For my 27th birthday, tomorrow, I was given a trip to Ayers Rock. Today started quickly, at 6am sharp. Took a tram, then a bus then a plane, and was here by 12.30pm. Was shocked by the red earth, serene air and discontent of local homo sapiens.

It was nice to listen to a podcast on the airplane with my noise-cancelling headphones. I’m convinced that is the best thing to do on an airplane in economy class. Audiobooks can be a bit heavy and it’s hard to enjoy music. A good podcast can make the time fly by though, so to speak.

I’ve been noticing energy a lot lately. Back in Melbourne I’d notice huge differences in peoples’ energies. In the CBD people were more defensive but humble. In Hawthorn people were less guarded but it felt like everyone was pushing on each other a lot more, treading much more heavily. That’s what money does. It bolsters your sense of self relative to others.

I’ve been doing a lot of positive and useful thinking lately. It’s hard to say which one is better. It’s made being in the CBD as light as a feather. In Hawthorn that fledgling energy was getting steamrolled by egos at first. In time though and with continual thinking practise that energy become more resilient as well as calibrated. I often believe that I’m the only one within a four block radius walking around with a resilient smile-for-no-reason. Usually the only smiles that survive are smiles of a newly-laden ego or beautiful person but practise can do amazing things for subjective reality. Some day my inner work will get deep enough to look past these cynical perceptions and abide there as well.

Back to the town of Yulara. In Australia’s red centre. Part of me knew this would be Australia’s soul. It was either that or the heart. After a little deliberation though Canberra is the heart because it transmits socialist policies. Sydney is the brain and Melbourne is the estrogen-production centre. A closer look suggests that maybe Australia has a single body and two coexisting souls: one old and one new. Ah, the world of projected meaning is a colourful one. It doesn’t get much more meaningful than a giant monolith in the flat centre of one’s island nation though. It feels like an indelible assertion of Australia’s anthropological history. And yes, its geological history.

Luckily Ayers Rock is in the middle of no where and it’s greatest value seems to be in tourism, so it’s relatively safe from capitalism for now. I wonder how much value of precious metals hidden underneath it would begin the conversation of blowing part of it up. I’d say $1 billion in deposits underneath would be enough to start a serious movement from the right. I used to think The Great Barrier Reef was off-limits for sentimental reasons, how silly of me.

I have yet to visit Ayers Rock despite being here. Even though I’m in the closest possible place the cheapest bus ride is about $80 and I have $100 in the bank. I just paid $25 for a pizza for lunch. Luckily I brought some meals from home and they have a microwave. I must visit tomorrow for my birthday. It’s going to be so huge.

It’s nice to be back out in the outback. I did a 6 week solo drive around Australia once and I’ve never been the same since. These expansive landscapes feel burnt into my soul. Walking around these dry red soils and powder-green shrubs. Air as fresh as can be. Horizon impossibly wide. Blue sky seeming to reach ever higher above, in waves. Night time is a whole different thing.

I’m struck by how tired I am. And how grumpy some people seem to be; tourists and locals alike. And the single, sensuous moan that just came from the room I share an outside table with. Lost my train of thought.

Went for a walk around town before. It’s dizzying; the Outback. There’s one or two circular roads, a resort, a few amenities and a highway. It’s all put together and feels that way. You can’t see very far because the trees rise just slightly above head height.

Some of the locals are tired of your shit already. Proactively. And retroactively if possible. I’m surprised how many Asians there are even if it’s just a few. There’s probably more Dutch people. And more aboriginals still. I feel most akin to the young astronomer. He’s Australian and about my age. I love the zoomed out perspective on life that abides. For some of us life is a journey to zoom out as much as possible, in order to know the mind of God. I like to zoom out a little less far out than that. There’s an irony to his dark and hopelessly out of place exhibition room. Something about the brain waves in the room just don’t match the brain waves outside. There’s a certain tension in the air, even outside the astronomy room. I think it’s white culture trying to maintain itself in this vast land which is too remote to accept its city-borne ideas. The scientific revolution occurred in rarefied rooms in cities in Europe.

