Simple and Efficient

I enjoy cheat-codes. Back in the day, I utilized the famous “Konami Code” to receive extra-lives on Contra for the original NES. It was something like: up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, B, A, Start, Start. If you look it up now, it’s slightly different, but that’s what I entered and it worked. I learned it from a kid in my class — he was a video-game expert. He’d read about video-games in magazines or something. He also helped me to find all the hidden stuff in the Legend of Zelda for NES.

In other words, I’m not a stranger to taking the “easy route”. I guess that’s why magic and wishing pique my interest. I’m a slave to efficiency — and what’s more efficient than cheat-codes, magic, wishes, etc.? I suppose I like the feeling of taking shortcuts because I love efficiency so much. In fact, the more effort I put into something, the less I appreciate it. The end-product seems too convoluted to be worth all the trouble. For me, simple is best.

But usually, I use cheat-codes when I literally couldn’t have done it any other way. I couldn’t have beaten Contra with a measly 3 lives, I’m not that good of a video-game player — I don’t care enough to dedicate the time nor are my reflexes fast enough. So boom!, there I am with all those extra-lives, reaching the end. From feeling frustrated at my inability, to complete domination of the game itself — how’s that for a self-esteem boost!?

Perhaps it’s part of my character, but I don’t feel like I’m cheating myself. Because I value simplicity and efficiency, the easier and quicker route feels correct to me. So if the game-of-life, for whatever reason, hands me millions of dollars — I’d say “oh, well it’s about time! But thanks, I appreciate this. I was struggling quite a bit with the gameplay, but this will provide the boost I need.” I’m not particularly good at games, but my persistence and willingness to utilize shortcuts typically pays off in the end.

P.S. I serve as a beacon of hope to pessimistic slackers ONLY. I am NOT a type-A hard-charging go-getter. I understand that some people really do get a sense of satisfaction from effort and “hard work” — and that’s great. But it’s also great that variety exists. There’s a path for everyone in this world and some of us have fun taking the accelerated routes.

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Disappearing Act

While it’s true that we can conjure things into existence, can we likewise make things disappear?

Imagine it this way: you walk into a familiar room but there’s a different smell than you’re used to. You ignore the odor and go about your business as usual. Not long after, you become “nose-blind” to the scent and don’t even notice it anymore. Or, imagine looking at a photo of yourself standing in front of a monument. You notice your shoelace is untied in the picture, but you don’t give it a second thought. You’re too busy remembering the feeling of grandeur of the day you visited that monument.

By not focusing on something, by not giving it your energy, it disappears.

Now imagine the previous scenes from a different perspective. You walk into a familiar room that contains a different smell. Although this time, you’re obsessed by it. “It must be coming from somewhere!! I swear I’ll find it!” You hunt and hunt and the smell only gets stronger as your persistence gives it life. What would have been a fleeting event, has now become your reason for being.

Or how about the photo with your shoelace untied? How could you have been so stupid. Probably the only chance you’ll ever have to visit that monument, and it’s ruined!! Ruined!!!! The shoelace incident will haunt you for the rest of your life. You’ll never take another photo without first checking for perfection.

The circumstances of life will forever parade past you, and if you don’t cling to them, they’ll gladly fade out of existence on their own. It takes no effort to make things disappear. Whereas it does take effort to make things persist.

When you allow the scene to move on, it’s gone. Pain for instance, is a symptom of resistance. It’s like you’ve lassoed the scene as it’s trying to leave and you’re fighting so hard that the rope is burning through your hand. Surrender, let go, stop resisting and the scene will simply move on. There’s no reason to fight, life doesn’t want to hurt you. Let go and things get better.

Magical Happenings

An excerpt from the Manual of Magic.

Magic, is the conjuring of circumstances without a perceptible progression. In other words: now you don’t see it, now you do.

Whereas perceptible progression might be like cooking a fried egg: you place a pan down on the stove, turn it on, feel it getting gradually warmer, crack an egg into the pan, watch it solidify due to heat, flip it and see that both sides toasted up, move it to a plate and voila!, it was an obvious and observable series of events.

Magic on the other hand, would be like having an empty plate, waving a wand over it, and seeing a nicely fried egg appear in its place. Yet THIS is actually closer to what I experience on Earth rather than a systematic approach. I know what you’re thinking: “Rich, you’re just a pampered buffoon that is so ignorant and so incapable, that others must continually make up for your shortcomings!”

