Confused Key

Existence is a dreamlike experience. If you fail to reconcile this fact, you will suffer. The symptoms of such suffering include dissatisfaction, frustration, and anxiousness. In other words, you’ll have a very bad time. You’ll be utterly confused by the disjointed logic as well as constantly worried and scared of everything. You’ll feel like Alice, lost in a wicked Wonderland.

But this confusion is the key out of your dilemma. This confusion actually reveals the dreamlike nature of existence. In a solid world, things would make sense. Because things DON’T make sense, you know there’s more to it — something beyond your perception is serving as the foundation of this experience. And if that’s true, then this world is generated by something you can’t see: the dreamer.

You’re confused because you refuse to accept that this is a dream. You strongly deny it in fact, grabbing at loose bits of “evidence” that support your case of solidity. You’re stuck on this firm-earth theory of yours and claim counter-evidence is mere coincidence or cherry-picking or the ideas of a delusional madman. But the only award you win for your argument is misery — a stupid prize for a stupid game.

You sit there convincing yourself of your dire predicament: lost in a harsh and brutal world as you struggle to survive despite the world’s best efforts to destroy you. And with this story, you scare yourself into a dissatisfying inaction. To end this self-induced nightmare, simply stop arguing. Abandon your theory of solidity. Believe instead, that your attitude and expectations directly affect your experience.

You are the dreamer. Through your focus and attention, you alter your experience. Allow your confusion to serve as a reminder of what this is. Seek to follow the paths your preferences paint before you. There is NOTHING restraining you except your own belief in lack & limitation. It’s a dream after-all, something you’re reminded of EVERY night.

Fundamental Problem

The fundamental problem with embodied existence is NOT survival, health, money, purpose, relationships or any other in-world issue. The fundamental problem deals with the acceptance and appreciation of life’s dream-like nature. Life provides a dreamworld that takes getting used to. When we get frustrated by our inability to figure things out, we tend to paint life as the problem — instead of our own lack of understanding.

In our ignorance, we flail around as if drowning — then we’re overcome by the turbulence we created. From that perspective, of course life seems like a hellish nightmare designed to punish with pain. But it’s not true. Life is simply fulfilling our expectations. A cynical pessimist at the controls creates a dark and dreary dreamworld. And that dreamer mistakenly blames life, believing IT to be the source of all problems.

But YOU are the source of EVERY problem you’ve ever encountered. This is a dreamworld, and YOU inflict every ounce of pain upon yourself. You’ll deny it of course, and swear up and down that you’re not doing it to yourself. You’ll point out how life did this-and-that and you’re not to blame one bit. And THAT is why the fundamental problem of embodied existence is the inability to accept and appreciate life’s dream-like nature. You keep denying your contribution while declaring life as the problem.

Around and around you’ll go on this merry-go-round of misery… UNTIL you finally accept AND appreciate the dream-like nature of life — a place in which your attitude and expectations directly affect your experience. From there, you’ll stop focusing on the worst ideas you can imagine and focus on things that evoke joy instead. And lo and behold, the world will change before your eyes as that hellish nightmare morphs into a delightful dream. THIS is the ONLY problem you must solve, the rest is illusion.

Complicated Belief

It seems to me, that a “belief in simplicity” is the primary component when it comes to effectively doing something. If you examine “talent” for instance, it’s the ability to perform a function without complication. If you have a talent for memorization, you simply recall previous facts — there aren’t any complex routines-of-memorization to perform, the facts just remain in your mind.

Whereas if you believe something is complicated, you’ll have trouble doing it. For example, if you’ve never ridden a bicycle and wonder how the heck you can manage to keep a two-wheeled vehicle stabilized while simultaneously peddling and steering, then you’re probably going to fall a few times if you try it. But eventually, as you get comfortable with the concept, biking becomes a piece of cake. It’ll go from seemingly complex, to effortlessly simple in just a moment.

What unlocks an ability, is not learning or even practice, but the acceptance of a belief that an ability is not complex — it’s simple instead. Again, “talent” is whatever we see as easy and uncomplicated. For example, my friend is a talented cook that can mix and match ingredients at-will, devising flavors that please the palate — to her, cooking is easy. Whereas I see all those ingredients, their various amounts and mixtures, their commingling flavors, and the assorted heating elements involved — and I see complexity. As a result, I’m not a good cook.

Take school for instance, its primary purpose is to take you-the-student through a ritual-of-schoolwork in order to convince you that you’ve learned something. And at the end, you’re given a certificate to further prove to you that knowledge has been imparted. But if you examine the curriculum involved, it’s woefully incomplete and teaches little of importance — and the students barely retain even that.

This is not a condemnation of the education system by the way. I’m saying the process of “learning” simply doesn’t matter. What matters is whether you’re convinced of the simplicity of the subject-matter. If you believe in the ritual of education and accept your status as graduate, then you can move into a professional field that you no longer believe to be complex.

The question then becomes, can we merely turn-on talent by convincing ourselves that the activity-in-question is not as complicated as we thought — that the activity is actually simple istead? “Beginner’s luck” is a thing because the beginner simply doesn’t know better — he assumes that a particular activity is easy. But if self-doubt finally convinces him of an activity’s complexity, he’ll lose his ability.

We don’t think about what we’re doing while doing something well — we just do it. Autopilot takes over as our consciousness sits back to watch the show. But if we consciously believe an activity to be too complex for autopilot to handle, and our consciousness attempts to perform it manually, the outcome is a mess. Whereas whenever consciousness is comfortable with an activity, it sits back and allows autopilot to perform unencumbered, as it should.

