I need more ego credentials, got any recommendations?

Alas, my ego-fuel is dwindling thin again, and I need more.

I’ve visited the Nietzsche, and I’ve tangoed with the Schopenhauer - and they seemed to fill up my ego’s fuel gauge for a while, but the supply wasn’t endless.

What are all of your recommendations for what I should move on to next?

I’ve already read Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, Descartes, Marx, Jung, Poe, Machiavelli, Freud, and Kant - so who’s next? I’m thinking that Hume might be a good one from what I’ve heard about him.

I enjoy Hunter S Thompson and Irvine Welsh and their style of writing and humor - I think that is part of the reason I enjoyed Nietzsche. Any good philosophers who are close to this?

Also, does anyone know where I can read Goethe’s Faust online? The local book store didn’t have him =(

check out umberto eco


Maybe the best thing to do is get over yourself? :smiley:

"Sunder me from my bones, O sword of God
Till they stand stark and strange as do the trees;
That I whose heart goes up with the soaring woods
May marvel as much at these.

Sunder me from my blood that in the dark
I hear that red ancestral river run
Like branching buried floods that find the sea
But never see the sun.

Give me miraculous eyes to see my eyes
Those rolling mirrors made alive in me
Terrible crystals more incredible
Than all the things they see

Sunder me from my soul, that I may see
The sins like streaming wounds, the life’s brave beat
Till I shall save myself as I would save
A stranger in the street."

  • G.K. Chesterton

Thought I’d add this Chesterton quote too…

“The phrase would probably be misunderstood; but if I had only one sermon to preach I would tell people not to enjoy themselves. I should tell them to enjoy dances and theatres and joy-rides and champagne and oysters; to enjoy jazz and cocktails and night-clubs if they can enjoy nothing better; to enjoy bigamy and burglary and any crime in the calendar, in preference to this other alternative; but never to learn to enjoy themselves. Human beings are happy so long as they retain the receptive power and the power of reaction in surprise and gratitude to something outside. So long as they have this they have as the greatest minds have always declared, a something that is present in childhood and which can still preserve and invigorate manhood. The moment the self within is consciously felt as something superior to any of the gifts that can be brought to it, or any of the adventures that it may enjoy, there has appeared a sort of self-devouring fastidiousness and a disenchantment in advance, which fulfils all the Tartarean emblems of thirst and of despair.”

amazon.com/Liberation-Affirm … 0791466671

Given your interest, that would probably be a good direction to pursue.

Read the Tao. That should help.

You don’t know what is good; you know only what is good for you. That’s all you are interested in, that’s a fact. Everything centers around that. All your reason centers around that. I’m not saying anything against it. The situations change, but it is that which is guiding you through all situations. I’m not saying it is wrong. If it is not so, something must be wrong with you.

I dont think that we can meaningfully separate the concept “good” from “good for you”. I mean, what is the alternative? We can generalize “good for someone”, but the idea of good still needs a for after it, as well as a why.

What is a good man good for? He’s good for the status quo. Why has society created us for the sole purpose of maintaining the status quo? In order to live sanely and intelligently. Much of what you think is good cannot be separated from what society says is good.

First. there is the change in the individual to comply with society and then the desire to be an individual in something that’s difficult to be an individual in because each individual is doing the same thing all others are doing. Wanting two things at the same time, being guided by two things at the time is neurotic. If you take society as being reality, then you will look there to find good. If you realize that society is imposed on the individual and there is no such thing as reality, then what is good for you may come at a the expense of being a threat to society.

I just bought “The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious” by Carl Jung. I’ve read The Basic Writings of Jung, but I wanted to read more about the archetypes and the collective unconscious.

the ego and its own by Max Stirner

wiki on book

Anything by David Kellogg Lewis.

Candide is hilarious. I’d recommend that and Paradise Lost is good too, even though Voltaire takes shots at it in Candide. :smiley:


Ego credentials? So what, you are looking for “great philosophers” to read so you can pride yourself on having (the intelligence to) read them?

