Life in the Fast Lane: Imaginal Bullets & Authentic Horror

Wednesday, November 13, 2013 10:19 AM

Jason Horsley

hi

you at work?

Phil Snyder

Hi there. Yep. Still in Mexico?

Jason Horsley

y

did workahop last night

Phil Snyder

How’d that go? I read your report.

Jason Horsley

(workshop, workahop)

cool

Phil Snyder

A sock hop?

Jason Horsley

well that was the tip of the iceberg

I am in ID crisis

:/

Phil Snyder

Pubic exposure will do that to ya.

Jason Horsley

you have experience?

Phil Snyder

Yes, I said Public and I meant Pubic!

Or… well, you get the joke. yes, I have, a bit. Not like what you did but through work, slightly other things.

Jason Horsley

enuff to extrapolate

Phil Snyder

Yes, I think so.

Almost any social interaction can qualify if the context is there. What you are exposing, who you are exposing it to, what the situation is like.

Jason Horsley

the self is experienced via the other

ergo…

my self is undergoing accelerated mutation, transformation, reconstruction, take yur pick

Phil Snyder

yeah, you can lay there and imagine all sorts of outcomes and scenarios, how you want it to be, how you DON’T want it to be, but nothing compares to the actual experience, which seldom if ever matches with what you imagined. Then afterward you gotta reconcile imagination with the actual experience, make adjustments all over.

You’ve had lots of other public experiences, maybe not quite as “big” or anyway built up, but it’s not a constant for you, right? You make some forays into public exposure, haven’t you? But then go back to your solitary – or essentially solitary existence… right? Not counting podcasts and the like, though…?

Jason Horsley

I suppose

this is a very sudden step “up”

Phil Snyder

But is this like a step toward a different sort of exposure? Like, you want or otherwise intend to keep getting out there? This gonna lead to other things?

getting…

Jason Horsley

it is likely to

Phil Snyder

Or, maybe you’d LIKE it to lead to things?

Or not?

Jason Horsley

but that seems almost immaterial at this point

Phil Snyder

Yeah, maybe.

Jason Horsley

I have now had enough of a taste of success to be genuinely ambivalent about it

it’s now a lot easier to imagine what “real success” would be like

Phil Snyder

yeah… and what do you think?

Personally, I can feel in my gut what the exposure would feel like and the kind of personal resources that might be demanded of me if I attempted to put myself out there for real.

Or I imagine I can feel it, anyway

Jason Horsley

I mean the “perks” are overrated, and the pressures underestimated (crappy connection)

Phil Snyder

Yeah, that sounds like what I imagine.

Jason Horsley

success means having less and less of a private life

in more ways than one

Phil Snyder

How is that public exposure different from writing? I mean, I KNOW it’s different, but with writing even if your name and a photo is attached it’s not coming from your physical self in front of other physical selves, so I imagine you can somewhat divorce from it. of course, being on stage isn’t the same as “person to person,” but a workshop has to be different, right? How did that differ from the presentation?

Jason Horsley

a lot

Phil Snyder

In good ways? bad? Indifferent? all three?

Jason Horsley

presentation was performance

workshop was interactive

it was “personal”

and there was no way to fake it

unlike a performance

Phil Snyder

Was that a somewhat “positive” difference? Did it feel more… oh, I don’t know… maybe “genuine” than the performance on stage? Or did the performance allow you a cover, of sorts? Is the “come down” after the workshop different than after the presentation and in what ways?

Not sure if this is true or not, but I can imagine myself being more satisfied or anyway comfortable doing stuff on stage over workshops in a personal setting.

Jason Horsley

I was def. more comfortable on stage

Phil Snyder

Don’t know how that plays out in real life.

Jason Horsley

but the workshop was more “rewarding”

I put in quotes coz, you know, it’s you

and frankly I don’t know if I get to benefit from this, exactly

except psychologically

Phil Snyder

Do you feel that the stage thing was more about Ego? Or maybe the superficial aspect of Ego, while the workshop was less about Ego… though I can also imagine a workshop thing being a bigger Ego deal, on account of the one-to-one thing allowing you to get closer to the people, maybe feel more genuine and thus fool yourself into thinking Ego was not involved.

