Focus Game

Think about it this way. Perhaps life doesn’t know exactly what you want, plus the process of “selecting” is fun. Shopping is an example of this: it’s enjoyable to evaluate, reject, and eventually select an item that’s “just right”.

So there you are: center-screen like the spaceship in Astroids, and all these items come drifting towards you (like astroids). But in this game, you use your focus to capture items — like a tractor-beam. To do well, you’ll want to aim at items that interest you — while avoiding items that are undesirable. If you do capture an item that displeases you, it has a poison-like effect that lingers and lowers your stamina. Whereas delightful items temporarily boost your stamina — so keep focusing on and collecting the good stuff, it’s fun.

Sometimes big nasty things get in the way and block your field-of-view. Now what!? You can’t even see anything pleasant to aim at. You’re stuck!! Or are you? Zoom out, obviously. Stop focusing on that giant nasty object — immediately. Concentrate on pulling-back — keep going until that nasty object becomes as small as everything else. Don’t curse its presence, don’t poke it to see if it hurts, simply zoom out until you find something better to focus on. Widen your perspective, go beyond the smallness of your ship.

The items coming at you consist of EVERYTHING, so you have to be choosy. Don’t like it? Don’t pick it. Complaining about its presence IS focusing on it. You must only contemplate the things you truly want to collect. That’s the game, and games are challenging. Sometimes a nasty object will capture your attention and you won’t realize until the poison-like effect kicks-in. It’ll take all your effort to stop staring and zoom the heck out. But good luck out there and have a great game!


Changing Course

It’s obvious once you see it, but otherwise it’s not something we typically consider. Yet if you look around, you’ll notice a significant amount of masochism taking place. And in this context, masochism means seeking-out pain on purpose as a source of amusement. I would go so far as to say that masochism is a primary form of entertainment here on Earth.

If the world is influenced by our thoughts and focus, and if we experience discomfort — then ipso-facto, we are engaging in masochistic behavior. In other words: if we craft the life we lead, and that life is difficult, then we are purposefully injecting pain into the process. Why? For amusement i.e. masochism. “No you can’t have that! You don’t deserve it! You haven’t worked hard enough! Life doesn’t work that way! You need to struggle! Test yourself! Push past the pain!”

So what? A lot of people seem to be enjoying themselves riding the masochism-train to the end. And that’s fine, it really is. But what if you’re not a masochist? Or maybe you’re too good at it. What if you were such a smarty-pants, and so dedicated to the endeavor, that you were able to inflict so much pain into your life that you couldn’t derive any delight from it? What if you denied yourself EVERYTHING and filled your existence with so much lack and loathing that the experience wasn’t worth it? Hmm….

You done messed up. Some is fun, but more ain’t better. It’s time to try something new. You need to cut out the lack-minded thinking, the merit-based reward nonsense, the struggling shenanigans, and the scaring yourself silliness — all that stuff you’ve been using to beat yourself down. STOP! You’re too good!! You won! Sheesh. The brutal and punishing hazing regimen that you devised for yourself was too effective, congratulations.

Whether you’re proud of your accomplishment or a tad embarrassed about torturing an avatar for your own amusement — it doesn’t matter. It’s time to head into a different direction and experience another facet of gameplay. Now it’s time to focus on maximizing merriment and engaging in some lighthearted fun. Of course you’re used to pulverizing yourself into an anxious ball of crushed dreams — but this new direction will be an interesting and possibly challenging path to take. Welcome to you, round-two.

Faulty Focus

My problem, is that I’m overly focused on every minute detail of my life while being overly sensitive to perceived imperfections. It’s like being preoccupied with the components of a bicycle I’m riding instead of just enjoying the sensation of motion while taking in all the scenery. “What’s that clicking noise from the chain!? Are the brakes still working!? I better test them again. Ugh, this seat feels uncomfortable and the handle bars are sticking a bit. I shoulda got the green bike, I’m not sure I like this blue color.”

And in life it’s the same, “Hm, my body needs less freckles and more muscle-tone. What’s that clicking noise in my ankle? Ugh, I feel so uncomfortable when I go out, it’s like everyone’s looking at me. Why did I just say that!? And on top of that, my hair looks dumb today. I feel so inadequate, why don’t I have more money!?” All throughout the day I’m focusing on the most trivial nonsense while ignoring EVERYTHING that’s around me.

Why bother to be within the massively-multiplayer interactive environment of Earth? For ninety-plus percent of the time, I’m focused on this tiny frame of flesh like it’s the most interesting thing ever. Why not lose myself in the sensation of existence? Why not delight in all there is to do while losing track of myself? Why must everyday be an existential battle in which I reconcile with life, convincing myself that my initial reactions are wrong, and that everything is actually okay?

