Ok, first off. Is this a shameless plug for my book?
Yes of course it is. But also I would like to explain my reasons for writing the book in the first place. Now I am aware that most of you are writers and creators so I’ll spare the “it was yearning inside me” tropes for another time. But the reason I wrote this is purely to see if I could.
To see if I could take an idea inside me, not the story mind you. But the idea of being a writer, and putting it into the world. Showing people, some close to me and others that are not, that I can be more that what is always on display in front of them
To show others your writing is to let people inside your head, even if your writing fiction and a character in no way embodies any of your own characteristics, those thoughts and words came from somewhere in you. And when you show others this, I have have found it to be more anxiety inducing then public speaking. Thankfully when people read my book (which is about a very violent and otherworldly cult) they didn’t change their opinion about me too much.
So this experiment was a success, the data was recorded and now I am halfway through my next book. Thank you for reading and supporting me.
“This universe henceforth without a master seems to him neither sterile nor futile. Each atom of that stone, each mineral flake of that night filled mountain, in itself forms a world. The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.”
– Albert Camus, The myth of Sisyphus
Followers of my writing know that I depart from topics that I take up only to return to them eventually down the track somewhere at sometime. Many reasons I suppose for this behaviour. First amd foremost I am a writer that enjoys many topics and I am fascinated by many things. But the one thing that acts as a tree trunk for all the meandering concepts, stories, advice and rants is philosophy, and how we can take the deep thoughts, meditations and questions from dead and alive men and women and apply them to our lives.
An absolutely beautiful guidline of philosophy is it rarely ever has a set interpretation, rather it offers a new way to think about ideas or problems or indeed yourself. And that’s where we come to Sisyphus.
The long and short of the ancient myth is that Sisyphus was a great king who was hated by the gods. They had sent their version of death to claim his sole many times but each time he outsmarted them. Finally, finally hades hatched a plan to put a large boulder at the bottom of a long slope in a cave, at the top of the slope was a hole that lead to the outside world. Hades and death brought Sisyphus down here and told him “we are sick of this game we play, we only have one final test for you. Roll this boulder up to the top, then you you will claim immortality, but once you start, you cannot stop till you reach the top”
Sisyphus was bold and had already outsmarted the gods and death itself numerous times, so he flicked back his golden hair and placed his hands on the boulder. It was heavy but he could roll it slowly, and by the time he got to the tope he had expended all his strength. But then the boulder jumped out of his hands and rolled back down to the start. Hades had cursed the boulder to never reach the top, effectively trading Sisyphus in this constant pushing then walking back down and pushing for all of eternity.
How do we apply this to our lives? Well let’s look at his task. An unlikeable one to be sure. He could wallow amd lament. He could thrash his feet and cures the heavens. Or he could spite the gods that cursed him. If we imagine Sisyphus setting about his task with a broad grin, laughing as the boulder rolls to the bottom, then he hasn’t lost. He is the king of his own environment. Completely in charge of how he views his reality and not tossed about carelessly by forces beyond his control. And by reframing his outlook. His life will forever be positive.
If you enjoyed this please share and tell me what you think. I would love to delve more into philosophy at some point. Also follow my new writing instagram, – kj_thewriter
Dr Carrington limped ungracefully as he moved through the valley. Not four hours ago he had gained conciousness after his plane, an old british dual prop airframe usuallly reserved for mai service, came in low as it tried to glide into the valley on no power. They had been traveling from Dar es Salaam to Jordan when the had lost engine power somwhere over Egypt and as they decended they found themselves over a vast dry and flat valley amoungst the sands, Tall buttes and flat toped sand stone monoliths shooting up from the valley floor. the ground seemed flat so the pilot attempted to come in and land but the left wing clipped a butte and the steel bird slammed hard into the floor. the two pilots sucumbing to their injuries shortly after and the wreckage cathing fire, The good doctor had no choice but to set out in search of help.