Aboriginal artwork. From what kind of soul does this pour forth? What type of thinking? It’s absolutely nothing like Western art. If I did a drawing it would be intelligible to English language. Aboriginal paintings largely are not. And yet if I wanted to make a painting of 75% emotion and 25% nature, it would look something like an aboriginal painting. It suggests waves and vibrations. The primacy of colour. Inter-connectedness, yet intelligible on the level of a story or symbol. Very heady stuff.

Some artworks are notably more cerebral than others. If I were aboriginal mine would be trying to explain some hidden truth or meaning. Aboriginals have myths and natural knowledge, that’s where I would shine. It’s remarkable that modern ideas go down just as smooth as faith-based ideas – it’s all the same in some ways. Equally distasteful to many people. I’d be particularly hostile to the white man as well. I’d take one look at the Australian way of life and think it was a better deal for me to live away from the cities. Aboriginal people can never truly get ahead in white mens’ cities, because it’s all just a game and they’re stigmatised. You can’t play the game well while you’re still holding onto something either. Outside of cities, where intersubjective realities are perpetuated and underpinned by institutions, there’s something called serenity. No brain waves, pollution and pheromones in the air. I wonder how many generations until the pain goes away though.

There’s a slowness here. Kind of in the air but much deeper than that. It’s not cut out for the rigours of the globalised institutions such as standardised time or self-aggrandisement. I’m inclined to say that it just wants to chill and trip balls. It’s all about the land. About the story. The mythos is palpable, maybe it’s that red soil evoking strange feelings. I wonder if it were so when homo sapiens first arrived here. What an incredible time that must have been to truly see a continent anew. Without any significant research or familiarity with aboriginal lore, I confidently state that this event is the hidden meaning behind many aboriginal myths.

It’s a curious thing being in the Australian desert. People could be ten metres or ten kilometres away and it always feels the same. It always feels as if “everyone” is just behind the nearest bushes or over the horizon. All around you though. If you looked from a plane though you might think “that guy is in the middle of the desert”. It’s as if distance doesn’t have the same meaning here.

A gigantic, willowy blonde woman just walked past. Smoothing out the front of her hoody to reveal an incongruously flat chest. Tie-dye pants bespeaking a relatively wide set vagina. Nothing wrong with that. You often find strange looking European people in the outback. I myself came here near the crescendo of my body-dysmorphia. “Who is that weirdo observing me behind that laptop?” She seemed to be thinking. I’ve decided that women will constantly be giving these unseemly rejecting vibes no matter how fine of a man you are. And I am a fine man if you value the Western Intellectual Tradition or anxiety. It’s annoying but that’s what it’s supposed to be. You’re never supposed to feel confident in your value for some reason, not in general society anyway. People only want you to feel as confident as you’re worth by society’s standards. The best response I’ve come up with is to smile and try to make a habit of that. It somehow flips the script and then when that softens their stance you quickly mutter to yourself “yeah that’s right bitch it’s never going to happen because of that gesture you did before, better think twice about doing it next time”. Then walk off slightly better off than you would have been without my advice. Not better off as you would be if you weren’t so neurotic or sensitive though mind you. I’ve been wondering whether it’s like a way of compensating for putting out at other times. Shaky hypothesis but plausible in my opinion. Maybe it’s that men are like a light switch and women are like a volume knob. Yes in a sense, but it’s almost as if that same gesture can mean many things though, just the same as there are different sorts of smiles. It’s unintelligible though and I think that’s the point. I honestly think women evolved to be unpredictable and not make sense because there is a psychological power in it that’s disarming. It’s part of a suite of psychological traits designed to compensate for their weaker bodies. Sun Tzu would approve.

