a Book Review…
While reading Mark Manson’s A Subtle Art of Not Giving a F%ck, I find myself in an undulating quandary; to ‘F%ck’ or not to F%ck! At some points, Mark instructs to ‘not give a f%ck’ though at others, in apparent ambivalent contradiction, friends/family/health for example, Mark instructs to give a F%ck. I find myself stuck in a paradoxical perplexity of to ‘F%ck’ or not to ‘F%ck’.
Further, while reading Mark’s ‘F%ck/no F%ck decrees’, one feels a sense of hypocrisies surrounding the Being that is Mark, that is, basic reason and rationale draws one to conclude that Mark has augmented an enormous amount of ‘F%cks’ to establish his Stardom Being on a world scale (not to mention his milieu of family/community to which nourished and proliferated the Being of Mark, by charitably giving their ‘F%cks’ to infant Mark when Mark was incapable of self-subsistence, that is ‘F%ck-ing’ himself). I wonder, does Mark play sport? Has Mark ever watched the Olympics or more duly named the:
‘F%ck-Giving Spirit of Humanity and its Divine Ability and Fortitude to Overcome the Trials of Atrophic Adverse Chaos to Triumph a Good Ordered Destiny’??
Perhaps Mark and his ‘Not Give a F%ck’ agency is a reaction of years ‘giving a F%ck’ and merely represents a state of mind Mark is currently in. (with respect and with intent of construction)
…”Don’t F%ck the hand that F%cks you”…?
I finished the article ‘F%cking confused’ (alas ‘F%ck-fused’) and this of course was expected. Why? Mark, through fashionable colloquial semantics, has presented the age old quandary of Duality and specifically, the Duality of Care. This will and has left all great minds perplexed in divine confusion and unresolve. One finds his work mostly ignorant, unknowledgeable, levitous and sadly pernicious though there is an apparent essence of a deeper epistemological phenomena Marks allegory of F%ck is broaching upon and that is, Duality. Thus forth, this article is to seize some success of Mark and his ‘F%ck/no F%ck decree’ book and turn a very vulgar, insolent, specious damaging message towards enlightenment, wisdom, Good and love.
The root of Mark’s work lies in Duality. Duality is all to familiar and is apparent in the forms:
To be or not to be (Shakespear)
To care or not to care (Morality/Ethics)
To give ‘F%ck’ or not give ‘F%ck’ (Mark)
To act or not to act (Morality/Ethics)
Truth and not Truth (Epistemology)
Good and Evil (Spirituality)
Order and Chaos (Philosophy) and so on..
…to which inevitably leaves one in oscillating state of paradox shifting back and forth between the two maxims on the care continuum – pointedly, to give ‘F%ck’ or to not give ‘F%ck’.
Mark’s work is (cleverly) psychographically targeted at a cultural epoch very apparent today of ‘over giving a F%ck’ (perhaps an expression for anxiety, stress or busy-busy-busy) a prudent piece of work and by its success, confirms the epoch fervour per se on the ‘F%ck/no F%ck continuum’. Where the shortfalls in the work arise is in the inevitabilities and products of it’s Dualistic nature. Pointedly, the inevitability that one (and the cultural epoch) will stop ‘giving so many F%cks’ (on Mark’s account) but will then feel the need to start giving ‘F%cks’ and stop and start, stop, start and so on…a blighting message ultimately leading all into an inescapable state of ‘F%ck/no F%ck’ induced Apathy and Nihilism.
That is, one will find oneself forever in undulation between the dualistic extremes of ‘giving a F%ck’ and not ‘giving a F%ck’; the age-old quandary of Duality to which is – in great irony – the arch-collosal of all ‘mind-F%cks’.
What is the answer then? What F%cks to give from here you ask? The key question is, what is the ‘Golden F%ck’?
