Effortless Attainment

In Dream-Jitsu, we strive to develop and maintain the precept that life is but a dream. Therefore, NOTHING is attained or achieved through physical means — you can’t manually move yourself closer to a desired end. You must tune your thoughts and attitude until they align with whatever you want. If you’re straining and struggling, you can be sure you’re doing it wrong AND you’re moving further from the goal.

Even the simplest goal, like grabbing a glass of water, requires tuning to its frequency — otherwise you could knock it over and spill its contents everywhere. If you’re not tuned to walking, you could trip and fall. If something isn’t easy and effortless, you’re not aligned with it. Difficulty doesn’t mean you should strain harder, it means you should calm down and get yourself into a receptive mental state — you need to remove your resistance.

In a dream, nothing requires great effort. You wish it, it manifests. So don’t entertain thoughts that have struggle as their theme. Whenever you think “it’s not supposed to be easy”, dismiss that idea. You certainly CAN impose obstacles, but why bother, they’re not necessary. Complete what you want, appreciate it, then move on to the next course. Don’t drag something out just because you’re afraid of what’s to come — in a dream, every meal ends with a delicious dessert.

When you’re receptive to receiving your wish, it comes. Whereas if your mind is full of “logical” limitations and feelings of lack, that resistance will obviously keep your wish away. When flooded with negative thoughts, practice not thinking those thoughts: meditate. When the mind is calmed, do something you enjoy to repopulate your mental biome with delight. You must develop the feelings of accomplishment and attainment FIRST, THEN the actual manifestation happens.

Fluid Flight

I’ve been playing with small remote-controlled flying-things lately. These are indoor-caliber devices with mini propellers that are relatively safe to crash. It’s a fun hobby. So fun in fact, that I’m even watching videos about larger drones and actual helicopters and regular full-sized airplanes. I guess I’m a bit obsessed by flight right now. But so what, what’s my point?

What’s the difference between the first day you fly a tiny helicopter and the seventh day? It flys a lot smoother, it’s more nimble. Why? Because you’re lighter on the controls. Instead of hard jerks to the limits of the lever, it’s a slight and delicate movement to the left. Gentle and easy-does-it becomes easier to do. You’re no longer over-correcting and sending the aircraft in every direction.

Essentially, you stop being overly cautious and just fly. Fear is what makes you grip the controls too tightly, not allowing for nuance. THIS WAY! NO! THAT WAY! AHH! IT’S GONNA CRASH!! But after you practice a bit and crash a few times, you start to loosen up. So on day-one you’re too tense and on day-seven you’re more relaxed — that’s the significant difference that improves your overall piloting performance.

On day-one, you’re over-thinking, trying to mentally move the controls this way and that. But thought-out movement is too slow and clumsy. Whereas on day-seven, your hands know what to do, they effortlessly move the craft away from the walls with automatic reactions. Or at least until you realize how well you’re doing, and start analyzing the action. Once you begin over-thinking again, your reactions slowdown. CRASH!!

Doing something well, is the act of getting out of your own way. What that means is: allowing the body to do its thing while not allowing the consciousness to “help”. It’s a dance — you can’t mentally move in a graceful way, your body has to be unencumbered by conscious interference. What you, the consciousness, needs to repeatedly remind yourself is this: “Shhh! The body is performing, please be respectful and remain quiet. Simply watch and enjoy the show.”

Successful Failure

If you wanted to program an android to act like a human, you’d have to introduce erratic behavior into its actions. The android should perform haphazardly, having one mishap after another. Instead of a quick and precise path, the android would need to take a slow and sloppy route. The completion of objectives would become uncertain and prolonged.

But with this change, the android’s actions suddenly become a lot more exciting to observers. “Can he do it!!?? He was so close last time!!” Fast and efficient action that’s always successful is boring. Sports, games, gambling — these events are only fun when the outcome isn’t certain AND we invest some time into them.

Because we’re always traversing a slow and sloppy path toward our selected objectives, we can deduce that existence is a manufactured experience. We’re obliged to take the slow and sloppy route — it’s by design. And it’s this very condition that entertains the consciousness, the observer within watching it all go down.

In other words, you’re not supposed to instantaneously have everything you want. You’re supposed to take a winding route fraught with uncertainty — that’s where the fun comes from. A successful life is not one in which you achieve arbitrary goals — it’s one in which you enjoy the epic adventure you’re experiencing, the slow and sloppy route to nowhere in particular.

At the Top

Sometimes I sit and stare at successful people. You know, like watch interviews and such. Some do just fine at the top whereas others stumble and fall, even to their death. Is life at the top THAT precarious? But of course, people die at the bottom too, probably much more so. And isn’t it better to die in a mansion than a cardboard box? If you gotta go, might as well go in style.

