Another Book Club Selection

Has anyone here read The War of Art by Steven Pressfield? I recently read it. Twice. And I thought it was just great. It seems to be describing to perfection the cure for Lichtenbergianism.

If any of you have read it, I would like to discuss. If you haven’t I would like to assign it to be read by the time we journey to the little cabin in the woods and discuss it there.

22 Thoughts on “Another Book Club Selection

  1. This seems to me to presume that Lichtenbergianism is a condition requiring a cure.

  2. Isn’t the ultimate goal of a Lichtenbergian to become un-Lichtenbergian?

    I thought that was the point. Am I in the wrong room? Is this 204B?

  3. turff on June 30, 2009 at 4:21 pm said:

    My perspective was that Lichtenbergians:

    a) Recognized that indeed certain works of “art” should never reach the light of day, and in this sense, procrastination is a virtue, and,

    2) In reality, we are each just a bit conflicted about our Lichtenbergianessness. To be, or 2B, that is the question.

  4. jeff on July 1, 2009 at 12:11 am said:

    At one point, early in the process of forming this group, I remember thinking of it something like this.

    Often we are haunted by some idea we have of a “perfect self” — fully actualized, productive, and successful. It’s easy to beat yourself up when you think about your potential, and what you MIGHT be, but clearly are NOT.

    Sometimes we also fool ourselves into thinking we ARE that person. This is delusion.

    Rather than make a choice, I think it’s worthwhile to swim and play in the gulf between the two. (Between the imaginary “perfectly realized self” and the “WHAT IS.”)

    In other words, rather than delude ourselves on the one hand — or berate ourselves on the other — why not just engage that space between?

  5. turff on July 1, 2009 at 11:30 am said:

    Nice, Jeff. Have you ever thought about writing as a career choice?

    Seriously, I really like your comment above. One of those things that my perfectly actualized self wants to do is print quotes and excerpts that help describe how I see things, frame them, and put them up in my office. If that me ever gets around to doing it, I think I’ll include this one.

  6. jeff on July 1, 2009 at 12:06 pm said:

    It was a quote that you presented to us from Mr. Lichtenberg that got this whole thing rolling, if memory serves. Something along the lines of, “To do the opposite is a form of imitation, as well.” Excellent quote. But then, Lichtenberg is brimming with them.

  7. jeff on July 1, 2009 at 12:07 pm said:

    If no one is looking at the quote rotator, is it still rotating?

  8. marc on July 1, 2009 at 12:33 pm said:

    The goal of Lichtenbergianism is to uphold Dale in all that he says and does. And occasionally bring snacks.

  9. Then I am definitely in the wrong room.

  10. jeff on July 1, 2009 at 2:43 pm said:

    Let’s not forget, though… Dale does usually provide the beverages.

  11. Lichtenbergianism is analogous to the Christian concept of sin: we may have lapsed into a state of grace through some accomplishment or other, but we are never free from it. We Lichtenbergians, as Jeff has pointed out, have chosen to embrace our inability to reach our goals.

    So as Mike points out in #2, yes, we are pleased with ourselves when we manage to shift out of our phase-state, but we must not delude ourselves into thinking that we have escaped our essential natures.

  12. marc on July 2, 2009 at 8:12 am said:

    I think Mike is being true to Groucho and trying to uphold a Grouchovian dictum within a Lichtenbergian context: he doesn’t want to remain in a club that would have him as a member.

  13. turff on July 2, 2009 at 8:14 am said:

    Should that be “phase state” or “fugue state”?

  14. Turff, that would depend on the entheogenesis in process.

  15. Dale in #11 and Marc in #12, you are both absolutely correct.

  16. jeff on July 2, 2009 at 2:57 pm said:

    Can I make a motion to oust Mike from our group, then? Then he could remain in good conscience (due to the fact that we clearly no longer want him as a member).

    Are we ever going to get around to actually getting Jeff Allen in on this thing? I know we’re Lichtenbergians, but this is ridiculous.

  17. jeff on July 2, 2009 at 2:58 pm said:

    And I did the newsletter, by the way. But I did manage to put it off one more day. I just couldn’t go it on Lichtenberg’s birthday. Just couldn’t.

  18. Wait, now you want me out of the group? That’s it! I’m staying.

  19. turff on July 8, 2009 at 2:20 pm said:

    I bought a copy today.

  20. dale on July 8, 2009 at 6:14 pm said:

    I’ve ordered it as well. I am sanguine about getting any more unblocked than I am now, however. There is a bedrock Lichtenbergianism about every man that cannot be gainsaid.

  21. marc on July 9, 2009 at 8:44 am said:

    I have a thought. What if we create a new ongoing page/post on our site and call it “fugue state.” It would be an ongoing collective rant that we can all add to anonymously whenever we feel like it. One long paragraph-less expulsion of truth. Time permitting later, I may just go ahead and start.

  22. turff on July 9, 2009 at 3:09 pm said:

    @marc – Sounds intriguing.

    @ingeneral – Started the book today. Very interesting. Found myself marking lots of pages. I look forward to discussing.

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