Solving for X

I suppose you could say it’s my mission to solve the riddle of this world. I suspect though, that the world actively and deliberately thwarts any attempt to be figured-out. Therefore, this situation is a game by definition. Why must I decipher it? I don’t know, but there’s not much else I’m driven to do. My consciousness has been placed in this predicament and wants to find its way out – like a maze.

People have been trying to reach God since humanity began. I suppose my efforts are similar in this regard. So, how does one get to heaven? The pathway seems to be by way of mental discipline. Through proper focus, steered by discipline, one can arrive at the intended destination. But life will place many obstacles, in the form of distractions, along the route.

This is a very silly world, so engaging in earnest is a poor strategy. To take this world seriously, is to lose from the outset. Games are for fun after-all. Being a game, losing is an option. Due to many in-game hints, it seems that death is not an actual end, it’s just a respawn, the game continues until it’s ultimately won. Fundamentally, the game wants to be won, or it wouldn’t bother to provide a winning option.

Ultimately, I think the mind must be made to perceive existence as a lighthearted illusion – a dream basically. With that mindset, one’s experience within this dreamworld can be influenced by deliberate focus. By utilizing mental-discipline to maintain focus, one’s circumstance of existence is hammered and shaped into a key – a key that unlocks the maze. And with that, the goal is reached, the game won.

Problematic Solutions

Fixing one problem can reveal or exacerbate another problem. I think that’s what’s happening here. Early on, my primary focus was fear and hostility. I was an anxiety-ridden mess, always worried about something and suspicious of everything. I fixed that problem through a major alteration of perspective. In short, I dumped my belief in a physical-reality ruled by random-chance. I replaced it with a belief in a simulated (or dreamlike) reality in which random-chance doesn’t exist.

It took a few years of dedication, but eventually the new perspective took hold. I truly believe that I exist within a simulation/dream. Because of that, my anxiety and hostility are gone, there’s literally nothing to fear and nothing to fight – it’s all flickering pixels. But now that fear and hostility are gone, so is my primary hobby: worrying and arguing.

With time on my hands, I started focusing on the good-things in life – I finally have the capacity for appreciation. But here’s the problem: if life is a dream, why can’t I have everything I want? Previously, I figured chance wasn’t in my favor, I was lucky to have what little I had. I was fine hiding away from the world, remaining unnoticed. But if this is a simulation, and random-chance doesn’t exist, what’s keeping my wishes from coming true?

Therefore, I’m getting a bit frustrated. Fixing one bug caused another: frustration has become my new hobby. Apparently, I have a tendency to pick dumb ways to occupy my time. So now what? Obviously I have to fix this problem while maintaining the previous fix – I need a comprehensive solution that doesn’t introduce more issues.

One option is to completely renounce the physical world, seeing attainment as an exercise in futility. But this seems wrong. Why exist within a world that offers so much stuff? Purely as an exercise in denial and self-restraint? That seems rude. Hey, here’s this vast and wondrous world to engage with! “Um, no thanks, I’m good – I’ll just sit here facing the corner.”

Another option might be believing in benevolent constraints. Essentially, rules for your own good. “You’ll spoil your supper if you eat dessert first!” Or maybe to keep the narrative more engaging: there’s no story to tell if you already have everything. Or maybe it’s like a Christmas Wishlist: Santa might bring something you asked for, or he might not – be grateful either way.

Although I’ve looked, I’ve yet to find an effective algorithm for attainment. In my experience, success seems haphazard. But in my belief-system, it can’t be chance-based – there has to be some underlying principle. I don’t have to discover the true fundamental nature of reality, I just need a convincing non-contradictory explanation that I can believe in. An adequate answer to the question: how do I get what I want, and why don’t I always get what I want?

Problematic Analysis

Due to an abrupt interruption in lifestyle, my character perceives a problem that must be fixed. How can I maintain or upgrade my situation? A potential downgrade is unacceptable – so therein lies the issue. One way to workaround a downgrade is to shift perspective and see it as an upgrade – but that technique is more of a last-resort.

Scanning potential options…. Hm, oh-well I suppose shifting perspective is all I have available at the moment. I don’t see any feasible physical-world solutions. I have “hoping” and “wishing” but I’ve yet to see satisfactory results from previous attempts. My most effective strategy for life has been resigning myself to “what is” and then engaging in some form of small-scale distraction therapy.

Through observation, I can tell that this life is a fictional construct. Also, it seems to be very dreamlike in that the plot goes “wherever” and circumstances follow “dream logic” (reasoning that only makes sense in the dream). Therefore, life isn’t like a ride on a track, a mechanism constructed to gradually reveal an interesting concrete narrative – instead, it simply flows all over the place like a dream.

But not quite “all over the place”. It flows in the general direction of the thinking-mind. I suppose that’s what the “law of attraction” stuff is basically saying: think pleasant thoughts, have a pleasant experience – think nasty thoughts, have a nasty experience. It comes down to controlling the dream through a prevalence of theme. In other words: deluge the thinking-mind with awesomeness in order to live an awesome life.

