Surprise Party

I keep hearing this message: if you practice appreciation, things get substantially better. In other words, when you actively look for the good in your circumstances, and you’re thankful for what you find, then good stuff will keep coming your way.

It’s as if you’re telling life “hey I like all this good stuff, thanks a lot, can I please have some more?”. Otherwise, if you maintain a pessimistic, complaint-filled attitude, you’re essentially telling life “hey, everything you provide for me sucks, please stop sending me stuff or I’ll keep complaining — leave me the f*ck alone!” And life-the-fulfillment-generator, ever wanting to please, does exactly as you ask.

Oh and life doesn’t go for that “do as I say, not as I do” bullsh*t. If you superficially ask for something awesome, and then think negative-thoughts the whole rest of the day, then those vain wishes won’t register with life. You gotta walk-the-walk. If you want awesome stuff, then you have to display that desire to life in the form of constant appreciation.

One important aspect of displaying appreciation, is to stop focusing on yourself. For example, if Jen throws you a surprise party, does Jen want to hear about how scared you were when she jumped out? Does Jen want to hear you criticize her choice of decorations? Does Jen want to hear about how much the cake doesn’t quite suit your tastes? NO! Of course not! Jen wants to hear a sincere “Wow, thank you Jen! This was amazing!”.

If you can’t praise the item itself, praise the effort and generosity behind it. “But Rich! I can’t find anything good in my life! Everything sucks!” Then you’re not trying hard enough. You’re being lazy. And now, the onus is on you — life doesn’t suck, you suck for being such a self-centered, whining brat. Life provides a veritable playground-of-adventure, and all you can do is nitpick. Sheesh.

And if you want to personify the creative-force-underlying-life as God, then go right ahead: God the creator, by your benevolent generosity, you’ve provided a garden for me to play within. It’s amazing, I love it! The complete immersion I feel here is incredible, I so often believe myself to be an embodied being — full of emotions and all kinds of sensations. Everyday you provide interesting circumstances with which to engage my attention. I’m absolutely amazed by the spectacle before me, the narratives go this way and that — I’m always surprised! For this gift you have given me, I in return give you my ever-present gratitude. I am honored to be here experiencing existence — thank you.

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Drama Factory

No matter who it is, everyone has issues with being an embodied being. In all the interviews I’ve ever watched, “being human” is something everyone has to deal with. The obstacles of life have nothing to do with physical survival — they’re about “how do I deal with all this drama”.

I don’t personally know anyone that died from a survival-related death. Yet I did know a few people that died because they couldn’t deal with the drama related to being human. And even in my own life, after several decades of existing, survival has never come up once — but struggling against drama has been a constant theme.

And this is all manufactured/imagined drama by the way — fear of the unknown/change/the-boogeyman — anxiety over imagined consequences or assumptions about other people’s actions/reactions. My particular brand of drama tends to be fear-based. Bad-stuff within my individual life isn’t really a thing. But the worry over it, is an ever-present weight that crushes my spirit.

So that’s the battle: you versus negativity-based drama. But here’s the funny part: who’s the author of all this negative drama? I’ll wait while you consider your answer… take your time. Yep! It’s YOU! Haha! The bad news is that you suck for being such a dick to yourself. The good news is that you CAN stop this unnecessary torment.

I know you love bullying yourself, and I know it’s a habit that’ll take time to change, but I know you can do it. Life is the playground in this scenario, providing a whole bunch of equipment for you to play on — that’s it. And you’re the bully, scaring yourself from ever daring to go near those fun-contraptions. And you’re also the victim that sits alone, too scared to venture out into the sun.

Pss! Hey! Did you hear what Jennifer said about you!? She said you’re dumb. I mean I never heard her say that, but I’m pretty sure she was thinking it. Oh, and I heard the last kid that used those swings died!! Yeah, I wouldn’t even walk within 100 feet if I were you. I hope you received your cootie shot, I heard there’s an outbreak going around, luckily you can avoid contamination by hiding in a closet all day.

Boy, you’re mean. But that’s okay, bullies can be reformed. And listen, just because you’re also the victim, doesn’t mean you can sit and mope about it, you have to claim some agency in the matter. Stand up for yourself! You’re the same person for goodness sake! The bully/victim stuff is getting old, find a new way to entertain yourself.

This fear factory is going-out-of-business, and everything must go. I don’t care if you’re bored to tears, find a new hobby. Look into comedic themes, culinary delights, mysteries or puzzles, traveling, adventure themes, collecting, researching — literally anything besides scaring yourself — it’s stupid, move on. NEXT!!

Holy Water

Today I went outside to scrub the exterior of the mobile-home (it’s a prerequisite for selling). I used a small brush on the end of a long pole. It was raining, so mother-nature helped with the rinsing. If you think mosquitos don’t go out in the rain… you’re WRONG. Not only don’t they care about the many droplets falling down, they’re so stimulated by them that they’ll attack your face!

