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Monday, November 4, 2002 - 10:19amSanction this postReply
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Hi Glenn,

I can't believe I never commented on this article before! I think pehaps I did, but in email form rather than this forum. I just wanted to say (again) how much I love this article and that I enjoy referring back to it often. Okay, I don't need to refer to it often, but every once in a while when it seems that well ... no one else has ever read this!!! LOL! Or has chosen not to live it.

You concluded:

A stylized life means rejecting the tendency towards asceticism and a hermit-like existence common amongst Objectivists. It means greeting the world with a laugh and a handshake, not a grumble and a glower. It means being a crusader for reason, but have fun doing it, not being a martyr for reason and being miserable. It means eschewing a style/function dichotomy to personal material property: wear the fashionable clothes, savor the exotic food, drive the fancy car. It means not shunning the world, but stunning the world with concrete results, both spiritual and material, of what Objectivism has brought to your life. Not for the sake of the world, but, in Ayn Rand's words, "for the sheer joy and color of life" – your life.

Yes! Yes! Yes!

Thank you for the wonderfully well written reminder.

Joy :)



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Post 1

Monday, November 4, 2002 - 12:35pmSanction this postReply
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Hey Joy! :)

I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Your kind words have just come on the heels of some wonderful news: I *will* be back on the beaches of Miami in February of next year! :) Hopefully, the sunshine and sense of life of South Florida will inspire me to write more along similar lines. :)

G.



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Post 2

Monday, November 4, 2002 - 5:42pmSanction this postReply
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Oh Awesome!!!!

That's great news! And I am totally looking forward to more articles like that.

It came up on the random link and honestly, I knew I had read it before but I got such a charge from reading it and wanted to rush out and give copies of it out to everyone! LOL!

So good to hear from you!!

Joy :)



Post 3

Friday, April 23, 2004 - 2:23pmSanction this postReply
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I like this article, which came up randomly for me also. I have always been essentially a performer.

I would quibble with "Style is the component in esthetics that represents selectively focused essential characteristics." This is stylization. Style is simply a characteristic manner and method of doing something. Of course, there is an expression "doing things with style," but this is a different sense of the word, meaning élan.

Never mind. A good article that needed to be written!




Post 4

Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - 3:28amSanction this postReply
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I enjoyed this article very much. I wholeheartedly endorse Glenn's words.



Post 5

Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - 12:04pmSanction this postReply
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Bloody brilliant Glenn, bloody brilliant!



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Post 6

Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - 2:02pmSanction this postReply
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What an absolutely wonderful article!  My favorite sentences were

"A stylized life means making what might be exceptional for others, the everyday for you." (what a fabulous thing to strive for!)

and

"It means not shunning the world, but stunning the world with concrete results.." - a clever turn of phrase that appropriately focuses on letting yourself shine forth 

Truly SOLO material!

Jason




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Post 7

Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - 11:00pmSanction this postReply
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Glenn,

Magnificent.  Truly magnificent.  For me, Francisco d'Anconia is the embodiment of all that man should be.  He is the person I would delight in being seated next to during a dinner party, a board meeting, or a game of Monopoly.

Incidentally (insert shameless plug here), my next article in the Free Rad is akin to this very subject.  :)

Well done!

Jennifer 




Post 8

Thursday, January 27, 2005 - 12:06amSanction this postReply
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>> A stylized life means making what might be exceptional for others, the everyday for you.

Wow, what a goal to aim for. 




Post 9

Thursday, January 27, 2005 - 12:37amSanction this postReply
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Glenn!

"A stylized life means making what might be exceptional for others, the everyday for you."

Absolutely!!

Thankyou for your words




Post 10

Thursday, January 27, 2005 - 12:20pmSanction this postReply
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Grazie infinte for the wonderful feedback folks. Everyone has one good article in them (unless you’re Joe Rowlands, and have several hundred) and this was mine. It’s certainly my manifesto for living. Thanks again!




Post 11

Sunday, January 30, 2005 - 7:20pmSanction this postReply
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(unless you’re Joe Rowlands, and have several hundred)
Ha!  Thanks Glenn. Very nice of you.  And of course, great article.




Post 12

Tuesday, July 12, 2005 - 7:53amSanction this postReply
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I just read this article. It is a great- one of my favorites (thank you, Ashley!).
I have always lived this way, and now I have a good title for it. Thank you for this concise, perfectly though-out article.