Miraculously he only sustained a few broken bones in his foot which whilst causing him pain, didn’t prohibit his locomotion to much and for this he was thankful, for as he moved slowly through the valley he soon became to realise that if he did not find help soon he would be forced to take shelter in the small cracks in some of the large limestone buttes. He was aware of Bedouin herders that travelled in valleys like this and set up camps due to the flat ground here so his chances of survival, whilst slim, were better then nothing. The sun was setting behind him drawing long shadows in front of him. night was coming and he would have to find shelter soon. a large mesa towered out of the ground in front of him that had a vertical crack in it, at least there he could make a fire and be safe from the night winds. he approached quickly as he estimated he only had a few more hours of day light left. The crack was about ten meters high and two wide and seemed to snake its way into the mesa. The doctor couldn’t help himself, the curiosity of what lay further down the crack enthralled him and after all there may be a spring or the something that he could use to make his situation a little brighter. He ignored the pain from his foot and followed the snaking path. It twisted wildly and at some points perplexingly it seemed like it should of twisted back onto itself but he never found himself in a part of the trail he had previously walked. He braced himself against the wall to take the weight off his foot for a moment when a curious sight caught his eye. On the trail ahead of him appeared to be a sort of stone tablet, jutting out of the ground. He limped over to investigate. It was perhaps as large as a tombstone and covered in markings he had never seen before. certain that this was evidence of human habitation further ahead he pushed the pain out of his mind and marched on, curious at what lay ahead
A free first look at my new book. If you enjoy, let me know
The tires of the sedan hummed against the rough back country roads that lead away from the highway. A choke point somewhere far ahead had brought traffic to a standstill and the occupant of this car, Thomas, grew quickly impatient and found an alternate, side access road that split off and re-joined the highway a few hundred miles ahead. The only downside to this shortcut that could be seen was it ran straight through a thick swamp that had no information available on the GPS, to make it worse there’s almost no reception out here. Thomas kept scanning through channels on his cars radio to try and find any voices to break the silence. His phone had only enough battery to keep the navigation app working so he dared not drain it by connecting his Bluetooth and as always, he had forgotten his charging cable. He was driving north to see his family as it had been now a solid six months since his 25th birthday and he was far too busy back then to make the trip. He was now in hour five of an eight-hour drive and he realised he should have broken it into two days but he always settled into long drives quiet well. Now he was passing through the thick swamps that stretched seemingly out into infinity. The temperature was still high as he was constantly having to take his glasses off and wipe the sweat from his forehead and with each wipe, he caught a solid whiff of stagnant body odour seeping through his plaid shirt. The sun was beginning to set and the thick swamps seemed more and more menacing as the sun fell below the horizon. The trees crept their way right up to the road and in some spots their thick dark green roots breaking through the asfualt on the road as if nature was beginning its war on human civilization right here ever so slowly. He began wondering if anyone lived out here, if there were any strange swamp dwelling people that lived in the clearings, if there were any. When Thomas looked out into the swamp, he could only see maybe ten meters from the tree line, tree coverage so thick that the canopy of leaves blocked out the sun’s rays. The base of the trees and much of the ground was almost all murky brown water, lapping against the slightly raised road like a gentle swell on a beach, the water colour reminded Thomas of rust. The sun was almost fully set now and stars where beginning to light up the sky, the warm comforting glow of the lifegiving sun finally extinguishing in those last moments of afternoon darkness before the world would be graced by the calming glow of the stars and the moon. The radio crackled and hissed and faint voices were slipping in and out of the fuzz as Thomas furiously searched for another human voice, he hated being out here in the silence, he needed something to distract him from the feeling of apprehension that was growing inside him. Places like this freaked him out, so remote from anything without any real sign of human presence, as if he was the last man on earth and the world was simply waiting for him to leave Aswell. Finally, he turned the radio off, he wasn’t having any luck so he probably should stay focused on the road, he hadn’t stopped in a while and he could feel his eyes becoming heavy and he knew out here it would be easy to have a fatal micro sleep, he shuddered at the thought, a split second of lost control becoming fatal. Slowly the road became brighter as the moon was rising behind him, it seemed extra bright now but with no light pollution from the city it made the world seem ethereal and it was hard for him to imagine this brightness as natural. The night was now silent. He had the windows all the way up and the only sound now was the low hum from the engine and sound of the tires on the road. Outside the swamps became impenetrably black and now the shadows cast