Fierce Invalids Question #26 - Can you have it both ways?

by Tom Robbins

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Fierce Invalids Question #26 - Can you have it both ways?

Unread postby Liz » Fri Jan 28, 2005 10:38 am

Pg. 370. “In the deep velvet radish of his heart, he must have realized that it was highly unlikely that he would ever see those Pippi-made stilts again, yet had he been unwilling to lie to himself, he would have been a very poor romantic, indeed. Why, he might have asked, did it seem so tricky, so difficult, to lead simultaneously a romantic life and a fully conscious one?”

Is possible to have it both ways?
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Unread postby lumineuse » Fri Jan 28, 2005 1:02 pm

Fantasies are made of this! A lot of JDOCD is really one great big romantic fantasy, and it doesn't keep me from being fully conscious in the real world. It just makes the real world seem not as pale. More vivid, so to speak!

I think in order to have a really romantic life, self-deception is necessary. All of our partners have quirks and foibles we find less than attractive, but we try to pretend they don't exist. And most people don't really like to think of their romantic target as performing certain types of "maintenance". We deceive ourselves about more than romance though - it's called daydreaming, and it has been proven to be good for mental health. So a little self-deception may actually improve your functioning in the real world.
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Fri Jan 28, 2005 3:32 pm

This reminds me a bit of our discussion of beauty and it's ability to pull us out of the real world to appreciate something unique that gives us pleasure. Romance is a bit like that as well. Without it the world would be a cold and dull place, and much too vivid! :yuck2:
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Unread postby luvdepp » Fri Jan 28, 2005 3:51 pm

lumineuse wrote:Fantasies are made of this! A lot of JDOCD is really one great big romantic fantasy, and it doesn't keep me from being fully conscious in the real world. It just makes the real world seem not as pale. More vivid, so to speak!

I think in order to have a really romantic life, self-deception is necessary. All of our partners have quirks and foibles we find less than attractive, but we try to pretend they don't exist. And most people don't really like to think of their romantic target as performing certain types of "maintenance". We deceive ourselves about more than romance though - it's called daydreaming, and it has been proven to be good for mental health. So a little self-deception may actually improve your functioning in the real world.


So what you're saying lumineuse, is that JDOCD really is necessary to our well-being and mental health? I'll remind my family and friends of that next time they give me a bad time! LOL

I agree that being able to have fantasies and daydream is so important to being able to live a fully conscious life. We need to be able to escape at times. It gives us the strength for our "real" life and the pressures and stresses that come with it. And if our romantic life is not all it's cracked up to be sometimes, then a little fantasy there goes a long way.
"So we shall let the reader answer this question for himself, who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on the shore and merely existed." ~HST~

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Unread postby lumineuse » Fri Jan 28, 2005 6:06 pm

luvdepp wrote:
So what you're saying lumineuse, is that JDOCD really is necessary to our well-being and mental health? I'll remind my family and friends of that next time they give me a bad time! LOL


Why sure! :-) It's our number-one-all-time-favorite daydream, and as the studies show, daydreaming is good for your health! :disco:
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Re: Fierce Invalids Question #26 - Can you have it both ways

Unread postby suec » Fri Jan 28, 2005 6:48 pm

Liz wrote:Pg. 370. “In the deep velvet radish of his heart, he must have realized that it was highly unlikely that he would ever see those Pippi-made stilts again, yet had he been unwilling to lie to himself, he would have been a very poor romantic, indeed. Why, he might have asked, did it seem so tricky, so difficult, to lead simultaneously a romantic life and a fully conscious one?”

Is possible to have it both ways?


Yes. And Johnny is the proof of it. I think "a romantic life and a fully conscious one" describes him very well indeed.
I can't find the extract you have quoted here (different edition) but I have found this definition of fully conscious:
"not so much to a state in which a person always behaved in a manner he or she knew to be just, regardless of public opnion...nor even to an awareness so keen that the person never allowed fear, ego, desire, or convenience to delude him or her...the clear and persistent realization that at bottom, all human activity was cosmic theater: a grand and goofy and epic and ephemeral show, in which an individual's behaviour, good or bad, was simply the acting out of a role, the crucial thing being to stand back and observe one's performance even as one was immersed in it."
There are lots of ways in which this extract can be applied to Johnny. His sense of perspective, lack of fear and ego, and so on. But maybe especially his awareness of the ephemeral show. I think this feeds his romanticism, which I think is the result of deliberate choice, to view people romantically: characters he plays; actors he works with; those he loves. He seems determined to cherish what is best in those souls he encounters, which is a kind of romanticism, I think. And then there's what he said on Oprah about romantic things with Vanessa - hiring a theatre to watch a silent movie, if I remember right. It's the way he views things, and it does semm to be a fully conscious decision. But maybe I'm the one being romantic, here. :blush:
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Unread postby truelymadlydepply » Fri Jan 28, 2005 7:40 pm

luvdepp wrote:
lumineuse wrote:Fantasies are made of this! A lot of JDOCD is really one great big romantic fantasy, and it doesn't keep me from being fully conscious in the real world. It just makes the real world seem not as pale. More vivid, so to speak!

