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Janus and his words that contradict itself
Original = old or new? Fine = top notch or average? Meditation = to think or not to think?
Hello intersectional thinkers 👋
Greetings from Tokyo, where Poodles are posh.
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1 Paradoxical Intersection
Does "to meditate" mean to think of nothing?
Words drift in meaning.
Leisure used to mean to learn and philosophize.
Shakespeare redefined the word weird with his Macbeth witches.
Drifting words reveal shifting social consciousness.
But words don't simply drift.
The rebellious ones contradict.
These are Janus words. Words that are its own opposites.
Original is a good one. It could mean as old as it gets. Or it's a stamp of approval for something new and fresh.
Fine is one I'm guilty of over-using.
It means of refined, of superior quality. But for avant garde beings looking beyond quality, fine is usually found in that passive aggressive context of "Yeah, I guess it'll do."
And now, meditation has developed a second face.
Originally (ha), meditation meant "thought, reflection, study".
It’s an act of active thinking like Marcus Aurelius's *Meditations*.
But now meditation is a means to escape from our thoughts.
Both acts of meditation are for self-improvement.
But the areas of improvement have shifted overtime.
In other words, Janus words are subtle broadenings of our collective value.
We now appreciate timelessness and creativity, redefined what appeals to the mind and the imagination, and expanded how we harness the power of the mind.
As F. Scott Fitzgerald used to say,
"The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function."
By this definition, we are doing alright.
1 beautiful perspective
"You cannot stay on the summit forever. You have to come down again. So why bother in the first place?
Just this: What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above.
One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen.
There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can no longer see, one can at least still know."
-René Daumal, French writer, poet, and “genuine seeker of the truth”
1 visual Zettelkasten
Since we’re talking about meditation, here’s my visual meditation.
HT: Inspired by's article on Buddha’s mental models :)
Have a good week!