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Thoughts on music as a rational C.P.L?

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hello,

Nice forums, I hope to learn alot here. Let me get to the point...

I am a 22 year old college student who works and attends school full time. I am currently studying liberal arts, but for most of my life music has been my passion. I am beggining to think I need to direct my attention towards a single goal as one of my highest values and this decision is creating some cognitive dissonance, which has been driving me quite crazy.

I have been spending the past two years building a studio, and I have thousands invested in it. Even though I work and go to school full time, I spend about 4 hours a night practicing music. I play guitar, piano, sing, and write. Guitar would be my major instrument if I transferred to a music program.

My confusion stems from the fact that I believe I need to have a main purpose in life that will support me. I want to make music for the rest of my life, it is all I ever wanted to do, but I have spent the past couple of years believing I will never get any where as a musician. As my abilities have improved tremedously I am beggining to realize that with a couple years of highly focused training, where I can practice for 8 hours a day (including classes) I will be able to develop a very high level skill. I am quite an objective person, and based on where I am at right now, and my aptitude for learning, I know that this assesment is very rational.

My question is....Does it seem reasonable that if I dedicate my life to creating music that I will be able to support my primary needs as a human, that is, self sustenance?

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Does it seem reasonable that if I dedicate my life to creating music that I will be able to support my primary needs as a human, that is, self sustenance?

The ultimate purpose of life is happiness. Several secondary purposes contribute to that:

1. Central purpose in life.

2. Friendships (ranging from casual to romantic).

3. Favorite leisure activities.

You can see all these, fictionalized, in The Fountainhead's main character, Howard Roark: architecture, Dominique (and Mike and Steve and others), and swimming.

Now, that is the context. To pick a CPL, which is the main tent pole holding up life, you start with what you love, verify that your love is objective (logically drawn from facts), and then plan how to achieve it.

If your CPL does not support you completely (or even at all), then you also do what is necessary to support yourself while devoting as much time as you can to your love. This may mean, for some (such as poets), working a "day job" to support a poorly paying or nonpaying love job.

Start with love, and end with figuring out what to do. Never forget that the ideal is to do what you love and make as much as you can doing it. But the love comes first.

Here is what my ex-wife did. As a student in a civil engineering college, she realized that she loved sculpture. She quit school and got a job (actually two full time jobs) as a waitress to pay off debts and accumulate savings. Then she cut back to one full time waitressing job and started learning sculpture on the side. After a period of years, she cut the waitress job back to half-time, making the sculpture full-time. Then after a total of about 20 years or more, she dropped the day job altogether, because she was self-supporting as a sculptor.

Go for love. Figure out what you need to do to sustain it and do it.

The greatest form of treason for someone who claims to want to be happy is to abandon love for "comfort."

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snip

thanks!

Essentially I have been doing the same thing your wife has been doing, that is, I have been realizing what it is I love the most in life, and I have been spending the past couple of years acquiring the skills and tools needed to pursue this dream.

Upon much introspection, I realize making music is more than a hobby. About once a week I create a peice that creates an undescribable feeling, where as the beauty brings tears to my eyes. This is a feeling of extreme beauty that only music invokes in me. Generally this feeling invokes a realization that I am creating something from an infinite spiral of ideas that can generate more possibilities then several life times could generate. As my skills improve more and more, and the complexity of my musical creations increase these feelings of love my craft increase and I find myself digging deeper inside myself to create. It is hard to explain I guess.

Go for love. Figure out what you need to do to sustain it and do it.

The greatest form of treason for someone who claims to want to be happy is to abandon love for "comfort."

This totally describes what I have been going threw, and why I am experiancing so much cognitive discomfort. I have been doing what I believe I need to do to get rich (my current major which was being directed as a business profession), but not what I need to do to create a life doing what I truly love (music).

If the ultimate value is happiness, and the experiance I obtain from pushing my limits in creating musical works brings me the ultimate happiness, than it seems logical to follow music as my CPL. This love is totally objective, as I love both the pursuit of musical knowledge and seeing my abilities as a musician expand, and I also love the feeling music gives me.

The only factor I am not really taking into account is friends, but I suppose that is because my only 2 friends don't care much for music. Perhaps this is because I do not have other musicians in my environment that can relate to making music as I do. This seems like an experiance I would obtain in music school, and thus adding more power to my love of music!

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One of the happiest people I ever knew was Warner, the black seventy-something security guard who used to joke and flirt with me at a NYC computer center I often visited.

