“To deny conventional morality completely is to be highly moral, because what we call social morality, the morality of respectability, is utterly immoral; we are competitive, greedy, envious, seeking our own way – you know how we behave. We call this social morality; religious people talk about a different kind of morality, but their life, their whole attitude, the hierarchical structure of religious organization and belief, is immoral. To deny that is not to react, because when you react, this is another form of dissenting through one’s own resistance. But when you deny it because you understand it, there is the highest form of morality.
In the same way, to negate social morality, to negate the way we are living – our petty little lives, our shallow thinking and existence, the satisfaction at a superficial level with our accumulated things – to deny all that, not as a reaction but seeing the utter stupidity and the destructive nature of this way of living – to negate all that is to live. To see the false as the false – this seeing is the true.”
It’s a mid-summers day. The Sun has decided to take an early slumber. The scene is dark and gloomy. We overlook a large-dry landscape with a cowboy-ish setting.
Alexander the great (Alex for short) marched up with his men. It was a quest for treasure. He has had his mind hard set for a grand loot.
There was a huge pit that reeked with pungent smell. The hurt senses were overshadowed by a glimpse of shimmering light. One of the soldiers rushes towards the pit, ignoring the quick shout of Alex. It seemed for a moment that the soldier was glowing with joy. But, he turned swiftly and yelled – “I can’t see, I can’t see”. His face was swollen and his steps unsteady. As he yelled, he moved away from the pit and towards the men. Alex ordered the men to stay put, raised his spear and struck him down in a flash.
“Stay down and polish your shields now! I better see my unshaven face in its reflection.”
The men were distraught, but followed the order without any delay or second thoughts. As they finished quickly, Alex inspected each and yelled for a defensive position. The men created a wall with their shields raised high and blinding the light. At this instance there was an apparent hiss of the serpents.
Alex asked the men to get closer inch by inch. As they moved closer, he explained: “They are poisonous snakes, at a single sight of them you could die like that stupid fellow lying in the dirt.”
The hisses muted down gradually as the men came to a halt and waited. Most of the snakes have died by looking at their own reflection.
“Now, for the main course! You, go there and bring the goats we tied yonder.”
As the pointed men brought them, “Slay them all and collect the blood. The rest, gather the carcasses and throw them into the pit.” It was done, and soon enough scavengers flew right, left and centre. Vultures swooned down and carried the meat and the diamonds with them.
The men were still dumbfounded, Alex yelled “go and collect the gems from their nests you fools”.
Elon Musk: Well, thanks. Thank you. Well, I do think there’s a good framework for thinking. It is physics. You know, the sort of first principles reasoning. Generally I think there are — what I mean by that is,boil things down to their fundamental truths and reason up from there, as opposed to reasoning by analogy. Through most of our life, we get through life by reasoning by analogy, which essentially means copying what other people do with slight variations. And you have to do that. Otherwise, mentally, you wouldn’t be able to get through the day. But when you want to do something new,you have to apply the physics approach. Physics is really figuring out how to discover new things that are counterintuitive, like quantum mechanics. It’s really counterintuitive. So I think that’s an important thing to do, and then also to really pay attention to negative feedback, and solicit it, particularly from friends. This may sound like simple advice, but hardly anyone does that, and it’s incredibly helpful.
From: Words of wisdom from Elon Musk