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The purpose in this howto is to identify the primitive instincts that make us animals and attempt to break down or sublimate these wills. I'm not going to specify a purpose; it's up to you to place value judgements on your own reality. Or not.

I'm not familiar with technical characterizations of what defines the human animal, but I would imagine some of the things look like this.

  • Instinct to Reproduce
  • Instinct for Self-Preservation
  • The Will to Pleasure
  • The Will to Power

1. Instinct to Reproduce
I've never had a strong sex drive and subduing the natural drive to propagate the genes has never been a problem for me. It's difficult for me to put myself in the place of those who would have a harder time. Of course, all of these issues are strongly related, so perhaps I will be be able to offer better advice in one of the other areas. If anyone has overcome a strong reproductive urge, please share.

2. Instinct for Self-Preservation
Willfully endanger yourself. The trick here is not to do something that could seriously kill you, yet is still counterintuitive in terms of the will to live. I haven't had the opportunity to work in this area yet, so this is all conjecture, but I theorize that this could be worked towards by wandering off into the wilderness for a few days with no food. I would suggest bringing water, or knowing where you can get some. If you are really serious about this (this is the method I am considering), go live poor and homeless in the streets for some time.

During this time, you probably won't be having a lot of sex, and your sex drive may diminish if you're lucky. Mentally affirm and encourage this.

3.The Will to Pleasure
This is a very difficult one, and I've been fighting with this for about eight months. There is a lot of work involved in freeing yourself from pleasure addiction. The will to pleasure was originally intended as a part of self-preservation and the drive to reproduce, if I remember correctly. However, those are obsolete motives now. It's not enough to simply use willpower to force yourself not to indulge; that creates a feeling of deprivation, which will undermine you. Dr. Viktor Frankl believed that the will to pleasure is a substitute for people who are missing their will to meaning; basically, if one doesn't have a sense of future and purpose, he fills his life with instant pleasures. I suggest finding a sense of purpose; I can't speak from experience here because I've been unable to do that. It sounds like a solution to me, though. Explore new arts and media, forms of expression, ideas about the world.

Naturally, the will to reproduce is largely based in this pleasure area. What is said here is very relevant to the will to reproduce.

4. The Will to Power
For the people who are not philosophically inclined, some of these things are very difficult to overcome. It takes an internal process to come to certain realizations, a process that many people don't have the time or interest for. To free yourself of the need to have power, control, and influence, you have to discover for yourself the transience and insignificance of everything you own or do. I came to this from reading about metaphysics, quantum mechanics, eastern religion, but more than anything else, from the simple truism that nothing lasts forever. You could spend your entire life amassing power and influencing "reality," but in a sense, none of it will ever have happened. All you can hold onto is yourself, and only in the present. Because when the self is gone, you won't be around to miss it.

That covers those four areas. In addition, try to free yourself from modernized, standardized "time." Time is not as passive as it once was. Time is a currency in our economy and a "river" in our lives. Once upon a time (heh), time was an ocean without shores. To paraphrase the song Time by the Alan Parsons Project, time keeps on flowing to the sea. Go to the sea. Drift out there, and let all your points of reference fade away.

And to paraphrase a line from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, you must let go of everything before you can truly possess what is real.

Author's note, much later:

I'm going to let this node live, for reference purposes and because maybe it will be interesting to someone, but don't ask me about it. I don't stand behind it at all.

This reflects the Sublimity of an earlier tradition.

If someone wrote something like this now, I would think it sounds almost as bizarre as kenata's writeup does. =)

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