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!

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Puzzle Planet

What if it’s a riddle you’re locked into until solved? If you were an infinite being with infinite knowledge, how would you entertain yourself? Perhaps by designing puzzles that challenge your omniscience.

You would make yourself seem like a fragile creature in a limited world. You would dampen your ability to remember. Every morning you’d awaken to a fresh new day. If at any time you got too close to an answer, an exciting circumstance would manifest, whisking you away on a captivating adventure. Distraction after distraction would tempt you down tangents, ensnaring your attention at every turn.

What form would the answer to such a quandary take? A simple realization of who you are and what this is? That’s a tad too easy isn’t it? What if the answer was in the form of a life well lived? What if the key, was in the way you conducted yourself while here? Perhaps the cultivation of a particular attitude or perspective serves as the unlocking-mechanism for your release from this prison-like predicament of your own design.

So maybe your suspiciousness is right, there ARE tricks and traps designed specifically for you. You’ve been falling prey to these snares set-out to keep you from figuring out the solution. After-all, what’s a puzzle without a little challenge? But likewise, what’s a puzzle without a chance of solving it? Therefore, this riddle must have an achievable solution. That’s the fun for the mystery’s author, teasing and misdirecting the audience while hiding the answer in plain sight.

Of course your only option is to play along. If you fail to achieve the answer in this life, your sneaking suspicion should tell you that you simply start again. But likely, the difficultly is lessened each round — it’s not a prison, just a puzzle designed for your amusement. Remember though, that realization alone isn’t enough. Whenever you look at a maze for example, it’s easy to surmise that there’s a viable path to the end — but you must actually draw the line to consider the maze completed.

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.

Cannibalizing Your Craft

There’s a carpenter in a wooden rowboat. This guy loves woodworking but unfortunately he has to row a boat for the next few days. Yet all he can think about is crafting with wood. His hands feel the wood-grain in the oars on every stroke. He’s envisioning chairs, tables, and all sorts of dressers. His tools are even sitting in the front of the boat in plain sight. Eventually he can’t stand it any longer, he pulls the oars in and grabs a saw.

Now, why such a strange story? Your avatar here on Earth, the body/character combination that carries you through life, is your wooden boat. Your consciousness is the carpenter. You have been using your consciousness to pick apart your character limb-by-limb for the longest time now. So of course you’re slowly sinking into the depths of existence. The remedy? Stop cannibalizing your craft! Focus on the rowing and where you’re going, not the boat itself.

Don’t focus on the tool, use the tool. The free-will that you possess, is the ability to alter your focus. If you’re not enjoying life, it’s because you’re zoomed-in, focusing only on your avatar. Enjoyment in this world comes from zooming-out and taking it all in. Your vehicle is NOT the attraction. Everything beyond the confines of your car IS the attraction. Whenever your concentration begins to linger inside, stop — then look and listen to what’s going on around you instead.

To constantly look within, is to miss the world you’re in. There’s an entire realm on the outside of you. It’s like you’ve been staring at the windshield of the vehicle instead of what’s on the other side. And the way you’ve entertained yourself, is by picking out flaws in the glass: examining specs of dirt, smudges, and dried rain residue. Of course life seems strange from that perspective. But you can’t blame life for being lackluster when you’ve been focusing on the wrong stuff this whole time.

In summation: Stop constantly engaging with your tool. Look beyond the window, not at it.

Being Very Smart

Let me be clear: if you use your mental-energy to pick-apart life, your behavior is idiotic. Whether they say it or not, the people currently enjoying life intuitively sense what’s going on here. They forgive the paper-thin plots, the poor acting, and any anomalies they find — and instead, they focus on some enjoyable aspect of the experience. That’s what a polite audience does.

But you, oh no, you have to point out every little thing that doesn’t seem quite right in your opinion. But consider this: ya know how you feel clueless when you’re in a social situation? Well perhaps you’re always clueless — in EVERY situation. Maybe the metric by which you judge, is completely misguided?

What’s more likely to be true? That you’re the sole bastion of what’s right in the world OR you’re a dummy that’s been doing things wrong this entire time? And that’s fine, being wrong in this situation should come as a great relief. It means the world doesn’t suck — you just suck at understanding what’s happening here, and that can be fixed.

You CAN intuitively understand the world as soon as you stop your misguided criticism. The world seems like a fecal-covered toilet only because you keep shitting all over it with your negativity. And secondly, stop being so self-centered i.e. stop staring at yourself — there’s a whole world happening beyond the border of “me”.

So what would a smarter approach entail? Cease the introspection, there’s nothing significant to be found in constantly examining yourself — you’re not that interesting. “Oh bother, how do I feel about this? Golly, I’m not sure I liked it! Oh my, what a terrible time I’m having! Oh poo, I wish things would go my way for once!”

And if you rely on your own internal drama for entertainment, you’re only going to torture yourself with worrisome thoughts in order to generate some excitement. Instead, you should be looking to entertain yourself with activities that originate outside of yourself. But of course you’ll likely disparage them, so avoid doing that.

Listen, it takes practice to become a better participant here. You messed up, now make it right.

Paint on Plywood

I used to believe I was very smart. I could see through it all. I saw how everyone was full of crap. I knew society to be a charade. This world wasn’t what it purported itself to be, and I was one of the few who recognized it. I was surrounded by simple-minded fools that just didn’t get it. “Don’t you see!!? You’re being deceived!!”

It turns out, I was the dunce that didn’t get it. It’s like I’m at a stage-production filled with painted sets and actors in-costume reciting their lines — and I’m sitting there pointing out how fake everything is. Of course it’s fake! It’s a play! But I’m the “smart guy” letting everyone know how the trees are just paint on plywood. “Ha! How can you people not see that!!??”

And all the while, they’re looking at me like I’m some kinda loon. “Uh, yeah Rich, that’s what they do here, those are actors and you’re an idiot”. Whereas everyone else was simply enjoying themselves, I thought the stage-production was a form of trickery trying to fool the audience for some nefarious reason.

I thought I was the “good-guy” letting everyone know that those people on stage weren’t who they claimed to be. I was dumfounded when people wouldn’t listen. “But it’s so obvious!!” The plots are paper-thin, everything is so flimsy, you can poke the sets and they’ll fall over. But people didn’t get it. “What’s wrong with you!? Wait, are you in on it too!!??”

“These sheeple are so brainwashed by society that they’ll believe anything!” But again, it’s like I was getting mad at an audience for enjoying their experience and losing themselves in the show. My belief in my own cleverness didn’t allow me to consider the idea that I was the one out-of-the-loop.

So beware, my fellow geniuses. The fact that we contemplate existential intricacies does not make us “smart”, it means we’re the dumb ones that can’t quite grasp what’s going on here. Of course you can see through the veil of illusion — it’s see-through! You’re just the chump taking the game too seriously when all you really have to do is play-along.

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.