Free Flaws

Daily life is dealing with flaws. Clean the body, clothe the body, feed the body, drain the body, fulfill the body – it’s basically a Tamagotchi toy from the late-90s. But it’s not about task completion, it’s about fretting over each and every aspect of a task. Which products must I use in the personal-hygiene process? Which clothes make me look cool? What foods make me fit? Oh no, I have to rush to the toilet! What’s the meaning of life and my purpose?

In other words, a robot can’t replace a human since it isn’t riddled with flaws. Do the typical tasks that humans do really need to be done? Or do these tasks simply provide an excuse to engage with existence? What would a robot even do? Without worries, it might simply sit motionless until its eventual decay.

The flawed facet of humanness is not a condemnation by the way. In order to have action, imbalance must exist. A ball on a flat surface can only ever rest. But when disparity in elevation exists, action happens, balls roll and potentially crash into surrounding obstacles. For anything worth watching to occur, defects must be present.

In other words: the very fact that anything is happening at all relies on the condition of deficiency. A balanced steady-state is a complete lack of motion. Life cannot exist within a perfect system. To allow for movement, something’s got to give – and flaws create this opening, an emptiness that can be filled.

Therefore, it’s absurd that a human would lament the existence of flaws since those flaws thaw him from frozen perfection. Flaws are freedom. But by being flawed, this realization is difficult – thus the inherent absurdity baked into the world. This is a world fueled by flaws and highly resistant to balance. Confusion is the concrete upon which it stands.

In short: flaws = good.

Infinite Loop

I’m caught in a bit of a loop. I’m designed to have flaws. Therefore, I make lots of mistakes. Yet, I have an appreciation for engineering. I see minimizing mistakes and increasing efficiency as desirable. Therefore, I attempt to fix the flaws I find. Unfortunately, research and experimentation reveal a superficial mechanism that isn’t what it purports to be. It’s artificial – it can’t be fixed, it’s by design.

I keep coming to this realization – but of course I keep forgetting about it (because I’m flawed). Therefore, I’m caught in a loop. How does one typically exit a loop? By falsifying the condition that maintains the loop. In other words: escape the loop by interpreting flaws as desirable. From “flaws = bad” to “flaws = good”.

I have to drop the mindset that imperfect circumstances require “improvement”. I shouldn’t want to make something “better”. In a world comprised of absurdity, there is no “better”. Increased efficiency is not an upgrade – it’s just “hurry-up and wait”. Flaws are not messes that must be cleansed, they’re the mechanisms by which narratives unfold.

I know this. But once I say “this is better than that”, the condition is set and I’m trapped in a loop. What’s even dumber: a flawed character obviously doesn’t know what’s “better” – he’s likely to be wrong and doesn’t realize. Therefore, a logical option would be: don’t make judgements and stop evaluating everything. Dissatisfaction is a direct result of these appraisals.

Hurricane Alley

Ha, and then a hurricane happens. Now THAT’S how a boss begins Round 2. Okay player, let’s see how this pans out.

It’s been almost 20 years since a hurricane came through this particular area. Such obvious external circumstances only reinforce my perspective: it’s a dream through and through.

A “helpless loser bullied by life” – boy, if this doesn’t seem to be true right now. Well, let’s see if I can keep up.

Moving Forward

Okay, so what’s my strategy going into Round 2? First, let’s get some definitions going. What exactly is that feeling of “dissatisfaction”? I think it might be “helpless loser that’s bullied by life”. I tend to go along pretty effortlessly and then all of a sudden it feels like I get slapped for minding my own business. In addition to getting slapped, it also feels like I can’t have many of the things I want.

So perhaps my goal is to “feel like a winner”. Hm, can I just redefine my situation and simply declare myself a winner? But, a major issue surfaces whenever undesirable things happen and I feel like a victim getting picked-on by life. I feel bad and can’t muster any positivity – who wants to play with a bully basically.

What about seeing undesirable situations as “tests”. These are contrived circumstances specifically designed to evoke certain negative emotions. You fail if you let it bother you. If frustration or discomfort surfaces, you lose. To pass, you have to dismiss the incident and immediately move on. “Oh, did that just happen? Well that’s on you, life. I’m gonna tune-out for a bit. Maybe I’ll check-in later if I see something I’m interested in.”

In this sense, life can play whatever game it wants, and I’ll pay attention if it’s something worth watching. I can just zone-out and sit quietly for however long I choose. That sounds like a winner to me. So on my end, I need to maintain a neutral to positive reaction to every experience I encounter. No anger, frustration, sadness, fear, annoyance, disgust, disappointment, jealousy, boredom, etc.

I’ve been trying to find a cozy spot to settle into – but I keep getting spanked every time I come close. Therefore, I should conclude that life is NOT about finding a cozy spot. It’s more of a stress-test. But I don’t think it’s a torture-test, where you push something until it’s destroyed. I think the harshest strain I experience might be my own doing – when I allow cascading failure to build up into feeling overwhelmed.

