The Rockstar/Monk Duality

Kello (@Kello) 8 years, 1 month ago

Are you subject to the rockstar/monk duality too ? I’ll try to explain what I mean by that.

Most of the time, I tend to live more like a monk than a rockstar, meaning that I’ll prefer calm and lucidity rather noise and drunkenness. These times, I consider that it’s probably the best way of living if you want to reach some kind of truth, being thoughtful, careful, and even though I don’t despise the other more auto-destructive states of mind, I think that they aren’t preferable and should be unwanted.

But I still somehow admire them and believe they hold some kind of truth too, I still admire these musicians who lived madly their youth and died at 27, these “poètes maudits” as we say in french (cursed poets) who wouldn’t care at all about their health and mental stability but only about their art, these ones who sacrifice their lifes in the beauty of existence.

And so sometimes I’ll find myself being this completely different person for a night, this auto-destructive but perfectly conscious person, enjoying the madness of being alive and destroying my body like there’s no tomorrow, without even being drunk or anything, it’s all perfectly conscious, observed, but I agree with it, at least until the sun wakes up again, and find it beautiful.

When I’m back to my “monk state”, I don’t even really regret it, because I don’t know, it was one way of enjoying the ride as well, but it just doesn’t feel right, I won’t even try to justify myself but I just know that I shouldn’t be living like this all the time, well at least if I plan to make it to 28 years old (and I do).

And know I’m reading the Bhagavad-Gitâ, where Krishna says that passions are mistakes, you shouldn’t even try to dance with it as I thought you should, but just to control it, which means to get rid of it. Passion and madness are just wrong, apparently.

I hope I’ve been clear enough, so what do you think about it ? Is that “rockstar side” a flaw ? Something that I shoud try to get rid of in order to live a better (what the hell does that mean ?) or at least healthier life ? Are all these mad artists just stupid, for not caring about their body and dying so young ? Is it “more right” to live like a monk ? Should we care ? Is orange juice better than apple juice ?

I’m all ears :)

(well, eyes, I guess, since you’ll probably write.)

October 29, 2013 at 2:47 am
Fernando (68) (@fercgomes) 8 years, 1 month ago ago

@kello, If these are 2 opposites of your life, as you said, a duality, I don’t know if you can get rid of them. We often think duality as two opposites, like darkness and lightness, and we try to get rid of one side to get the other, but we forget that one is essential to the other in order to exist, just like you need darkness of the night in order to see the stars shining. Have you ever thought that is your rockstar side that creates the monk side? Or the opposite, or a mutual creation, one being essential to the other? If you get rid of one them, the other will be without contrast, dull, meaningless. Just my thoughts, I can be 100% wrong, though.

Orange juice > Apple juice

Denialism (9) (@mcrliveit) 8 years, 1 month ago ago

No one can be completely monk-like or absolutely rockstar-like @kello,

Filip (2,818)M (@filipek) 8 years, 1 month ago ago

@kello, Hey man,

I kind of find myself in your description. I am also one of ‘extremes’, or at least I definitely used to be. Either party hard do all things God forbid or chill down in a monastery in a remote place in Asia.
Actually this translates into other fields like for example finding a hobby, getting totally into it and at some point it becomes boring and I lose all interest, where I have to find a new adventure.

Regarding a healthy life style, this is something I try to keep no matter where I am. I have stopped eating junk food a long time ago. From time to time, when I am out or when I have guests I order ‘take away’ food, but I try to avoid typical junk food like mcdonalds or burger king (I do not even remember the last time I ate something from one of these places). This is something I find very beneficial for not only my physical but also my mental state.

And I am doing hard drugs from time to time as well (soft drugs more often at the moment, but these periods tend to change as well, like a sinusoid)

Anyway, I am trying to find the Middle Way now, by trying to find the best of both and combining them to live a more peaceful and down to earth life.

One of the key things I find important is to cultivate patience. It is a quality that is so beneficial in many aspects of my life. This goes hand in hand with ‘living in the now’. Trying to enjoy and be aware of what you are doing right now instead of rushing into the things that you want to happen in the next moment, or the moment after that, or the moment after that etc.

