End of Spring 2019

Big things happened in the last twelve months.

For the seven years prior to that, I sat on a big green bean-bag chair located in the corner of our mobile-home’s second-bedroom. It was there where I earnestly confronted my inability to extract enjoyment from life (this blog stems from that). But of course, this is life, and life is meant to be lived — you can’t sit in quiet contemplation forever.

So about eleven months ago, we moved. We sold our mobile-home (for about the cost of a low-end luxury vehicle) and left for a completely different climate. By that point, my wife despised cold, snowy, desolate winters. We moved back to the hot, humid, and happening place we had once lived. Although it was super-hot, it felt good to be back.

The first order of business was finding a place to live. We tried a realtor in town, but nothing suited us. We almost rented an apartment in a far-off area, but my wife wanted something near the school. Being a magician, she found an obscure listing for a condo located exactly where she wanted. We barely met the requirements for renters — but here we are.

On my son’s first ever day of school, and every subsequent day, we were able to walk him across the street to his school. Prior to that, I had homeschooled him for Pre-K and Kindergarten. So now he got to experience a classroom full of kids and field-trips and all that stuff. He even tested into the gifted-program — such a bright little guy.

My personal goal for these twelve months was to actually appreciate and enjoy the experiences I was having. Like I mentioned, we had lived here once before, about a decade ago. And although I recognized how nice things were, I simply couldn’t appreciate my surroundings. Looming-doom and the feeling of inevitable loss were too much in my mind.

This couldn’t be real, and if it was, it couldn’t last. There I was, a software-developer working from my home-office inside of a luxurious top-floor condo, mere minutes away from my childhood happy-place, with a beautiful wife that cooked the most delicious meals I ever tasted. I did it: Success! But as I “predicted”, it crumbled. Or more likely, it was self-sabotaged.

So this second-time around, I was determined to enjoy my surroundings. We picked a nice place to live, we got furniture, we watched fireworks from our balcony, we got annual passes to the amusement park, we walked our son to and from school, we ate at restaurants, we went for leisurely walks, we went trick-or-treating, we got a Costco membership — the suburban dream.

And honestly, yes, I’ve been able to enjoy and appreciate it. BUT, this has literally been my full-time job. I’m such a misanthropic naysaying pessimist, that it took my full concentration and efforts to enjoy myself. Overall I’m pleased with the results, but it leaves me in an awkward position at the end of these twelve months. And that is: can I stay here?

Once the lease is up, I’m not sure what’s going to happen. Although it could’ve caused me worry, I never felt it. In a lot of ways I’ve passed the test. Whereas last time I strained to get here and stressed-out once I arrived, it ultimately didn’t work-out because of my bad attitude — so I’m not going to repeat that mistake. I’m not going to stress and strain because it only leads to a bad-time.

I literally did nothing to get here the second-time around — I simply went along for the ride. It was my wife’s idea and she handled everything. She did most of the realtor stuff, planned our road-trip down, procured our dwelling, and got all the school stuff set. I mainly did the heavy lifting when it came to packing. Last time, I handled everything and made a mess of things.

The less I attempt to impose my will, the better things get. And so, as the twelve months come to a close at the end of next month, I will continue to have an attitude of hopefulness for what’s to come. I spent this year appreciating and developing an ability to enjoy experiences while not countering them with constant criticism — and I believe I succeeded in that endeavor.

Here’s to whatever comes next! Cheers!

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Why Is It So

Why’s life so hard?

Because if it wasn’t, you wouldn’t care. It’s as simple as that. At what point do you most appreciate something? When you’re about to lose it.

Why’s such a stupid condition true?

It is and it isn’t. If you can muster the discipline to appreciate something in your hand when you have no fear of loss, then such a condition isn’t true. Only when you fail to appreciate what you have is it true.

Why’s it so easy to be an undisciplined fool that can’t recognize the value of what’s at hand?

Is it easy? It actually sounds like a very difficult condition to live with. If you’ve ever appreciated anything at anytime, then you have the power within you to appreciate what you have right now. Shift your focus away from things you don’t prefer and onto things you value. That sounds a lot easier than staring at unpleasant things all day long.

Why’s it so hard to remain focused on pleasant things?

Perhaps you have a penchant for bitterness. When you see something you don’t like, a surge of energy rushes through you, the outrage is electrifying.

Why’s such a terrible condition true?

Have you ever tried to appreciate the energizing aspect of unpleasant things? Imagine it, you’re surrounded by an infinite supply of energy in the form of nastiness. You’re so repulsed by the contents of this world, you could glow like the sun if properly harnessed. Energy is often the byproduct of incineration, perhaps you could embrace the process.