Or is it more like you are hoping to read some “genius” criticize mankind (or the state of society or whatever) so you can temporarily elevate yourself atop the very comfy (and very selective) thrown of the “misunderstood significant” club? That can inflate the ego like a mother fucker, but in the process you deem everything beneath you and (if you have any tendency to introspect at all) eventually you have to work tirelessly to convincingly blame all those pop up “ego doubts” on the bullshit expectations and delusions parents, teachers, religions or whatever other (non-genius-club-member) socio-cultural monster brainwashed into you.

And then, as you’ve experienced, you suddenly get those insights into what a douchebag you’ve been. Then you get all miserable and hate yourself and don’t know what the hell you’re supposed to do.

Here’s some advice: Don’t actually consciously attempt to build up your ego by reading philosophy; don’t purposefully train you mind to associate (itself) with “intellectual” stuff just for the sake up putting a gold star next to your self-concept.

Seriously, people who actually think of themselves as intellectuals are the biggest tools you’ll find in any culture anywhere.

I’m not going to tell you to let go of your ego, or to “live in the moment”, because without the right context those mantras are just as retarded; compared to the “academic” asshole those shallow-minded new-agers may be a few rungs lower on the ladder to supreme wankerdom, but that’s only because it takes an undivided will to keep their eyes crossed long enough to see another’s aura.

However, since constructing a certain self-concept comes down to best enjoying (or at least not cursing) your experiences, I suggest you start defining your ego according to its ability to help you (as in your mind/experience at a moment) feel comfortable (or even enjoy) itself (its experience/ing).

A warning, though: Some of the best ways to do this conflict with a lot of ideals/standards that “intellectuals” (as well as a lot of “regular” people) have.

Humming or whistling a song to yourself, enjoying the experience of hearing the notes that (having followed previous notes and rhythms) are totally new, while simultaneously feeling the “union” of all those (subjectively sensed) “vibrations” give life to a unique “reality”/being… it’s very enjoyable but, I mean, come on, what kind of simpleton gets stimulation from that right? [-(

Or (alone is best) talking out loud, playing some character, and then being inspired by how another character would respond, and letting that out, and observing the creative possibilities (potential paths of storytelling/subjective being) and choosing the most appealing, and sometimes even observing your mind as it pulls strands from all possible worlds and weaves them into a prodigy that suddenly rotates the gods proceeding it, shedding light on sides you never imagined?

That’s actually being focused on what all your “reality” comes down to–how some idea leads to another leads to another…
so (the tip is to,)
[i]rather than agreeing with (just) one ridiculous thought that something is “bad” and should be fixed
(which is really just “your” mind at that moment hating itself but, in order to affirm its “goodness”, denies its part–its being as that being/experience of “bad”–and then restricts itself;
it sets a rigid goal of what it ought to be/experience which will deem all contrary things–again, it IS the experience of all that which is deemed–bad/unacceptable/requiring alteration or elimination[/i]… as that thought was an objective and flawlessly logical fact
get in the habit of viewing (interpreting/judging) interpretations/judgments in light of their being a wholly subjective result of a shitload of neurons that (having grown, branched out and networked in a variety of ways overtime) have fired, and thus “enlightened” you with yet another sensory result from (though in light of illusory forms:) a basic hardware (the Homo Sapien) that, when “processing” (being affected by) certain external stimuli, moved around in such a way it managed to function long enough, and… penetrate usb ports with usb sticks enough… to make it to today, changing a bit overtime. In the last couple centuries, and increasing so, the hardware is being installed with a bunch of conflicting programs and languages, which confuses the shit out of the minds that result from it.

The stupid ass minds actually think they control the bodies, and have freedom over their functions, but really those whiny ghosts --rather than understanding their experiences are the results of physical causes and affects, and that their “decision” to do A rather than B wasn’t a free-choice, but the result of a bunch of neurons firings–
fight a pathetic, meaningless struggle based off a complete delusion.

Just being your natural self is not in your interest. You are only interested in continuity. You want to continue, probably on a different level, and to function in a different dimension, but you want to continue somehow. You wouldn’t touch (throwing everything away) with a barge pole. That would liquidate what you call "you” … all the effort you have put out to be that.