He had spent his adult life as a jazz musician travelling all over the country making music for people and loving every minute of it. It never brought him much money, but he got by. When he was too old to travel, he got the security job and as soon as his shift was over he hurried home to his little apartment in Harlem and gave free music lessons to the kids in the neighborhood. On weekends he still performed in local clubs.

Was he a success? You bet!

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The only factor I am not really taking into account is friends, but I suppose that is because my only 2 friends don't care much for music. Perhaps this is because I do not have other musicians in my environment that can relate to making music as I do. This seems like an experiance I would obtain in music school, and thus adding more power to my love of music!

Yes, you will possibly find friends in music school. Keep in mind, however, three points. First, a friend need not be someone who shares particular interests. A friend is someone who has some common way of looking at the world. Perhaps the commonality is sense of life or actual, implicit philosophy (regardless of what they say).

Second, be open to finding friends anywhere. They can come from any economic level, occupation, age, or other difference in background.

Third, friendships can vary greatly in degree and commonality. You might have casual friends who share your favorite leisure activities but not your love of music. You might find, as you go through life, a few people who are close friends. And you might find the ultimate form of friendship -- romantic love. Regardless of the level of friendship, you can enjoy them proportionately.

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One of the happiest people I ever knew was Warner, the black seventy-something security guard who used to joke and flirt with me at a NYC computer center I often visited. 

He had spent his adult life as a jazz musician travelling all over the country making music for people and loving every minute of it.  It never brought him much money, but he got by.  When he was too old to travel, he got the security job and as soon as his shift was over he hurried home to his little apartment in Harlem and gave free music lessons to the kids in the neighborhood.  On weekends he still performed in local clubs.

Was he a success?  You bet!

I would be very happy if I could spend my life playing music, that is, at least I think I would.

I have extreme depression, usually followed by periods of mania, and music has always been a form of "medication" for me, if you will. That probably sounds cliched, but it definetely holds relevance.

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Yes, you will possibly find friends in music school. Keep in mind, however, three points. First, a friend need not be someone who shares particular interests. A friend is someone who has some common way of looking at the world. Perhaps the commonality is sense of life or actual, implicit philosophy (regardless of what they say).

Second, be open to finding friends anywhere. They can come from any economic level, occupation, age, or other difference in background.

Third, friendships can vary greatly in degree and commonality. You might have casual friends who share your favorite leisure activities but not your love of music. You might find, as you go through life, a few people who are close friends. And you might find the ultimate form of friendship -- romantic love. Regardless of the level of friendship, you can enjoy them proportionately.

I guess I never really saw the importance of having friends. I have moved quite alot, and never really formed many friends. The very good friends I do form are generally out of neccesity. My current roomates and I share little to no values. I don't think we would talk much if we didn't live together, unfortunately.

Personally, I spend all my days working, going to school, lifting wieghts, or making music. That alone takes up all my time. I would always rather work on strengthening my mind, body, or soul then chilling with people. When I do hang out with people my consciousness tells me I should be practicing something, or doing something productive.

Maybe the way I approach social situations has built up over the years and created some of the 'problems' I have when dealing with people. Maybe I have some unconscious desire for human company and that is why I get really depressed. I have noticed that Objectivism places a large emphasizes on friendships, yet it is a philosophy that seems focused on strengthening the individual. Perhaps you could elaborate on this for me?

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I have noticed that Objectivism places a large emphasizes on friendships, yet it is a philosophy that seems focused on strengthening the individual. Perhaps you could elaborate on this for me?

I can't elaborate on what I don't understand. So, I will ask questions first:

Do you see a conflict between being virtuous and having friends?

Do you believe Howard Roark, in The Fountainhead, was an ideal man? If so, why did he have friends? If not, why not?

Have you thought about what a friend is? (Asking What is it? is one of the first questions to ask in studying a subject because if we don't know the nature of X we will never know whether it is good or bad or how to integrate it into our lives).

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I can't elaborate on what I don't understand. So, I will ask questions first:

Do you see a conflict between being virtuous and having friends?

No I do not see a conflict between being virtuous, and having friends. I just don't have friends because I don't get out to meet people. When I go out to the bar with my roomate I usually have to be seriously intoxicated, or else I would have an anxiety attack. This usually ends to a black out. This is the only way I can currently deal with people outside of school, and work. I know it is irrational, and I try to deal with it as best as I can, however, all my attempts thus far have failed.

Do you believe Howard Roark, in The Fountainhead, was an ideal man? If so, why did he have friends? If not, why not?