From those that survived falling from the top, they said their success was ultimately unfulfilling i.e. it didn’t solve their problems, so they had no place to go but down. And down they went. In other words, they had their wish granted but they didn’t feel satisfied — and with nothing left to attain, their lives felt empty. It seems that if you get what you want without an ability to appreciate it, you’re going to have a really bad time.

Typically these people are young, and rocket to success while lacking practice in appreciation. If you’re going to have fun at the top, you need an ability to appreciate it. You can’t be paranoid that you’ll lose it, you can’t be suspicious of everyone around you, and you have to embrace the lifestyle and trust that life wants you well. Otherwise, you might freak-out and literally jump off.

And I admit, it wasn’t that long ago that I imagined walling myself away from the world. In Minecraft for example, I used to build underground bunkers to protect myself from the harsh and brutal mobs. I would have full food supplies and whatever else I needed alongside extensive tunnels and air-lock style door systems. Zombies weren’t gonna catch me slippin. So if I had early success, I would’ve likely done something similar.

But nowadays I see the futility in “protecting” yourself from life. If life wants you dead, ain’t nuthin you can do. What determines your fate is a good attitude, that’s it. Believe in the goodness of life and you’ll receive it. Whereas if you believe in the bad, you’ll get exactly what you asked for. That’s the conclusion I reached after watching all those successful people. That’s the common thread that determines whether you enjoy your time at the top, and whether you remain there.

Today’s lesson: learn to appreciate. If you can’t do that, there’s no sense in getting to the top.

Simulated Success

Take my experience in Stardew Valley for example, where I lived an entire life over the course of a few weeks. As a single-fella that showed up in town, I created a rather successful farm, went on several adventures, and courted my wife Emily (with whom I had a couple kids). Of course I can’t forget about my faithful companion Brownie, my horse that carried me wherever I wanted to go.

My point is: I’m not incompetent when it comes to making a successful life for myself. I pursued and achieved my goals. The only reason I stopped playing, was because there was no growth potential left — my farm produced tons of income and I had lots of savings, but the farm-work was getting tedious, and I couldn’t simply hire farm-hands to take over. Essentially there were no upgrades left, nothing else to buy.

Stardew Valley is somewhat open-ended too. I specifically chose to build up a very profitable farm and start a family. Yet it vexes me in this life that such financial success eludes me. To be fair, my in-game character inherited his farm — which provided a starting point. But in this life, I’ve been more of a rudderless boat, adrift and anxious over my lack of resources and direction.

And Stardew Valley is no isolated incident by the way, there are plenty of games in which I’ve built up slowly yet purposefully, becoming a dominant figure over time. It’s not that I spend a lot of time playing games either, these are just occasional tangents. Am I incredibly bad at THIS game? Is the difficulty setting simply TOO high? I don’t know but I don’t like it. Therefore, although I am loath to do so, I give this game ONE star. Enough of this lobby-level B.S.

Myth of Productivity

My work of late has consisted of trying to develop a better attitude. And one thing holding me back is valuing the concept of grueling-work. “Why do that the easy way, when there’s a much harder way to do it!!!” See? That’s stupid. Yet that’s what my attitude boils down to: “Work harder, not smarter! And how dare you enjoy yourself!!!” That’s masochism, plain and simple.

I believed that frivolous activity was worth less than “productive” activity. Yet, I’ve noticed that the less “productive” I am, the easier life gets. It turns out that life is NOT a struggle unless YOU struggle against it. Productivity is a myth because you can’t actually produce anything of value. In other words, if everything’s pixels, ALL activity is frivolous.

In addition: either life gives it to you, or you don’t get it. Effort doesn’t guarantee outcomes i.e. planting seeds won’t always result in bountiful harvests. There’s a certain combination of conditions that must be met or else your fields won’t yield. You could work sun-up to sun-down and still get nothing. In order to receive what life provides, you have to play the game correctly.

In fact, “working hard” displays a fundamental misunderstanding of life. You’re assuming your tiny efforts amount to something significant. Yet you’re completely missing the point of how much life is doing for you while deluding yourself into believing YOU did it. But the most you can do is appreciatively accept what’s already provided.

Imagine you’re at a party. You walk over to the buffet-table and pile tons of food onto your plate. It gets so heavy that you’re starting to break a sweat. You struggle to maintain your balance as you find a seat — plus it’s a bit crowded so it takes a couple minutes. You sit down to eat and proceed to stuff yourself. Then you sit there gloating and boasting about how much effort and work you put-in to obtain and consume all that food. THAT is what patting yourself on the back for “all your hard work” is like. You simply partook of what was already there!! You did NOTHING.

