New Life

Liven UpThe tendency to seek familiarity — whether it be towards the tangible, like landscapes, objects and people, or the intangible, like concepts and emotions — is the root source of all mediocrity. For familiarity is the prerequisite to developing a man’s routines and the resulting formations of a lifestyle filled with predictable patterns that require less and less attention to follow in exact order day after day. Men lose all their vivacity and interest in the ordinary, the minute details that lie before their eyes in every immediate moment, and search in a futile fashion towards what is unfamiliar elsewhere, as if they will do anything else but turn whatever new things they find into more lacklustre details. The most unnatural effort a man can make is to attempt to revert the familiar back into the unfamiliar, to recheck and reexamine the colours and shapes amidst his gaze and wring new life out of them. It is unseemly for ordinary men to try such things for the simple fact that their natural tendency is to make as little an effort as possible in the direction of the familiar, for the first step requires that they change their attitude towards what is considered already known and understood, and force themselves instead to realize they don’t know anything at all.

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