The answer is obvious. STOP BEING SO SELF-CENTERED. Literally stop staring at yourself. Did a thought about yourself or some aspect of being you just enter your awareness? You don’t get to entertain that thought, sorry. Buh-bye. It’s like the bike analogy at the beginning. Did you just catch yourself noticing some feature of the bicycle? Stop that. Now look around and become aware of your movement and the environment you’re in.

It’s like watching a movie at the theater, sometimes you get distracted by someone walking to their seat after coming back from the bathroom or refreshment-stand. The appropriate procedure is to minimize the distraction by ignoring it and concentrate on the movie in front of you. It’s wrong to stare at the walking-wall and frustrate yourself by contemplating how inconvenienced you are, and how that person ruined your experience with their inconsiderate actions. Stop that.

And stop pointing out how imperfect everything is. You literally suck at being a participant in life, yet you’re going to criticize every object, interaction, and circumstance as if they should completely conform to your specifications? You don’t know how to do anything right, so how do you know what the “perfect” anything even is?! Get over yourself. ACCEPT what you see and move on, then there’s nothing to reconcile — everything’s great as it is.

Indignity of Existence

I think a lot of the problems we have with life are due to the perceived indignity we experience. In other words, what stifles our participation, is a stubbornness that’s driven by feeling humiliated, by thinking the world is somehow disrespecting us.

It’s as if we came into existence expecting the deference shown to a god, yet we’re treated as a mere mortal, a basic character. HOW DARE YOU!!! DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM!!?? I need to see a manager, Right Now!

And so we remain stubbornly stagnant, sitting there with a sourpuss, arms crossed. We refuse to participate without an apology, without receiving the proper respect.

BUT THIS IS WHAT WE SIGNED UP FOR!!! To actually experience mortal existence!!! If our body gets battered and beaten? GOOD! If we’re treated like a common earth-dwelling inhabitant? Great! THAT’S the game: EARTH!

You’re NOT a god here, not even a demi-god. In this world, the dream is to become a mild-mannered everyday-working-stiff like Clark Kent, NOT Superman. Getting disrespected is part of the fun!! This is a roast, and you’re getting roasted.

Step one: get over yourself. No, you don’t need to see a manager, everything is fine — you’re overreacting.
Step two: this place has dirt floors, expect things to get messy.
Step three: it’s like finger-painting, filthiness is part of the fun.
Step four: get in there and get dirty — there is absolutely no way you can maintain a sense of dignity or decorum in this world — IT’S NOT POSSIBLE. Poop literally comes out of your butt on a regular basis — if you take this world seriously, you’re an IDIOT.

In summation: if you’re having a problem with life, it’s likely that you’re taking things too seriously (even though it’s painfully obvious that existence is a comedic experience). Solution: lighten up.

Living As If

This is something I’ve been told, dunno if it’s real: if you put everything in place as if it’s true, life will simply follow through. In other words, “if you build it, they will come”.

A quick illustration: if you assemble a lemonade stand, put out signs, mix up some drink, stack the cups, and sit behind the counter, people will actually show up and patronize your business. In a natural world, there’s no reason anybody should ever show up. But in this world, the one we’re living in, customers come when you expect them.

Whereas if you do something half-assed and don’t expect much of it, you’ll see a return on that investment too i.e. nada mucho. If you don’t want customers or profits, don’t worry, they won’t come. That’s just how it is in this world: you find what you seek.

After decades of living here I suppose I can corroborate this theory. Although, I’d add that fulfillment oftentimes sneaks up when I least expect it. But because of my desire for delightful surprises, I guess life is correctly fulfilling my wishes by catching me off guard.

A word of warning: establishing a particular situation by whim-fully buying-on-credit can be a bit dicey. I’d reckon that borrowing is workable if there’s real collateral behind it, but it shouldn’t feel like gambling. Gambling is basically an expectation of loss — remember, you find what you seek.

I’ve been living as-if for the past eight months or so. For the most part, I’ve successfully eschewed thoughts of lack and worry. I’ve been earnestly enjoying myself. I find comfort and joy in my current surroundings. It hasn’t been perfect, but I wonder if I would’ve accepted it if it was.

In a natural world, I should’ve been using my time to establish a viable income to support my new lifestyle. But that’s not what I did. For whatever reason, I’ve been dedicated to establishing the best attitude I can muster. Now THAT hasn’t been easy and it certainly highlights how bad my attitude was.

