Member Questionnaire 1 (stormtrooperate)What is beauty? What is love?
What are your most important values?
I watched a video not long ago about the concept of beauty but I've already forgot it, so I'll just go by what I think. Beauty is a construct of humans, there wasn't such thing in nature until we came along and started labeling everything. Good/bad, beautiful/ugly, and so on... all of them extremes on different scales, and one will not exist without its pair, for they need a point a reference. As such, it is subjective in nature, what I find "beautiful", meaning it's over the neutral point of that scale might be lower in another person's view, falling into the category of "ugly". And there are things that will not even be measured by this standard. More concretely, beauty will evoke a feeling in me, it will be pleasurable to experience - not only see, but hear, maybe even touch.
As of love...
Interestingly, what I immediately thought about was intimacy as love, while it can be in relation to objects and concepts as well. I think the two should be dealt with separately. Love towards a person means for me: having someone in our life who elevates all our experiences. Life should be "full" when alone, we need to learn how to derive enjoyment and be content on our own - but then someone comes who gives it another edge and takes the already heightened experience to a whole new level. It's somewhat similar with objects & concepts too, the difference being that these might be the origin of our enjoyment. A musician may have a love for music which colors his life, and without it his life might be dull. Same can happen without a person, but there is a subtle difference between the two. Growing too attached to a concept isn't as unhealthy as growing too attached to a person, as the object doesn't have a life on its own that should be respected and taken into consideration.
No idea. I did many online tests to determine them, my top one is always love of learning, and that is spot-on. I also tend to be more liberal, but not the yolo type. I value justice, but also forgiveness. I have values that are ideal, ones I want to identify with but currently cannot (at least, not fully), these include: assertiveness, challenge, gratitude, humility, mindfulness, persistence and self-development.
Do you have any sort of spiritual/religious beliefs, and why do you hold (or don't) those beliefs in the first place?
I am trained in a very non-mainstream religion, as such, spirituality plays a crucial role in my life. I meditate, I believe in a universal consciousness, that all forms of life are intertwined and that humans have lost this sense of connection. The notion that there is something "more" to everyday suffering keeps me going.
Opinion on war and militaries? What is power to you?
War is an art in itself. One that is stained by blood and darkness, yes, but there is a certain beauty in horror. I don't see a reason for its existence anymore, one would think we have emerged from the bestial, territorial behavior, but no. Militaries are kept for power play between countries. Which brings it to power - another typical social construct with two extremes, the negative scale being oppression, the positive scale being power: having the means to decide the fate of something unrelated, stripping them of the freedom of choice. When one is in possession of power, there needs to be one oppressed - or at least, illusioned to be inferior. The difference here is that it can be observed in nature, too. A lion will dominate its prey, cannot we say it has power over it? Even though, said lion will not feel powerful or proud of its place in hierarchy - for them, it simply exists. It is us who have to make everything meaningful and to feed our ego.
What have you had long conversations about? What are your interests? Why?
I'm a slow thinker so I need to digest arguments before I can address them. As such, my "long conversations" are sporadic, I'll keep returning them in the span of days. But I enjoy talking about politics, video games, Star Wars, philosophy (what I know a lot about is Stoicism). But asking why these are my interests is like asking why I like drinking green tea. I could say it nourishes me, it is beneficial on the long run, but truth is, I just like its taste.
Interested in health/medicine as a conversation topic? Are you focused on your body?
This is a funny question. About 10 years ago I was living life as if I was immortal - sleeping for 3-4 hours daily, eating nothing for days, drinking bottles of energy drinks coupled with coffee. No veggies, no fruits. Then came a crash, and ever since, I am oversensitive of what my body signals. Every small ache - that I didn't even realize would be there earlier - makes me think my health is deteriorating. But I still overeat, I still don't do exercise, and I still consume lots of caffeine, albeit not as much as I used to. I enjoy conversing about health though, as I've researched vitamins, supplements, diets.
What do you think of daily chores?
Unnecessary waste of time. This is an exaggeration of course - cleaning etc. is necessary, but I could just spend my time doing literally anything else. I put them off for as long as I can.
Books or films you liked? Recently read/watched or otherwise. Examples welcome.
Let's start with books. What I really loved was Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett. The Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman. I really enjoy reading Ray Bradbury. And in Star Wars, the Thrawn trilogies. I also loved the Lost Tribe of the Sith by John Jackson Miller. Many hated it because it is slow and nothing really happens - and it is true, but that is the reason I love it. It lets us glimpse into the philosophy of the Sith, their schemes and inner workings. I love stories where the plot slowly unfolds in front of our eyes, with turns that are hard to anticipate, all while letting us know the inner workings of the characters, seeing them develop their world view, go through a transformation and eventually emerge as something "more".
I read more than I watch movies, so apart from Star Wars, only one I can mention that had an effect on me is Waking Life.
What has made you cry? What has made you smile? Why?
Unfortunately I get teary eyes very easily, even when I do not really *feel* a certain way. I get tears when something moving happens, when I have a conversation and I just experience a certain unity, when we connect on a deeper level. When I am shouted at, when I am criticized.
I smile at cute animals, on witty jokes. And when I'm politely talking with people, I force myself to smile to seem more approachable, but that is hard, because normally I have a neutral (or even angry looking) face. Sometimes, when I look at smiling people, I unconsciously smile, too.
Where do you feel: at one with the environment/a sense of belonging?