So the better attitude is this: Thank you life for this amazing party. Wow, it really has everything I could want. There’s people to interact with, food to eat, chocolate cake especially, heck there’s even a pool to swim in! There’s tons of activities to keep me busy. I’m actually overwhelmed by the many choices. But don’t worry, I’ll try my hardest to have fun! I understand that my duty as a guest is to enjoy my time here. I also understand that I should focus on the activities I derive the most delight from. Thanks again!

Being Yourself

As per usual, I was listening to Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations. In this one, Oprah herself was talking to an audience. Being that this is a simulated world, I believe people like Oprah are high-level players that come in with an insane skill-level. My friend has a natural ability in games for instance, and it’s frustrating to play against her because she easily wins and achieves all the objectives. Whereas my gameplay-style is dogged determination despite insurmountable odds, along with a clumsy progression.

Hm, I guess that’s how I play in real-life too. But anyway, Oprah’s point was this: Be yourself and be rewarded. That was her formula for success i.e. being herself — and this world rewarded her for it. That sounds right to me. Take War Robots for example: if you use a fast-dash minimally-armored robot as a heavy-hitting bruiser, you’re going to get smashed. Whereas if you use a tank-like bot to snag beacons, you’re going to be too slow. Characters are designed with certain attributes that must match the selected task.

For example, when I imagine myself, I picture “Hulk Hogan” ready to rain-down a leg-drop on my much weaker opponent as the power of Hulkamania surges through my veins. Yet, this is an absurd characterization that isn’t even close to the truth. I clearly didn’t get the dossier that explained my character’s strengths and weaknesses (okay, I ignored it). But that’s dumb because it’s not my character. I’m NOT physically intimidating NOR charismatic NOR do I light-up capacity-crowds with my limitless energy.

It’s like when Oprah tried to be a monotone-sounding news-anchor, it just didn’t work, it wasn’t her. It turns out, I’m not designed to effortlessly steamroll my way through obstacles like a Mack Truck. Oops, my bad. Although maybe my character IS supposed to be so clueless that he doesn’t realize he’s a chihuahua yapping at a pack of Rocky Mountain wolves — perhaps for comedic effect. That’s why it’s hard to “be yourself”, you’re not always sure what aspects are the “real” you.

But I think the “real” you is usually located slightly below the frenetic and easily-frightened ego. Oftentimes it takes quiet reflection and the power of meditation to get there. And luckily, Oprah provided some advice. The tasks you should engage with are those that produce “flow”, they get you “in the zone”, they cause you to lose track of time yet you remain energized, they’re things you could do for hours. And if you do these things, you too will receive the rewards life has to offer. Whereas if you do something unbefitting to your character? Suffering is the only possible result.

So, what are some things I do in which I lose track of time? Hmm. Watching shows/videos. Playing video-games. Talking to my friend. Writing blog posts. Shopping. Toying around with tools/gadgets. Problem-solving. Having discussions/debates. Hm, is that me in a nutshell? Well that doesn’t seem powerful at all, no wonder I chose to think of myself as a “Hulk Hogan” type. But there’s my problem: a distorted definition of power. I didn’t want to be some nerd that got his lunch-money stolen, I wanted to be the biggest baddest dude in the ring.

Yet if I think about power today, it’s Elon Musk I envision, not the Hulkster. Modern heroes are the titans of technology. The coolest things aren’t flying-elbows delivered by muscular-physiques, but handheld computers used in self-driving cars. Though to be fair, when I was a kid in the 80s, the WWF Superstars were the biggest thing around — computers and technology were barely there. It seems like I missed the window. I guess I should’ve studied to be an engineer. I guess… I guess I failed to heed my calling….

“He’s down! Ladies and gentleman, this doesn’t look good! Here comes the ref to lift his arm and check for consciousness — oh no, it’s just flopping back down to the mat. The ref is starting the three-count. One! Two! WAIT! What’s this?! The arm is lifting!! Ladies and gentleman, there it is! He’s up!! This is impossible!! And it’s a throw into the ropes! BOOM! A clothesline and his opponent is down! WHAT!? It’s a flying leg-drop!! ONE! TWO! THREE!! Ding! Ding! Ding! Unbelievable!!!!”

Remember: my gameplay-style is dogged determination despite insurmountable odds, along with a clumsy progression. So this is just par for the course. I don’t take the easy routes. I mean, I try to, but they don’t work — so I keep at it until I wear-down every obstacle in my path. It’s the power of erosion. Sandpaper-Man, with the ability to eventually wear away even the most powerful opponent over a very long period of time through abrasiveness and grit. Rub, rub, and awaaay!