I really don’t know…

And do these experiences give you insight into others who do this sorta stuff regularly? The dynamics that come into play?

Maybe still too early to tell…

Jason Horsley

yes, they def. do

everything gets accelerated

it’s like being in a pressure chamber

Phil Snyder

Does it accelerate toward the direction you would be moving in already… or does it somewhere veer off and go in a different direction? Not sure if that’s clear.

Jason Horsley

acceleration always increases the chances of coming off course

brb

Phil Snyder

Well, the chance is there but is that coming true for you now – that you can feel things veering away, or MIGHT be veering away?

Like, would any of these experiences make you re-think anything you were doing and planning beforehand?

Jason Horsley

no but I notice things, like how much harder it is just to be still, inactive, or to be alone

because the attempt to be successful is tied up with the need for validation, and that gets addictive, the more you get, the more you want it

so there has to be something else, otherwise it’s not worth it

not even to make a living, I don’t think

I mean, there are def. easier less stressful ways to make a living

people who envy fame and think that those people have it easy have no idea

none at all

it may well be the hardest possible way to live

in the public eye

Phil Snyder

Going “the hard way” is generally considered a thing that toughens you, makes you more honest, improves you, at least stereotypically, at least in America where the fantasy – and it is nothing but a fantasy, that we’. Like, “Oh, you grow and kill your own food and live in the woods, eh? That sounds hard – you must be better and more authentic because of it.”

Jason Horsley

interesting way to turn it around

Phil Snyder

So, is it a “hardness” that makes you more authentic or more desperate or what? I guess like any hardship it can go either way? Fuck you up or fix you up?

Jason Horsley

well the hardness I refer to is the opposite hardness of the life you described

Phil Snyder

Some of my typing got accidentally deleted, hope the last two bits make sense.

Jason Horsley

it’s the hardest way to live and still retain a sense of your authentic, inner self

because the world is constantly throwing distorted reflections back at you

Phil Snyder

Btw, I am not always impressed by someone who lives a physically hard, seemingly “natural” life.

Jason Horsley

I am, at a basic level

Phil Snyder

Yeah, lots of imaginal bullets to dodge.

Jason Horsley

yea

Phil Snyder

But maybe if one could get into the public eye and name and point to each imaginal bullet as they come at you, make note of it publicly… maybe that would be somewhat enlightening? Just watched a docu about JD Salinger so some of this stuff has been on my mind lately.

Like, how does one avoid contamination?

And if one retreats, is one REALLY pure or is it a fantasy of purity?

Jason Horsley

I agree, it’s a dirty job someone gets to do

and in fact, being in the world is necessary to becoming not of the world

Phil Snyder

Is a hermit in a cave as fake as a star in a Hollywood mansion? Well, They CAN be, but it’s not always certain?

Jason Horsley

paradoxically

we need to face and recognize those imaginal bullets, the distorted reflections are our own distortions

they are accurate

the world never lies

Phil Snyder

There’s a guy on my FB friends, MA Littler, the guy with Slowboat films. He’s always extolling that “natural authentic life” but at the same time he’s every bit as much in “show biz” as Liberace, I think. I admire him at the same time has serious doubts.

Like, yeah! Quit your jobs! Live in nature! be real! Oh yeah, and buy my movies and contribute to my movie campaign and buy my friends records! What about people like me who feel a connection with that stuff BUT seem to fail at being like the creative types who do all that cool shit. Somehow I am being made to feel fake for being trapped in a job. What if my movies and music SUCK. I gotta STILL live in the fucking woods and hunt squirrels? While MA Littler makes groovy documentaries about rugged outlaw musicians?

So, yeah, just saying that I have issues around all of this stuff but I am getting away from your experiences a bit.

I Still do feel like I’d like to be one of those “public eye” people… but then again not.

Jason Horsley

what’s the core issue here do you think?

Phil Snyder

Christ…not sure? Maybe “How to Live?”

Jason Horsley

how we define/experience/encounter the self/Self?

Phil Snyder

Well, that and how to be BE our self?

I meant, “How do we be our self?”

How to Be.

Jason Horsley

and then, “how are we not”?

Phil Snyder

So often I just come back to being Present.

Maybe I am brainwashed by all the shit I read and listen to.

