Inspirational Quotes

“All of us are delusional but most of us have the poor misfortune of choosing the wrong delusion.”

– William Chasterson

Are you a fan of Don Quijote? You may enjoy this new book.  When Metaphysical Man, Atro City’s resident superhero and trendsetter is inadvertently sucked into an alternate world by a mysterious super villain he’s forced to overcome his only weakness; reality. Read more at http://smashwords.com/books/view/540303#amreading #amwriting

No honor amongst thieves

In his book ‘the Brothers Karomozov’ Fyodor Dostoyevski invents three brothers that serve as archetypes for different facets of the human condition. In this article we’re going to focus on Dmitri Karomozov who is a caricature of man’s romantic passion.

My neighbor lady has a strange way of viewing theft. When we first moved in she told us that we needed to give her the equivalent of thirty dollars US in order to get our power turned on. When the workers came she took them aside and told us she would handle everything which didn’t seem totally unreasonable as merchants raise the prices considerably for Americans. I was actually appreciative for her intervening. They turned on the power with no problem but then she approached us saying she needed the thirty dollars or else they would shut it back off. I went for the money but my wife became suspicious after the workers left without taking the money. Our neighbor said they would be back and we should leave the money with her. Needless to say we decided to wait until we could verify what she was saying. The next day it rained buckets. Here, when it rains like this no one works which is why we were surprised when we got home and the neighbor lady said the power company came by twice to collect the money and were upset because they hadn’t been paid. My wife asked the neighboring shopkeeper who sits in front of his shop every day waiting for customers if the power company came by our house.

“In this rain?” he asked sarcastically.

Our suspicions were confirmed. The neighbor lady was lying. She was trying to take us for thirty dollars. “So you’re a thief,” I thought.

A few days later thieves broke into her bar and stole boxes of beer along with money. She paced to and fro in front of our house lamenting about the thieves in the neighborhood and the deteriorating conditions in the world. At that moment I realized that even though she was planning on taking money from us she didn’t consider herself a thief. We would be giving her the money willingly so in her head she was not stealing even if our act was motivated by a lie. 

Her loose interpretation of what qualifies as theft reminds me of an explanation given by Dmitri Karomozov on his view of theft. The following is an excerpt from this explanation.

“I’ll put it more plainly for you perhaps it’s really difficult to understand you see. Listen carefully. 

        I appropriate three thousand entrusted to my honor and spend it on a wild party and having spent it I come to her the next morning and say Katia I’m sorry I squandered your three thousand. Well is that nice? No it isn’t. It’s dishonest and cowardly. The man who does such a thing is a beast. He has no more self restraint than a beast. Isn’t that so? But he’s still not a thief is he? Not a downright thief. Not a downright one. You must admit he squandered the money but he didn’t steal it. 

       Now a second a still more favorable alternative. Please listen carefully while I may get confused again I’m afraid my head’s still swimming. 

       So Here’s a second alternative I spend here only 1500 out of the three thousand that is half of it. The next day I bring to her that half. Katia take the fifteen hundred from me blaggard and thoughtless scoundrel that I am I’ve squandered half the money and may therefore squander the other half so take it and keep me from temptation. Well what about such an alternative? Anything you like. Beast and a blaggard but not a thief not entirely a thief for if I were a thief I would certainly not have brought the other half. I would have appropriated that too. Here she would see that since I brought back half the money I’d bring back the rest that is the money I’ve squandered that I’d try to raise it all my life. That I’d work to get it and return it. I’d be a blaggard then but not a thief. Not a thief whatever you may say…I do regard it as a vital difference. Everyone can be a blaggard and I dare say everyone is but not everyone can be a thief. Only an arch blaggard can do that. Anyways I’m afraid I’m not very good at these subtleties only a thief is viler than a blaggard. I’m convinced of that. Now listen. I carried the money about with me for a whole month. Tomorrow I may decide to give it back and then I’m no longer a blaggard. But the trouble is I can’t make up my mind. Though I make it up every day, though I egg myself onto it every day to do it. ‘Make up your mind you dirty blaggard make up your mind’ yet for a whole month I can’t make up my mind. Yes sir well what do you think? Is that nice?”

“Why in the first place,” the examining magistrate asked, “did you divide the three thousand into to equal parts squandering one part and hiding the other? What exactly did you hide it for? What exactly did you mean to do with the fifteen hundred?”

“Why of course,” cried Dmitri striking himself on the forehead. “I’m sorry to be such a nuisance to you I haven’t explained the main thing or you’ve had understood it at once. For you see it’s in the motive of it that the disgrace lies you see…”

“…I craftily counted out half of the three thousand and cold-bloodily sewed it up with a needle, sewed it up intentionally, sewed it up before I was drunk and having sewn it up I was off to get really drunk on the rest. Dear sir that was vile. Do you understand now?”

