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Channeling The Other

3 min

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If you’ve been reading this blog for a while now, you may have noticed a change in tone over the past few essays.

That’s because I’ve been channeling.

Recently I disappeared far down a rabbit hole (one of the more pleasant things one can do in our internet age).

In this instance, it happened to be a psychoanalysis rabbit hole, instigated by reading Sadly, Porn, then some stuff about Lacan, then a whole bunch of The Last Psychiatrist’s blog posts, then some of Freud’s case studies and then The Interpretation of Dreams and…well. That brings us up to the present.

Psychoanalysis was news to me. I - I expect, like many of you - had a certain conception in my head of what psychoanalysis was, and meant. Reading through the primary sources was enough to convince me that my conception was incorrect. There was…something here. But what?

I’ll tell you one of the dirty secrets of Better Questions, namely: I often write to channel the other.

By which I mean: it is often only through writing about something that I start to understand that thing.

My last three blog posts, for example, have been focused on channeling Edward Teach (the pseudonymous author of Sadly, Porn and The Last Psychiatrist blog).

Why? Because I don’t understand him. His writing is infuriating, fascinating, confusing, and scary….all at once. I wanted to break it open somehow, get at its insides, ingest it.

Writing as that person - not plagiarizing, but trying to write something new in their voice - is an effective way to do this.

That’s the power of writing: you need to write about something, and you generally have more knowledge lurking in the corners of your unconscious than you think you do. Start typing and some of that will start to bubble to the surface.

Writing as the other has an interesting side effect: you start to see the world as the other, as well.

I bring this up to say:

I left this process feeling profoundly worried…and determined to do something about it.

I do not need another project.

My main business is extremely busy right now - the economy is hurting my clients, we need to grow our marketing (my responsibility), we need to aggressively train up our three new employees (also my responsibility), we need to document our processes, we need to improve our core service in the face of a rapidly-changing technological landscape…

This blog still needs to get written every week. On top of that, it’s the start of the holiday season, which means my wife needs to go into hardcore pottery-production-mode to be ready for some big holiday markets…meaning I need to be home more often to pick up slack with the kids.

I say this all to say:

I do not need another project.


I am getting worried.

I feel more and more disconnected from reality. I feel more and more disconnected even from my internal sense of the world. I don’t know what I want…or, indeed, how to want.

It’s like there’s too much noise. The flood of social media, advertising, influencers, porn…everything feels thin and fake.

And I don’t mean it feels that way online. I mean it feels that way all the time.

So I’ve decided to do something about it.

To be clear, I am doing this no matter what. It is a project for me because I need it.

But I know myself enough to know that I will be more likely to follow through if I have other people depending on me to do so.


At the end of this year, I will be running a class all about the Return to the Real.

What does that mean?

Here’s the entire thing in a nutshell:

Pulling away from the virtual,

Exploring and extending our desires,

Building real and lasting connections with others,

And building a support network to help us succeed.

That’s it.

Some of it will be instruction, but mostly it’s going to be about assembling a group of well-meaning, like-minded people who want something real.

That could mean tackling a difficult project, reaching out more to the people you love, or just finding out what goes on inside your head when it’s not constantly filled with garbage.

It’ll be difficult. It’s meant to be difficult. It may even be boring, at times.

But it’ll be real.

If that sounds appealing to you, here’s what to do next:

Join the Critical Path Telegram channel.

All announcements about the group will go to the Telegram channel, so I don’t clog up the blog.

The link is here:

And that’s it.

Thanks, as always. Have I told you it means a lot to me that you’re here? Because it does.

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