Dr. W's Space Travels
Space Cadet Buys Almondmilk
Dr. Wood VIII
Wow my last Dr. Wood session was depressing as fudge. Like Jesus dude cheer the fudge up. Life can’t be that bad when you’re a space cadet. Anyway yay for the fifth session in the span of a year, and first one of 2020! Contextual note for the time capsule – the world is being ravaged by a certain virus that shall not be named, which I guess is the reason why I’m doing another session. I’m not depressed right now or anything, quite the contrary. I was just reading my past sessions and loved #5. Ironically (or coincidentally?) it was about how I loved getting my ego stroked. And here I am admiring my own writing. My past self has pleased me. It’s like a transtemporal pseudoautofellatio. God I’ve been wanting to use that term since 15 minutes ago. I am really up my own booty. I should stop. But maybe not.
So I felt like just jotting down some thoughts that came to my mind today, and over time I guess. I was talking with my friend Yohana over FB (whom I got to Skype with a few times during my 11 days off at home), and we talked about stuff going on with the unnamed virus. We got on the subject of selfishness and selflessness when it came to survival. It made me think about what constitutes selfishness, as I know “selfish” is a word that I’ve used to describe me in the past few sessions. Quite a few people are making masks (like her) and doing other things to help the global community. Commendable by far, and mad props to people like her. But anyway, it got me thinking about if being selfish could still have its benefits. I mean, it does – me staying home and worrying about my own business prevents another person from meddling in others’ affairs during a very sensitive time. But of course, I’d be withholding the things that I can contribute, which is a detriment. This all got me to thinking about if there are truly “good” or “bad” actions, or if it’s just a displacement of values or whatever. Like boycotting milk products because of abusive farming practices. As one fewer consumer I guess I’m making a very indirect statement that actually y’know what this is too indirect of an example, let’s pick something else. How about donating money to a homeless person? It’s a good act in itself – it’s considerate, generous, and directly benefits the person I’m helping. But it also reinforces the acceptableness of handouts and makes me a bit of a pushover, not to mention there’s no telling where that money actually goes to. Okay now that I’ve said that, going back to boycotting the milk – it puts out a statement that such practices are unacceptable, and in turn ever-so-slightly advocates for the animals. Plus, I read that almondmilk is healthier anyway, so there’s that. But, in its ever-so-slightness, it puts people out of jobs, and there’s no guarantee that the one gallon of milk I didn’t buy won’t just end up getting tossed anyway, thus having no effect on the wholesale purchase of that milk by the retailer (I’d be hurting the retailer then, I guess).
The argument to that is my dollar is going to manufacturers of more ethical practices (the almondmilkers), who deserve it over the tyrant farmers (the regular milkers). So I guess that means that, in applying the displacement theory, an act is “good” when the detriment is displaced to the perceived evil. (God I feel so smart writing all this down… if I could lick my rear I would. Okay enough of the comedic “embracing my inner ego-loving ways” stuff…) If I give my dollar to the nutmilkers, then I’m robbing abusive cowmilkers of a benefit… which is to their detriment, naturally. I justify it as a good act because the cowmilkers “deserve” the detriment. It nullifies the “displacement” aspect because “justice is being served”. And cows are being saved. Again this is utterly (no, “udderly”… use that instead) indirect, but it’s the first example I could think of. Also, I don’t really care if other people use cow’s milk… it’s just an example I thought of because back in 2015 I switched to almondmilk under this same line of thinking. Furthermore, I’m pretty ambivalent about the matter anymore. I still buy almondmilk, and maybe it’s with this line of thinking underlying it, but it’s mostly out of habit (and it’s healthier… I guess). But anyway, my point is, it’s easy to reject the displacement theory when the detriment goes to those who do evil. Although, the evildoing in the beginning might also be displacement. Fudge, I didn’t think of that ‘til just now.
Okay but it doesn’t really matter, because I’m gonna go my special tier 3 thinking route and just say that it’s best to just keep things simple. I think understanding the displacement theory is good, but in the end the route I wanna go on is just keeping it simple. Like Maslow’s “second naivete” (I love that term) – being familiar with the deep understanding of something, but intentionally reverting to a simpler understanding. Or at least that’s how I understood what he was saying. It’s almost like ignorance… but it’s ignorance borne from wisdom. (Ooh does that make me wise? Only in my mind…) Anyway, by “keeping it simple”, I mean just going by what I think is reasonable. If we’re going with my weird milk example (I honestly couldn’t have picked a different one? Well I did do the homeless one so I could use that again too), I think buying almondmilk has overall better yields than cow’s milk. Nothing monumental, but I think the pros outweigh the cons. In absolute displacement theory that wouldn’t be the case, but with “keeping it simple” theory it is. Giving something to a homeless person is another thing that is simply a good act in my opinion.
And that’s the story of my new life at age 27 – keeping things simple. But it’s fun to explore the concepts. Maybe I’ll do more of these sessions in the upcoming weeks/months of quarantine. Guess we’ll see.