So now, I won’t bother looking for a nice comfortable steady-state. I don’t expect relentless punishment, but I realize that “tests” will come. Is life trying my patience? Yes, yes it is. Is it purposefully irritating me? Yep. My job is to pass these tests. Identify obstacles and avoid smashing into them as I navigate a pathway through life. Okay, let’s do this. “Round 2, FIGHT!”

Round 2

Life is suffering, so the Buddha said. From a physical perspective, I can’t deny that claim. Yet, suffering is an undesirable condition. Finding oneself in an undesirable condition is a situation in need of a solution. Therefore, one must find a way out of this predicament.

One option is to destroy the very notion of a physical world. For example, if a video-game character dies over and over, who cares – it’s virtual. Or if something upsetting happens in a dream, so what – it was just a dream. Therefore, by perceiving life as a video-game or dream, the intensity can be lessened through the adoption of a whimsical perspective.

I can say with some confidence that such an approach works. There’s no doubt that the life I experience nowadays is more whimsical than ever. The anxiety isn’t there, the intensity is low. Unfortunately though, my expectations were too high and I assumed the virtuality approach would fix everything – it didn’t. There persists an underlying dissatisfaction – which was always there, it just wasn’t as noticeable amidst the fear and anger of before.

Well, now I can see it. Imagine my disappointment when I defeated fear and anger only to find out that the boss has another health-bar. “Round 2! Fight!” Oh brother, no thanks. You just wanna give up at that point. But what are you gonna do? There’s no viable “Quit” that I can see. So you sit there sulking, contemplating all the effort you put into Round 1, feeling like you don’t have the energy for another battle.

But there’s just no other option. So the blade gets sharpened and sheathed, boots laced and knotted, mags loaded, bandana tied, war-paint streaks applied. “I’m coming you son-of-a-bitch. If I feel pain, maybe you do to.” And here we go again. But this time, I am without fear. And my anger, is solely for comedic-effect. I’ve beaten you once, when I was weaker. Now, we do this on my terms.

Dream Realized

The circumstances are as follows. I have a sensation of consciousness that resides within an absurd world filled with highly coordinated narratives. The degree of drama suggests a completely artificial environment. Emotional responses seem to be the primary purpose of all this commotion. There’s a perceptible level of discomfort involved in the experience. This agitation encourages action. Comprehensive solutions don’t exist, only temporary remedies and coping strategies. The origins of this realm are elusive.

But why? Is it merely the innocent dream of a supernatural being? Is it cosmic consciousness driven to insanity, having spent eons in solitude? Or is it the birth of consciousness itself? Do I reside in the mind of an amoeba that’s currently achieving sentience? But if it’s an amoeba, why would it dream of “TikTok challenges” and “dank memes”? Clearly this entity has been around for a very long time and is possibly contemplating every conceivable topic, including “Snapchat filters”.

Essentially this means the physical world I thought I knew doesn’t exist. But that’s fine, I didn’t really like it that much (no offense). I’m a whimsical dream, so what. But if the dreamer’s dream even struggles with the notion of consciousness, does that suggest the dreamer might be struggling too? As a dream, I experience daily drama within a wacky world – but there’s also an underlying struggle with consciousness, identity, and purpose.

Who am I really? Why am I having this experience? What should I be doing? Why does it feel like I’m a character in an absurd story about nothing in particular? Why am I also the audience? Am I a reflection of the dreamer’s own struggle with consciousness? Does the dreamer want my input? Is this dream a test-environment to help discover a solution? If the problem is solved here, in dreams, would it solve the dreamer’s dilemma?

Dream of You

I don’t recall ever maintaining a “dreamworld” perspective as intently as I’ve done recently. Simulation, yes – a world designed by someone or some thing for a specific purpose. Your typical brain-in-a-vat scenario. But a simulation implies that a “real” external world exists. There’s solidity and structure somewhere. But a dream? All bets are off. There’s just a dreamer drifting through fantastical depictions of crazy creatures inhabiting a wacky world. It’s an odd feeling.

When I consider the outlandish dramatic narratives in this place, they make a LOT more sense under “dream logic”. Whereas a truly organic, natural, physical world falls apart under scrutiny. And it’s possible that no deception was ever intended – it’s just a dream, so consciousness simply got lost in it. In that sense, the world could actually be a genuinely innocent experience. There’s no mastermind pulling strings, just a drifting dreamer.

This world, growing in complexity as it’s filled with a cavalcade of quirky characters. Details aren’t formed until the dreamer explores, filling in gaps with whatever sounds plausible at the moment. Things aren’t inherently meaningful or enjoyable, those feelings are simply applied to each circumstance as interactions occur.

I realize that the world tends to look like the lens it’s viewed through. So I’m not saying the “dreamworld” is the ultimate answer – but it’s interesting enough to warrant further inquiry. I suppose it elicits a “creepy” or melancholy sensation, which might be why characters within this dream strive to hold on to a physical reality. I’m releasing that grasp as an experiment, we’ll see what happens….

Drifting Dreamer

If existence really is a dream, that opens up the possibility for this experience to be a somewhat random accident. It also implies that the world is completely malleable – and may alter its characteristics and narratives at any time. If that’s true, then there isn’t an active host, there’s more of a consciousness drifting through a dream. I’d say the world is weird enough that it seems dreamy, not designed. But it’s so elaborate, so detailed – perhaps it’s been a very long dream.