Martijn Schirp (112,780)A (@martijn) 8 years, 1 month ago ago

@fercgomes, Perhaps you can’t get rid of that dual pair since one is the same coin, but the a different side. But you can get a new duality, a new coin. Perhaps what OP is asking, why this coin?

Have you ever read upon Zizek’s western buddhism, or, hedonistic buddhism? He argues that it is the perfect complement to capitalistic ideology: techniques to relieve us from stress, some inner distance from the destructive workings of our current economic system, while at the same time being very permissive in what we can enjoy, not fundamental line between what is allowed and what is not. In a way, we enjoy capitalism a lot. We practice meditation, browse HE etc, but at the same time, we watch movies, go to parties, use drugs etc. In a way making us passive, the same thing continues on, nothing really changes.

Ellie (1,363)M (@tangledupinplaid21) 8 years, 1 month ago ago

@kello, I relate to this a lot!
“Krishna says that passions are mistakes, you shouldn’t even try to dance with it as I thought you should, but just to control it, which means to get rid of it. Passion and madness are just wrong, apparently.”
I’m sorry but NO. It doesn’t have to be so extreme, either die at 27 from alcohol poisoning or get rid of your passions. I think you have found a fine middle ground. Everything in moderation though.

Manimal (2,998) (@manimal) 8 years, 1 month ago ago


The rockstar is an idiot.

The monk is an idiot.

Because they both lack the most important things of all, balance and perspective.
Both trapped in their tiny little box of ignorance.
At least the rockstar is having fun.

Anonymous (2,654) (@) 8 years, 1 month ago ago

The stereotypical traits of a rock star and a monk aren’t the whole picture.

If the rock star only resembles an auto-destructive lifestyle whereas a monk – inner peace, I think it’s a little bit incomplete and basically superficial. Noel Gallagher said in an interview once “I’m a rock star. It pays to be immature.” Or something like that, I’m paraphrasing it. It doesn’t mean he’s like that, it means he can be like that. It doesn’t mean anything, really. As for a monk, having complete trust that someone achieved having inhuman nervous system, it doesn’t show if that person is a good friend, a good spouse, a good parent or a good teacher.

Frank Skinner: “You’re probably one of the most down to earth rock stars I know… but you do wear shades when the sun’s not shining?”

Gallagher: “Well it’s in the manual isn’t it. It actually says in the rock star book ‘Thou shalt wear shades at all times, preferably indoors'”

I’m inclined to believe in the humor behind this. There’s hype behind every rock star and hyperboles behind every monk. One shows how it is to not give a fuck, the other shows how to not give a damn.

, The love to juggle!

Ghostlight (38) (@imtheghostlight) 8 years, 1 month ago ago

@kello, lovely description of yourself. I feel that its an accomplishment in itself for you to be aware of these two sides of self! If it feels wrong, then there is a part of you telling you that you need to moderate more. There can be the two sides, but there is a middle-ground where you could find the two sides of yourself cooperating in serendipity, being channeled a different way to work together if you will. Thats, at least, my opinion and nothing more, but I hope this helps!

peace and love,


ZenCowboy (179) (@zencowboy) 8 years, 1 month ago ago

@manimal, love your brand of sugar-free truth brother!

YHVH (462) (@spaceghost) 8 years, 1 month ago ago

@beyond Oasis is for idiotic morons.

YHVH (462) (@spaceghost) 8 years, 1 month ago ago

@beyond touche’ haha!

Kello (83) (@Kello) 8 years, 1 month ago ago

Well first of all thanks everybody for your answers, I really love all of them ! :)

Then I’d like to precise that I started this thread only because I was curious to read your opinion on the matter, but this stupidly named “duality” I’m talking about isn’t really a problem for me at the moment, I think it has only been recently that I’ve been able to just laugh at all the seriousness with which I would rack my brain over pointless questions, have some fun on this crazy ride and just take it as it comes. Yeah, but still, sometimes I wonder.

