, together, they are downright destructive. Can this website dispel those poisons? Nope. At least, not alone. But, it can act as a healthier place in an online climate -- one without ads, anger, and superficiality -- and that is all I can give in this way.
4) Why do you write like you write? (This question has also been phrased as an insult multiple times.)
Because I can do no other. I've read a lot across a great domain, found a voice that is somewhat mine (though it can never be purely mine, and that's fine and natural), and then refined things based on my personal tastes. Sure, it's a bit "purple" as far as prose goes, but that's what I like. So, I make neither concessions nor apologies.
As I state in the About Me section, this website is but one off-shoot of my Philosophy of Life, and it is a pure one (in that it represents me truthfully and authentically) that I see perfectly in-line with my hopes for humanity and for the world. I genuinely do want to see the world made better, no matter the magnitude of that betterment. We all have our corners of the earth, and our own gifts, and to use them for the Good seems something worth doing.
One last thing:
As I look at the data for this website, one of the most frequently-visited sections is the Contact page. There appear to be several hundred hits on that page per month, yet I only get a few emails every blue moon. Consider this an invitation to reach out; there's no need to be frightened or apprehensive. I respond to each email I get, and the emails I've received thus far have only ever been lovely and heart-felt. In this life, fleeting though it is, it's always a good thing to share appreciation and warmth with others. You're welcome to my time and energy.
Have a wonderful, meaningful day.