Thought Bubble

Sometimes you just want to enjoy being selfish, but while it’s true that you don’t owe anyone anything, I find it best to remember that applies both ways.

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A Theory About the Universe.

When we are young, we are so full of life. But life demands life. It’s never enough, so we hunger for more. We hunger for it, and so we consume it, all of it that we can get our hands on. Until it kills us.

But before it kills us, we reach a halfway point, a moment of time where we are satisfied. We have experienced and understood and grown from enough of it all to reach a nirvana, if you will, where our hunger finally quiets to a memory and we can enjoy every ounce of each second we are living in. Truly experience it 100% for the first time.
It doesn’t last-Life demands that it continue passing through us whether we want more or not.- but for a moment, a glorious transcendent heartbeat of a moment…we can put down our implements and stretch. We can sigh in satisfaction and just be.

In this state we can finally look up and observe the world around us in all it’s intricacies and breathtaking performances. Each miracle, each mystery, each detail from the obvious to the invisible, from the important to the more important to the commonly misunderstood. We can watch each second inhale the breath of life from the exhale of the last.

In this state we can see for the first time what it truly is to be a cog in reality, or existence, or whatever you want to call that great machine. We can see too, what it means to be a machine in our own right, made of smaller classes of cogs, and so on. It’s all connected. It’s all one. The farthest edges of opposite sides of the universe are only as separated from one another as are the tips of your thumbnails. Still connected. One entity united in common identity if only you look with the proper perspective.

So, before this moment, stretching back as far as birth to now, we were never really hungry for life. Not really. After all, how can you expect to gain anything new from consuming parts of yourself?

That would be like watching a perfectly enclosed reservoir collecting droplets of its own condensation dripping off the ceiling and expecting the water level to rise because of it.

What we were really hungered for was perception. Realization of identity and ultimate purpose.

We were looking for the freedom in the fetter, the view inside the painting, rapture in the melody, the glow behind the eyes, the ghost in the machine.

Throughout our history men have glimpsed this view and hid from it, afraid that admitting we are not islands will rob them of their freedom to accept and reject different parts at their leisure. There can be no freedom in a land-locked state of interconnection, they’ve told themselves. As though all islands weren’t connected to each other anyway, once you took away the misdirection of the waters.

The truth, that such association is actually the means of ultimate freedom is ironic. The truth that there is no greater freedom than this fetter is so well hidden as to sound ridiculous, yet so obvious even the wind ignores the chains links while it passes through them with a laugh.

As I said, this vista doesn’t last. It cannot. Such a view is only at the summit, the peak between the hungry and the overfed. The needy and the needless. After that we continue-by then we have forgotten how to stop!-and absorb more and more from life until the medicine that sustained us becomes the poison that destroys us;or at least our shells. But even then we remain in place in the great machine that was and is and will be, this circle without a beginning or an end. We remain a part of this everything.


Now then, why does this matter? Because if there is anything bad in our world, it is a part of us and it shouldn’t be. Like a sickness that an immune system has a duty to cleanse from the body, we have a duty as members of this united existence to do our best, trying to help the collective while not losing sight of the importance of the individual pieces. Learning how to do that, I think, might be one of the greatest things possible.

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A plea for the sanity of olden times.

Please forgive the hubris, but sometimes it seems to me that anyone who had anything meaningful to say has written it and died. And now their books gather dust on our shelves like ruined monuments lost to the jungle growth of time and change; Like relics of a romanticized past, declared pretty to look at but irrelevant. Their works are collected like paperweights to serve as veneers of intellectualism, trophies to fill out a display bookcase, while their messages smother within them and we turn on the television to see the latest episode of “junk food” for the soul.

I yearn for a modern day example of deep thought that isn’t merely deep, but also worth swimming in.

If you know of any gems, please share them with me in the comments.

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Like Rushing Wind

The following is a poem I wrote recently, from the perspective of a freshly dead man leaving his coffin to enter the next life. I almost shared something else instead, but in the end the poet overcame the essayist in me today. I hope you like it. The title comes from what I imagine the narrators feels like as he passes through that keyhole in the door separating this world and the next.


 

In the quiet of my mind

Mists of silence can confine,

Sequester shroud and tuck away

That blinding noise of that deafening day.

As I lay still now in the dark,

A cool and calm intrepid mark,

That sears a soul as shy as mine,

Yields the darkest corners shine.

From the cuckoo’s nest I fly

Through the keyhole’s glowing eye.

Out of shadow, into love,

Out of depths to heights above.

And though I leave behind the earth

My soul sings “Tis not death, but birth!”

TOLERANCE: A TOOL

Some people claim that tolerance is the mark on an educated mind. I disagree. Somewhat.
Let me explain that…

For the purposes of this argument, let’s assume that to be “educated” is to have acquired an understanding of life/reality/whatever you wanna call it.