You come to a point, and then you say “I need time.” So endeavor comes into the picture, and you say to yourself “Tomorrow I will understand.” That kind of structure is born of time and functions in time, but does not come to an end through time. If you don’t understand now, you are not going to understand tomorrow. What is there to understand? No communication is possible to relate to individual uniqueness. When the deluded ‘you’ is not there, when the question is not there, what is is understanding. You are finished. You’ll walk out. You will never listen to anybody describing his state or ask any questions about understanding at all.

What you are looking for does not exist. You would rather tread an enchanted ground with beatific visions of a radical transformation of that non-existent self of yours into a state of being which is conjured up by some bewitching phrases. That takes you away from what you naturally are – it is a movement away from yourself. To be yourself requires extraordinary intelligence. You haev that intelligence; nobody need give it to you, nobody can take it away from you. He who lets that express itself in its own way is his/her natural self.

But I am going to be the strongest and smartest person I can be, and build up my willpower to become capable of anything humanly possible.
I practice self-discipline and masochism - I believe that my mind is capable of enduring any obstacle or affliction. I’ve gone on 10-20 day fasts, I’ve gone days without sleep, I’ve spent days meditating in one posture without moving more than a quarter-inch, I’ve burned/cut/branded my skin, and for any intellectual who has challenged me - I’ve made sure that I surpassed them at their own game.
I am going to carve myself into what I see as a human perfection - because, why not? So many people let their life go to waste.

Anyone who thinks that “ego construction” is a sign of inferiority is probably inferior themselves - what they perceive as a “pompous display of superiority” in me is nothing more than a reflection of their own insecurities. The “typical man” - that is to say, the common man, the real man, the one who values strength - views me as honorable. Yet, all the self-loathing ‘intellectuals’ fear me, because to them I am just a mirror showing them their reflection - and that is something they are not able to tolerate.

Well, the only thing that makes conscious ego construction (as in, attempting better one’s ego) “inferior” is the fact that the one doing it considers their current ego lacking in comparison to an ideal.

Not sure how far you’ll get through your superman training until you run out of steam, though… And really, the whole thing is grounded on the distaste of seeing yourself as “bad”, right? Undeniably strong, undeniably smart (whatever “smart” is…), undeniably being and doing exactly as you should.

This way of thinking may work well for you now… but this “willpower” of yours is a delusion, you know.
Or do you think material activity only presents the idea you are hungry, and it is wholly you–as an independent captain of your vessel–who decides “No eating! I, by denying myself the food I want, prove the strength of my will!”

But what happens, happens. You know where it’s likely to go, right?

I dunno, I think like most things pride in moderation is fantastic. Where is the line between building ego credentials and self-cultivation? Surely there is one but that distinction is pretty fuzzy and even porous. Given the influence of Nietzsche here, it makes sense that the concept of ego is emphasized. But I see that as primarily a linguistic distinction as opposed to an actual one – at least when the participants are sincere.

I agree. I don’t think “I want to be in better shape” or other “I want to be something I am not now” is necessarily bad. And, as you said, pride in moderation can be great–if it helps them get through the process of becoming a happier person then more power to them.

“I take pride in my willingness and determination to sacrifice short term pleasures that impede my long term goals”


“I like feeling intelligent when my teacher looks interested when I ask a thoughtful question, and that further motivates me to study hard”

are useful and valuable for long-term peace of mind (which is pretty much a lack or only small bit of difference between how one sees themselves or the situation and what one idealizes or thinks should be/ought to be one’s self/situation).

But stuff like this:

What good can come from habitually thinking this way? How do you rationalize an incapability to do something humanly possible that you want to do?–how do you rationalize why you actually don’t want to do it (and how do you rationalize that “you” never actually did?)?

How do you keep saying everyone who disagrees with you is wrong and simply fears you with absolute confidence that doesn’t apply to you?

I am just saying… he knows he’s been on this circular path plenty of times; he knows where it turns.