Yesterday’s post hadn’t been intended as an intro-post to a collection. I’d started it as a one-off on a single idea. So I think that that idea’s the right place to begin.
While meditating yesterday morning, I thought of why the Abe-before-a-session was so different to an Abe-after. The reason that came to me was development. There was development between the time I sat down and got back up. And this reason gave me the realization as to why I have always been able to sustain my good friendships better long distance as opposed to short.
Although all my good friendships were forged locally, often in short intense warlike periods of intimacy, I’ve never been able to sustain them in close proximity. The standards and myths generated within the forging period could never be lived up to on a local, daily basis. Disillusionment and disappointment often grew to be the theme of the rest of such relationships.
However, there was one condition under which these friendships were able to prosper. Being long-distance.
For years I’d sensed my long-distance intimate relationships as faring much better than the local ones, but I never understood the root reason. I wasn’t a clear enough thinker so I simply casted myself with generalizations. These generalizations came filtered through two polar perspectives: negative/accountable vs positive/delusional. The former casted me as someone unskilled in local relationships while the latter casted me as someone so great at making friends that they need not bother sustaining any that demanded even the tiniest effort on my part.
The negative perspective was accountable to my fault—which was that I sucked at local relationships—but provided no productive reason for addressing it. Instead it had me simply stating to myself that I was a certain way and that’s just the way it was.
The positive perspective painted me with hubristic delusion that convinced me I was the ‘right’ one, and thus had no reason to change. When thinking this way, there is no need to improve, because you convince yourself that you are already the best, and you can’t improve the best.
Neither perspective led to progress, to development.
Development was why I always like the Abe-after-meditation more than the Abe-before. There is something that happens within that small time. And this is what led me to realize why my friendships always fared well long distance.
Long distances also increases the time intervals, allowing more room for development. So when you do catch up with that friend over-seas or in another state, there is naturally more to share.
With a local friend, because the meetings are so frequent, there is little to share. When you first met it’d been different. There’d been a lifetime’s worth of stories and development to binge on. But once that was done, there was nothing new. And that’s when the sustaining becomes arduous.
My previous answer to this had been to simply find new friends drop those lame ass people! But such strategy was predicated on not questioning the possibility that people could increase their development.
Good friendships are intertwined with development. Without it, you and the other person will cease being the comrades-in-arms that initially forged the relationship and instead descend into spending time together simply out of habit-- reliving the past and doing kill-the-time activities such as drinking aimlessly or consuming media.
Because truly good friendships require development, and good friendships are required in social wealth, the first lesson in this collection is to develop yourself.
Question your development. Question whether you’re happy with it.
PS : my definition of ‘good friendships’ above might seem impractical. But this is because this is a guide for social wealth, not social middle-class. If you are okay with social middle-class, then it is completely fine having friendships based around eating food, drinking, and watching media.
TLDR: Go Develop yourself.