But my feeling right now is that I can handle the next step. I also recognize that my old attitude could not have supported the lifestyle I want to live. When you have great things for example, sometimes you’re afraid of losing them or sometimes you feel unworthy of having them or sometimes you realize that “things” don’t satisfy like you thought they would.

I came into this world with a messed-up attitude, expecting the worst experience ever. I ignorantly perceived a nefarious nature underlying everything, disparaging all I saw. I was a straight-up hater and sower of negativity. I appreciate that fact now and apologize for it. I further recognize that this world is a paradise providing all that I need, it’s simply up to me to accept the gift I’ve been given. Thank you — and I, for one, welcome our new benevolent overlords.

Swiping Thoughts

I’m a loser. There’s just no doubt about it. I’m short, I have bad teeth and terrible social skills, I’m rude and self-centered, pompous and patronizing, I have no career, I have to ask my mom for money, I’ve got nothing going for me, I’m just existing because it’s easier than not existing. I’m such a weak character, it’s so embarrassing to be me. If I compete at something, there’s a better than average chance I’ll lose — I’m clearly a failure.

The above paragraph represents a thought. What do I notice while having the thought? I notice that I feel pretty bad. Based on my reaction, I can tell it’s a negative thought. Negative thoughts MUST be managed. Thoughts are not real, they’re mere mental-suggestions. It’s like a buddy throwing out ideas: “we could split a pizza, we could eat our own feces, we could order some chinese-food, we could insult ourself until we cry, we could go to the movies…”

But this buddy has no filter and is kinda psycho. You have to think of him more like a five-year old just spitballing ideas. He’s not leadership material. His suggestions should never be taken without proper evaluation. Whereas if you take what he says with a grain-of-salt, then he’s kinda fun in a wacky way. Again, the way in which to evaluate his ideas is by noticing how they make you feel. If it feels bad, it is bad — don’t accept the suggestion.

If he’s persistent, then you be persistent. Don’t entertain that nonsense. Whenever you hear “You’re a loser, you suck!”, don’t take the bait, don’t play that game. It’s a trick to engage your attention, a way to thrill you through the feeling of pain. There’s other ways to alleviate boredom, just keep rejecting the unpleasant suggestions until a more pleasant option pops up. The great thing about thoughts is that there’s millions more in the pipeline, you’ll never run out, just keep swiping for the next one.

Hellish Nightmare

Within this world, a devil does exist, a tempter. And the temptation he presents you, is to think negatively about life. And if you follow this temptation, you in effect create a hell-on-earth for yourself. But the good news is this: if you unwittingly succumb to the temptation, salvation exists in this world as well. Salvation comes in the form of a positive belief about life — you must develop and maintain the idea that this is a benevolent world. In other words, heaven is at hand if you simply reach for it.

Every time you think of the world as a dark and scary place, you create it — the vision forms before you. You’ll interpret every scene and situation as an opportunity to suffer abuse. Every random noise is doom stepping closer. Every smell is the stink of decay. Every person is a predator that sees you as prey. In this way, you find the hell you seek and the devil wins another soul.

But this nightmare need not happen. You can resist the temptation to disparage the world. It’s easy to hate and ridicule and cause calamity — it’s an effortless path to take. Imagine showing up at a party and ripping on the host for throwing such a lame soiree, you taste and spit-out every one of the hors d’oeuvres — claiming them not fit for consumption, you taunt the guests for dressing like peasants, you break some vases and urinate in the pool. You definitely create some excitement, but is it worth it?

Or, you can enter the party with an accepting attitude, willing to try new things. No, you won’t like every song or every bite to eat, but there’s no reason to go nuts over it — calm down, it’s a party. Others are there to have fun too, maybe it’s not all about you and what you want. Maybe the host tried as hard as she could — and there you are ready to jump down her throat for every perceived offense. Careful not to look in the mirror or the devil might be staring back.

But listen, you have an opportunity to rectify your earlier roguishness. Redemption is available. Think about this: when you show up to the party every morning, are you feeling timid and dreading what the day has in store? “Great things!!” is the only acceptable answer when wondering what’ll happen today. YOU specifically were invited to the greatest party ever — you’re a welcomed guest. If you’re not feeling loved and valued then you’re being willfully obstinate and downright rude. You should feel nothing but appreciation for this wondrous opportunity.

So if you’re feeling bad, then you know the devil’s got you. This means you’ve got a fight on your hands. But because the devil is your own negativity, this is actually a pretty easy fight to win. The way to win is simply this: STOP BEING NEGATIVE. You’re not denying reality by denying negativity. The world takes whatever form you imagine it to take and you can easily prove this to yourself by stopping your negativity for a few days. Your nightmare will end and you’ll never want to go back.