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Some of the mail I get is worth my time, some not. Some is just on the borderline. But it occurs to me that sometimes, I might be better off giving a thorough response in my journal, rather than responding privately (or not respond at all).

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In an interview a while back, they chose a headline saying that I was looking for the meaning of life. But I don’t think I ever said that. I wouldn’t have, because I believe I already discovered the meaning of life a long time ago. But there are (at least) two problems with it. The first is, of course, that it’s not really the “Ultimate Question”.

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Regression is a psychological defense mechanism where you protect yourself by reverting to an earlier development stage. In other words, it’s when you respond to stress by acting more immature than you are. It’s common, but it seems people rarely talk about it. And it’s only when I recently started looking into such things that I found that it explains a lot about my childhood.

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Last weekend, there was an “Alternativmesse” (Alternative Convention) here in Tromsø, and so I decided to attend this for the first time. But when, like me, you’re not so interested in something to believe, but in the hard truth, it becomes an interesting experience. On the one hand, it functions as an open marketplace for stuff that might be real but not mainstream for some reason. On the other, because of that openness, and the relative lack of public oversight, it’s also an attractive marketplace for fraudsters and con artists. How do you tell the truths from the lies?

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All my life I’ve held myself back, both consciously and unconsciously, for various reasons. But now, I’m at a point in my life where I think I need to stop doing that. I have to let go. Perhaps writing about it will help.

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There’s a little skill I think I lost many years (probably over a decade) ago: the ability to cry when I’m sad. Being able to cry is, in a way, healthy – it lets you get things out. If you can’t cry, things might stay inside you indefinitely. They become aches that never quite go away. You can try, but they’re always there, holding you back.

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I’ve lost many things over the years. Many things I miss. And many of them I didn’t really have to lose. It’s those that hurt the most: things that are lost because of something I did or didn’t do. A result of my own choices.

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On the 15th of December, Nelson Mandela was buried, an event that was apparently commemorated all over the world. Here in Tromsø, hundreds of people walked across the iconic Tromsø bridge with torches in hand (though, unfortunately, the strong winds tended to extinguish them), and then gathered in the city center, where there were a few speeches, some talking with some South African youth going to university here, and a concert. Walking across the bridge was supposed to be an appropriate way to honor a bridge-builder such as Mandela.

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I’ve decided to explain what makes people who “are extremely intelligent and don’t like it” interesting to me.

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I just found out about the word “autotelic”. When applied to a person, it describes someone that doesn’t need or care about external motivation, such as money, power, or fame. Almost everything he/she does is motivated entirely from within by himself/herself, by a love for what he/she is doing. Because this inner motivation is usually fueled by the experience of “flow”, such people are generally also quite creative in their fields, and often stand out.

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