A simple activity right? Walk outside — scrub, scrub, scrub — walk inside — done. And it WAS a simple activity. But that’s not what happened internally — oh no! Not even close!!! When I was first informed that I’d have to go out and clean the exterior, I wasn’t pleased, I felt like a victim, WHY ME!?? I thought: that’s not my problem, find someone else to do your dirty work.

Because it’s not just that, I also have to stain the deck now. Again, those activities aren’t that hard for me, and I have time to kill. But oh no, I have to see EVERYTHING as a personal slight — every little invitation to get involved with life is an attack upon my serenity. And who knows, perhaps my disturbed mind even manifested that horde of blood-thirsty mosquitos.

Oh and of course we all know that mosquitos can carry disease — I was risking my life out there!! And for what!!?? Just to clean a bit of green stuff off of the vinyl siding? But while I was out there, I tried to stay mindful of myself, just a guy out workin’ in the rain. I like the rain. Eventually I was trying to see the positive aspects of my labor — I like working with tools, I’m just waiting around twiddling-my-thumbs until the closing-date anyway, and it’s nice to be in nature once in awhile.

And yes, in my time of need, surrounded by pestilence, I even remembered to reach out to Almighty God (maintaining a God-centric perspective is a current experiment of mine). And you know what, I think it helped. How comforting it is to simply trust that life is looking out for you. Life was just providing an activity for me, a simple one at that. But I had to infuse it with a ridiculous amount of melodrama.

I apologize to that-which-provides for the lack of faith I demonstrated today. I wasn’t attacked by nature, but by my own dour attitude. If I can’t appreciate the little things, how will I ever appreciate the bigger things. It is a constant appreciation I must strive to attain. Life is good, God is great — Oh, ha, I just realized the significance of being out in the rain and baptism and that sorta stuff, ha.

Mother Earth

If you’re gonna have a relationship with God, you’re gonna need a way to relate to God, and most likely a way of envisioning God. I didn’t grow up with religion, so I don’t really have much of a preconceived religious-style image of God. I did watch a lot of TV and movies though. As a kid in the 80s, I used to see God portrayed by George Burns in the “Oh, God!” movies. But that’s not really my style, I’d rather picture something that aligns with my particular tastes.

I think I’d relate better to a gentle and caring motherly type. So to me, God is a mom that gave birth to the world — and the world is full of her children all running amok. She cares for them like a garden since she has so many to tend to. All the little sprouts have to deal with weeds and pests until she makes her rounds. We’re to grow independently within the garden, just as any plant would.

We mustn’t get too full of ourselves though, believing ourself a gardener, lest we get cast out. The good little plant maintains itself within the provided spot. And mamma nudges and cajoles when a plant grows off course. Some plants will fight their constraints and feel the strain of the support-stick propping them up. Sometimes a seed gets planted in the wrong place, and that’s fine, she knows this and loves her plants all the same. Hybrids are fine too.

Really, she just gardens for the sake of it. There’s no purpose behind it besides the joy of seeing little-ones grow and blossom. For example, I’ve seen life through a child’s eyes, the excitement and joy over simple things, it really can be a source of great amusement for the parent. She adores her garden and tenderly cares for it as a whole, as well as each little sprout. She enjoys the variety of sizes, scents, and colors.

I grew up with siblings, so I can relate to the fact that I often have to wait for attention — and that’s true with God too. But that’s a good thing, it gives the little plants time to try and work things out on their own. No one likes the pressure of constant attention. Plants grow better when left alone from time to time. But if she sees us struggling, she won’t hesitate to help, we just have to willingly accept it — we can be stubborn little sprouts.

Our bodies, firmly rooted in this world, bloom and grow under the devoted effort of God our gardener. But we are not just plants of course, for within us is the seed of God herself, forming a concurrent root system that reaches deeper than dirt, into a realm beyond earth. And from our seat of consciousness we watch and delight in all the ongoings of the garden — tiny sprouts aware of their own growth.

Good God

Within this blog I’ve tried a bunch of experiments. Here’s another one. For the time being, I’m going to adopt a God-centric perspective. Having been raised in an atmosphere devoid of religion, I’m somewhat new to this concept. “God” doesn’t roll off my tongue for instance, it feels strange to say the word.

For most of my life, I would’ve identified with atheism and the supremacy of popular scientific ideas about existence. But after a few decades of living with that perspective, I found it too anxiety-inducing and abandoned it. Consequently I’ve been in search of something new. For the last few years I’ve been a big believer in “Simulation Theory”, and that’s done a good job of allowing me to develop a non-physical interpretation of life. For the most part, all of my worries went away.