Why’s it seem like you’re leading me to the dark-side of the force?

It was merely a suggestion. But you’re right, just as junk-food is a low-quality source of calories, so too is outrage a low-quality source of energy. Ideally, you should seek to find something that inspires, not enrages.

Why’s it so hard to find that vitalizing path through life?

Is it hard, or do you simply stop yourself, too anxious to proceed on a path that requires trust? Your suspiciousness of life and its motive keeps you locked away.

Why’s it so easy to mistrust?

Again, that sounds like a difficult way to live. Constant anxiety about what’s going to happen next? Feeling weak and powerless, a perpetual victim of life’s whims? When all you really have to do is let go. Life has been carrying you along this entire time — imagine how much easier it will be once you stop struggling against the current.

Aware Avatar

An avatar is born into this world, it’s a part of it, perfectly formed to fit like a puzzle-piece. The piece is unique, containing attributes that allow it to fit within one particular spot. And like a puzzle, a greater picture is revealed when all the pieces assemble together. But what use is a creative process, especially the final product, when no one is around to appreciate it? And so consciousness comes in to observe the events taking place — from beginning to end, a watcher-within witnesses the existence of the avatar.

But this merging procedure can be a bumpy one. At around four years of age, a child goes from pure-automaton to an avatar with a passenger. This passenger, this observer, is oftentimes shaken by his sudden awareness of humanness. He imagines himself as a creature existing within a turbulent world in which he must struggle to survive. He believes that HE is the human. But not being of this world, he’s frightened beyond belief. How can he survive!? He knows absolutely nothing about this place!

If the merger had went well, the consciousness would’ve simply observed the life of the avatar, the character he’s assigned to watch. The avatar knows exactly what to do in this world. But instead, the consciousness mistakenly believes himself to be the human and is scrambling to get a foothold. The avatar simply wants to live out his life, but the observer shuts everything down, too afraid to act while busily fighting against the avatar’s inclination to participate in an active life.

Everyday, the consciousness forbids the avatar from acting. “Are you nuts! I can’t go out there! It’s dangerous!” And so the avatar is hidden away, restricted from fitting into the puzzle he so desperately wants to be a part of. Eventually the avatar gives up. From this perspective, depression is the avatar’s protest against the observer-within. The consciousness is forced to stop and think, forced to consider what’s really going on here.

But oftentimes, the observer doesn’t quite get it and returns to his old habits as soon as possible. The lesson he SHOULD learn, is that the avatar is an autonomous vehicle that’s fully-capable of proceeding through life — all while showing the consciousness a good time. If he’d simply observe, the watcher-within would be whisked around as a spectator to the character’s story. If he’d stop believing that HE is the human, things would go a lot smoother.

And so the two must reconcile, otherwise they remain at odds — a cantankerous pair in constant combat, each with an ability to damage the other. The two reach a harmonic bond when the consciousness realizes his place: to be an appreciative audience to the avatar’s existence, always encouraging the avatar as it travels through a series of entertaining experiences. Under his control, life was boring and unimaginative — but now with the avatar as captain, the consciousness finally enjoys himself as a grand narrative unfolds.

Conscious Example

My character LOVES technology. And I mean loves it. I remember going through a rough-patch about a decade ago, and the imminent release of the 2nd-generation Macbook Air was enough to provide me with the courage to carry on. I’ve had two recent dreams about driving in Teslas on Autopilot. My friend just sent me a picture of a pallet full of Segway ninebot scooters at Costco and I was overcome by the glorious excess. On YouTube today, they suggested a couple videos featuring the DJI RoboMaster S1 programmable robot — I knew instantly that I needed one (okay maybe two).

But my consciousness doesn’t like when my character imagines getting involved with such things. “What?! A Tesla!? You can’t afford that!” or “What!? A $600 scooter!? Are you being serious right now?!!” or “What!? A $500 robotic kid’s toy!? Are you nuts!?!” My consciousness believes only in limitation and lack. If I can’t see a clear path to the goal, then it absolutely can NOT be done. And spoiler alert: I can never see a clear path — the answer is always NO.

Programming has fascinated me since elementary school when they had us type-in some BASIC instructions on Apple IIe computers. But it wasn’t until young-adulthood that I started programming for real. Even then, it was a struggle to overcome the idea that programming was near-impossible — something only well-trained engineers could do. My negativity was persistent. “Program something!? Do you know how hard that is!?? Don’t waste your time!!” and “So you made a little program, so what, you’ll never make anything significant enough to make money!”

