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A Better Vanity

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posted on Jan, 5 2015 @ 01:40 AM
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We are vain creatures and vanity is looked down upon. Thus we look down upon ourselves. Are we able to utilize what for so long we've considered a human folly?

I am thankful for vanity when I sit next to someone on a crowded train and I am not met by a foul odor. Ever living for the visceral and sensuous, humanity becomes sometimes bearable when she is most vain—there is still yet hope when we can stand the sight of humankind—and the person beside me has taken enough pride in his own appearance that I am not suffering for it. A little vanity begets a little cleanliness it seems, of which I am especially thankful in a world where we number in the billions.

Are we not artful enough for vanity?

As a mere actor in the solipsistic lives of others, I too am but an object to them, a surface in to which they cannot see. My inner-turmoil means little to them, for they are too concerned with their own.

The object they can see, however, is under my artful control. If my vanity is artful enough, I may show them my version of what it means to be a human being, my greatest masterpiece. With a little effort and a little work, I can seize that object from them and return it to them altered, rather than leave myself to be filtered by filtering minds. Perhaps they might like what they see.

Yes, I take pride in my appearance. I, like many other animals, groom myself. I stay in shape not just for health, but to look and to feel good. How I look, how I smell and what I feel and sound like, directly affect those around me, and thus the world.

But appearance is not enough, you vain ones. My vanity extends even to my actions. I am polite and honorable because I do not wish to be seen as anything but. I have a standard of dress and cleanliness, and adapt my manners and code of conduct to any social situation and to the people within it. I am a man of discriminating taste, and my tastes require that I live up to this standard.

I prefer quality, and to me, quality is always what interests me. My vanity requires that I forgo happiness for the sake of being interesting. Even happiness gets boring with its avenues to mediocrity, to decadence, and those who strive for happiness can usually be found staring at any blinking light without anything interesting to show for it. Why be happy when you can be interesting?

However the vanity I allow myself is a strong barrier to the vanity I do not allow myself. Though the potential to arrogance and narcissism is still there, I myself do not enjoy the company of the arrogant and narcissistic. As such I am too vain for arrogance and narcissism.

No, my vanity does not seek to be better than others or some fleeting will to power, but a will to expression and art, to be seen in such a way as to be remembered fondly by those who witness me, to be a good, quality memory, and to evoke with my expression thoughts and feelings that interest and inspire the objects in my life, by being at the very least an interesting object in theirs. If I'm lucky, maybe they can be inspired to be a better object in my life too—but with the stale mediocrity abound these days, that is probably too much to ask.

The sort of vanity and self-love I speak of, where the pride is not only in one's appearance, but also in one's actions, is honor and magnanimity, found in the most vain of cultures such as code of the samurai, where one would rather die than to have his memory, his greatest art, tarnished.

A better vanity and a higher egoism requires that we are so vain, that we dare not let anyone see our evil, and that we paint a more beautiful picture of ourselves in the minds of others.

Thank you for reading,

LesMis




posted on Jan, 5 2015 @ 02:00 AM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

"Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity."

So said King Solomon.

Well there are two definitions of vanity:

"excessive pride in or admiration of one's own appearance or achievements."

"futility, uselessness, pointlessness, worthlessness, purposelessness, idleness, fruitlessness" , etc.

Obviously you are focussing on the first meaning. However, the way I read your post is that your pride is not excessive. I would describe your expectations of yourself and others as being pride and respect. Nothing about your post suggests excessive pride.

Personally, I relate to King Solomon's words very much. I see that much of life is illusive and I am only too aware that for all our riches and achievements upon the earth we end up in the same hole in the ground (the grave). I live my life every day in the full knowledge of this.

The effect that it has had upon my own life to see the vanity of our labours is for me to lose interest in what rusts and gets eaten by moths, the transient, to the value I place on one simple ability; the power of thought. Thinking and imagination is the greatest gift of this experience of being an individual entity in the universe. I am thankful for this.

EDIT; It was on the tip of my tongue; REFINEMENT! That is the word I was looking for to describe your position of pride.



edit on 5-1-2015 by lonesomerimbaud because: extra bit.



posted on Jan, 5 2015 @ 04:03 AM
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Pride is not vanity. Vanity is excessive pride.

Being a world renowned virologist, and taking pride in your acknowledgements is not vain. Thinking you are too good to make a mistake and create a virus that nearly wipes out mankind because your vanity did not allow you to accept any possibility you would fail, that is vanity.



posted on Jan, 5 2015 @ 06:24 AM
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I think that liking and loving one's self and being good to oneself is not vain; "Treat others as you would like to be treated"...."love your neighbor as yourself."

If you can be one of your own best friends...then you can be a better friend to others.

Being clean and neat (to me) is not vain...it is just common sense. Being a good person is not vain...it is just choosing to be good because it is the right thing to do...and also many people are just good anyway...it is their nature.