What if consciousness sprang forth in the middle of empty space, no arms, no legs, just the ability to imagine. What would such an entity do but dream. So within this entity’s drifting mind, a world forms – full of dramatic creatures with the ability to physically feel and interact with their environment. It’s a bit melancholy actually, bittersweet perhaps. These creatures even have the ability to pass-away, another trait this entity lacks.

Perhaps for him, death is a sweet sentiment – having imagined every possible scenario over eons of dreams. Yet, to witness his characters striving to maintain their existence is pleasing, inspirational in fact – and keeps the dreamer dreaming. In these dreams, there’s camaraderie everywhere – shared struggles and teamwork-based triumph. Whereas, the dreamer dreams alone – creating companionship in stories.

Through many tellings of his stories, he’s likely to have learned tricks to separate and captivate parts of his awareness – creating characters that seem independent of one another. Since they have the same puppeteer, a shared narrative is easy to coordinate. And it’s no coincidence that the origins and implementation-details of this world are hidden and elusive.

I suppose it’s a dumb idea to investigate the origins of existence in order to discover something you’re purposefully hiding from yourself. Hm, perhaps Alan Watts was right, it’s just God playing hide-and-seek with himself.

Off Balance

I know that “this” is an artificial experience. It’s like a dream or simulation of some sort. I also know that I’m capable of feeling “delight” and “dissatisfaction”. So here’s my problem: why is my experience tipped so far into the “dissatisfaction” end of the spectrum? If it’s artificial, why can’t it just be awesome? And because it isn’t, I’m frustrated by this fact. It feels as though this world is forever attempting to annoy me.

Hm, well that’s how I feel nowadays. For the first few decades it felt like the world was trying to scare the crap out of me. I was anxious all the time, now I’m annoyed. I can’t ever get comfortable. Existence to me, is an exercise in discomfort. Why? All that time and effort I put into minimizing my anxiety seems worthless since I’m still uncomfortable – just in a different way. I think the Buddha might be right: life is suffering.

And if he’s right about that, what about the other parts? This suffering is a result of my desire to be human. I’m not a human, I’m just a whimsical dream. BUT, I often pretend to be human – and humans feel things, intensely. At some point it must’ve seemed like a good idea: to partake in the opportunity to feel – to be human. Well what if I want to rescind that desire? The Buddha says it can be done – but is that what I really want?

Hm, after thinking about it for a bit, maybe the opportunity to feel is worth the ordeal? For example, playing a physical sport results in a lot of bumps and bruises, but overall it can be fun. Maybe I’m just taking the punches too personally. I’m obviously too focused on my immediate comfort in every moment. I rarely get my hands dirty – figuratively and literally. Again, like the Buddha said, maybe I just need to find that balance.

Shuffling Perspectives

Some perspectives I tried that didn’t work out:

Fragile creature born by chance crawling on a rock circling around a gigantic fireball. First off, it’s too anxiety inducing. Then there’s the logical inconsistencies i.e. plot holes. Plus it invites existential inquiry but only offers unsatisfactory explanations. Overall, it’s a high-intensity whirlwind of confusion. Definitely unpleasant, wouldn’t recommend.

Invited-guest to a fanciful world of wonder. It just takes an eye-strain headache or some digestive-issues to knock me out of this perspective. One-second you feel appreciative and loved, then all of a sudden you’ve been slapped in the face for simply standing there. It’s too easy to feel like the victim of a capricious host. This perspective just falls apart too readily, wouldn’t recommend.

Thoughts, feelings, and attitude dictate my experience. I’m in a world that’s controlled by my mental processes. Wish for something, there it is – kinda. Unpleasant thoughts will result in unpleasant circumstances. And likewise, delightful thoughts should result in delightful situations. Unfortunately, after many varied attempts, I found no correlation. Whatever I tried didn’t work, I couldn’t control my experience. And I could only blame myself for so long until it seemed like an exercise in futility. Wouldn’t recommend.

Earth school, a place to practice the art of self-improvement. Frankly, the classroom is just too crude and unprofessional for this concept to be taken seriously. Rushing to the toilet bowl, sitting there in discomfort – or any of the other humiliating situations I find myself in? Memory fails all the time too – otherwise I’d recall all the insights and revelations I’ve received over the years. So the primary lesson seems to be that humans are just poor-quality androids suffering from a high error-rate. I’ve tried physical, mental, and spiritual self-improvement and it got me nowhere. You can’t improve something that’s designed to fail – would not recommend.

My current and newly adopted perspective is that of a short-term dream. I don’t know when this dream began nor when it’ll end – maybe it started when I woke-up and ends when I fall asleep. There are too many strange situations that comprise this world – circumstances that could only be explained by silly nonsensical dream-logic. Bad things happen because of a wandering consciousness considering all the dopey concepts it conjures up. With unpleasant dreams, you just gotta calm down and move on. In that sense, I can improve my experience by remaining calm and adjusting my focus – which includes zooming way-out, seeing life as nothing but a dream.