Basically, my consciousness has been sabotaging my character’s path through life. I won’t even mention the fact that my consciousness once convinced my character to live in a mobile-home park for seven years simply because it was the simplest option he could imagine. “Cheap and easy? Do THAT!” My character wasn’t happy there, he went into deep soul-searching mode. For these past few years he’s been trying to exorcise the demon that’s been plaguing him his entire life: a relentlessly negative consciousness.

Apparently, the observer-within got a bit too overzealous and believed himself to be the whole kit-and-caboodle. He literally thought we was the beginning, middle, and end of his own existence. In short, the observer thought he was a fragile creature struggling for survival amidst a harsh and brutal world. He assumed that he had to go it alone — and of course FREAKED-OUT since he had no clue what to do. What he should’ve done is sat still and observed i.e. his job. But like a bad middle-manager, he took matters into his own hands and started going around like he was the character. Let’s just say he made a real mess of things.

This poor frightened fellow needs to understand that he’s off the hook. He’s not the guy in charge — just a passenger along for the ride. It’s kinda like that philosophical question: does a tree make a sound if it falls in the woods and no one hears it? Well it turns out, that no, you need an observer — which is why observers and characters are paired up. But sometimes the process doesn’t go so smoothly, obviously. So I’m telling you, dear conscious observer, you can relax now. Simply sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride — that’s your only job. The character, who was born of this world, will gladly do his thing — he’s already wound-up, just let him go.

Regarding Avatars

Dear higher-consciousness, how should I regard the avatar?

Good question, conscious-observer. Now that you’ve been riding around inside the avatar for all these years, it’s great that you’re finally acknowledging it. First, the avatar is not a “hunk-of-junk” that you “got stuck with”. It’s an advanced autonomous-vehicle that carries you along on your life’s journey from beginning to end. It does NOT require your input or intervention for correct operation. In fact, manual-control is not advised under ANY circumstance.

While the capacity for manual-control exists, it’s simply there to provide the sensation of immersion. In other words, you wouldn’t want to feel locked-in or trapped, so there’s some wiggle-room. Think of it like an amusement-park ride in which there’s merely a lap-bar reminding you to stay seated. While you could easily slide out from under the bar and jump-off, that’d be stupid and you’d hurt yourself. In the same way, you should remain seated at all times within the avatar and keep your hands OFF the controls — you simply don’t know enough to be effective.

If left alone, the avatar will whisk you around this world and complete all the tasks that lead to a fulfilling life. It’s that simple. ALL your needs will be met without you worrying about anything. Again, and no offense, but you literally don’t know enough about this world to do anything on your own — and why should you? That’s why you’re here! To experience this new and interesting adventure! It may seem intense at times, but don’t worry, your avatar can handle any-and-all situations as long as you allow it to.

The avatar is essentially an automaton containing a complete personality, capable of performing flawlessly throughout its lifespan. The avatar is more than a simple body, it’s the entirety of the character. YOU are the observer of this character, you are NOT the character. I can tell that you’ve confused the two, which is why you’re constantly attempting to manually control the avatar. The avatar is of this world whereas you are not, thus the avatar can easily navigate this realm whereas you cannot.

So, IF you find the avatar performing poorly, you can guarantee that the reason is YOU. Please be aware that there are two primary ways in which you can screw things up. The first is manual-control and the second is criticism. The avatar is a responsive and emotional caretaker that will listen to you. If you disparage the avatar or the world it resides within, it WILL feel the sting and performance will suffer. For the smoothest possible ride, you must remain a polite passenger.

Politeness isn’t hard: simply show some respect, be thankful. You don’t own the avatar, in fact it’s doing YOU a favor by ferrying you around. YOU don’t know more than the avatar, YOU are essentially clueless here, relying on the avatar to maintain your existence within this world. Wouldn’t it be grand if you acknowledged and appreciated this fact? When YOU look in the mirror, the avatar is like a puppy looking back, simply waiting for acceptance and a little pat on the head — let it know how much you love it.

Autonomous Ride

How is the body an autonomous vehicle? When you eat, the teeth and tongue and throat simply do their thing while you essentially sit there, aware of the taste. “Mmm this is good” you think, as the process happens without supervision. And you’re certainly not involved in coordinating the digestive process, are you?

And when you walk, you’re not planning and arranging all the actions of your feet — you’re simply carried along as your mind wanders elsewhere. Same when you drive a car, you’re not constantly scanning for possible obstructions while monitoring your speed and maintaining a steady wheel all while actively coordinating your foot on the gas-pedal — no, you essentially sit there enjoying the view as you’re whisked down the road.

Or when you need a solution to a problem, you can sit there all day trying to hash-out an answer that never comes. Until finally, you’re in the shower the next day and the solution suddenly appears in your thoughts. Bingo! So it seems as though EVERYTHING you do is an autonomous action of the body — and all that stuff “just works”. Your body does what it does while your awareness simply watches it happen.