At one with the environment if I redirect my attention to the "now". I'm very much caught up in thoughts, constantly, to the point where I not only once walked in front of a car/tram. I'm self-dangerous. So the only time I can merge with my surroundings is when I realize I'm being absent and try to calm my mind. Then I can feel the sunshine, hear the environment, marvel at how much is happening. I find it easier to do when there isn't much going on around, say in a park, in a forest. In cities, with cars swooping and people everywhere, I'm much more comfortable retreating to my head. A sense of social belonging only when I can connect with people one-on-one. In groups, kinda never. (I'm an sx/sp per enneagram instinctual variants.)
What have people seen as your weaknesses? What do you dislike about yourself?
I dislike everything about myself. The way I look, the way I am. If I could, I would strip myself down to the core and rebuild it with traits more desirable. Of course, that would leave a question - would that be "me" anymore. But in concrete examples, my weakness is being scatterbrained with a bad memory, too idealistic, also somewhat aggressive and stubborn. I'm also perceived as lazy, but that is due to a burnout that I do not really talk about.
What have people seen as your strengths? What do you like about yourself?
I like that I can help other people see the good in themselves, and when in doubt, be a rock in their life, someone they can lean on while they gather their strength. And I've been told this - that I am inspiring, patient, have a good emotional intelligence and support people in a unique way.
In what areas of your life would you like help?
In being motivated to do menial tasks, to get my life together, to know if what I'm doing is enough or I'm on the right schedule - I have a bad sense of time, and sometimes freak out when I still have a month for a one-week job, then put things off until the last minute because I think I'll be done in no time.
Ever feel stuck in a rut? If yes, describe the causes and your reaction to it.
Oh boy. I am, currently. It started before the lockdowns, and let's just say, this covid situation is just making it worse. It makes me apathetic, my mind just shuts down and cannot process anything, the day just goes by and I feel I didn't do anything, I could lay in bed all day and still feel exhausted. It happened because I took on too many responsibilities, I thought I'd be able to deal with them all, then it started falling apart. I failed more and more, missed better opportunities while trying to put out the fires I caused, even failed what I could have easily done. It left me with a sense of incompetence, that I am not progressing anywhere. And it completely wore me down.
What qualities do you most like and dislike in other people? What types do you get along with?
I like people who are knowledgeable, mysterious, hard to crack, and yet do not act arrogantly. I'm innately drawn to them. People who have a spark in their eyes while talking about topics they are interested in. The withheld excitement. The deep connection I can experience when they start to open up. It's a shame I haven't met more people like that.
What makes me dislike someone is being too bubbly, too random, exaggerating emotional responses like really loud laughs, acting like they are the center of attention and do everything to be the loudest in the room. Ignorance too, people who do not have debate culture and outright reject everything or take it as an attack to their self.
Types are get along with though... it's hard to say. I can constantly feel inferior, so it depends. I can misread cues and misinterpret situations.
How do you feel about romance/sex? What qualities do you want in a partner?
I've touched this slightly in the first question. Romance isn't a "prerequisite" for meaningful life, it is an addition, albeit, if done well, a very pleasurable one. I'm loyal to a partner and am monogamous, so I'm looking for people with this same mindset. In sex I need to let myself by physically vulnerable, I need to reveal my defects and imperfections, which make me extremely conscious and hard to relax. I struggle with these feelings even after years of established relationship. In the romance aspect the vulnerability is emotional, I find that easier. And I need a lot of time spent with someone before I can develop a connection, I find nothing attractive on human bodies, my attraction will be to the essence of someone. And to probe that, I need time. Months, at least.
If you were to raise a child, what would be your main concerns, what measures would you take, and why?
I'd let them work out their worldview on their own. I wouldn't impose my standards and views on them, only provide guidance. I would be inclined to shelter them from the negativity in the world, but I know they need to be exposed to understand the dangers and gravity. I would try to make them honorable people who are able to think for themselves and question what they see. I'm against hierarchy, a parent-child relationship shouldn't be built on power plays and commands, instead, mutual understanding. I'd rather they see me as a confidant than a boss.
A friend makes a claim that clashes with your current beliefs. What is your inward and outward reaction?
I literally saw myself cross my eyebrows and frown. That's always my reaction to something I do not expect. Looking at them with disbelief, then looking away, scratching my had, my eyes go wider. I need time to process. Then what happens is dependent on what this clash is about. Do they say they cannot understand homosexuality? Well, I might have a talk with them about their concerns, but ultimately, it isn't my job to preach anything. Or, is it that they'd appoint every homosexual person to shock therapy? Now *that* is concerning, I'd probably distance myself if they are way too stuck in that aspect. I do not want to identify with someone who is stuck-up or hateful. Again, my problem isn't with clashing beliefs, it's with radical, destructive beliefs.
Describe your relationship to society. How do you see people as a whole? What do you consider a prevalent social problem? Name one.
Society is doomed, humanity is going down. What it is capable of both fascinates me and makes my stomach turn. I want to believe there is salvation for us, but I'm afraid we are long past that point. A prevalent social problem... indifference to one another.
How do you choose your friends and how do you behave around them?
I don't choose them, they adopt me, and I decide if I accept. I do not mix well, I can have very strong feelings against anyone and will decide in the first few minutes of meeting if we'll get along or not. I cannot put that into words, has to do with their body language and the appearance they convey. But once someone is deemed worthy, they'll find an easygoing, funny and supportive person in me. I try to be available for them to my full capacity, but once they do something that makes my loyalty shake, I become disheartened quickly.
How do you behave around strangers?
Businesslike. I keep my distance, I adapt to the way they are behaving. If I happen to have negative feelings about them, I can become cold.