I do believe Howard Roark is the image of what I feel is the ideal man. I try to live up to that image as best I can, however, I have a horrible problem of dealing with self-control, and that effects my ability to perform in other tasks. I imagine Roark had friends because they brought joy to him. In a sense, they must have had a high value to him, as Roark seemed to cherish the times he spent with his friend (the scene by the pool comes to mind). I am often labeled a cold, and blunt person, so perhaps I am not comprehending why his friends where of such value to him because it does not coincide with my view of people.

Have you thought about what a friend is? (Asking What is it? is one of the first questions to ask in studying a subject because if we don't know the nature of X we will never know whether it is good or bad or how to integrate it into our lives).

I do not think I ever really thought about what a friend is. I can kind of look at my relationships with my roomates to make an assumption. I know that if anything ever happened to them, or if they ever needed anything I would not hesitate to take action, as I know they would do for me. I have come across many people in my life who claimed to be my friends, but have stabbed me in the back in one way or another. Nowadays, when assessing someone value as a person I look at honesty, and if I find flaws in their character (dishonesty, morality, etc) I will not even associate them. Personally, I have had several instances where my life almost ended, or where things were going downhill, and all of them developed from the relationships I had with certain people. The past 3 years of my life, since I developed my new mind frame, have been the most productive years of my life, and all I had along the way were two friends, who I would never lie, cheat, or steal from, and whose backs I have to the end, because I know they do the same for me. The instance I feel one of this bonds break, will be the instance I terminate my relationships with them.

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Essentially I have been doing the same thing your wife has been doing, that is, I have been realizing what it is I love the most in life, and I have been spending the past couple of years acquiring the skills and tools needed to pursue this dream.

Upon much introspection, I realize making music is more than a hobby.

This totally describes what I have been going threw, and why I am experiancing so much cognitive discomfort. I have been doing what I believe I need to do to get rich (my current major which was being directed as a business profession), but not what I need to do to create a life doing what I truly love (music).

I'm an aspiring writer, I dropped college and worked full time in Business and also waited tables because I knew that I had to support myself and still find time to write and at the time school was not conducive to either. I have been in flux for the past two or three years. I am now going back to Business School because I really just want to get back into the school environment and I also think the degree is an important foundation for the what-ifs. I have always been a self-taught student, but there are many things to be gleaned from a Business Degree I think which will help me with my writing if only indirectly. I have high expectations for what I will do with my life, but it's been hard deciding on a route because I do want to be wealthy and also to pusue my writing which at least at first seem mutually exclusive. It's a crucial time trying to decide which path to take where none of your values will be compromised.

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No I do not see a conflict between being virtuous, and having friends. I just don't have friends because I don't get out to meet people. When I go out to the bar with my roomate I usually have to be seriously intoxicated, or else I would have an anxiety attack. This usually ends to a black out. This is the only way I can currently deal with people outside of school, and work. I know it is irrational, and I try to deal with it as best as I can, however, all my attempts thus far have failed.

Psychological issues are the most difficult ones to deal with in life, precisely because they have roots in the subconscious mind and are not directly accessible. I strongly urge you to seek assistance in psychotherapy. I did many years ago, in two separate issues -- one personal and the other social. I received aid that has benefited me enormously.

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I'm an aspiring writer, I dropped college and worked full time in Business and also waited tables because I knew that I had to support myself and still find time to write and at the time school was not conducive to either.  I have been in flux for  the past two or three years. I am now going back to Business School because I really just want to get back into the school environment and I also think the degree is an important foundation for the what-ifs. I have always been a self-taught student, but there are many things to be gleaned from a Business Degree I think which will help me with my writing if only indirectly. I have high expectations for what I will do with my life, but it's been hard deciding on a route because I do want to be wealthy and also to pusue my writing which at least at first seem mutually exclusive. It's a crucial time trying to decide which path to take where none of your values will be compromised.

I love the college environment. I am not a big fan of the people, but I love being able to see how my ideas stand up to teachers who encourage students to question them (this is something I always got in trouble for in high school, and it was a big part of my earlier belief that everything school teaches me I could teach myself. I dropped out of high school pretty early and ended up doing nothing, which I would say was created mostly from my environment of druggies, thieves, and other bottom feeders).

I definetely relate to what you are going threw. I want to be rich, but I also want to do what I love. People say money can't buy you happiness, but I want to have the best tools avaliable to make music with, I want to see every part of the world, and I want to have the freedom to go where I please, when I please. None of these things can be accomplished without money. This is a very crucial time in our lives. I am heavily thinking, and working out theoritical futures by looking at this situation from every angle. From what I gather, there are two main points that I need to fulfill.