But does it? Does your consciousness simply sit there? Oh that’s right, your consciousness expresses itself through constant criticism. Nothing the avatar does is ever good enough. And so you berate it, “You’re worthless! If I’d have been born as ANYTHING else it would’ve been better than THIS! You’re disgusting, a loser, you don’t deserve to contain my consciousness!” On and on, and everyday it’s the same thing.

And with that same consciousness, you blame the avatar for the miserable time you’re having. That poor avatar is the cause of every problem in the world. It can’t be your intense negativity that’s causing you to be unsatisfied — right? It MUST be the avatar’s fault. Tearing it down day after day has no detrimental effect — right? Poor sleep? Slouching? Headaches? Poor digestion? Feeling startled all the time? None of that sounds familiar right?

Maybe, just maybe, after all the abusive diatribes you’ve levied against your avatar, perhaps you’ve managed to beat it into a quivering mass of poorly-performing goo? MAYBE you can’t sleep or stay unflustered or even stand-up straight because your avatar actually does listen to you — it reads you LOUD AND CLEAR. And you’ve never said ANYTHING except “YOU SUCK”.

This is what they mean by self-love: appreciating your avatar, the vehicle that’s done nothing except carry you through this world in order to experience a fun time. But not you, Mister Smarty-Pants, you’d rather bully an avatar than enjoy yourself. That sounds like a super-smart idea — a real good plan. How’s that been working out for ya? LIKE SHIT!!! In other words, STOP IT!!

Who am I? Well if the avatar is the character you’re playing-as while on Earth, and you’re the conscious-observer being whisked around by the avatar, I am the higher consciousness the resides beyond it all. I’m here when you fuck-up. The balancer. I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed. But if you say one more goddamned thing about your avatar… I dare you… I double-dog dare you….

Listen princess, you tried your way for a good many decades already, and it only proved what a complete and clueless moron you are. Now you get to sit pretty while you keep your yapper zipped. The only words I want to hear from you is how fucking awesome everything is. How fucking amazed you are by this world. How happy and appreciative you are to be living in this magnificent place. And you better fucking mean every fucking word of it.

It’s not rocket-science pal. Within the mind, bullshit-based thoughts enter: shut them down. Favorable thoughts enter: you invite them in to stay awhile. Use your focus to concentrate on everything good that evokes delight. Avoid focusing on stupid shit. And for the love of all that is holy, DO NOT disparage your avatar — pay it some goddamned respect for once.

Listen, you fucked up but it’s time to start over: Hi, welcome to Earth! Please enjoy yourself while you ride around in this complementary vehicle. We’ve spared no expense in making this the most interesting and immersive experience ever! There’s all sorts of activities and adventures to keep you entertained for many years to come! We’re so excited to share this with you, and hope you have a wonderful time in this place where dreams come true! Have fun!

Autonomous Obstacle

It seems like our consciousness is whisked around in an autonomous vehicle. If that’s true, then what’s the problem? Either the autonomous aspects were programmed in a sub-standard way OR the passenger keeps interfering, which screws everything up. Which is more likely?

Imagine a Tesla on Autopilot driving down the street while you-the-passenger sit there anxiously, constantly on alert for something to go wrong, ready to grab the wheel and take over. That’s no fun. And what makes you think your senses and reflexes are better than the car’s radar, ultra-sonic sensors, and vision-based detection mechanisms?

The more likely scenario is that YOU keep getting in your own way. You refuse to trust the vehicle while insisting on manual-control despite having no clue of what you’re doing. “Oh no, I’m too close to the edge! I better turn! Oops, I over-corrected! Ahh, this is worse than before!!” Instead, you should simply let the car do its thing.

“But I’m not going in the right direction! It’s too close to oncoming traffic! I have to fix everything!” But you-the-passenger don’t know which direction to go, the car does. You don’t understand the capabilities of the car, the car knows. You don’t know how to fix anything, the car does — you’re just the passenger.

IF manual-control was the correct procedure, you’d be having a great time right now. Since you’re not, it means that fighting against the vehicle’s autonomous-controls is a bad idea — you get lost. Imagine grabbing the controls of an advanced spaceship and blindly pressing buttons while heading in random directions, stupid right? THEN STOP DOING IT!

The correct procedure is to sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride. Because you don’t know where to go or what to do, it’s the only logical option anyway. Your primary obstacle as a passenger is not the obstructions in the road (that’s the car’s job), your hurdle is letting go and trusting the driver. That’s it. From that perspective, you need to develop an ability to calmly look out the window and appreciate the scenery.