Here Comes Success

1. He speaks of transcendence when he is unhappy, when he feels displeasure because of his environment or the action he performs. Do happy people speak of transcendence?

15. He tells himself he will transcend the world rather than act within it. To act might break certain rules. To act might offend the others. To act would be too risky. Transcendence is a sort of act without risk. The others will not even be aware he is performing a transcendence. Instead of changing his life he transcends.

33. One hears talk of transcendence from prisoners or those working at jobs they do not like. Transcendence is a refusal to affirm the world in which one acts. It is a refusal of the maxim that one is as one does: He doesn’t want to be a prisoner; he doesn’t want to be an accountant; he doesn’t want to be a freight team worker--he feels displeasure to act in these worlds. He would rather be elsewhere. He dreams of elsewhere. He speaks of transcendence when his will is not in some action, yet he still performs that action.

34. It allows him to perform an action he does not to want to perform. He tells himself: I have transcended and thereby removed the pain and I am not really what I am doing and it is now painless to perform this act. I am not really here. I have willed myself elsewhere. Transcendence is a delicate trick consciousness plays on the body to realign it with the world and get it acting again within the world, while removing the displeasure of the action.

51. To act without the full force of one’s will is a moral failing. He should become the greatest accountant, the greatest freight team worker--even the greatest prisoner. Any action can become a project, even a strong project, if he has the will for it.

76. Transcendence might be contrasted with the phenomenological attitude. Such an approach entails the suspension of judgment and full engagement with phenomena. The epoché engages him with the world without regard for his pain or pleasure, his happiness or unhappiness. He does not rank phenomena according to his desire. He does not speak of liking or disliking. The phenomenologist does not retreat from the world in which he acts.

79. Projects direct action. He who has a project will act according to his project, or not. When an action does not contribute to his project, or give him pleasure, he must ask himself why he is doing it. In an economy an action that does not contribute to one’s project invariably contributes to someone else’s: He works to promote someone else’s project. Often this means he sacrifices his own. The stronger one’s project the more painful this sacrifice will be.

81. Greatness is gifted only to him who has his own project.

82. If his project is strong he will only act according to it. A strong project is a strong will. A strong project is its own courage.

83. Transcendence is not a project. Transcendence is an avoidance of commitment to a project and the world in which one acts. To the man with a strong project it will seem the vilest sort of nonsense.

1 comment:

  1. "... he was on the main street of the village, and it did not lead to to Castle Mount but merely passed close to it before turning aside, as if on purpose, and although it moved no further away from the castle, it came no closer either. K. kept thinking that the road must finally bring him closer to the castle, and, if only because of that expectation, he went on.... he was surprised at the extent of the village, which seemed as if it would never end."

    This passage of a great book I am only a short way into is more a description of most men's entire lives. No matter which mile of the village road you are on, you are, in fact, no closer or further from your personal castle, always seemingly out of reach, and yet always seemingly "next year, next month, next job, next move, next apartment, next weekend, next time." The way to arrive at the castle is for you to will yourself there and to believe that you are there. That is the only way, for no one has provided a road for your use to get there.


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