A familiar mind framework is apparent in Mark’s work. It is a palatable fashionable exposition of the archaic Birth and Death Cycle of mind, termed Samsara in Hindu/Buddhism, Wheel of Life (Astrology), the Repentance/Crucifixion/Resurrection/Baptism (Christian), Samsaric ‘Cycle of Rebirths’ (Jainism), Reincarnation/Metempsychosis and so on…
The idea is that we, our minds, have thoughts (for this argument, let’s assume thoughts are automatic and involuntary) and these thoughts build our identities, to which we affirm and gratify ourselves on meritourously. Let’s call these merits, gratifiers or affirments; Mark has termed them ‘F%cks’. A sensible analogy is that of a Tree. A Tree’s foundation is it’s roots (Mind/Thought) which protrudes its trunch (gratifier), branches (gratifier) and leaves (gratifier) beyond the soil to be affected both positively and negatively by environmental elements. The entire tree would be our aggregate identity, that is who we feel we ‘are’ and what others know us ‘more for/as’; identity.
Mark’s primary argument is to not ‘Give a ‘F%uck’, that is, for the seed and roots of the tree not to protrude/pronounce anything, nothing, naught, no ‘F%cks’ (imagine instructing a mother with such fallacy!). Oh how easy it is to drop everything, clean-slate all, abandon Autonoetics and regress back into 6-year old Peter Pan state and simply not give a ‘F%ck’ though this, pointedly this, is just not an honourable (let alone responsible) virtue. A tree fails to be a tree without its trunch (gratifier), branches (gratifier) and leaves (gratifier). Further, a seed void of trunch/branch/leaf and tree destiny, fails to be the essence of seed; what is a seed void of these purposes…no-thing? Such as human, what is a human void of ‘F%cks’ (care)? Verily, is it not care and its divine balance virtue that delineates human from animals? Humans/seed, care or not to care, grow or not to grow; the grand question isn’t in ‘to or not to’ though in the immaculate balance between and application thereof. Humans/seeds should/will care and grow (respectively), as discussed above, the divine question is therefore in the rate of – between the Care or Not to Care Duality. The origin therefore of the Duality of Care quandary is the grandest of the grand question to humanity (and resides in the very essence of ‘what is human’) and thus the origin of this question/answer should be very very very sensibly chosen.
Alas, do you not see that throwing an apathetic ‘don’t give a F%ck’ at this supreme balance is comparable to a six year old tantrum?
Despair not, Duality is the major-est of things to all of us who deeply use our brains and this is not our first date with it! Head for shelter and take solace in the wisdom of your ancestral brothers and sisters, the collective human consciousness who have also broached with the Duality of Care. Yes they have also deeply pondered the ‘arch-colossal mind-F%ck’ of Duality and also have not found absolute finite resolve on the ‘Golden F%ck’. However, in an effort to do so they have left edifying documentation on how to atleast align yourself to it and this is found in the form, Spirituality; this is the key role and purpose of spirituality. Great teachers such as Bhuda, Jesus, Zoroaster, Gandhi, Hermes, Moses, Mani, Plato (to name a few) … have all given navigational instructions to finding the ‘Golden F%ck’, or more commonly termed, balance, the Golden Mean, wisdom, enlightenment, Brahma, Eudemonism, Grace, Bliss, collective happiness, a good Human Being and so on…
If you are interested in Spirituality, I can’t make the choice for you (of course) though I recommend choosing a source from age-old preeminent spiritual scriptures nourishing and surviving trillions of wise beings’ (your ancestors) contemplation. I also recommend avoiding loud ‘fashion’ doctrines from individuals looking to bandage an effect of an outlying diametric Dualistic state; i.e. the pontificate Mark Manson and his dialectical penitentiary of F%ck/no F%ck.
University – Philosophy/Psychology/Anthropology/History/Theology/Ethics
and so on…
One final thought, at what point in today’s lexicon did the word F%ck outplace the word Care? If this is how we as a society prefer to name Charity, Selflessness, Altruism, Benevolence, Care… can we not conclude a societal state, a dispensation of decadence, debauchery, and despair? Self veneration and the belief in the resolve of Duality (or to not ponder on it at all) will do just this; Selflessness and the veneration of Wisdom outside of oneself will deliver salvation, grace and proliferate the majestic all-benevolent Good…F%ck!