I admit to beginning life as an untrusting pessimist that searched for ways in which things would fail. And in that way, my wish was often granted. That great things should come to an inelegant end, is well within my belief system. So of course it is of no surprise to be unceremoniously booted from my current abode. But I’m sick of losing, I’m ready to accept a magical transition to an elegant end-game in which I effortlessly excel in the game of life.

Laundry List

What do I want? Hmm, let’s see… I want a mind that’s witty, and appreciative, and one that amuses itself in the most wholesome of ways. I want a fit and sturdy body that effortlessly sails through its environment, providing nothing but joy. I want to spend the perfect amount of time with companions, the right amount to feel fulfilled in our relationships (my companions should otherwise be engaged in their own fulfilling endeavors). I want to pursue treasured pastimes in which I engage with particular facets of the world, developing mastery in my craft. I want to lose myself in lighthearted stories, entertainment that captivates and delights. I want a forever-home, one in which I feel at-ease, comforted, satisfied, a place that facilitates a good night’s rest. I want to buy, collect, and upgrade trinkets aplenty, filling my space with all sorts of gadgets, tools, toys, and other artifacts of this world.

I don’t think it’s too much to ask. I live in a simulated world after-all: coordinates update, pixels change color, and subroutines get rewritten.

If it’s just a simulation, why don’t I have these things already? Simply due to the lack of mental discipline! When I entered this realm, my mind thrashed about, suspicious and afraid, I focused on the worst things I could think of. But it’s my job to bring these turbulent thoughts under control, yet I was ignorant and/or negligent in doing so.

So here I am now, wishing for things in Wonderland – a silly thing to do of course. But that is precisely why it’s the only plausible course of action. The more frivolous, the better! When you try to be serious or logical in Wonderland, you guarantee yourself a very bad time indeed. And it just so happens to be MY unbirthday today too! How very wonderful!

A Christmas Cratchit

Dear diary, I will now mention the reason why I’ve been a bit upset lately. It’s money. Of course. That old cliche has inserted itself as a prominent part of my narrative.

We’ve been living in our current location for about two-and-half years (it’s a lovely locale and I like it). Mathematically, the money was going to run out about seven months ago – it didn’t. It somehow lasted till now, the end of the year. Right in time for what? That’s right, a Christmas Miracle. It’s the first of December today, a month of many celebrated birthdays (including my own).

I love Christmas Miracles by the way, which is why I have hope amidst the lack. Of course I have to feel bad for a bit and soak in the dour circumstances, setting the scene. “Gee wiz guys, I guess Christmas isn’t going to be very merry this year. Aw shucks….” But in my heart of hearts I believe in the power of Christmas and know it’s never too late. Christmas isn’t over! There’s still time!!

Just the other day, my friend said how much she hates the holidays since we only ever have enough money for minimal living expenses – and this year we have even less. But oh does the crescendo start soft and gradually build until the loudest frequency fills the ear with an abundance of sound. I know not what form this miracle will take, but I believe in its inevitability.

Christmas CAN be saved. It must. So too must she know Christmas as a time of merriment and delight. There is not one thing more in this world I want than to see their faces on Christmas morning alight with the resplendent glow of joyful glee. Yes James, there is a Santa Claus and he lives through me – today and for 10 times 10,000 years he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Delving Into Details

I’ve noticed that whenever I delve into the details of something, it doesn’t make sense, the specifics are silly, the overall concept is absurd. It’s exactly like analyzing the plot of a movie too closely: if you forgivingly accept the storyline, then things proceed smoothly – but whenever you analyze the details, plot-holes abound.

Not only does this demonstrate the fictional nature of this world, it illustrates that circumstances don’t arise from details. Larger concepts come first then details are developed second – and only when examined. Additionally, these details are not objectively true – they vary depending on who’s investigating them.

For example, if you see someone driving a car, you don’t think anything of it. Cool, maybe he’s going to the store. But if you start to analyze the concept of humans controlling complex contraptions comprised of substantial steel at speeds 10 times that of their normal pace, producing forces that far exceed their normal abilities, yet able to maintain their course with adequate reaction time, it gets weird. Especially when you saw that same person having difficulty pushing their simple little shopping cart through the store’s aisles moments earlier.

And that’s not the only example, it’s EVERYTHING. And the good news in all this, is this: details don’t matter. Imagine a supervisor briefly explaining a task to you, yet he leaves out all the critical details and you’re left wondering how to proceed. This is a common scenario simply because details are NOT critical. Humans aren’t typically taught step-by-step instructions, they’re provided with broad concepts, then kinda wing-it.

In other words, if you attempt to learn the details in order to do something, you’re doing it wrong. You do the thing and IGNORE the details. Humans could never reliably drive cars if this wasn’t the case. In fact, details are dangerous and they’re likely to lead to logical conclusions that shouldn’t be contemplated. Whereas if you stick to the surface, things are more malleable and make a lot more sense.