Jason Horsley

that liminal realm again, how to stay in the space between be isolated and being immersed into the Other/Group/Society

Phil Snyder

But so often I just feel NOT HERE. I call it “skipping”. You know, like a record skips.

Jason Horsley

yes

Phil Snyder

I will start to eat a sandwich and then, after two or three bites… it’s gone. Fucking GONE! Where’d the damn sandwich go?! I ate it and I wasnt even HERE for it!

Happens all the damn time. But then I stop and contemplate it.

Jason Horsley

there’s something I experience that is paradoxical, that the way to really disappear is to be fully seen

what your describing is the opposite I think

that when we are locked into our own mind-states, hidden away, we are living by remote control and we don’t ever get to disappear

so we don’t ever get to live

does that even make any sense?

Phil Snyder

I’m mulling it over.

What do you mean by “disappear” and is that a good or desired thing?

Jason Horsley

I think it has to do with the private self being an illusion

yes, it’s desirable

Phil Snyder

You mean “ego disappear”?

Jason Horsley

I suppose

I disappear but somehow there’s something still there

just a perception

it seems easiest to experience this for me when I am being seen

Phil Snyder

I’m referring to just physical, sensorial experience. My ego fantasies get engrossing, I become entranced by them, and while I am running all my self stories over and over again like Howard Hughes watching Ice Station Zebra in the nude, surrounded by urine sample bottles, my sandwich disappears and I am not even aware of the people in the room with me.

Jason Horsley

maybe because being seen/exposed somehow freezes the self

yeah I know, it’s the inverse of what I’m describing

Phil Snyder

So when I have disappeared it’s my physical presence that’s gone. My Ego outshines it all.

Jason Horsley

and Howard Hughes came up on this trip

3 times

Phil Snyder

Well there ya go. A fascinating figure

Jason Horsley

but that’s right

either we are ego mind experience or we are physical perceptual experience

can’t have both

tho they can co-exist in conflict

so we can be half and half

limboland

Phil Snyder

So, Presence would be the Ego dimming down and maybe even “disappearing” while just Being takes over. Or something. And yes, it’s a conflict. Maybe the conflict is the real part. Not sure I could manage a pure one thing or the other.

Jason Horsley

its conflict until its not

from the POV of the ego there doesnt seem any “point” in a “one thing” existence

one thing = no thing

but I don’t trust the ego to tell me whats what

Phil Snyder

“Ego is the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves” is what I hear in some version over and over.

So, it’s a story. So, if we know it’s “JUST” a story and don’t identify or believe in its literal reality, take it literally, as truth, somehow we can avoid being contaminated by it. But that’s something I run over and over in my mind so even that may be an ego fantasy. The ego fantasy that I am somehow not Ego driven because I am aware of it. I dunno… confusing myself now.

Jason Horsley

it’s not over till it’s over

and when it is, we will know it

there wont be any extrapolating to do

and only when it’s over can we say what happened

like, was the story a true one or not

does the ego have any actual purpose or meaning or reality, or is it just a glitch?

we can only know when we have a point of comparison

before & after

in the meantime, if nothing else, I am a step closer to realizing the emptiness of the ego’s desires

: /

but also to seeing what comes to fill that emptiness

gotta go have a shower

wash my sins away

Phil Snyder

OK

Then again, don’t “they” also say that the foundation of everything is emptiness, that old “nowhere standing” thing? So, if Ego is empty (and we know it IS, right?) that’s just one more thing that’s “empty”.

Empty, empty, emptiness all over. Not “meaninglessness”, just empty?

Jason Horsley

how about this:

There is only one basic horror, and that is the horror of being inauthentic.

Phil Snyder

That is pretty good. Well, the statement, not the experience.

That’s what I get overwhelmed by whenever I try to create anything. And what drives me away from things others create and do and are when I realize it of them.

Jason Horsley

so that’s a good insight

Phil Snyder

Yep.

