Friday, May 23, 2014

inquiline lifestyle

Is it possible to be free of an inquiline existence -- one constantly seeking out another's home or philosophy or religion as a domicile of daily life? Living behind another's walls ... living in the comforting shadow of another's views or efforts?

"Inquiline" is defined by an Internet dictionary as:
-- An animal that lives habitually in the nest or abode of some other species
It is understandable that children should learn from their parents -- that they should take on coloration when they are colorless.

But what of the adult? Is it still sensible or pleasing to live according to someone else's vision and effort? At what point, if ever, does it lighten the load to stop living in someone else's house, however palatial and wondrous?

I don't imagine it is possible to distinguish a "Republican" from a Republican, a "Christian" from a Christian, or a "car mechanic" from a car mechanic. Some never give up the comforts and protections of an inquiline existence.

But there is the potential to look within and finally take personal responsibility for living this life, not because someone else calls it good or happy or nourishing but because living an inquiline existence is too uncertain and fruitless.


  1. Despite not wanting to be particularly contrarian, it certainly seems clear enough to me that those who diliberately choose to not cultivate ties to a group -- an organization, a cause, school of thought, a religion, etc., will not guarantee themselves to truly and consistently take personal responsible for their actions and theresultant conditions.

    In fact if a sincere person does take up affiliation or even membership with a group comprised of sincere persons of integrity thoughtfully committed to some good principals, causes or schools of thought, his or her taking up personal responsibility may increase remarkably.

    I do think it depends on the circle of people and the overall sincerity and commitment of the people.

    Concretely hanging out at a gym might tend to put you in better physical shape, but might not make you more compassionate or generous.

    Meditating regularly might improve your concentration, intution, and tranquility but does not meaningful generosity, knowledge, or personal ethics.

    I wonder what the long effects of being independent and unaffliated are. I suspect it is a lack of tolerance and crankiness.

    Join a good group. Just keep an eye out to make sure the group's main spokespersons are actually good people.

    Thanks for the thought exercise.

  2. Andrew -- Just to be clear, I was not suggesting that sidestepping affiliation was beneficial even if it were possible. I was wondering about how long and with what intensity anyone might rely on that affiliation as a reason for holding a particular point of view. Eg. If I believe something, it may or may not be true. If I get together with several others who hold the same belief, the tendency to see that belief as true because a lot of people agree goes up. But if my truth relies on what others call true just because we are numerous, then the moment the numbers disappear, so too does the truth and any comfort a person might derive from it.

    Sure, join up, learn, practice, become skilful ... and then learn to stand on your own two feet. I think that is what I think. :)