1. I want to make alot of money

2. I want to make music for a living

The problem is findind a way I can make alot of money making music for a living. You seem to have a similiar problem: Making alot of money writing for a living. I guess it comes down to finding markets for the crafts. Now since I think of it, business would be an excellent field to study, unfortunately, we only have a limited amount of attention. The way I think about it is that if I spend 50% of my time working on a business, and 50% of my time working on music. It will take me twice of long to develop myself as a musician. This is a very difficult trade off to make..... B)

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Psychological issues are the most difficult ones to deal with in life, precisely because they have roots in the subconscious mind and are not directly accessible. I strongly urge you to seek assistance in psychotherapy. I did many years ago, in two separate issues -- one personal and the other social. I received aid that has benefited me enormously.

I have seen several psychotherapists when I was younger. My family had court orders to for a while, this of course, left a very bad taste in my mouth for psychotherapy. I am supposed to be on Lithium, and Paxil - neither one does anything for my except destroy my motivation.

Perhaps now since I am older and more mature I will have a better experiance with therapy. This has been on my mind recently, and I think I will see someone. I will probably look for a behaviorist, or cognitive psychologist, rather than a psychotherapist.

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I love the college environment. I am not a big fan of the people,
I'm finishing the degree online, so very little human interaction is necessary B)
but I love being able to see how my ideas stand up to teachers who encourage students to question them (this is something I always got in trouble for in high school, and it was a big part of my earlier belief that everything school teaches me, I could teach myself.
-you too :)

I definetely relate to what you are going threw. I want to be rich, but I also want to do what I love. People say money can't buy you happiness, but ... I want to see every part of the world, and I want to have the freedom to go where I please, when I please. None of these things can be accomplished without money.
-me to a T, my five year plan is ridiculous, but amazingly I have done most of what I set out to do at this point.

The problem is findind a way I can make alot of money making music for a living. You seem to have a similiar problem: Making alot of money writing for a living. I guess it comes down to finding markets for the crafts.

I've decided to build towards starting my own newspaper or magazine, so in effect I would be running my own business and writing for a living, then it's not a tradeoff. I also plan to take the ARI courses for writing so that I stay sharp and develop my skills while finishing the Business degree. Maybe you can find a way to integrate the two also, so that you are making money from your music even while you are getting your feet wet and building your financial foundation. I also invest a large portion of my (very small) income. I do without as much as possible and have several investment vehicles to make my money work for me. I wanted to get into Real Estate Investing, but I cancelled the deal on the house I was going to buy because I decided I did not trust this market or the deal itself. It would take a perfect deal to make me want to buy in this market, but it's something to keep in mind for the future.

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I'm finishing the degree online, so very little human interaction is necessary :P  -you too :)

-me to a T, my five year plan is ridiculous, but amazingly I have done most of what I set out to do at this point.

I've decided to build towards starting my own newspaper or magazine, so in effect I would be running my own business and writing for a living, then it's not a tradeoff. I also plan to take the ARI courses for writing so that I stay sharp and develop my skills while finishing the Business degree. Maybe you can find a way to integrate the two also, so that you are making money from your music even while you are getting your feet wet and building your financial foundation. I also invest a large portion of my (very small) income. I do without as much as possible and have several investment vehicles to make my money work for me. I wanted to get into Real Estate Investing, but I cancelled the deal on the house I was going to buy because I decided I did not trust this market or the deal itself. It would take a perfect deal to make me want to buy in this market, but it's something to keep in mind for the future.

Well that's a first. I can't say I ever really talked to anyone who looked at things the way I do. The large portion of people I have met in life are hedonist. It's nice finding a forum where some people actually see eye-to-eye with me. Unfortunately we are the minority of society as a whole.

I have been working on a plan to cover the next 8 years of my life. When I turned 19 I told myself I was going to spend the next 10 years working as hard as I can so I can spend my years from then on living live by my own rules. Fortunately, as I have become more and more educated my ideas of a perfect life have changed. Unfortunately it has taken me three years to decide what I want to dedicate my life too.

You sound alot like me, that is, you are a busy body and are driven to succeed. I am also investing a very large portion of my very small income into my dream. I am building a studio, and have invested about $10,000 in the past three years. It is growing slowly, but surely.

I must thank you though, as you have given me an excellent idea. When I get home today I am going to start a list of all the things I can do to make money with the tools I have (such as private instruction, recording, movie sound tracks, games, commercials, etc). Then I can start pinpointing exact ventures to make the money!

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You sound alot like me, that is, you are a busy body and are driven to succeed. I am also investing a very large portion of my very small income into my dream. I am building a studio, and have invested about $10,000 in the past three years. It is growing slowly, but surely.

