A Philosopher's Blog

Total Validation Experience

Posted in Humor, Philosophy by Michael LaBossiere on October 9, 2015

There are many self-help books on the market, but they all suffer from one fatal flaw. That flaw is the assumption that the solution to your problems lies in changing yourself. This is a clearly misguided approach for many reasons.

The first is the most obvious. As the principle of identity states, A=A. Or, put in wordy words, “eaTVEch thing is the same with itself and different from another.” As such, changing yourself is impossible: to change yourself, you would cease to be you. The new person might be better. And, let’s face it, probably would be. But, it would not be you. As such, changing yourself would be ontological suicide and you do not want any part of that.

The second is less obvious, but is totally historical. Parmenides of Elea, a very dead ancient Greek philosopher, showed that change is impossible. I know that “Parmenides” sounds like a cheese, perhaps one that would be good on spaghetti. But, trust me, he was a philosopher and would probably make a poor pasta topping.  Best of all, he laid it out in poetic form, the most truthful of truth conveying word wording:

How could what is perish? How could it have come to be? For if it came into being, it is not; nor is it if ever it is going to be. Thus coming into being is extinguished, and destruction unknown.

Nor was [it] once, nor will [it] be, since [it] is, now, all together, / One, continuous; for what coming-to-be of it will you seek? / In what way, whence, did [it] grow? Neither from what-is-not shall I allow / You to say or think; for it is not to be said or thought / That [it] is not. And what need could have impelled it to grow / Later or sooner, if it began from nothing? Thus [it] must either be completely or not at all.

[What exists] is now, all at once, one and continuous… Nor is it divisible, since it is all alike; nor is there any more or less of it in one place which might prevent it from holding together, but all is full of what is.

And it is all one to me / Where I am to begin; for I shall return there again.

That, I think we can all agree, is completely obvious and utterly decisive. Since you cannot change, you cannot self-help yourself by changing. That is just good logic. I would say more, but I do not get paid by the word to write this stuff. Hell, I do not get paid at all.

But, obviously enough, you want to help yourself to a better life. Since you cannot change and it should be assumed with 100% confidence that you are not the problem, an alternative explanation for your woes is needed. Fortunately, the problem is obvious: other people. The solution is  equally obvious: get new people. Confucius said “Refuse the friendship of all who are not like you.” This was close to the solution, but if you are annoying or a jerk, being friends with annoying jerks is not going to help you. A better solution is to tweak Confucius just a bit: “Refuse the friendship of all who do not like you.” This is a good start, but more is needed. After all, it is obvious that you should just be around people who like you. But that will not be totally validating.

The goal is, of course, to achieve a Total Validation Experience (TVE). A TVE is an experience that fully affirms and validates whatever you feel needs to be validated at the time. It might be your opinion on Mexicans or your belief that your beauty rivals that of Adonis and Helen. Or it might be that your character build in Warcraft is fully and truly optimized.

By following this simple dictate “Refuse the friendship of all who do not totally validate you”, you will achieve the goal that you will never achieve with any self-help book: a vast ego, a completely unshakeable belief that you are right about everything, and all that is good in life. You will never be challenged and never feel doubt. It will truly be the best of all possible worlds. So, get to work on surrounding yourself with Validators.

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10 Responses

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  1. TJB said, on October 9, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    Personally, I have always found a paycheck to be quite validating.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on October 10, 2015 at 6:09 pm

      “We’re gonna need a bigger paycheck.”

      • Anonymous said, on October 10, 2015 at 6:59 pm

        Then get a real job. They’re quite validating in themselves.

        • Williamtpeabody@gmail.com said, on October 10, 2015 at 8:01 pm

          Me again…obviously…

  2. David said, on October 10, 2015 at 9:48 pm

    Of all the trash you write…I have to admit I enjoyed this one. (Doing my part to make sure you’re validated only in healthy doses.)

  3. TJB said, on October 11, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    Just came across this great quote:

    “Do unto others 20% better than you would expect them to do unto you, to correct for subjective error.” – Linus Pauling

  4. jjaneswift said, on October 11, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    Select only heroes who validate our flaws, and we’ll all be heroes! Fifty shades of s… Wonderful slogan for regressive growth!

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on October 12, 2015 at 1:14 pm

      “We can’t all be heroes, because somebody has to sit on the curb and applaud when they go by.” – Will Rogers


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