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Post 13

Tuesday, July 12, 2005 - 9:22amSanction this postReply
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Glen, I liked your article very much. It reminded me of a short piece I wrote back in 1999, which I append below. Best regards, REB
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Aesthetics of Ethics
by Roger E. Bissell

A few years ago, I wrote a book on aesthetics (yet unpublished) that dwelt on (among many other things) the connection or parallel between one's abstract view of oneself and one's abstract view of the world. This parallel was inspired in part by what Ayn Rand and Nathaniel Branden wrote in their respective essays on sense of life in relation to art and romantic love. What seemed most striking, in comparing their essays, was how the visibility in a good personal relationship gives one something parallel to what one gets from good art.

At a private gathering in May 1999, this idea was re-ignited for me when Dr. Branden spoke about the importance of what he called "embodying in your own actions what you want to see in the world." This, he suggested, is the root of benevolence. When I heard this, it occurred to me that a person's fashioning for him/herself a benevolent (or non) life could be regarded as an aesthetic way of looking at ethics -- and, in particular, the ethical issue of benevolence. I'd like to expand on that idea a little here.

By embodying in your self what you want to see in the world, you are making a sort of artwork out of your life, actions, character. You are, in the terms of Rand's definition of "art," selectively re-creating reality -- taking the raw material of your mind, values, past experience, present context, future possibilities, etc. and fashioning them into a microcosm of what you find most significant about reality. You then, just as much as (perhaps more than) an external embodiment of your worldview artwork), become a living symbol of that worldview.

You are practicing what you preach -- or, more deeply, what you believe. You are being congruent in action and character with your deepest principles. (Integrity.)

Moreover, I think that this relates not only to aesthetics, but to the psychology of friendship and romance -- what Dr. Branden calls "visibility." What happens when you perceive an embodiment of your deep values and world perspective in another's character and actions is like what happens when you perceive it in an artwork. You are understanding that other person in the same profound way that you are understanding an artwork. And when the other person gets the sense that you are understanding them in that way, they have an externalized sense of the reality of what they are embodying in a way similar to the externalized sense of that reality when they perceive it in an artwork. So, it works for both the perceiver and the perceived! And I think that's why it's so powerful.

In conclusion, I offer this example to illustrate my point. George Bernard Shaw said: "The true artist will let his wife starve, his children go barefoot, his mother drudge for his living at seventy, sooner than work at anything but his art." Now, relate this to my point about how embodying what you want to see in the world can be regarded as a form of self-creation or you-as-an-artwork. Sir Thomas More refused to sanction Henry VIII's divorce and remarriage by lying under oath, and as a consequence of cleaving to his principles, he and his family lived in poverty for the last period of his life. He very much exemplified the attitude of the true artist described by Shaw.

(Edited by Roger Bissell on 7/12, 9:28am)

(Edited by Roger Bissell on 7/12, 9:29am)




Post 14

Tuesday, July 12, 2005 - 10:20amSanction this postReply
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Art, as Rand said, 'is the technology of the soul' - it is the personal practicalizer of ethics, just as politics is the  social practicalizer... so yes, aesthetics as a way of life is putting into practice one's ethics, stylizing one's life as it were... that is why an artist is properly considered as a 'spiritual visualizer', showing meaning of use of the material of the universe - which includes, perhaps most importantly, oneself...



Post 15

Sunday, July 17, 2005 - 6:24amSanction this postReply
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THANK YOU ALL!  for your contribution to my sense of life on this dreary, muggy Sunday morning.

GLENN:   a manifesto for Objectivist living 


JAMES:   unearthing this important article from the archives


ROGER:   the reminder to be congruent in action and character with one's deepest principles


ROBERT:   the notion of artist as spiritual visualizer


JOE:   maintaining the site that permits articles that may be ahead of their time to survive long enough to see their time come.


              



Post 16

Sunday, July 17, 2005 - 11:53amSanction this postReply
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I just read this article for the first time too, Glenn.

Bloody brilliant!




Post 17

Sunday, July 17, 2005 - 2:43pmSanction this postReply
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Thanks, folks, for your messages - I’m very glad you enjoyed the article! J It was written at a time when I was seeing a lot of people philosophically committed to being reclusive – to “shrugging.” The only way to change the world is to engage with it.

(Edited by Glenn Lamont on 7/17, 2:44pm)




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Post 18

Tuesday, November 1, 2005 - 9:09amSanction this postReply
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This past article came up at random, and I very much enjoyed it and the comments from readers. I'm posting this comment in the hope that it might revitalize a worthwhile, inspiring, positive thread...something this site could very much use right now.



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Post 19

Tuesday, November 1, 2005 - 9:16amSanction this postReply
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Interestingly, Rand also called this 'Stylized living'. See PARC for journal entries to that effect.



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