Morning Thoughts #2

Unedited, unpolished, unknown

Andrew R. French
4 min readOct 1, 2018


There is stillness and there is movement.

In between there is a horrible place, the neo-active, where you think you are doing something but you are actually not doing anything.

Almost all of social media exists in this realm. Even in the neo-active we are still forming opinions. Even in the neo-active we are learning traits and behaviors.

There is a total commitment or a lack of commitment. Really there is nothing in between.

If you try to live there, you will fail. I know because I have been there. Everyone has. It is not a place to inhabit very long.

It is good to simply acknowledge, “Oh, I have been in this in-between place and now I need to either stop moving completely, or start moving completely. This halfway thing is not working.”

If it has been 1 day or 1 month or 1 year or 1century — acknowledge it and move on.

Movement is life. Stillness is death. We need both for the circle to be complete.

All the self-help types talk about the importance of getting up and getting going. Many start their day at 4:30 to 6:30 exercising and going through rituals to prep them for the day.

In order to become fully active we need to create rituals that prep us for the day, for the night, for the midday, for the afternoon — for work, for play, for birth, for death.

Why do we need rituals for these things?

Because underneath the familiarity of life is a chaotic system. A chaotic system sounds bad, but I don’t use the word negatively here. I use the term chaos in its scientific sense, as a system that is highly determined by it’s initial circumstances.

Nature operates in this way — it begins and continues. The initial circumstances initiate an endless variety of beauty and pain. Between the beginning and end of a life there is a vast panoply of experience.

We did not ask for birth and we do not wish for death, but they both happen, chaotically.

All the experts know that if they set themselves up for success with rituals, they are highly likely to achieve some measure of it, simply because this is how nature works.

An example would be a work shed. If we keep putting things in random spot, if we don’t act to clean up debris, if we don’t choose to organize one day, it will all fall apart one day. I know because I have experienced this.

If a shed does not have a floor, for instance, it is hard to keep things clean.

If we don’t act to make things better on a day to day basis, they will all eventually fall apart.

I’ve seen this in relationships, work sheds, businesses, and bodily health. Everything is affected by minute changes in initial circumstances, but the key to remember, that many people haven’t realized, is that the initial circumstances keep happening.

Essentially, every day, even every moment, is initial circumstances for the rest of our lives. In the same way that every moment that we are alive is the culmination of our entire life, and our entire ancestor’s history, so to is every moment the beginning of our lives, the foundation stone upon which our heirs will stand.

The planet will always be inherited by life. Our actions or inactions each day is what that inheritance will look like.

There is nobody that is more important or less important then we are. Fame is simply an exponential growth in exposure. It has no intrinsic value.

And yet we collectively assign value to this algorithm that results in exponential growth in exposure, because we value exposure.

If one million people see these words, then it has more value in our eyes than if only 2 people saw them.

That is a fact. But it has no intrinsic value, like food, housing, water, air, and love.

Exposure is not love. Fame is not food.

Why are we chasing nothing?

Perhaps that is why we get confused sometimes and stay in the neo-active. We think we want fame, but realize it is nothing. So we are stuck.

Those who achieve fame also lose heart when they find out it is an algorithm and nothing more. After utilizing fame to gather as many novel possessions and experiences as possible, they may go mad IF they do not already possess a strong sense of ritual Just look at Kanye West.

Back to ritual.

Ritual is creating your own initial circumstances, on a daily or weekly or yearly basis. Ritual is taking control of the chaos underlying life.

You can look at ritual like using a paddle to steer a kayak.

You wouldn’t say, “Using a paddle is pointless because the kayak keeps me afloat.” No, you use the paddle to move forward and to steer straight.

As human animals we all need ritual to make sense out of our lives.

Within that discipline comes freedom.



Andrew R. French

Writer at the Intersection of Ecosystem and Culture