Member Questionnaire 1 (Fair Phantom)What is beauty? What is love?
beauty is a revelation, something that makes the world seem more than it was before. love is when you feel for another, and become interested in their happiness. when reciprocated it can be a connection deeply felt. a sense of two being also one.What are your most important values?
compassion, empathy, sympathy, intellectual curiosity, creativity, imagination, wisdom, love, courage (including moral courage).Do you have any sort of spiritual/religious beliefs, and why do you hold (or don't) those beliefs in the first place?
Yes. My faith is important to me, though it is my own. I find it hard to put it into words, for it is always evolving, but it is essentially panentheistic. I think everything around us is a part of the divine.Opinion on war and militaries? What is power to you?
I don't believe in a divinity that plays favourites. I think most religions have some truth but that ultimately the finite cannot comprehend the infinite. This does not mean I don't believe in trying. I look for spiritual wisdom wherever I can. I still try to follow Jesus' words and have some attachment to my Roman Catholic upbringing, but I reject much of the dogma.
War is terrible and ugly. But in very few cases (such as unchecked aggression), it is necessary, but only if it is the last resort. It therefore makes sense to keep militaries, but they should not be the focus of government standing. Power is dangerous but it is and must be reckoned with. Power is evil when used to oppress; power is inspiring when used to transform the world for the better.What have you had long conversations about? What are your interests? Why?
Literature, History, Religion, Philosophy, Art, Music, Different cultures in the world, psychology, sociology, symbolism, archetypes, certain shows and films, fairytales, language, the future, politics, etc etc etc.Interested in health/medicine as a conversation topic? Are you focused on your body?
Not particularly. I look into health topics when I have health issues. I have some interest in yoga and dance and learning skills, but it isn't a focus. I think I just enjoy the novelty and emotions that go along with such activities. Honestly, I often feel a disconnect from my body.What do you think of daily chores?
Boring. Some are necessary, but mostly i would much rather do something else.Books or films you liked? Recently read/watched or otherwise. Examples welcome.
Broadly, I like works that are imaginative, insightful about human nature, thought-provoking, with complex characters that I can really care about. I also enjoy non-fiction works, particularly about history, theory, philosophy, or having to do with people and their cultures. I like to be challenged and moved and mentally stimulated. What has made you cry? What has made you smile? Why?
Books: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, The Brother's Karamazov, The Orphan's Tales, His Dark Materials, The Wheel of Time, Anna Karenina, The Waves, Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, Pride & Prejudice, Kindred, Sandman, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, The Moor's Last Sigh, Siddhartha, The Historian, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, Harry Potter, The Bell Jar, Ulysses, The Metamorphoses of Ovid, Oscar Wilde, Albert Camus, Spinoza, Kierkegaard, John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Frankenstein, Margaret Atwood, The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories, various nonfiction.
Movies: Pan's Labyrinth, The Philadelphia Story, A Little Princess, The Secret Garden, Breakfast at Tiffany's, All About Eve, The Secret of Kells, Mononoke Hime, Spirited Away, Gaslight, Notorious, House of Flying Daggers, Persona, The Seventh Seal, Hiroshima Mon Amour...why is my memory failing me?
I cry when I think about the suffering in the world, the injustice, the ugliness of hatred and selfishness and greed, and when I worry it will never get better. I cry when I am unable to help a sad friend or when I am filled with regret or feelings of loss. I cry when I fail. Beautiful things can move me to tears as well, in a good way: a work of art, a powerful story, an act of courage or kindness or love done by one person for another, when people overcome great difficulty.Where do you feel: at one with the environment/a sense of belonging?
in a library. In certain museums. In the woods near my home. In the sea or by the sea when there aren't many people around, the town square of Prague, Sometimes in cathedrals, in my apartment with my cats, near waterfalls, when there is a bright mood, basically anywhere that there are things that I love and/or have things that are symbolically important to me.What have people seen as your weaknesses? What do you dislike about yourself?
a daydreamer, caring too much, too idealistic, indecisive, abstract, emotional, perfectionistic, disorganized, flaky, inactive, self-critical, dwell too much on dark things, shy, a bit of a temper, I wish my memory was better and I'm insecure about my clarity of thought. I wish I was better organized and more productive so I can realize my dreams. I wish I was more athletic and skilled. I wish I was able to focus. I wish I had more confidence, especially socially.What have people seen as your strengths? What do you like about yourself?
intelligence, empathy, intuition, caring, resilience, passion, inquisitiveness, imagination, creativity, insight, listening, a strong sense of right and wrong without rigidity, genuineness, loyalty, adaptability. I like that I don't give up and that I see the good in people and try to nurture that, without ignoring the bad.In what areas of your life would you like help?