Well however you want to explain it, I experience magic. When I’m hungry, I walk into a room where there’s warm delicious food just waiting for my consumption. I don’t know the specifics of how it got there and there’s no way I could reproduce it myself — it’s a work of art. While I could prepare a basic fried egg, this spread is way more advanced than that.

Or for Christmas, when I received an Apple Watch. I went over to Amazon, saw the low price of a Series 3, tapped to purchase, and now it’s on my wrist. How did all that happen? Nothing became something — right before my eyes. And if you try to think of every step that went into the production of an Apple Watch, it would be fantastically complicated, a procedure that I most certainly could NOT reproduce myself — so at least from my perspective, it’s magic.

If you took a thousand people, they still couldn’t make an Apple Watch from scratch — just the mining process alone would be enough to put the task out of reach. It makes me think of Arthur C. Clarke’s Third Law: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” And it’s true, an iPad, the Internet, my Google Home device that I talk to — I don’t know how any of that stuff functions, and it literally took a global effort to create them. Five-thousand random people left on a deserted island couldn’t replicate most of our technology.

My point is this: we live in a world in which I can summon my desires into existence. Something’s not there, now it is. That’s magic folks. There is no perceptible progression. I don’t see the mining process, the refinement, the designing, the engineering, the marketing, the shipping — all that effort happens behind the scenes and no random-joe can replicate it. All I know is that I wave my hand above a glowing screen, an effortless action — and voila, my wish is granted.

Magical Manifestations

Through your repetitious ways, you’ve been performing magic all along. But because of your negativity, you’ve been manifesting unpleasant things. Whenever you experience stimuli, you pessimistically interpret the worst — and those expectations are regularly fulfilled.

You feel a tingle in the body. “I must be coming down with something.” Wish granted. A phone rings. “It must be bad news.” Wish granted. You want a sweet treat. “This is unhealthy and will harm my body.” Wish granted. You want a better life. “I don’t deserve it.” Wish granted. You want a new car. “That’s impossible, I can’t afford it.” Wish granted.

Your power is impressive. But a simple question must be asked. Why would you direct such power toward the fulfillment of things you don’t prefer? Obviously you wouldn’t do it on purpose. But your power is so great, that you even confounded yourself. The first sentiment you felt when you entered this world was: “This feels weird, this must be pain, I don’t like this.” Wish granted. And life proceeded thusly.

You made a mistake. This world is actually a benevolent experience. It’s a fulfillment generator, a wish-granting world. But be careful what you wish for: if you seek the worst, you’ll receive the worst. And there’s a rule of absolute-value as well: negating doesn’t work. For example: “I wish for no more pain” translates to “I wish for more pain”.

Whatever subject-matter you breathe life into, manifests before your eyes. Think it, see it. If you don’t want something, keep it out of your head, replace the space with something you DO want. For example: while outside today, my mind interpreted the sensation on my body as “bitter cold”. I heard my mind repeating “I’m so cold”. I stopped my mind’s chatter and replaced it with “I’m warm and cozy”. The breezy sensation I felt didn’t need to be interpreted as “cold”, it was just a sensation. I felt a lot better after that.

Don’t let the repetition of the mind tell you something you don’t prefer. Stop it, replace it. In this way, re-program your experience here on Earth.

Illogical Outcomes

I’ve noticed that sometimes I persistent in an endeavor despite any perceptible improvement. In other words, I know what I want to accomplish and I keep working at it, yet I have zero progress to prove I’m headed in the right direction. Then finally, after a long bout of activity fueled by determination, the goal is achieved. That’s strange. It’s not logical.

Imagine it like this: I want some food from the supermarket, so I get in the car. I drive around and around for awhile and finally find myself in the parking lot. I didn’t follow a particular route, I just drove and made turns whenever I felt like it. Yet for some reason, I successfully arrived at my destination. That’s a silly premise.

It seems as though life is rewarding my blind effort, or simply fulfilling my expectation — I’m not sure which. I’ve noticed this many times: that a particular input doesn’t necessarily lead to a logical result. Logically and statistically, arbitrary activity should result in an unusable mess, not a functional product — yet oftentimes it works out in the end.

As a general recipe, persistence shouldn’t work as well as it does. It’s even offered as a common piece of advice: “Keep it up!” Logically, it makes sense to follow a systematic course of action, not simply trying the same thing over and over. This points to a non-physical foundation of reality. In the mind for example, when we’re trying to remember something, repetition makes sense.

