[Mark Twain wasn’t Mark Twain, Mark Zorro isn’t Mark Zorro]
Mark Zorro was a pseudonym that I used on-line since my on-line expressions have always been of an experimental/exploration for self-development purpose only. The name “Mark” is not an identity, it comprises of Ma.rk which are the first two letters of my meatspace name and the last two letters of my meatspace name. Zorro is much like Twain – a pseudonym but unlike Mark Twain, my pseudonym does not lust for such fame. Mark Twain died as Mark Twain rather than who he wanted the world to recognize himself as viz Samuel Langhorne Clemens.
In that regard I roll my eyes when people today talk about using “real names” – if that is the case, then first get rid of the pseudonym “Mark Twain”from the lexicon of great literature and secondly be the person one is on the inside rather than the brand that most people exhibit on the outside. Mark Zorro was a repudiation of the very desire that Mark Twain had for fame and while I support the process of branding, I detest the process of brand you. One can brand cattle, one can brand a great societal enterprise, product or service, but do not brand a human being – the masks we already wear in society seems like a thick skin, but poke through that mask to the person underneath and one will mostly find a a hollow interior.
Being a consumate professional does not mean a cosmetic makeover, it means the essential character of work is greater than the parading of a human identity, IMHO we are all here on this planet to serve something greater than ourselves. In my case it my kids, and then concentric rings of priorities that radiate out from that.
I started a personal journey in 1998 and like most I too was composed of a hollow interior. This journey has for the most part filled that void (that we all have). It has given me awareness, but this journey has not given me intelligence. For that, I must go within and cast away the sometimes distractive quicksand of the attention economy, and in so focusing on what my life purposereally should be, discover this existence in private centered around the twin flows of abundance and authority, both of which are a product of living character based and purpose based life.
Mark Twain definitely wasn’t Mark Twain and Mark Zorro is a personal reminder not to become another “Mark Twain”. One can learn from Mark Twain’s genius, but more so from the lessons of man so consumed by his own fame. I think there is incredible stuff happening online, but what is the point of creating a cyber-paradise or digital garden – if it simply becomes an island of technology – we worship the immaterial rather than the authentic.
At least that is what my heart is telling me and the heart does not argue, the mind does. Argument is to prior centuries what humility and forgiveness is to the 21st Century – this is the new mindset, this is IMHO what constitutes a 21st Century mind. The world as it is today is programmed on the ideas of the past and the ideas of the past insist that everybody elses business is our business, that is what modern media and the electric age fuels, but that is not the authentic pathway I feel “intelligence” is – and living an “intelligent” life is the next discovery point of my own life journey.
Mihaly Csikszentmihayli said it best in his book “Flow”
“Nowadays if one does not make some money (however pitifully
little) out of writing, it’s considered to be a waste of time. It is
taken as downright shameful for a man past twenty to indulge in
versification unless he receives a check to show for it. And unless one
has great talent, it is indeed useless to write hoping to achieve great
profit or fame. But it is never a waste of time to write for intrinsic
reasons” Quote from Page 131
Further in the chapter he also warns about the perils of flow as an addiction, and equally my own writings are merely intrinsic while I try to ensure that the process of turning off or disconnecting to remain independent, fresh and psychologically healthy, is as much as the pursuit of any intrinsic writing should be. While most of my online writings have vanished online, the core of intrinsic writing isn’t what is left, but what is added or let go.
My single most focus of going online is exploration and in a world that is full of opportunity to discover so much, we cannot be occupied by our tiny little selves, instead my personal occupation here is solely to learn that which shapes me into a better human being. Anything more or less than that is a waste of exploration for my own life purpose.
PS Thank you to the FC team for clearing up that annoying CATCHPA spam message. I look forward to lurk and read the excellent material provided here at FC for the remainder of the year, but my goal this year was to remain offline for the remainder of the year. I have always been a champion of hearing new voices and prefer to be the voice of the lurker.
AMMENDMENT 7th April 2008: The Spam Filter keeps activating on my longer posts – when I posted Zero-000, it was activated again – is there anyway of the team marking approved member postings as “NOT SPAM”. Would be greatly appreciated – it is very annoying to navigate this message, especially since ZERO is all about beginning my day with a new frame of mind.