But if that’s true than nobody is educated. The greatest anybody can hope for is to be a quick and constant learner, because life is far too short for anybody to completely understand everything in it. So let’s call education a process. One that never ends. A man can never completely earn the title of being “ educated”, but he will always be more educated or less educated depending on the circumstances. By way of clarification, this similar concept may be helpful: We are never safe. Not perfectly. There is no “safe” state of being; only safer or less safe. Even when you’re perfectly sequestered in an impenetrable panic room you’ve just locked yourself in a box alone with a dangerous individual.
Some people say the highest result of education is tolerance. That is a lie I believe was originally told (and still is often) with the intent to acquire the tolerance of others to further a specific agenda of the liar in question, whoever that may be. “Oh, education leads to tolerance? If I’m not tolerant I must not be educated. Well I don’t want to appear ignorant! Yes, yes I’m educated! Look how tolerant I am! See how educated I must be?” My pride is safe. Whew!Tolerance is not a product of education. An imbecile will tolerate many things, including the drool on his chin. Is he therefore the great wielder of some admirable knowledge? No.
Tolerance is as easy as submitting to the current. In contrast, intolerance is no more or less noble. Each is a tool for interacting with our world; nothing more, nothing less, and inherently neutral. It is the acquisition of an understanding of our world, an “education”, that allows a man to choose wisely that which he is to tolerate and that which he should not. The ability to choose is granted since childhood.

The wisdom to choose well is earned through trial and error, studying the choices of others, and understanding the concept of consequences.Say we burn our finger on a hot stove. Or we may instead witness someone else burn their finger on it. We can develop, if we are wise, the appreciation for the consequence of touching it, and choose not to touch it.So enough with this blanket tolerance crap. Just focus on making sure you’re getting an accurate education in life. Yes, that does require leaving comfort zones and tolerating new things and experimenting. But many things can be “learned” vicariously. Remember, nothing is worth tolerating if it damages you beyond repair. Nothing high maintenance is worth putting up wit unless it is high performance. And as much as you think you know something to be %100 true or false or good or bad, the moment you lose your ability to consider alternative beliefs without necessarily accepting them, you have become unteachable.

And the unteachable never learn anything except the hard way. You don’t want that, do you?

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Keep Yourself Awake.

In the beginning of our lives, there are few responsibilities that are not pleasurable. Eat. Sleep. Cry if you want attention. Explore everything.

Over time we progress, and in the process acquire more responsibilities which become progressively more difficult and often less pleasurable.

Homework. Taxes. A day job.

Not only are they more difficult, but they compound on one another and become more difficult to manage. The effort of managing these responsibilities becomes the focus of our mind rather than the wonder and pleasure of what the task is.

This leads to a disconnect. Less satisfaction in what we do. It’s no longer what we get to do, but what we have to do. Sometimes it feels like these things have a mind of their own, or the whole world must be conspiring to keep us busy tending to these dull and tedious things, perhaps just to keep us from chasing our dreams. Yes! That’s it.

You begin to wish for more pleasures, and “lead a life of quiet desperation” wishing for the weekends, the holidays, and grimly bearing the swaths of wasted life in between…

 

… rather than enjoying the pleasures inherent in your current responsibilities. There are some, I assure you. Even something as simple as breathing is a reason to rejoice from the perspective of a dead man.

There is a source of pleasure, satisfaction, happiness, whatever you wish to call that good feeling inside- in any task worth doing. I suppose there are some things in life hardly worth celebrating, but the worst life is still a life.

 

Change your perspective, and you have changed your surroundings.

 

Perceiving that the tasks you have are/can be pleasureable prevents you from misconceiving them as pointless or “in the way”; the chores and to-do list you must suffer through before you can really “live” that day.

 

There are many ways to say what I have just said. It’s been said by wiser men for generations on end.

 

“Bloom where you’re planted.”

“Lift where you stand.”

“To thine own self be true.”

“Happiness is a choice.”

“Ride the rhythm, don’t let the rhythm ride you.”

 

It’s a simple task. But simple is not the same as easy. Start small. Don’t settle for just entertaining yourself passively. Who wants to wake up and realize they were passive their whole life? Entertain yourself through what you do. Find something that is exciting, fascinating; something you wish to pursue or better understand, appreciate or comprehend.

Can you still watch TV? Sure, I don’t care. Just don’t be a couch potato.

That’s all I got to say on that.

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HE DOES NOT SLEEP

Protagonists rant in countless stories about undeserved adversity. They demand to know why God-if He truly exists-allows such terrible things to be. They claim that if God does exists He must be sleeping, dead, or apathetic.

Well excuse me, but that’s [CENSORED] ridiculous.

Accusing God of sleeping at His post, using the state of the world as evidence, is like an obese man blaming his high cholesterol on his physician.
For all we know, God is intervening constantly to prevent otherwise inevitable heart attacks, performing double,triple, and quadruple bypass surgeries; frantically, ceaselessly, and without thanks.
At the very least we know He has already prescribed us medications which we refuse to take.

And still men curse Him for their problems.

It seems to me that our daily survival, in spite of our self-destructive tendencies as a people, should be evidence enough of a committed benevolent God who must be a master of subtly to intervene so often and yet never once infringe on our volition.

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