Good Games

If I should avoid playing stupid games, what are some good games to play instead?

T.E.A.C.H.

Teamwork. Build and strengthen relationships with others.

Exploration. Wander through the wondrous world.

Appreciation. Focus on things you enjoy, engage with them, recognize the delight they provide you.

Creativity. When inspiration strikes, do it.

Hopefulness. Imagine the best possible outcomes.

Stupid Games

Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

How do you know if you’re playing a stupid game? By the potential prize you’d win. If it’s not a prize you want, don’t play it. For example, I could irritate my friend by saying a bunch of stupid stuff until she gets annoyed. On the one hand: I’d get some attention, alleviate some boredom, and feel the power of instigating a reaction. On the other hand, she might retaliate in some way or perhaps my tirade would damage our relationship. So based on the potential prizes, it certainly sounds like a stupid game.

Or how about the game of imagining the worst possible outcomes? On one hand: it alleviates some boredom and gets the anxiety juices flowing — I really feel alive and in danger — ooh so exciting! On the other hand, I don’t handle the stress of it very well and it tends to sour my mood and results in an extended period of unpleasantness. So based on the potential prizes, it sounds like a stupid game.

How about the game of mocking everything? On the one hand: I laugh at how foolish everything is, which provides me with a feeling of superiority, and it serves as an excuse for not engaging with life. On the other hand, there’s nothing to do since everything’s “lame” and “not worth the effort”, which fosters a general mood of “meh” and “who cares”. Overall it leads to even more boredom, so again, it sounds like a stupid game to play.

And what about the game of frustration? On the one hand: all that anger is energizing, it’s even intoxicating as it takes control — all of a sudden I’m on a rollercoaster and who knows what’ll happen next! On the other hand, the prize is a treasure-chest of discomfort and a wake of destruction. Who wants to clean up after that mess? Hm, sounds like a stupid game to play.

Of course there’s the game of masochism as well. On the one hand: I feel the pain and persecution it summons forth, transforming me into a virtuous victim. I’m tossed about in the turbulence of life — poor me at the mercy of a cruel world, struggling against the current. Now that’s exhilarating!!! You have my attention and I’m fully engaged! On the other hand, pain is pretty unpleasant — it’s a bad way to spend the day. Yeah, that’s a stupid game.

It seems like I’ve been playing a LOT of stupid games for the past few decades. And based on the prizes that were offered, it seems like I got what I deserved. Apparently I didn’t think it through. It’s like showing up at a contest that’s offering dick-kicks as first prize, then feeling shocked and upset when you end up winning that kick to the groin. The simple message is this: play games that offer GOOD prizes.

Temporary Truth

If it was possible to observe an absolute objective reality, wouldn’t we all see it and never have a single disagreement? And wouldn’t people throughout the historic narrative share a similar outlook? And as we personally age, our own interpretation of reality often shifts. Being that it’s so difficult to determine, we can deduce that it’s impossible to define an absolute objective reality.

This means it would be a futile effort to search for an absolute objective reality OR defend a particular interpretation. In other words, it’s opinions all the way down. Therefore, ANY description of an absolute objective reality is simply not true — it’s a personal perspective that’s only applicable in the exact moment it’s described. A description of this so-called reality can, and often does, change.

So who’s to say what’s what? Well, nobody. You simply can’t do it. It’s not a functionality we’re provided as part of our existence. We can only experience a subjective world that’s more dreamlike than concrete. And that’s a good thing because a dreamlike world is malleable. We’re not stuck in an unchanging reality bound by stark rules of engagement. We live in a world of artists, gamers, and pop-stars.

Nothing needs to get done here, it’s a dream. So instead of survival, we snap photos of sumptuous meals. Instead of self-defense, we master the game-controller and upload videos of our gameplay. Instead of learning the ways of our people, practices handed-down from generation to generation, we do “whatever”. Finding our place in society and determining our career is a nebulous affair because that’s the type of world we’re in — it really doesn’t matter.

If you ARE concerned with the mundane trivialities of life on Earth, WHY!? That’s NOT what THIS is! THIS is where dreams come to fruition. This world is SO malleable that ALL of your wishes can come true if you simply follow them through. There is no “can’t” within a dream unless YOU are its speaker. “We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams…”

Accomplish Mints

If you examine games for instance, the things you accomplish in-game aren’t that awesome, yet you still have a drive to do them. The point being: you don’t need something epic in order to feel entertained. In Tetris for example, you’re simply stacking bricks — you merely accepted the artificial goal of completing rows.

Do you need prizes for motivation? Clearly not, or else video-games wouldn’t be a thing. Time and energy are invested for arbitrary awards that mean nothing outside the game. It’s like a coloring book: you accept the goal of filling in the blanks and you’re rewarded with the feeling of accomplishment when it’s done.

Even a “to-do list” is a simple means to create the circumstance of accomplishment. In other words, accomplishment is easy. But if you’re a masochist, you’ll use the process as a means of frustrating yourself. For example: you’ll select goals you don’t believe you can reach, or you’ll design criteria that’s nebulous and ever-changing.

So if you’re not feeling accomplished, guess what? You’re a masochist using the mechanism of achievement as a means to torture yourself. STOP THAT! Relax and pick easy, well-defined goals for now. Practice winning for once. Stop teasing yourself with feelings of lack and limitation. Get out there and win!