It’s getting greyer, approaching 5.30pm. Entering the cold part of the year. This post hasn’t been as naturalistically poetic as I wanted. That’s what I get for writing in the hotel grounds and using Facebook after my stroll though. I’ll need to find a good spot out away from the resort. The ground is so red and dusty though and I doubt there will be any benches. Walking away from this town seems foreboding. I have literally no idea if there will be a fence or what the deal with that is (that does not sound compelling). It’s like there will never be a start to where I’m trying to get to. Wherever I walk it will always feel like Yulara is following me.

Red is a colour which arouses emotion, passion to be precise. Blue is what makes it bearable. Green is what makes it liveable. The night is deafening out here, save for the yellow moon and stars intuitively known by our psyches. The celestia doesn’t light the ground though – that remains blacker than you can imagine. Light is ebbing away now. Death before life springs forth victorious, afresh. Vivid again. A new year also to those who are patient.

The 4-Hour Work Week

As the title suggests, this is a book about cutting you51OWc0PhNqL._SX314_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgr working hours down. A lot. But it’s also about earning enough income to finance your “dream-lines”. Location independently. Or in other words, living how you really want to. This is a book which isn’t for everyone. To accept its premises is to think outside of the box. Indeed, most people would read it and shake their heads in non-acceptance – it poses too much questioning of settled reality. Much of it is radical even by my standards. However, I don’t argue that it’s not possible. I merely think it’s not as straightforward as he seems to see everything. The secret to that straightforward, pragmatic thinking can perhaps be found through this book also, though.
This is one of the key texts of the location independent lifestyle. And there’s no lifestyle I would rather have than a location independent one, hence why I decided to read the book. Although Timothy Ferriss seems to emphasise intermittent “mini-retirements” and dream-lines rather than the “purist” digital nomad lifestyle of indefinite travel. Vagabonding. Both of these are deeply appealing, however.
I believe that Ferriss essentially gives two different methods of financially achieving the “new rich” lifestyle:
1) A remote work agreement or some other sort of location independent employment
2) A muse: start-up venture that exists solely to generate maximum income with minimum time investment
Of these two methods, the first is more within the common sphere of reality. However, it is also much more time intensive and not scalable by nature. Admittedly, the second seems pretty far out to me but I suppose it would be more graspable if a viable idea itself was more graspable. To his credit he does lay out a method, however, you really do need to be able to offer value to a niche market. This I struggled to imagine and the book lost me a little bit. He provides tons of resources one you get going, though; many B2B services which I had never heard of and hopefully will one day revisit.
The main body of the book is structured into four “steps”:
1) Definition. This mostly included the beginning thought process, defining dream-lines and doing the start-up
2) Elimination. Where you significantly reduce your time spent working through various means
3) Automation. Ferriss is very big on outsourcing personal tasks to overseas “Virtual Assistants” who work relatively cheaply, but automating through a computer is even better (cheaper)
4) Liberation. Once you’ve defined, eliminated and automated you are then able to liberate yourself in terms of location and do the travel that you wanted to
This book has a certain ethos which seems very original to me and not really fitting well with any other philosophy that I’ve seen. I suppose that’s because a fundamentally different lifestyle initiates new values and lines of thinking. For example, he seems to be big on minimalism in all things. He has a very regimented attitude about what’s allowed to disturb his attention or take up his time. Leanness of enterprise and ruthlessness with personal resources such as energy – “be pound wise and penny foolish”. He’s super pragmatic and analyses things deeply with an uncommon clarity of thought. Thinking and acting outside the box. Being uncaring of what people think is a priority. It fits the humanist zeitgeist of maximising quality of life, and even takes it a step further than anything else, to its logical extreme. When you work the standard 9 to 5 this ethos appears pointless (I’ve tried) because then you’d just end up reducing your work hours and income. You relearn to just show up, trundle along for 8 hours and go along with company culture. If you’re location independent or an entrepreneur then this ethos becomes very relevant, though, because no one is looking over your shoulder and true effectiveness becomes imperative.