by his headlights and the moon seemed like menacing tendrils from some deep-sea leviathan reaching out to ensnare and pull him under surging waves. The atmosphere in the car was becoming increasingly tense. His eyes were now fixed ahead in the blackness and his shoulders were slowly tightening up. “To hell with it” he said to no one and he reached into the front pocket of his denim shorts and awkwardly pulled his phone out, 23% Battey remained, he turned on the Bluetooth function on his car radio and swiped his lock screen open on his phone. Looking down and up quickly to keep driving whilst trying to find a song to play. He only slightly caught a glimpse of the brown flash out of the corner of his eye when a sharp thumping noise broke the silence. Thomas struggled with the steering wheel as the car started to slide wildly across the road, he steered right as the car slides to the left and the back quarter panel collided with a low branch from an overhanging tree, spinning the car wildly. Thomas let go of the wheel as the car was now completely out of his control and he braced with one hand on the roof and the other holding the dashboard. The car made two full spins, the headlights flashing over the trees and beaming into the black night and for a second out his half-closed eye, Thomas thought he saw a human figure deep in the swamp. Finally, mercifully, the spinning stopped and the car had spun to a stop in the middle of the road. He sat motionless and was trying to focus his eyes as his glasses had come off of his head during the excitement and his breath was short and fast. Slowly he began to calm down and gain his bearings and take in the surrounding scenery. The car was tilted slightly towards the back left and instantly Thomas thought of a blown tire. He remained in the seat but mentally searched the trunk for a spare tire as it had been months since he really looked back there, he usually rode his pushbike everywhere. He took a deep breath in and unbuckled his seat belt, “that tire won’t change itself” he thought. He shut off the engine and opened the car door and stepped out into the humid summer night. The air was thick and stunk like rotting meat, undoubtably from the swamps that flanked him on each side of the road. He felt so small and exposed out hear by himself but strangely he also felt as if the treeline was closing in on him from both sides, as like a Venus fly trap that had been waiting for him to stop so it could spring its jaws around him. He reached his hands to the sky and stretched, at six feet tall his body had locked up during the drive and it was just his sheer determination to get through the drive that made him power on. Putting his glasses back on the world came into focus, the moon and stars were bright, even for this time of year and the moon had a strange light blue glow to it that bathed the road and made the surrounding trees cast eerie shadows over it. Looking into the blackness of the thick jungle like swamp reminded him of Nietzsche and his talk of abyssal spaces, indeed Thomas felt as if the blackness of those swamps were staring right back into him. He shuddered then made a quick mental note to not look at the swamps again and he turned his attention to the car. A deep gash had been gouged about 10 inches from in front of the back wheel, which was completely shredded and was hanging limply from the hub. He sighed and walked to the trunk when a shape down the road caught his eye. A small circular object was lying about 10 meters from his car and was completely shadowed in the pale blue moonlight, he didn’t remember seeing it when he was driving and his gaze was never really off the road even when he was fumbling with his phone. He walked slowly toward the shape, with each step, new dimensions to the shape made themselves known to him, he began to make out large stick objects, maybe an ear, then the information that Thomas’s eyes were seeing was now fully interpreted in his brain. At his feet lay the head of a large deer, one of its antlers missing, the other one had its ends filed sharp. It appeared to be fresh as there was no sign of decomposition on it and the fur looked quite healthy. Thomas had been a police officer for 3 years before failing a drug test, he was never a model officer but he was never corrupt, he saw his use of narcotics as a way to escape the degradation he was around most days. The skills he acquired in those years allowed him to see the two things that were starting to worry him, the first was that the head was cleanly severed as if done by a tool for a purpose, the second thing was that a little way behind the head he could make out blood droplets that led from where he presumed the head struck his car, then leading toward the side of the road, someone had hurled the head at his car. Thomas turned and briskly walked back to the car and opened the trunk trying to put the thought of a random attacker in the back of his mind, he riffled through the seemingly endless amounts of clothes and random equipment in the trunk and finally found the spare tire kit. Taking the tire iron out, then pulling the spare out of the well in the bottom of the trunk and sliding it over the rim to let it settle on the road leaning against the car, pulling his gaze from the trunk to ahead of the car is when he saw them. Four human shapes, about twenty meters in front of the car now stood in the middle of the road, they seemed to be wearing long cloaks that started in a high pointed hood and finished on the ground obscuring their feet with their hands were folded in front of them. “Are you guys the ones the threw that gross head at my car?” shouted Thomas. The figures just stood in silence. “Hey! I’m talking to you! Or are