, Yeah, anyway, even if it’s like this, I won’t try to get rid of it. I mean, I feel that it’s just plain stupid to consciously engage any active struggle against yourself, just peacefully go by the flow and patience will naturally bring balance.

, No one should be, in my opinion, but I don’t know if no one is.

, I’ve never been that much attracted to junk food, even as an auto-destructive thing I feel like it’s wrong, just not fun anyway (I guess I’ll just crave it for a second if I walk in front of one of these diabolically efficent advertisements). Good luck walking the Middle Way, I wish you all the best but yeah, armed with patience and some tolerance towards yourself it can only be alright. I always try to remember and smile, “it’s just me, silly me” :)

, I’ve never heard of Zizek until now but I guess that’s kind of how I understood Nietzsche when I first learned about what the guy says. I remember I went through a short period of complete indifference, a bit depressed, and then thought “Oh fuck it, after all nothing really matters right ? Might as well to whatever the fuck I want and why not be happy, I’ll be a positive nihilist” Then you just have to balance the madness ! If you feel like it of course. But it’s too easy to be the right way, isn’t it ? How can I accept a reward if I didn’t suffer ? Ah we’re crazy…

, Yeah I don’t really wanna agree with that too, dance with passion and you’ll get to control it eventually, but come on, just trying to get rid of it isn’t fun, and what’s the point of something that isn’t fun ? Be moderatly creative and destructive and that’s it, you’re living.

, Hahaha, why not, but who isn’t trapped then ? I guess we shouldn’t bother as long as we’re able to laugh at it and just have fun.

, Yeah I haven’t thought the name of my oh-so-complicated theory through that much haha, it’s just silly words that seemed to resonate correctly when I choose to write them. Anyway, thanks for getting me to listen to some Oasis again :)

, Never try to fight, just adjust according to what you feel is right ! I guess someday I’ll just end up being in that middle-ground without noticing it :)

Phew, I think that’s why I was lurking so much, it always takes me hours to post something…

Nate (17) (@admajoranatussum) 8 years, 1 month ago ago

I think sometimes the only way to become the monk is to first be the rockstar.

If we DENY these “passions,” we’re not fully living. If we feel through them however, i.e., use sex, alcohol as spiritual catalysts, then we can eventually break out of the patterns of addiction and release. (I don’t mean addiction in the brutal sense; we’re all addicted to things [like orgasms], in one way or another).

The difference would be if you’re partaking in these rockstar passions like a gluttonous pig, binging for pleasure. Otherwise, keep doing what feels RIGHT. As your body and brain develop, you’ll find your balance. Who knows, maybe someday you will reach full-time monkhood.

One thing is for certain though: do NOT feel guilty about pursuing your passions in the interim. It would be foolish to deny yourself what you’re biologically programmed to enjoy. I think the “cursed (French) poet” Arthur Rimbaud said it best:

“A Poet makes himself a visionary through a long, boundless, and systematized disorganization of all the senses. All forms of love, of suffering, of madness; he searches himself, he exhausts within himself all poisons and preserves their quintessence’s. Unspeakable torment, where he will need the greatest faith, a superhuman strength, where he becomes among all men the great invalid, the great criminal, the great accursed–and the Supreme Scientist!”

Lastly, I suggest you read Siddhartha if you haven’t already; a very similar concept.


Kello (83) (@Kello) 8 years, 1 month ago ago

I really like this quote from Rimbaud…

Thanks for the suggestion, I’ll make sure to look for this book right after I’ve finished what I’m currently reading !

Naïm (2) (@nr.friskin) 8 years, 1 month ago ago

@kello Just switched to my rockstar state after a month of monk state or so… Funny to read that now hehe. Here’s my contribution, hope it’s useful.
I like the idea that divine doesn’t mean perfect, but the opposite actually. Being divine means to be whole, so that includes both the good and the bad, the light and the darkness, the yin and the yang, and ofc the monk and the rockstar. So I say let’s be divine, let’s not bother choosing between one aspect of ourselves or the other, let’s embrace and reunite everything that we are and forget about “either or” ! And remember : “Everything with moderation. Including moderation.” :)

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