Love is narcissistic, a hospitable narcissism, open to the experience of the Other as Other. The relation to the Other must trace a reappropriation in the image of one’s self for love to be possible. Without narcissistic reappropriation, the relation to the Other would be destroyed in advance.

excerpted Derrida from Points (via thephilosopherinparadise)

And there is something degraded and degrading about many of our habits of attention as we shop, gossip, argue, and ruminate our way to the grave. Perhaps I should speak only for myself here: It seems to me that I spend much of my waking life in a neurotic trance. My experiences in meditation suggest, however, that an alternative exists. It is possible to stand free of the juggernaut of self, if only for moments at a time. Most cultures have produced men and women who have found that certain deliberate uses of attention—meditation, yoga, prayer—can transform their perception of the world. Their efforts generally begin with the realization that even in the best of circumstances, happiness is elusive. We seek pleasant sights, sounds, tastes, sensations, and moods. We satisfy our intellectual curiosity. We surround ourselves with friends and loved ones. We become connoisseurs of art, music, or food. But our pleasures are, by their very nature, fleeting. If we enjoy some great professional success, our feelings of accomplishment remain vivid and intoxicating for an hour, or perhaps a day, but then they subside. And the search goes on. The effort required to keep boredom and other unpleasantness at bay must continue, moment to moment. Ceaseless change is an unreliable basis for lasting fulfillment. Realizing this, many people begin to wonder whether a deeper source of well-being exists. Is there a form of happiness beyond the mere repetition of pleasure and avoidance of pain? Is there a happiness that does not depend upon having one’s favorite foods available, or friends and loved ones within arm’s reach, or good books to read, or something to look forward to on the weekend? Is it possible to be happy before anything happens, before one’s desires are gratified, in spite of life’s difficulties, in the very midst of physical pain, old age, disease, and death?

Sam Harris, Waking Up, P. 11 (via blackestdespondency)

Death is the state of total equality between the biological and physical; the state of equality between life and nature at large. Death is achieved when biology or life has lost all subjective, superior, or hierarchical status over nature at large. The end logic of negating all inequality is death.

Mitchell Heisman (via blackestdespondency)