Organization, figuring out my career path (to be practical or to continue to follow my aspirations?), improving my health, getting a proper sleep schedule, social confidence.Ever feel stuck in a rut? If yes, describe the causes and your reaction to it.
Yes. Currently I am in a bit of a rut because of health issues. I have moments of sadness and frustration and turning critical towards myself. But I make peace with the situation and find ways to engage my mind. If I cannot actively pursue my career goals, at least I can still learn and strengthen my mind and my understanding of others.What qualities do you most like and dislike in other people? What types do you get along with?
I like when people are genuine/sincere/honest, compassionate, intelligent, clever, witty, brave, open-minded, caring, daring, offbeat, deep, playful. I don't need all of these qualities to be present, but a mix of head & heart qualities tend to be important to me. I find it hard to deal with people who are all emotion and no logic or all logic and no emotion. I dislike when people are superficial, narrow-minded, dogmatic, thoughtless, manipulative, needy, mean, fake nice, overly-attention seeking, or who don't respect my boundaries or the boundaries of others. I can't stand bullies.How do you feel about romance/sex? What qualities do you want in a partner?
I love romance and sex if I have a real connection with a person. I can't do casual. I need my mind and my heart as well as my body to be engaged in whatever the act is for it to be really satisfying. The qualities I look for in a partner are similar to the above, though I would put an added importance on them being well-read (and loving reading), loyalty, dependability, a kind of silent, strong strength, spirituality, conscientiousness. I want someone who can challenge me, and who is very passionate about their interests. Shared values key.If you were to raise a child, what would be your main concerns, what measures would you take, and why?
Their emotional well-being, their education, their sense of right and wrong, their ability to care about others. I would gently introduce them to the sufferings of the world through reading and volunteer work. I would be sure to explain the "why" of things. I would listen to their questions. I would give them enough freedom to figure out who they are but not so much that they lack a sense of stability.A friend makes a claim that clashes with your current beliefs. What is your inward and outward reaction?
Inwardly there might be an initial flash of feeling: shock, hurt, outrage, possibly anger. But then I would feel doubt, and wonder: am I wrong? I would probably try to find out their reasoning, and either adjust my views or try to convince them of my perspective. My reaction would only be severe if it were regarding something very important to me; if they expressed a view that I found abhorrent (something racist, overtly sexist, homophobic, callous towards rape victims...things like that). But if they are my friend that is unlikely to happen.Describe your relationship to society. How do you see people as a whole? What do you consider a prevalent social problem? Name one.
I feel simultaneously outside of society, yet aware of how interconnected we are. I may have few friends, but I care a great deal about society at large. I consider poverty to be a prevalent social problem, especially regarding how it affects kids. They need to have proper nutrition, safe homes, and access to the education that will allow them to pursue a better life for themselves.How do you choose your friends and how do you behave around them?
I usually do this slowly. While being reserved yet kind, I observe, looking for signs that they could be my friend . A lot of it relies on my "sense" about them that is difficult to explain. I like to have friends that I feel I can be myself around. With friends I let down my reserve and become more playful, more open, and I share more of my opinions and feelings. I am quick to pick up on any sadness in them and I reach out to them. Along with my silly sense of humor, I like to engage in deep conversations and intellectual debate...as long as no one acts in a bullying manner. I like to feel that I can switch between my different facets and be as odd as I wish. I try to make sure my friends know that they will get the same acceptance from me.How do you behave around strangers?
I am told that I tend to appear "inscrutable, yet warm". And this is usually the case. I have walls up, but I go for a quiet friendliness. I'll make a joke if I see the opportunity. But I may also look for ways to escape, or drift off into my own little world if the conversation is dull. Sometimes I feel a sort of freedom and I can act more like an extroverted version of myself...quicker to make a joke or to flirt. I can give the impression of having more confidence than I have. This usually happens when the strangers are mostly strangers to each other, or when I am filled with excitement, or if I don't think I will have to interact much with them again or be expected to keep up that extroverted self.