The devil really is in the details. Do not summon him forth through incessant investigating. You’ll create logical conclusions that’ll trap your mindset. Circumstances change much more readily when they’re not ensnared by technicalities. Never worry how something gets done, it just does! It’s a dreamworld after-all.

Frying Pan

I’ve swung so far: from surety in a brutal concrete reality to surety in a fictitious dreamworld. That’s a LOT of surety for someone that’s lost and confused. But when you’re drowning, you grab tightly to whatever’s near, whatever provides the most buoyancy amidst the turbulent waves that cause you to choke with panic.

You grip tightly until you’re eventually calmed by despair. I suppose hopelessness is the primary driver behind my religious conversion. There was no grand epiphany in which I was visited by angels, I simply couldn’t take the intensity of ever-present anxiety, and gave up. I quit caring. I stopped taking the game so seriously.

And nothing happened. I didn’t drown. It was as if I had been in shallow water the entire time. There was no danger. I was overreacting and only imagined myself drowning. Oops. It wasn’t my cunning and vigilance keeping me alive!? Oh well. Luckily, I’ve got it all figured out now! Nah, just kidding.

I know how to be pessimistic and overly serious, but I don’t quite understand how to play and have fun. I’ve simply gone from one confusing predicament into another. So now I have to spend my days dismissing my inherent negativity while attempting to add levity into everyday life. I have to find enjoyable activities and actively appreciate them.

Happiness isn’t easy, it’s a lotta work. But again, what would I know? I like precision and predictability and knowing how things function. Yet patterns and pathways seem to be purposefully derailed in this world. My inclinations don’t apply. Whatever direction I step doesn’t get me any closer to where I want to go. Nothing makes sense!

But if you’ve ever attempted to learn something new, that’s what it feels like. And over time, with practice, you get better. Living a good life isn’t something you inherently grasp, nor something you figure out in a day or even after a few years. You immerse yourself in the process and you stop trying to think your way through it; you let it happen.

Old Man in the Sky

When I was a kid, I believed in a bearded man that descended to Earth to fulfill my prayers. He donned robes of red and flew in a magical sleigh — his holy bible was the Sears Wish Book. I’d scour and study the good word (and pictures) for hours at a time, compiling my finds into a list. There were many movies dedicated to his ever-presence and magical fulfillment capabilities, so I was well-versed in the doctrine of Old Saint Nick.

One truth that was always told: it was NEVER too late to save Christmas. A Christmas Miracle was ALWAYS waiting around the corner until the very last minute. Children would be filled with glee while adults would finally feel the relief they desperately needed. At first they’d be incredulous, yet they’d have no choice but to believe in the magic of Christmas and graciously accept the gifts they were given.

To say that I’m a fan of Santa is an understatement. When I imagine building my perfect woodworking shop for instance, I imagine it looking like Santa’s Workshop. When I see folks donning his red robes, I don’t see imposters, I see celebrators of the season doing their part to extend his reach. Every lit bulb I see is the twinkle in that jolly ol’ fellow’s eye. I don’t see the commercialization of Christmas, I see the physical representation of joy wrapped in paper ready to be ripped apart to reveal the revelry within.

To gaze upon his visage, I see a selfless elf with boundless cheer toting a bottomless sack containing the fulfillment of everyone’s wishes. And all he asks in return, is that you live your best life. Is that not a being worthy of the highest praise? You ask me, when the chips are down, when times are tough, when the final flicker flashes — you ask me who I call for help? It’s Santa Claus.

Snow Flocked Crimson

Santa, Santa, flying high,
With your reindeer in the sky,
Bring me presents on my list,
Surprises too, if you get my gist.

With robes of red and beard of white,
With merry cheer traveling through the night.
Mirth and miracles fill your sack,
As you enter homes with it on your back.

To you dear Santa, I make my wish,
as you eat the cookies from my dish.
May the world receive what you inspire,
the fulfillment of their hearts’ desire.

To give and get is just good fun,
As you navigate your yearly run.
My thanks kind sir for making things bright.
Merry Christmas to you, and to all a goodnight!

Game Goals

Existence is a game whose goal is a life well-lived — I will win this game.

Thoughts are the controls with which I influence my experience.

A better life is achieved through better thoughts. From thoughts streaming by, I’ll select only the finest to focus on while dismissing the rest.

Note: good thoughts are characterized by concepts such as appreciation and delight, comfort and contentment, confidence and competence, lighthearted amusement, and an overall enjoyment of life.

I’ll aspire to believe that ALL obstacles and limitations are SELF-CREATED through my thoughts.

I’ll endeavor to see this as a benevolent experience intended as a source of enjoyment.

To facilitate this enjoyment, I’ll strive to maintain a lighthearted disposition, a positive attitude, and trust in the goodness of life.

So that I’m not lost in the story and swept away in its turbulence, I’ll strive to maintain an awareness of this game-like perspective.

At any time I do feel lost, I’ll remove focus from my thoughts and remain focused on right now.