Being a kind and strong person is not vain either...it is just healthy choices in life.



posted on Jan, 5 2015 @ 07:20 AM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope




I am thankful for vanity when I sit next to someone on a crowded train and I am not met by a foul odor


Great, this would have to be one of your better threads LesMisanthrope. However Vanity means excessive pride. I think you should be proud not to sit next to such a person




My vanity requires that I forgo happiness for the sake of being interesting. Even happiness gets boring with its avenues to mediocrity, to decadence,


Vanity and true happiness can coexist. When happiness gets boring then you just have to get the adrenaline going. Take a parachute jump - or a rollercoaster or abseiling.

Again thanks for a great thread. Always a light shining above the other numerous dark mundane ATS threads.



posted on Jan, 5 2015 @ 07:33 AM
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a reply to: lonesomerimbaud




for me to lose interest in what rusts and gets eaten by moths, the transient, to the value I place on one simple ability; the power of thought. Thinking and imagination is the greatest gift of this experience of being an individual entity in the universe. I am thankful for this.


Without Imagination we are nothing. All Actions first begin with the Thought. All great achievements discoveries technologies began with thought.

Every few days I shake my fist at the heavens and say I will take the fire. Like Prometheus I care not if Zeus chains me to have my organs eaten. It is a worthy price to shake my fists at the false gods/demiurges who would have us forget our unique Humanness

Rust never sleeps (credit to Neil Young)



posted on Jan, 5 2015 @ 07:40 AM
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I'm not that vain. I screw up all the time, walk around with dirty clothes and reek from the daily consumption of various spices. Vanity is shallow, petty, and makes little sense to me. I don't care to take pride in my work, as there's always room for improvement, and stopping to take the time for such narcissism is inefficient and besides the point. Now, you can call this self-hate, but I deny this. There's no hate in realizing how insignificant we all are. Just as it is.



posted on Jan, 5 2015 @ 07:41 AM
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a reply to: caladonea




Being a good person is not vain...it is just choosing to be good because it is the right thing to do


There have been bad people who delude others that they do good - they believe they are good while invading countries to steal their resources. They sell it as fighting terrorism or that "the Other" threatens our way of life. The acquiescent demos buys into it. In their minds they think they are good - that is their corrupted vanity that affects us all



posted on Jan, 5 2015 @ 07:55 AM
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a reply to: pl3bscheese




as there's always room for improvement, and stopping to take the time for such narcissism is inefficient and besides the point. Now, you can call this self-hate, but I deny this. There's no hate in realizing how insignificant we all are. Just as it is.


You used the word "reek" so dont you care for your fellow traveller? You are the closet narcissist. How can it be inefficient if I dont get stares on the train because I dont stink. Or maybe thats not a bad idea...stink so much I get 2/3 seats around me emptied so I can put my diirty feet up.
Speak for yourself as to your own insignificance, dont lump me into your lowest common denominator.

You posted this in another thread
www.abovetopsecret.com...


That society is comprised of many individuals. Each of these individuals play a role and affect each other in ways that are not easily perceived. If there is an increase in obesity, it affects the society in which all of these individuals reside in. You can't logically separate the individual from the society of which he is dependent on. Yes, individuals are dependent on society. You don't like that? Get out. Go for it


So are you going to play by your own rules or are you rolling rolling trolling...



posted on Jan, 5 2015 @ 08:08 AM
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originally posted by: TheConstruKctionofLight
a reply to: pl3bscheese



You used the word "reek" so dont you care for your fellow traveller? You are the closet narcissist.


Why would this have anything to do with, "care". That makes no sense. It is our natural stench. I care not to play my role in sensitizing people to our natural smells.


How can it be inefficient if I dont get stares on the train because I dont stink. Or maybe thats not a bad idea...stink so much I get 2/3 seats around me emptied so I can put my diirty feet up.
Speak for yourself as to your own insignificance, dont lump me into your lowest common denominator.


Sure. Take it to extremes... just cause. That makes more sense? Yea, I'm not buying into what you're trying to sell. Sorry!



So are you going to play by your own rules or are you rolling rolling trolling...


I am, and we all are. We all do as we see fit for our ideas of how society should roll. Not a troll, buddy, but nice try.



posted on Jan, 5 2015 @ 10:01 AM
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a reply to: OccamsRazor04

Vanity is excessive pride in one's appearance. It is also futility. It sounds like you are speaking of pride.



posted on Jan, 5 2015 @ 10:04 AM
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a reply to: pl3bscheese

That is how you will be remembered. It is foolish to imagine that how one appears does not affect others around us.



posted on Jan, 5 2015 @ 11:20 AM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

None of us will be remembered in the long run. Of course how we appear affects those around us. None of my words conflict with your statement, and in fact that was my point.

Also:

Vanity




Vanity
excessive pride in one's appearance, qualities, abilities, achievements, etc.; character or quality of being vain; conceit:
Failure to be elected was a great blow to his vanity.


Might help to clear up some of the confusion you seem to be having.


edit on 5-1-2015 by pl3bscheese because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 5 2015 @ 12:37 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

My inner-turmoil means little to them, for they are too concerned with their own.

