To say that we wander through the ashes of our civilization is obvious, young souls especially as they try to make sense of what, and where to go from here. A great video was posted by an 18 year old young man detailing some of the specific instances of what he had witnessed during his time in high school. I won’t list them out as you should really watch it and hear it for yourself, but if this is what’s documented, even if anecdotally one can only imagine or relate to what might be seen in their own public school. Particularly one that is not nearly as rural as his.
However the biggest part that Mr. Turnipseed mentions, is that the reaction many in his generation have to the fact that one has no grounding, to where those that try and find meaning and purpose in their lives will thrash and fail. And in this thrashing, one might ‘speedrun’ so to speak on various theologies, religions, epistemologies, political organizations until the zealotry burns out and what is left is just the blackpilled husk of a young man or woman with nothing to live for. While this commentary from my cohort is primarily targeted at Generation Z, the Zoomers, it is something that I find equally applicable to those who are also older, overly-online, or urban. This is not to say that the fly-over Americans or rural readers out there are necessarily immune, after all, I live in the middle of nowhere in Rural Texas, and I can tell you that those in their mid-twenties and younger, a generation now raised in the atomizing cyberspace that has been the go-to tool for their parents to abdicate parental responsibility. And thus, are just as addled as anyone else terminally online or is the unfortunate urbanite bugman.
For those searching for some deeper meaning, what needs to be done to avoid this thrashing? How would one like to accomplish a sense of familial or cultural identity, tradition, and something outside of the online world, their workplace, voting habits, etc., etc. to identify with? To make sure that there is something more teleological than the material that you leave behind on this Earth, because as the phrase goes, memento mori. This requires you to realize that maybe the seemingly endless cycle of work, commute, jerking it, swiping on your phone, and filling the void with anything but requires some change. I am not the one who can give you that wake-up call definitively (although I may try,) nor can I tell you that I’ll also fix material concerns, but rather provide an opportunity to make the most of what you can do to improve the way you view yourself, giving a chance pass something down.
So today we will explore this rather daunting inquiry, in hopes for the chance that one might be able to seek tradition that actually manifests itself into your being rather than just the bio of your twitter or instagram account.
I can expect that many would view this sort of post as some kind of self-help argument, pull yourself up by your bootstraps kind of call. Perhaps that is a fair criticism. However I’m trying to create some sort of mechanism that doesn’t have you coming back to me for life advice. I’m no fan of therapists, or at least the ones that believe in medicating and pathologizing the problem away. For spiritual advice I am no priest, and that is something I think you should consider, if at the very least you’re serious about religion. I have no problem if you’re agnostic or atheistic, we all were at some point myself included but I will pray for your conversion.
The unfortunate commodification of advice and self-help guides have led to an endless amounts of books that look like this:
Downright detestable, no?
I can assure you that you won’t find that here at Prudent Observations. I am far too young to be doing anything that resembles some kind of “Uncle Prude.” While everything is certainly f*cked to some degree, that does not mean we can look for ways and means to rediscover that lost sense of meaning, belonging, and direction. I can certainly hope that maybe these proscriptive steps can lead to some of you living a better life in this aimless economic zone that has become our modern world, although I will tell you now that this is not a silver bullet or a bottle of 47 red pills. So let’s begin.
Step 1. Touch Grass
As much as this phrase gets touted by those who are online as something merely to shut you up or you down, there is validity to it, and it is advice that you should probably heed. Why would should you “go outside, touch grass” as the phrase often goes? There is a difference between what you say online and what you actually do. As cliché as it sounds (and often I find that the phrase ‘cliché’ is nothing more than a slur against tradition) your actions do speak louder than words.