Phil Snyder

And maybe this direct experience of inauthenticity is direct experience of Ego? When that which is “inauthentic” (fictional) realizes it is fictional after having assumed all along it was “real”… or anyway, not as authentic/real/genuine as it imagined and/or thought it was, assumed it was? Suddenly what pops into my mind is Jack Nicholson when he found out from a reporter while making The Fortune that the person he thought was his mother wasnt his mother and the person he thought was his sister (?) was actually his mother, or something like that. Pulls the rug out from under one, maybe? What you thought was, was not? And what you thought was essential (to what you formerly believed was the foundation of things – who you are/were) to your story is now gone. And is the idea of “realness” the basic fiction that allows any of this to go on? “Realness” ain’t real and to chase after it is to be deluded? I really don’t think thinking will get me anywhere so I’ll stop.

Jason Horsley

authenticity comes via increased awareness of inauthenticity – there’s no other way

horror is intrinsic to our existence

Phil Snyder

So the more one becomes aware of intrinsic inauthenticity the more one becomes “authentic” by virtue of that awareness?

Phil Snyder

I guess the question I would have at that point (not that I haven’t thought of the question or attempted to find answers to it before, because I have and have found several variations of a reply) is whether or not something more than awareness of “intrinsic inauthenticity” (just that awareness itself, washing over one, but also awareness of intrinsic inauthenticity of Self, Self Stories, Ego, etc.) comes after and what that something is. That is (I guess), how does one live after this awareness? What is the “correct lifestyle” after the false one crumbles? In my personal experience, the crumbling is seldom permanent, so more phases of re-building followed by re-crumbing comes next (this is probably just my own limitation, but the re-building seems involuntary and inevitable). I don’t deny it can’t be permanent, but believing one’s Ego self – and Self itself? – to have been crumbled forever and no longer in need of constant re-crumbling, would potentially be the most dangerous illusion to engage in. The illusion of lack of illusion hides any illusions from exposure for what they are – illusions; therefore, it’s always to be suspect, even if doubt is a cynical Ego reinforcing ploy it’s not unwarranted. Meaning, you could have just broken through into another layer of illusion/delusion, perhaps the largest and therefore most inflative layer yet, not that it’s ALWAYS an illusion. The more certain of this you are the more suspect you become to me as an observer – not that I suspect everyone’s dis-illusion, only the ones who try to sell it to me the hardest. Or try to sell it to me at all, really. Maybe YOU (the hypothetical “you” of a dis-illusioned awareness) are no longer in illusion, but OTHERS can enter into the illusion of belief in you, and that in itself propagates illusion so someone who has truly been “dis-illusioned” would at the very least be very careful about selling themselves as anything to be followed or imitated.

Jason Horsley

Yes.

3 thoughts on “Life in the Fast Lane: Imaginal Bullets & Authentic Horror

  1. Jason Horsley

    how we define/experience/encounter the self/Self?

    Phil Snyder

    Well, that and how to be BE our self?

    I meant, “How do we be our self?”

    How to Be.

    **********************************************

    A new movie starring a man I know and love (Stuart Davis, the bald dude) : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lq54lrGdmDY
    To say that it is right up the “Huckabee alley” would be an understatement, but whatever, Just Be Yourself.

  2. (Just Be Yourself is written and directed by Stuart as well … btw … also, it’s a short — just over twenty minutes in length )

    It’s interesting to consider the similarities and differences of the ego (it’s function) in autie-folk and neuro-typical folk. Any thoughts , Jason, on how the ego-function works differently in the NT and in the Autie … the experiencing of and engagement with the other/Other?

    The ego-function , when functioning optimally for each, would naturally put the NT-folk into engagement with the inner Other (through silent communication) and would naturally put the Autie-folk into engagement with the Other’s inner (through verbal/vocal communication), I think. The NT would come to know the power of the Autie’s “silent communication” dance and the Autie would come to know the necessity of the NT’s verbal/vocal communication dance.

  3. I enjoyed reading this. It is fascinating how the self adapts to scrutiny, and what the ego does when one unexpectedly finds what one is looking for.

    While reading this I thought of how recently I’ve felt that I am often juggling the multiple selves I inhabit for the various lives I lead (family life, social life, creative life, work life, inactive solitary life, etc.), and how this relates to the link between the magician and the juggler, the juggler as an alternate name for the magician in the tarot, juggling different mental attitudes, different selves in hopes of channeling the authentic one.

    I hope a video of your presentation surfaces online. I always find your writing fascinating. Take care.

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