I must thank you though, as you have given me an excellent idea. When I get home today I am going to start a list of all the things I can do to make money with the tools I have (such as private instruction, recording, movie sound tracks, games, commercials, etc). Then I can start pinpointing exact ventures to make the money!

Excellent, I'm glad I could be of help :P

I entered two essay contests trying to earn scholarships and the topics were what you plan to do with your life, which really got me thinking about the practical application. I had a hard time mustering up enthusiasm for the Business degree in and of itself, but once I thought about starting a publication, a lot of other things started falling into place and now I am very excioted and can't wait to get started.

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Excellent, I'm glad I could be of help :P

I entered two essay contests trying to earn scholarships and the topics were what you plan to do with your life, which really got me thinking about the practical application. I had a hard time mustering up enthusiasm for the Business degree in and of itself, but once I thought about starting a publication, a lot of other things started falling into place and now I am very excioted and can't wait to get started.

Interesting....When I first started my degree program I was bored shitless (excuse the terminology) in math (as much as was in high school), but I began to see how it would help me in music. I also started looking at every peice of information I came across as absolutely vital. Creativity occurs when two ideas diverge to create a new, novel product. It began to make sense that the more ideas I have floating around in my head, the better my chances to create something. Creativity, in one sense or another, happens to be one of the most thrilling aspects of my life, that is, I love to discover. I think that they key factor in developing ones interest in education is to see why the information is relevant. It's to bad the majority of college kids I know (my family included) don't care much about the information; they just want to party and get rich after school.

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I think that they key factor in developing ones interest in education is to see why the information is relevant. It's to bad the majority of college kids I know (my family included) don't care much about the information; they just want to party and get rich after school.

I wish that I had been taught philosophy in school. The closest we came to the subject was in Literature class. In fact I think that's only because we had to read these certain pieces for the tests, and they were Kafka and Satre. I may have gotten a little more info through Signet then most kids, but overall they just threw info at us and never made it relevant. My lifetime goal is to write a book about Education reform, and to see some action on it as well. Now that I've learned how philosophy touches everything, I understand math better, and science, and I've said before I wish I could start all over in school knowing what I know now. Why in the world they don't offer philosophy, at least in highschool, instead of pychology and sociology is beyond me.

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I My lifetime goal is to write a book about Education reform, and to see some action on it as well.

That is a great goal :P

I never cared about school untill I learned of philosophy, really. As I have been integrating the Objectivist philosophy (most specifically) I have become much better at self-control, and much more interested in learning. I have, in a sense, become addicted to learning. Whether it's music, philosophy, physical training, neuroscience, physics, history - whatever is on my mind I find myself indulged in, and constantly thinking of it. I am, however, having much success in balancing out physical training, music, and education - mind, body, and soul so to speak.

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That is a great goal  B)

Thank You :P My other goal used to be to write a book to reform or improve capitalism, but now I see that Capitalism is good, but we are not implementing it in the right way. Seems Ayn Rand beat me to the punch explaining it, but I sure am glad she did. Now I have a clearer vision of what I was after, and can build upon the work she's already done.

I have, in a sense, become addicted to learning.

Me too, I can't think of a healthier addiction than that though :)

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Perhaps now since I am older and more mature I will have a better experience with therapy. This has been on my mind recently, and I think I will see someone. I will probably look for a behaviorist, or cognitive psychologist, rather than a psychotherapist.

Considering you may have some physical issues as well as psychological/philosophical ones, I would recommend an Objectivist psychiatrist like Jonathan Rosman, MD in Southern California or Arthur Mode, MD in Maryland. If you are not close to either one of them, you might write to them for a referral in your area.

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Considering you may have some physical issues as well as psychological/philosophical ones, I would recommend an Objectivist psychiatrist like Jonathan Rosman, MD in Southern California or Arthur Mode, MD in Maryland.  If you are not close to either one of them, you might write to them for a referral in your area.

What do you mean by physical issues? I do HIT style training 3 days a week, and a day of cardio. I eat very healthy and wiegh about 200 lbs (5' 11'') and I am at about 12% BF. I am in great physical shape. :thumbsup:

I did not know Objectivist psychiatrists exists, but I will definetely be looking for them now that I know they do exist. :o

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What do you mean by physical issues?  I do HIT style training 3 days a week, and a day of cardio. I eat very healthy and wiegh about 200 lbs (5' 11'') and I am at about 12% BF. I am in great physical shape.  :thumbsup:

I think she meant physical as in chemical, considering you said you are bipolar, which would be more neurological than pyschological in nature. Then you would need an MD psychiatrist rather than only a psychologist.

-at least that's what I read it to mean. I don't think she's critiquing your physique :o

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