Our social media, both in the methods to commodify our ideas, personas, and product, whether that be a podcast or substack; is typically not a reflection of your real life aside from those online who are using their real names. Even then however our twitter accounts, facebook pages, instagram accounts are merely the carefully selected and cherrypicked ideas of ourselves, our ideas, and the lives we want you to think we lead. This isn’t some newfound idea, in fact it has been repeated since the invention of the public cult of personality if not older. For many of us, especially for those of us with social media and not living like good ol’ Uncle Ted, are exposed to a world that eventually becomes our reality
The phrase, “Touch Grass” should be seen as a call to dissociate yourself from the skinnerbox hyperreality tool that’s usually in your pants pocket at all times. Changing your bio have your current set of “identities” to reflect your preferred in-group doesn’t mean anything for how you actually act offline. As the old meme goes, on the internet, nobody knows that you’re actually a dog. Lao Tzu’s quote, “He who knows, does not speak. He who speaks, does not know.” is aptly appropriate for this online sphere. The other consequence of the state of being overly online, is that there is no moral or social grounding whatsoever. This also applies for the rootless cosmopolitan. The online sphere is a fantastic way to go down the rabbit hole, left or right. This image, which I have below, was taken from a cursory search from the phrase “my political compass over the” into the Twitter search bar. As the profile bio tells us, this individual is 22. This isn’t meant to call this person out at all, especially as our late teens and early twenties can expose us to new experiences that may change our perspective. The young and those in their twenties, however are the most vulnerable to anchoring themselves to whatever in-group seems to have the most appeal, or if has novelty. Which is how you can see accounts, individuals turn on a dime based on social agreeableness while happily shedding prior convictions or doubling down in order to belong.
This has a series of consequences, both in real life (as much as I love the acronym, irl I don’t want to use it,) as well as for your online self. At a certain point, when the zealotry of your newfound conversions finally end you are left to look at the face in the dark screen as you turn off your phone. Who are you? What are you? The existential dread so many millennials and zoomers seem to have, which eventually gets self diagnosed or manifests in various forms of mental illnesses and other identities, illustrates the most important point of this section. The fact is that you will easily become the man that lives to 75 only to die at 25. Living the rest of your life aimless, engaging and furthering yourself for the hottest (and usually crappiest) takes and positions for the sake scratching an itch that can no longer be satiated. Twitter and other platforms are like porn. Take that statement and act accordingly.
Use these Resources Wisely
This does not mean a complete abandonment of your online life, persona, or anything you do on there. While we all wish to have a cabin in the woods in the middle of Montana, most of us know that we can’t go back to the days of even 2011, let alone 1971. These nodes of communication and proliferation of your ideas are an excellent tool to network and create, while also learning from others who have managed to succeed in finding balance as well as meaning. In a world and time period where social interactions in the real world are hampered by disastrous anti-social policies abound by our respective governments, many are going to find community online. Self-discipline is the hardest tool in your toolbox to acquire, and it is one that is increasingly lacking. While I’m speaking anecdotally here, I’m sure you know someone or maybe are even friends with someone who moves from one hobby or interest to another. My ex-girlfriend called it “being on a _______ kick.” That marshmallow test is a bitch, isn’t it?
However if you can identify what you plan to do, which should be the first step before really engaging in any of these pieces of advice, it should make the use of these resources serve as a boon to your goals. What is your plan? What is your purpose? Don’t expect me to give you one, I’m not Jordan Peterson. Nor am I God. What I can do however, is provide with you some highlights based on my own experience on here, in addition to the actual networking I when I’m not on my phone or behind a computer screen. Some notes:
Treat the online space as you would an actual business networking mixer.
Seriously, if you don’t work in marketing, guess what you do. Especially if you run a channel, stack, or podcast. The best kind of marketing is to put out good work, but it never helps to remind people of what you do. Have an elevator pitch. If you want good practice, ask your boss or if you’re self employed to take the time to go to your local Chamber of Commerce’s business networking event. I have gone to hundreds of these things (no exaggeration) and if you can master the ability to move from group to group, making friends and connections about what it is you do or who you represent, it translates very well online. While I am certainly not the best example, I am getting there.
Verify, then Trust.