If you are presenting yourself in the manner put forward in the OP then it is unlikely that you want anyone to see your inner turmoil as you like to paint a beautiful picture of yourself in the minds of others.



posted on Jan, 5 2015 @ 01:34 PM
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a reply to: pl3bscheese

Yes, it is your choice to be seen and remembered as a mere fart in the wind, if that’s how you wish to present yourself to others. But then again, if you didn’t care, why bother trying to convince me?

In philosophy, there’s is much to be said and read on vanity. If only copying and pasting a dictionary definition settled things. This isn’t trivia or a crossword puzzle.



posted on Jan, 5 2015 @ 01:35 PM
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a reply to: Itisnowagain


If you are presenting yourself in the manner put forward in the OP then it is unlikely that you want anyone to see your inner turmoil as you like to paint a beautiful picture of yourself in the minds of others.


No one can see another’s inner-turmoil. Want has nothing to do with it.



posted on Jan, 5 2015 @ 01:59 PM
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originally posted by: LesMisanthrope
a reply to: pl3bscheese

Yes, it is your choice to be seen and remembered as a mere fart in the wind, if that’s how you wish to present yourself to others. But then again, if you didn’t care, why bother trying to convince me?


I'm trying to help you with your confusion. Why do you think how someone appears has solely to do with their looks? Is that not... incredibly shallow?


In philosophy, there’s is much to be said and read on vanity. If only copying and pasting a dictionary definition settled things. This isn’t trivia or a crossword puzzle.


What would suffice? I can provide other references since you seem to be unwilling to admit to simple faults.



posted on Jan, 5 2015 @ 05:11 PM
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a reply to: pl3bscheese


I’m trying to help you with your confusion. Why do you think how someone appears has solely to do with their looks? Is that not... incredibly shallow?


I wrote in the OP that vanity must extend to our actions, not only our appearances. If you are confused, I can cite it if you wish.


What would suffice? I can provide other references since you seem to be unwilling to admit to simple faults.


I think it suffices if that’s all one can muster. Appeals to authority are quite common. But as the title from my thread might imply, I am speaking about a "better vanity", meaning, a better vanity than the one we might derive from some authority like the dictionary or religious nomenclature. In other words, your "references", like the dictionary, will only be referencing ideas born in theology. The word, its definition, and its etymology has a lengthy religious history, and this history has been prone to speak ill of humanity, the world, and states of affairs since the beginning.

The secondary underlying thesis is, can we take a notion that we have for so long considered a human folly, such as the common notion of vanity, and make this folly, and thus humanity, better in our hearts and minds? This gets in to the Freudian notion of “sublimation”, or using desires and motivations that some camps might consider inherent evil or sin, and using it for good.

I admit that I am vain, that I take excessive pride in my appearance, that I care deeply about how I am perceived and thought about, and I claim that by doing so, I am making the world a better place.
edit on 5-1-2015 by LesMisanthrope because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 5 2015 @ 07:03 PM
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originally posted by: LesMisanthrope
a reply to: pl3bscheese

That is how you will be remembered. It is foolish to imagine that how one appears does not affect others around us.



originally posted by: LesMisanthrope
a reply to: pl3bscheese

Yes, it is your choice to be seen and remembered as a mere fart in the wind, if that’s how you wish to present yourself to others. But then again, if you didn’t care, why bother trying to convince me?

In philosophy, there’s is much to be said and read on vanity. If only copying and pasting a dictionary definition settled things. This isn’t trivia or a crossword puzzle.


Your confusion continues. These are the prior two quotes from you to I. This is the context in which you should consider my last reply to you. You choose not to. You have bastardized my words, and attempted to paint a picture of me which does not back my words in the least. For shame.

Why don't you look from this other source of the great authority of wikipedia, which seeks to enslave us all with it's desire to control the information we are allowed to see.






Vanity is the excessive belief in one's own abilities or attractiveness to others. Prior to the 14th century it did not have such narcissistic undertones, and merely meant futility.[2] The related term vainglory is now often seen as an archaic synonym for vanity, but originally meant boasting in vain, i.e. unjustified boasting;[3] although glory is now seen as having an exclusively positive meaning, the Latin term gloria (from which it derives) roughly means boasting, and was often used as a negative criticism.[4]


Let's get back to the real deal here. Vanity is seen by you all within this thread. You don't wish to be an intellectual, you wish to appear as an intellectual. The real issue here is pathological narcissism, not vanity. If you cared about substance, you would not reduce appearance to the sight, and smell of me. If you cared about being an intellectual, you would not be so dishonest.

Thank you for showing us how much pain you have at your core. Yes, one can see this in another, even over the internet, if they are perceptive enough, and not so shallow.



posted on Jan, 5 2015 @ 07:21 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

What is more important than vanity? Lets say all your qualities had stats (a point like system, 100 being the highest) how many vanity points would you sacrifice for points in other potential quantitative and qualitative categories of human existence of your choosing? Or would an appropriate answer be, that vanity need not be sacrificed in any way to equally excel in any category? But I guess, I am giving you an ultimatum for intrigues sake.



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