you guys some sort of inbred bumkins!?” he shouted again, unsure if insulting these obviously disturbed people on a random backwoods’ road in the middle of a swamp was a good choice. Again, the figures just stood silently. “Ok, be weird then, don’t help or anything its fine I’ll go fuck myself.” he shouted as he hurriedly started to unscrew the nuts on the shredded wheel. As he changed the tire he kept looking up at the figures, they didn’t move or make a noise, the air was full of crickets chirping and cicadas, yet nothing came from the direction of the figures. Finally, he got the spare tire on, threw the tire iron in the back seat and climbed back in the car not bothering to put the shredded tire in the trunk. He locked the doors and started the car, “if this where a horror movie, my car won’t start now” he though as the engine of the small sedan rumbled into life, a wave of relief crashing over him as he buckled his seatbelt. The figures ahead of him did not move as he slowly put his foot on the accelerator and let the car creep toward them. He flashed his high beams on them and could now make out the deep red of the robes they wore, their hands hidden as the robes trailed over them, a rope tied around their waists, but more disturbingly their faces hidden behind masks that looked like wood. He beeped the horn and the figures still did not move, the car was now five meters from them and creeping at a snail’s pace, Thomas made sure the doors were locked and the windows tightly wound up. Just as the bumper was about to make contact with the figures they spit and let the car pass between them. Thomas’s car was now flanked by two pairs of these mysterious figures and as he drove past them, he could make out the masks more clearly. The mask was a depiction of a man’s face contorted in agony, and as it had been carved out of wood, it seemed all the more disturbing, the blue moonlight showing every notch in the wood and every colour shift between the fibres. As soon as he was past them, he took the car up to speed and gave a deep sigh of relief. He looked in the rear-view mirror and watched as the figures split apart and walked quickly to the treeline and disappeared. “Who were these freaks” he thought, “were they kids playing a prank? Some weird druggies out for a stroll or am I having acid flash backs again? “. The more distance he put between himself and them the better he felt. Then his driver side window shattered and something pierced his arm, he had no time to make thoughts as he looked down and saw a dart protruding from his arm just above his elbow, then he felt a sharp pain in his head and the world went black.
So. You are injured. Or you have no time. Or you are somewhere that stops you from training physically in some way.
What do you do?
Get mad, frustrated, these are the things I used to do when I couldn’t get my physical training sessions in. It took me a long time to realise that what I was doing was hiding behind the physical distraction of training to make somthing better in my life (relationships, work stress, mental health issues) this isn’t to say that I didn’t love training because it’s one of the pillars that hold my life up. But it was the only pillar back then.
This is when I found I could plumb the depths of my mind, I started small by asking myself why I missed training so much, why did it mean so much, what would I do if I could never train again.
This not only got my mind working but also introduced me to my first concepts of philosophy. I was having a Socratic dialogue with myself. I didn’t appreciate this moment for a long while but it laid the path for me to philosophy which in turn laid the way to art and creation and building multipul pillars to hold my life up.
So what can you do?
Start a Socratic dialogue yourself, with yourself. Be terrifying with it. Don’t hide from questions, ask deeply and truly even when it hurts. Pull back what feels safe and what you know people see you as, why are you doing xyz? Our old friend Socrates didn’t do these things to others (most notably his friends in Plato’s discourses) to hurt or humiliate or seem like he knew better because he didn’t, he just wanted to get to the raw truth that he knew would help. He saw on the battlefield (not many know but he was a extremely competent warrior) that truth in one’s morals and ability will always bring saftey. It’s why he questiond the state that lauded praise on him initially then sentenced him to death by suicide which he gladly did to prove that he would never give in to another’s false ethics.
How much time do you have in your day? With work, school, family and everything else maybe we don’t have time to make every gym session and when we do maybe not have the time to hit everything in our program.
So let’s think critically about our excersise selection. If we are doing a split type program that means we have shoulders seperate from chest in the week when both those muscle groups compliment eachother extremely well. Maybe we merge them?. A push day can encompass both chest and shoulders with a major movment for both groups (military press/bench press) and some secondary movments to hit the muscles on a difrent plane, think flies and such. Add in some accessory work with triceps and then burn out with some dips or push ups and you have hit two muscle groups in one session with probably 4-5 excersises and you can get it done in an hour. Remember time spent in the gym dosnt always equal results but solid recover time after a solid session always will.
Our lives are quick, fleeting. We want to spend them having fun, being in love amd experiencing other people in a positive way, so get in the gym, be quick but purposeful and get the fuck out. Enjoy your life