I think in order to have a really romantic life, self-deception is necessary. All of our partners have quirks and foibles we find less than attractive, but we try to pretend they don't exist. And most people don't really like to think of their romantic target as performing certain types of "maintenance". We deceive ourselves about more than romance though - it's called daydreaming, and it has been proven to be good for mental health. So a little self-deception may actually improve your functioning in the real world.


So what you're saying lumineuse, is that JDOCD really is necessary to our well-being and mental health? I'll remind my family and friends of that next time they give me a bad time! LOL

I agree that being able to have fantasies and daydream is so important to being able to live a fully conscious life. We need to be able to escape at times. It gives us the strength for our "real" life and the pressures and stresses that come with it. And if our romantic life is not all it's cracked up to be sometimes, then a little fantasy there goes a long way.


Lumineuse and luvdepp i love what you are saying about fantasies and daydreaming - when i was growing up i used to be called a dreamer and it seemed to be a negative label - i often used to daydream at school and now i daydream heaps still but i have learnt that it is fine to be a so called dreamer and to have a rich interior life. I have a friend who really believes in the importance of both dreams and daydreams and she keeps a dream diary and treats her dreams with as much importance as the awake world. I think its really important to have a rich inner life, cause like you say it gives us strength for the real world as well - it doesnt mean we have to deny reality, but just that its just as important to have our fantasy worlds - however these are created. I guess books, movies, the internet - great example is the Zone, dreaming, prayer, meditation are all ways of reaching this inner richness - im sure theres heaps more just as simple as "taking time to smell the roses in our life" - not getting so caught up in those stresses of modern living. When i was reading your quotes i looked up in my book of quotes that i use for inspiration and found a couple about dreaming and day dreaming that spoke to me:
Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night" - thats Edgar Allan Poe
and Mary Shelley (who wrote Frankenstein) - My dreams were all my own; I accounted for them to nobody; they were my refuge when annoyed - my dearest pleasure when free.
"One time he, (Marlon Brando), says to me: 'How many films do you do a year?' I said, 'I dunno. Two or three.' He says, 'You've got to watch yourself. We've only got so many faces in our pocket.' "

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Fri Jan 28, 2005 7:50 pm

suec wrote: There are lots of ways in which this extract can be applied to Johnny. His sense of perspective, lack of fear and ego, and so on. But maybe especially his awareness of the ephemeral show. I think this feeds his romanticism, which I think is the result of deliberate choice, to view people romantically: characters he plays; actors he works with; those he loves. He seems determined to cherish what is best in those souls he encounters, which is a kind of romanticism, I think. And then there's what he said on Oprah about romantic things with Vanessa - hiring a theatre to watch a silent movie, if I remember right. It's the way he views things, and it does semm to be a fully conscious decision. But maybe I'm the one being romantic, here.


I agree suec. He seems to be able to separate himself from the "show" that goes on around him and still keep his calm, his sense of who he really is and still see the good in people. That has to be a very difficult balancing act for someone in his profession and with his celebrity status. But then that is one of the things we admire so much about him!


trulymadlydepply wrote:
Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night" - thats Edgar Allan Poe

and Mary Shelley (who wrote Frankenstein) - My dreams were all my own; I accounted for them to nobody; they were my refuge when annoyed - my dearest pleasure when free.


Those are great quotes! I think daydreaming is a type of protective mechanism. Sometimes we have to "check out" or be overwhelmed.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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Unread postby Liz » Sat Jan 29, 2005 11:22 am

luvdepp wrote:So what you're saying lumineuse, is that JDOCD really is necessary to our well-being and mental health? I'll remind my family and friends of that next time they give me a bad time! LOL

I agree that being able to have fantasies and daydream is so important to being able to live a fully conscious life. We need to be able to escape at times. It gives us the strength for our "real" life and the pressures and stresses that come with it. And if our romantic life is not all it's cracked up to be sometimes, then a little fantasy there goes a long way.


I agree with both of you, here. But Luvdepp, just make sure you don't go into why it's good for your mental health with your family.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.


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