Week 25, 2024

Week 25, 2024

Week 25 of 2024 has arrived. This is the first Father's Day that I won't be able to take my dad to lunch. This week my sister and I sat on the couch in my study and spontaneously shared a few tears about him. She said "I just miss him."

Time to walk over to your 4K Weeks poster and fill in another square.  Done?

Every time I have mentioned my dad in this newsletter over the last six months since he died, I have felt a bit guilty.

He was so awesome, and we were so lucky to have him. I know a lot of people who weren't as lucky in the Father lottery as we were.

He was, of course, human.  He probably yelled too much (Long Islander), he could make five cuss words in to one single magnificent cuss word, he certainly had his share of "failures". He had a habit of not-so-softly leading in to a story he wanted to tell by saying "I had to laugh..." etc. etc. etc. But there was never any question that every ounce of his 6'5" tall, 250 lb frame loved us and was proud of us.

I am writing this today, not to brag about my awesome dad, but to offer his memory up to you if you need him.  I know it isn't the same, but since we are making this all up as we go along...

If, on this Father's Day, you don't feel like your father was up to the challenge, you can have mine.  I am sure he would have loved you, and thought that you were doing a good job, and that you were worthy of love, and valuable, and smart, and hardworking, and that the world was better with you in it.

One of the last things my dad said to us, before the fog of what's next took him, was "I just feel so lucky to have been part of this family." 

We are all Family. There is nothing but our silly stories that keep us all from being brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers.

Happy Father's Day.

Would you like to join the 4K Weeks Skool group?  I am aiming for a late July launch...If you are interested in being on the waitlist, send an email to Eli:  info@4kweeks.com

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Remarkable Weeks

Week  25 of 1928, Amelia Earhart landed at Burry Port, Wales, and became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.  She was 1,612.29 weeks old (30.92 yrs). 

Week  25 of 1936, Jesse Owens set a world record of 10.2 seconds for a 100m sprint. He is regarded as one of the world's greatest track and field athletes. He also became the first American to win four gold medals, sticking a thumb in Hitler's eye by doing so while being Black. He was 1,188.14 weeks old (22.78 yrs).

Week  25 of 1944, Robert Capa, photojournalist, had five of his "The Magnificent Eleven" photos taken during the D-Day landings published by Life Magazine. He was the only photojournalist present during the landings at Omaha Beach, Normandy. He was 1,599.71 weeks old (30.67 yrs).

This Week's Quote

The beginning of wisdom is found in doubting; by doubting we come to the question, and by seeking we may come upon the truth. -Pierre Abelard

This. There is no place for people who will not tolerate the questioning of their authority. 

There is no truth that can stand if it is protected and insulated from interrogation. 

This isn't to say that you must get to the bottom of a thing before we can honestly decide to hold onto it. A huge amount of the world as we know it has to be taken on faith. For example... physicists know how gravity works, but there isn't a good answer for "Why does gravity work?" Much of the stuff we "know" about the world is like the tops of skyscrapers building down to an eventual, but not yet discovered, foundation.

Faith is a beautiful, maybe even essential, part of the current version of humanity.

But.. the allowance for (and the ability to) doubt is essential to discovery. Where doubt isn't allowed, no growth can occur... (and often that is the point... "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!").   

What I am Consuming This Week

Rich Roll, "Sam Harris, On Consciousness, Meditation, Misinformation, and What Ails the Modern World".  This is one of the best podcasts that I have listened to in a while. And I say that while holding Sam Harris at arms length in a bear hug... He is incredibly intelligent, and as intellectually honest as you could expect a person to be.  He suffers no fools, and often sounds arrogant. But... this podcast is enlightening, and also happens to contain the most articulate and politically neutral explanation about what's wrong with the Trump Phenomenon.

The Ezra Klein Show, "The Economic Theory That Explains Why Americans are So Mad".  A very good explanation of what is going on with the vibe on the economy.

(Funny to have Harris and Klein back to back here... They had (have?) a feud that shines a very high level spotlight on how hard it is to assume good faith in intellectual disagreements these days... And how smart people can easily talk past each other. The explainer below combined with Harris' comments about liars and bull$#itters in the podcast are something to chew on.) Link 

Loving What Is, Byron Katie.  I'm still here... A lot of the audio book is somewhat campy reenactments of actual conversations... and you can tell right at the outset what "should" the person is believing... Lots of people are struggling with the same things... I haven't yet pulled out of this what I should DO.

"Ships in the Harbor", Tommy Prine.

    What I am Thinking About This Week


    You are here because one way or another, you were interested in the idea that a visual representation of the finitude of your life might help you get more of whatever it is you want in the weeks you have left. Now that you are fully aware that you will die, and likely sooner than you would hope, that begs the following questions:

    What do you want?  And how can you go about getting at it?

    I am on that journey with you, wandering around in the dark, trying to make sense of how to "do this right".  I have been taking in a TON of content lately about the self and the stories we tell ourselves, and how much of "Me" is just a group of untested beliefs rolling around in my head, and how the voice in my head isn't me, but is part of me... etc.

    I have listened to hours of Sam Harris, and Byron Katie, and Epictetus and others, telling me to quiet the internal voice, and test the stories that I am telling myself. It's good. It's growth.

    I am here for almost all of it... I know, at almost a cellular level, that it is my expectations, and my stories that cause me turmoil.  I know that if someone yells at me, that isn't about me, it's about them. I know that the voice in my head is just that, nothing more, take it or leave it. I know that if I want the kids' dirty clothes picked up, I should pick up the kids' dirty clothes.

    The part I am having trouble with is where the striving fits in. 

    I wish I could remember where I heard this (let me know if you know, and let me know if I have it wrong!)  But, basically, the oldest part of your brain, your reptile brain, experiences pain when it is stressed and pleasure when it gets what it wants. And it is always trying to run from pain, and run towards pleasure.... Warm rock! Good!/Pleasure!... Predator overhead, Bad!/Pain!... Safe hole in the rock! Good!/Pleasure!... Too cold under the rock! Bad!/Pain...etc.

    And this is the substructure on which all your higher level faculties are built.  The striving towards pleasure is hard-wired in to you.

    And what I can't find in all of the ideas above is how to fit my love of the struggle into a fully sublimated ego. I do love it.  I love to be tested, and to triumph, or fail.

    It's easy to be a monk in a cave on the mountain, yeah, we know... but also it's boring... And while Sam Harris and Rich Roll joke about that analogy in the podcast, it does seem like the end goal of a lot of this type of mindfulness, and self-story interrogation, logically results in being a monk on a mountain.

    There is a kind of athleticism in the best athletes that is relaxed, calm, and empty, while also being explosive, intense, and violent. That's what I want... That seems like the peak of human-ness to me... And I am having trouble putting my finger on words and actions to get to it...  Is this it?

    Do you have any thoughts on this?  Digging in to the deep questions on how to properly live these 4000 weeks is what I am hoping to do in the 4000 Weeks Skool group. I think it is really important to regularly sharpen our minds on this type of thinking.

    Until Later,

    Spencer, Owner of 4KWeeks.com

    Dad Joke O' The Week

    Have you ever wondered when a joke becomes a dad joke?

    When it becomes apparent!

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