A thief is a thief. But as Dmitri Karomozov and my neighbor lady illustrate, the conscience has a great deal to do with what we view as acceptable. If not trained by a standard, everyone’s conscience is different resulting in differing behavior sharing the same clear conscience.

– William Chasterson 


When Metaphysical Man, Atro City’s resident superhero and trendsetter is inadvertently sucked into an alternate world by a mysterious super villain he’s forced to overcome his only weakness; reality. Read more at http://smashwords.com/books/view/540303#amreading #amwriting

The Stupider the Better

In his book ‘the Brothers Karomozov’ Fyodor Dostoyevski invents three brothers that serve as archetypes for different facets of the human condition. In this article we’re going to focus on Ivan Karomozov who represents the faculty of reasoning and understanding objectively, especially with regard to abstract or academic matters.

Ivan explains, with his poem “The Grand Inquisitor,” his beliefs with regard to God and immortality. The following passage is an excerpt taken just after his explanation.

“I’m telling you this in all seriousness. I deliberately began our talk as stupidly as I could but I finish it with my confession because that’s all you want. You didn’t want to hear about God but only to find out what your beloved brother lived by and I’ve told you.”

“And why did you begin as stupidly as you could?” asked Alyosha looking thoughtfully at him.

“Why? For the sake of proving to you that first of all I’m a Russian and Russian discussions on these subjects are always conducted as stupidly as possible. And secondly the stupider the more to the point. The stupider the clearer. Stupidity is brief and artless but intelligence shifts and shuffles and hides itself. Intelligence is a nave while stupidity is straightforward and honest. I brought my argument down to my despair and the more stupidly I presented it the better for me.”

Ivan’s preferred technique of presenting his argument as stupidly as possible appeals to me. As imperfect human beings we take ourselves far too seriously than we should. We also judge each other far too harshly than we ought to. By beginning a serious endeavor stupidly we immediately lower everyone’s expectations. We can express ourselves freely without fear of judgement because we were never supposed to succeed in the first place. On the other hand if we consider our character infallible (even if it’s only a secret belief which we refuse to admit to ourselves) we attract criticism and it’s not usually constructive. 

For example the heading of my blog says I’m examining the makeup of the human ego and it’s predictable results. My Twitter handle says I’m an amateur sociologist exploring humanity between the classes. If I was to present myself as someone important or worthy of attention I know I couldn’t write freely. I would be crushed under the weight of negative criticism people are just dying to dole out to idealists. For this reason I will conduct and present my experiments as stupidly as possible.

– William Chasterson 



When Metaphysical Man, Atro City’s resident superhero and trendsetter is inadvertently sucked into an alternate world by a mysterious super villain he’s forced to overcome his only weakness; reality. Read more at http://smashwords.com/books/view/540303#amreading #amwriting

Is it a vice not to understand the value of money?

In his book ‘the Brothers Karomozov’ Fyodor Dostoyevski invents three brothers that serve as archetypes for different facets of the human condition. In this article we’re going to focus on Alyosha Karomozov who represents hope and goodness. In his description of Alyosha, Dostoyevski mentions how growing up the boy doesn’t understand the value of money. He didn’t harbor the common desire most people have to want to accumulate as much of it as possible. Whether his pockets were full or empty seemed to make little difference as to whether or not he was able to eat.

As I read the novel I felt as if I could relate to Alyosha with regard to his attitude towards money. Growing up I was never preoccupied with material things. Now as an adult I still can’t see the appeal of new name brand clothes, cars or homes. As long as the used items are clean and presentable what’s the difference? At one time I made as much as eighty five thousand dollars a year compared to my current salary of nothing. Was I happier when I had money? If I’m honest I would have to say no. Obviously money makes life more comfortable which in turn has a direct bearing on happiness. But I doubt that the rich are happier than the middle class.

From an early age we are engrained with the desire to be rich. By rich I mean possessing far more than we can consume. Does this state bring happiness? Imagine you are thirsty. Let’s say one glass of water is more than enough to satisfy your thirst. What’s more let’s say you are unable to handle any more than one glass. You are offered two glasses of water. It would not be unreasonable to accept one glass and reject the other. But when it comes to material things, only accepting what we can consume seems absurd. “William,” you say. “Are you against money? Why don’t you give away all of your possessions and take on a vow of poverty?” Such reasoning is the equivalent of saying, “You are thirsty? Have two glasses of water. Even though it is too much to drink you must accept it or else you are not really thirsty and you will receive no water.” Just accept the two glasses of water you say? Drink one and dump the other? That’s exactly what most do without giving it another thought. But imagine you are handed two glasses of water in the sight of another man who is dying of thirst. Does this change your viewpoint? Are you still prepared to drink one and dump the other?

Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not adopting or advocating that you adopt a position of moral superiority. Not understanding the value of money is a two edged sword. One’s attitude towards money doesn’t necessarily change dependent on how much he or she has. That’s why when a poor person wins the lottery they often times wind up poor again within a few years. When I had it I would often blow through money as if I were printing it.  It was satisfying to know I wasn’t materialistic but at the same time in the back of my head I harbored a sense of guilt. I know I’m no better than anyone else. Why should I have an abundance while others go without. My views have broadened however as a result of exploring humanity between the classes. I’ve discovered that a person can have money and yet still live in poverty. In the past year and a half my wife and I have consumed sixty thousand dollars in savings. If I were to show you what our savings bought you wouldn’t believe me. The cost of living here is extremely high while the standard of living is extremely low. Those who have money live just slightly better than those that have none. In order to get this money most work seven days a week for long hours. You might expect everyone to be in a permanent bad mood but that’s not the case. Most people look for reasons to be happy and optimistic despite their current situation.

As far as my situation I’m happy to report that poverty has not changed my attitude towards money. Like Alyosha Karomozov I believe more than ever that money does not bring happiness. All it brings is a desire for more money.

– William Chasterson 

When Metaphysical Man, Atro City’s resident superhero and trendsetter is inadvertently sucked into an alternate world by a mysterious super villain he’s forced to overcome his only weakness; reality. Read more at http://smashwords.com/books/view/540303#amreading #amwriting

SUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARD!!

I would like to thank Jeanette Hall from Saintpblogging.com for nominating me for this prestigious award. This award means a lot to me because despite all the online activity it can get lonely out in the blogosphere. It’s nice to have a creative means to make connections.

 

PURPOSE OF THE AWARD

 

The Sunshine Blogger Award is a way for bloggers to get to know each other and also get other bloggers to connect with each other.

 

THE RULES

 

– Acknowledge and thank the nominating blogger with a link to there website.

 

– Share 11 random facts about yourself by answering the questions the nominating blogger has created for you.

 

– List 11 bloggers you believe deserve some recognition and a little blogging love. You cannot nominate yourself or the person who has nominated you.

 

– Let the 11 bloggers know you nominated them.

 

– Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer.

 

11 FACTS ABOUT ME FROM THE QUESTIONS LEFT ME BY THE NOMINATING BLOG:

 

1. Q: Who are your favorite published authors?

A: Franz Kafka, Fyodor Dostoyevski and Gerge Orwell (not necessarily in that order)

 

2. Q: What did you want to grow up to accomplish in your life?

A: I wanted to succeed. (Still trying to figure out what that means)

 

3. Q: What is your favorite holiday and why?

A: I don’t have one.

 

4. Q: If you got to choose your last meal in life, what would it be?

A: That depends on the circumstances of my death. If I’m being executed I would choose

buffalo wings and beer (don’t ask me why)

 

5. Q: What is your favorite temperature?

A: 63 degrees Fahrenheit

 

6. Q: Introvert or Extrovert?

A: Introvert

 

7. Q: What are your favorite past times?

A: Thinking, Listening to music or audiobooks.

 

8. Q: What about yourself would you change if you could?

A: I wish I didn’t have OCD.

 

9. Q: What scares you the most?

A: Finding incontrovertible proof that all of my ideas are the wrong ideas.

 

10. Q: Why do you blog?

A: The official reason is that I blog as a platform to sell my books but the truth is that I’m starved for attention.

 

11. Q: Who is your favorite musician?

A: Roger Waters

 

QUESTIONS FOR MY NOMINEES:

 

1. Who are your 3 favorite authors?

2. Who are your 3 favorite musicians or bands? (preferably from different genres)

3. If you could change one thing in this world, what would it be?

4. What is your definition of friendship?

5. How important is it for you to be accepted by the majority?

6. If your home was all at once being engulfed in flames and you had time to grab only 3 items what would they be?

7. Who’s your favorite superhero and why?

8. Who’s your favorite super villain and why?

9. If you could sell out all your ideals in one business deal what would be the asking price?

10. If you had to choose between death and insanity what would you choose?

11. What is your greatest fear?

 

MY NOMINEES ARE:

 

http://bdhesse.wordpress.com

 

http://delightcircle.wordpress.com

 

http://momentarylapseofsanity.wordpress.com

 

http://tonysonblogger.wordpress.com

 

http://laurengancayco.wordpress.com

 

http://staycationatl.wordpress.com

 

http://stlh2oo.wordpress.com

 

http://fargaregardsanna.wordpress.com

 

http://dorkchopsworld.wordpress.com

 

http://14weeksworthofsocks.wordpress.com

 

http://spanishmossseries.wordpress.com

 

Thanks again Saintpblogging.com for the nomination!