pandapremium (pandapremium) wrote,

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Astonish Yourself!

Reading this book called "Astonish Yourself!  101 experiments in the philosophy of everyday life" by Roger-Pol Droit and is totally cool.  Has all these random things you can do to sort of re-evaluate everyday life or step out of your body for a second or just play with your mind.  


#9  Hurt Youself Briefly
Effect:  back-to-earth

     "You're bored.  The play is interminable.  The lesson is without interest.  Or you're waiting for a phone call that doesn't come.  Or you don't know what to do next, and you are in two minds.  The world is veiled in a kind of mist.  You feel you are becoming inconsistent yourself, as if your substance had begun to lose definition and to spread out vaguely all around you.  As if you are becoming increasingly vaporous, milky, and weightless.  You no longer know exactly who you are, or where you are.  Boredom has started to dissolve you.  
     Pinch yourself.  Hard.  Where it really hurts.  The inside of your arm, your neck, or your groin.  The pain caused must be brief, but intense.  Enough to make you utter a cry, which you may well have to smother.  To outwit your defense mechanisms, act quickly.  Allow yourself no time to anticipate or prepare for the pain.  Be sudden.  Try to take yourself by surprise, so to speak.  Do everything in your power to hide your intentions.  The pain must traverse you as though by accident, like a sudden collision.  It must descend you, like a lightning flash in the middle of the torpor of the day.  
     If you are sufficiently violent, the effect is certain: you recover reality, your body is returned to you, you know where you are, the mist dissipates, you emerge from your boredom, you return to the world.  
    Just one question remains, which you should ponder: why should the experience of pain return us to reality?  Is it a simple reminder?  The effect of contrast?  Or have we, in the course of our millenia, created such a way of life for ourselves that pain has become the first symptom of the world?  A piercing question."

Yeah... I couldn't do that one.  I tried pinching my inner thigh really hard, but I just can't purposely hurt myself.  Anyway, here are a few experiments I've done before ever reading the book:

#88  Prowl At Night
Effect:  nomadic
#96  Kill People In Your Head
Effect:  relief 
 (is it scary that I've done this?)
#47  Weep At The Cinema
Effect:  soothing
    "Flaunting this public emotion of apparently innocent tears conceals a particular pleasure, that of letting go, of barriers temporarily lowered."  What?  I was just really upset that Jack died and Rose slept through it.  
#35  Contemplate A Dead Bird
Effect:  meditative
  My old roommate use to get really freaked out when I'd point out dead birds to her.  :)
#28  Look At People From A Moving Car
Effect:  invisible man
#27  Invent Lives For Yourself
Effect:  disturbing

Things I've never done that I want to try right away tomorrow:

#40  Shower With Your Eyes Closed
Effect:  peaceful
   "You don't know where the water is coming from.  You can pretend it's a tropical rain, the sprinklers going off.  Perhaps you are alone, perhaps people are watching.  But don't think, don't imagine scenarios.  Just feel the warm water, the drops, the pressure.  Try to confine yourself to this single sensation, without meaning and without images.  Don't look for words to describe it.  Remain speechless and gather your whole self within the weight of the water.  Do not melt or merge, just remain uninterruptedly drenched.  Avoid anything that smacks of prayer or ecstasy.  Just remain there, your skin wet."   I'm so excited to try this!  Usually I think in the shower and end up being in there way too long.  

#13  Drink While Urinating
Effect:  wide open
     "You should try to drink the water straight down, without pausing.  You will feel quite bizarre sensations almost immediately.  The water leaving seems to be synchronized with the water coming in.  The water you're drinking is exiting directly.  You will feel directly wired, from throat to urethra.  Your system seems to have opened inside out, with the water flowing smoothly from inside to outside."  Interesting.  Will be a little embarassed while doing this though.  

Things I want to try but never will:

#11  Telephone At Random
Effect:  humanizing
      "Press the numbers at random, wait and see what happens.  May have to make several attempts before a real person picks up.  None of this should be treated as a prank.  Say "I'm phoning you at random.  Can you tell me who you are?"  They may slam the phone down on you or you may begin an unlikely conversation with the receptionist at a steel grinder factory in Manchester.  They may insult you, or they may be lonely and enjoy the game.  This experiment is a way of experiencing the density of the human world, both close at hand and far away.  This is a starting point of microadventures into this density.  Instantaneous disorientations, sudden faults in the daily routine, little pockets of strangeness.  To return to earth, just hang up.  Strands of otherness hang in the air.  Or you've left some thread of your own behind, and you don't quite know where."  This sounds awesome, but would just be too embarassing.  I was randomly called once by some sicko who, as soon as I answered, went into a detailed story of his hand in his pants and I quickly hung up, a little alarmed.  

Random psycho thoughts of mine:
I've been thinking about this Friday the Thirteenth.  The day, any year, is unlucky (right?) and sort of cursed.  But I think that the 2007 is sort of lucky.  So do they cancel each other out and become an ordinary day?  I like to think that the 13 puts out all this scary negative energy and the 7 puts out all this lucky positive energy, so tomorrow there should be all this opposite energy swimming through the air, colliding and explosive things may happen.  

NO, I am not a hippie and no I don't believe in "auras".  I'm just a sad little girl who spends way too much time thinking about ridiculous things in the shower. 

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