It seems like the pathways we’re trying to carve are wrought with repetition. And if that’s the way we remember it, then that’s the way it is. “Affirmations” for instance, is the practice of repetitiously writing a desired outcome over and over again. In a non-physical world, there aren’t systematic paths to goals, there’s only a wish and an expectation of outcome.

But just because we want something, doesn’t mean we expect to receive it. Oftentimes we don’t feel we deserve it or we think it’s impossible from a logical standpoint. So in order to align our expectations with our wish, we must instill in ourself a sense of worthiness AND forget about logic. The way to accomplish this is through repetition.

That’s not so easy by the way, persistence requires patience. First you must define what it is you actually want. Then you have to believe yourself deserving of it. Then you must have hope, which is hard because you’ll lack physical proof of progression. Logical thinking will constantly get in your way, so it must be dismissed. But if you keep it up, you too will become a master of magic.

Ideal Imaginings 2018

I’m not very creative, so if I had to imagine an ideal life, it’ll be very simplistic. For whatever reason (I don’t care), there’s a large sum of money in my bank account. I refer to it as my fun-funds. I’d live exactly where I’m living now but spruce the place up a bit. New floors, more furniture, wall-decorations, nothing too extreme. New car obviously (Tesla?! hehe). I’d get an all new round of iDevices, Apple Watch, a laptop, some gaming consoles, and a TV.

One major figure in my life has always been Santa Claus, so I would like to be as Santa, giving well-thought-out gifts to folks I know. I’d also like to support online creators I happen across — perhaps through Patreon or whatever. I’ll go out to restaurants more and tip the staff well, maybe tack on an extra $50 at least. I’ll actually use the services of a florist and have fresh flowers for the house.

I’ll get into collecting too. Maybe hand-tools for one. Disney trading pins perhaps? Well, finding things to collect will be part of the fun. Oh and I’ll plan little get-aways to the Disney Resorts, we can walk right over to the Boulangerie-Patisserie from the Beach Club after a meal at Beaches & Cream for instance.

I’ll get an electric scooter (the cool kind) for scootin’ around town, just for some variety. And whenever new technology comes out, I’d be an early adopter. I’d probably have a prominent account on Amazon, leaving lots of reviews. I’ll be a positive guy too, not critical of life or its artifacts. People would just look at me oddly if I ever mentioned what a misanthropic pessimist I was, they couldn’t fathom it.

In many ways, the story of my life will be like A Christmas Carol, with me as the miser Ebenezer Scrooge. A changed, formerly dour fellow, that now has cheer in his heart and a giving spirit. “You there! Boy! What day is it!? Why, it’s not too late! I haven’t missed it!”. And those around me will feel blessed by my presence (and presents). And my own Tiny Jim will grow up to admire his dad and wanna be just like him. God bless us! Every one!

Attacked by Life

Dear Rich, will life come after me, perhaps even outright attack me?

Oh of course, yes, definitely. But in those instances, life is doing your bidding — you are the one orchestrating the hit.

If you’re afraid of life, your wish will be granted. Insects, animals, diseases, injuries, verbal assaults, physical violence — they’ll be coming for you, no doubt. On the brighter side, it shows how good you are at manifesting your wishes into the world — nice job!

If you don’t want to keep attacking yourself, that’s an option too — and that starts by stopping yourself from being afraid. If you’re full of fear, it obviously takes a leap of faith and some commitment in order to let your guard down.

But really, it doesn’t take much of a leap. If life really wanted to get you, you’d be dead already. Obviously life is a benevolent caretaker or you’d be squashed a thousand times over by now.

And because of all the silly/stupid stuff that’s happened in your life, you can easily establish that this is a self-directed drama. No external being is going to take credit for a narrative this ridiculous. In your confused state, you did all this to yourself.

Every bad thing that happens to you should be like an alarm-clock waking you up to the fact that you’re asleep at the wheel. Did something unpleasant occur? Oops. Snap out of it, you were being pessimistic/disparaging/anxious/suspicious again, weren’t you?

Life is very responsive, it’ll do what you ask. Think something is dangerous? Oh, it is. Think something will work out poorly? Oh, it will. But luckily, life is looking out for you and tries to prevent your worst wishes from happening. Your persistence will eventually pay off though — so if you really want things to get nasty, just keep at it.

In summation: if you enjoy being attacked, life will accommodate you. Whereas if you don’t want to be attacked, don’t wish for it. The way in which you wish for it, is through your thoughts and attitude. Through practice and focus, you can change your thoughts and attitude to whatever delivers the life that suits you best.