Being new to it all can certainly make this all daunting if you’re looking for purpose or meaning. However, if you aren’t anon this makes it a little easier, as you have normie options before you. Want to find religion and a church nearby? Use Facebook. Want to find a hobby, like maybe getting yourself beaten and bruised in historically accurate armor, look it up. If you’re an anon such as myself, you will need to verify whoever you’re speaking to or interacting with on a regular basis is someone that you can trust to either plan some sort of venture or to engage with outside of the online spaces you work in. It is easier if you worked with facephag dissidents, or so I am told. There have been wonderful events and chapters made within organizations from people who operate anonymously, but again, verify and trust at your own discretion.
Overall, you must utilize the resources in front of you to the best of your means and ability if you wish to seek community or sense of purpose. The current practice by so many to just tweet out, post, make videos, without any further goal than to simply speak into the void is helpless. If you’re going to make an organization, network and advertise. If you’re doing this solely for yourself, then the last section is for you.
Speak Less, Act More
While by no means this means do not celebrate if you manage to succeed in finding community, faith, or meaning from the automated, autonomy amassing association that is our current world; I am warning about the dangers of living falsely or a double life. To bring up Lao Tzu’s quote again, “He who knows, does not speak. He who speaks, does not know.” In the case of making any lifestyle change aside from the celebration of milestones or bringing others to your fold, the saying should go, “He who has become, does not speak loudly. He who speaks loudly, has not yet become.” I have observed the most diligent in their lifestyle choices, aside from those that I had referenced earlier, are quite mum on their changes especially as they undertake them.
Much like instagram influencers, I have found the ones that advertise a careful façade to keep up the image are not taking their alleged lifestyle, meaning, faith, or identity as seriously as they claim. The constant problem with self-commoditization is the inevitable loss of the sense of self and one’s humanity for the desire of clout, money, or just plain old attention. However this rule or advice should be closely coordinated with the suggestion of Verify, then Trust. If one is not willing to at least explain where they are coming from, or the logic of their position, how is one to discern the viability that they might be a good actor? Plenty of high follower accounts can be astroturfed, not to mention the innate distrust one might have for the blue checkmark.
This suggestion is only a temporary one as you begin to find yourself and ground yourself in the traditions and the communities that you’ve created or have become a part of. The last thing you, or that anyone needs to deal with is someone who is there for the performance of it without being anything remotely authentic. If you’re doing something “for the gram” you have failed, and if you can recognize that, then good. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to abandon or start from scratch. It is very much a process. However, such observations can also be applied to those who have found themselves established in their faith or habituation of their self to look over to others and serve as some kind of mentor. As one of the first accounts to give me any real advice in this online world, mentorship is key. It isn’t something that is particularly broadcasted either, as it is best done privately. DMs are special, aren’t they?
Eventually you will find a new sense of direction, and you will be able to be like the ones who can speak about their transformations, conversions, as well as advertise the communities they are now in and the traditions they practice. Silence, modesty, and humility are all golden. It is best to practice them until you’ve reached that necessary level of comfort where you know where you’re at.
From Individualism to Community
As an individual begins to wake up and realize that there is something innately missing from their life, these steps might be necessary in order to achieve some greater sense of identity and community. So often do we see the callous and presumptuous bugman claim that he or she is enlightened, that the basic duties of any man are no longer necessary for themselves to participate in civil traditions or of any religion. Or that reproduction won’t be necessary in the wake of their own eschatology (they won’t call it that but that’s what it is,) due to climate change. I can certainly hope that I can provide you both here as well as on my channel some reasons to wake up, however, we each have our own journey to make. You may end up a papist, a baptist, or you just want to find a place where you can find your inner warrior spirit. Once you realize, as Bronze Age Pervert would say, that you are gay, the real work begins, so to speak.
And while these musings and potential steps have been most helpful for me, perhaps they can have a similar impact on yourself. The atomized individual must realize that in this world of late-stage liberalism that the only way out from here is to make him or herself return to the social and teleological traditions of the past, while walking backward into whatever the future may hold- whether that be collapse or something else. The call to belong to something greater than the self is one of the oldest instincts that we humans have as social beings. Just looking at those around you who are lost in their own hyperreality inducing skinnerboxes should be a sign that you don’t want to end up like them. Maybe one day you too can write about the steps you took to show us how you got that point in your life where you are successful.