But of course a simulation must have a programmer — and I suppose it’s time to delve deeper into that aspect of existence. This concept is already well established in religion obviously, so there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. The programmer, is God. And from what I’ve seen, religious/spiritual folks have relationships with God. They often thank God, love God, speak about God, heck they even eat God if I’m not mistaken. So, that’s what I’m planning to do… develop a relationship with God. (Yes, that still sounds awkward to me).

Really though, it’s like I’ve been invited to a party and I’ve been ignoring the host the entire time. How rude is that? Obviously I should head over and thank him for everything and tell him how great this is. But instead I’ve been hiding in a corner, complaining about everything and lamenting my invitation. Well, it’s time to suck it up and do the right thing.

Hey God, it’s me Rich. Awesome party you’ve got here — quite the spectacle. Hey if you need me to help out with anything, don’t hesitate to ask. Sorry I’ve kept to myself for so long, I guess I was a bit overwhelmed. I mean you gotta admit, things can get pretty crazy around here! Ha! Haha! ha…. Well anyways, thanks for the invite, I appreciate it, I mean what else would I be doing with my time? Heh. So… yeah I’m going to checkout the food table, outstanding selection by the way. If there’s something I can get you, lemme know. Thanks again!

Rational Realization

Take a look at me for instance. Do I look like I know what I’m doing? Of course not! But that’s the good news. If I don’t know what I’m doing, yet I’m still doing it after all these years, then life isn’t a problem to solve, there’s no difficulty here. It seems like ya just have to drift, and life carries you along. Easy peasy.

Let’s compare regular life with a game of Minecraft on survival-mode for instance. In Minecraft you have to worry about hostile mobs hunting and attacking you, night itself and the dangers it brings, falling, holes in the ground and caves, food procurement, attaining adequate shelter, and a few other things.

Now realize, when I’m describing regular life, I’m talking about my own personal experiences, not things I’ve seen happen to others — only things that’ve actually happened to me. I’ve never been attacked by a hostile enemy, never had a bad experience at night, never fell from a high height (I did willingly jump and accidentally broke my wrist), I’ve never stumbled into a random hole in the ground or even a dangerous cave, and I never had to worry about appropriate shelter or starvation.

Instead, my actual problems in life have been needless-worry and boredom. As it turns out, I’ve only been imagining a fearsome and dangerous world — I have no actual first-hand experiences to backup my assertion. I’ve certainly heard some gruesome tales, but I haven’t actually witnessed any. So why do I live my life as if they’re constant occurrences? Consequently, life has been very boring. If I shut myself up in a small room and rarely leave, of course I’m going to experience boredom!!! Duh!

Therefore, if I’m a follower of logic and sound reasoning, I must cease and desist believing and behaving as if the world is a hostile environment hell-bent on my destruction. Yes, scary stories exist, but to me they must remain stories as I lack definitive proof to confirm them. After several decades, all the horrible things I assumed to be true never manifested — I should be considered the weakest of thinkers if I continue believing that life wishes me harm.

And not only is life not attempting to hurt me, but life has kept me chugging along despite my best attempts to sabotage my experience with constant complaints and a bad attitude. My creator clearly loves me and exudes infinite patience. Apparently I am a welcomed guest in this world — logic dictates that I must accept this invitation with an open-mind and with as much gratitude as I can muster. Thank you, and I apologize for my earlier negativity. Now, I look forward to the fun and the lighthearted adventure that awaits.

Good versus Evil

Do you know what evil craves? Power. Infinite power. The power to manipulate existence and all within it — to bend men and element to its will.

Then what is good? Good relinquishes power. Despite having measureless might, good lets go — allowing everything to run its course.

If a creator is good, what would he do? He would divest himself of power — split into a billion shards scattered upon a canvas, each more powerless than the next. Individually these droplets of divinity would roll around as condensation covered glass. Yet in concert these flecks of light broadcast forth a radiant glow, illuminating the solitude of space.

Then what would the devil do? Attempt to consolidate power. Full of fear he would manipulate all within his reach, exerting influence in order to tame whatever seems unpredictable. Corralling drops into containers and creating darkness in which to hide from the light. But an artist he is not, so chaos is what ensues.

What should you do? Be good of course. Let the flecks spray where they may. Do your carefully arranged patterns ever equal those of nature’s natural beauty? Never. Your stinted machinations are not worth the effort. Instead, allow the artistry to flow through you, guiding all that you do. As a leaf delicately falls from the tree, as water winds its way down a river, as glowing rays beam forth from the sun, allow your interactions with the world to simply pour out.

Remove fear, remove the desire to manipulate, allow the forces within your sphere to progress as they please. A brush touches paint to canvas, an artist moves the brush, ability as well as inspiration drives the artist — all of these aspects come together to form the masterpiece. You can’t do it alone, but by appreciating this, you become a willing part of the process that does it.

Release your resistance. Let go your control. Be good.