Why Is It So

Why’s life so hard?

Because if it wasn’t, you wouldn’t care. It’s as simple as that. At what point do you most appreciate something? When you’re about to lose it.

Why’s such a stupid condition true?

It is and it isn’t. If you can muster the discipline to appreciate something in your hand when you have no fear of loss, then such a condition isn’t true. Only when you fail to appreciate what you have is it true.

Why’s it so easy to be an undisciplined fool that can’t recognize the value of what’s at hand?

Is it easy? It actually sounds like a very difficult condition to live with. If you’ve ever appreciated anything at anytime, then you have the power within you to appreciate what you have right now. Shift your focus away from things you don’t prefer and onto things you value. That sounds a lot easier than staring at unpleasant things all day long.

Why’s it so hard to remain focused on pleasant things?

Perhaps you have a penchant for bitterness. When you see something you don’t like, a surge of energy rushes through you, the outrage is electrifying.

Why’s such a terrible condition true?

Have you ever tried to appreciate the energizing aspect of unpleasant things? Imagine it, you’re surrounded by an infinite supply of energy in the form of nastiness. You’re so repulsed by the contents of this world, you could glow like the sun if properly harnessed. Energy is often the byproduct of incineration, perhaps you could embrace the process.

Why’s it seem like you’re leading me to the dark-side of the force?

It was merely a suggestion. But you’re right, just as junk-food is a low-quality source of calories, so too is outrage a low-quality source of energy. Ideally, you should seek to find something that inspires, not enrages.

Why’s it so hard to find that vitalizing path through life?

Is it hard, or do you simply stop yourself, too anxious to proceed on a path that requires trust? Your suspiciousness of life and its motive keeps you locked away.

Why’s it so easy to mistrust?

Again, that sounds like a difficult way to live. Constant anxiety about what’s going to happen next? Feeling weak and powerless, a perpetual victim of life’s whims? When all you really have to do is let go. Life has been carrying you along this entire time — imagine how much easier it will be once you stop struggling against the current.

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Autonomous Ride

How is the body an autonomous vehicle? When you eat, the teeth and tongue and throat simply do their thing while you essentially sit there, aware of the taste. “Mmm this is good” you think, as the process happens without supervision. And you’re certainly not involved in coordinating the digestive process, are you?

And when you walk, you’re not planning and arranging all the actions of your feet — you’re simply carried along as your mind wanders elsewhere. Same when you drive a car, you’re not constantly scanning for possible obstructions while monitoring your speed and maintaining a steady wheel all while actively coordinating your foot on the gas-pedal — no, you essentially sit there enjoying the view as you’re whisked down the road.

Or when you need a solution to a problem, you can sit there all day trying to hash-out an answer that never comes. Until finally, you’re in the shower the next day and the solution suddenly appears in your thoughts. Bingo! So it seems as though EVERYTHING you do is an autonomous action of the body — and all that stuff “just works”. Your body does what it does while your awareness simply watches it happen.

But does it? Does your consciousness simply sit there? Oh that’s right, your consciousness expresses itself through constant criticism. Nothing the avatar does is ever good enough. And so you berate it, “You’re worthless! If I’d have been born as ANYTHING else it would’ve been better than THIS! You’re disgusting, a loser, you don’t deserve to contain my consciousness!” On and on, and everyday it’s the same thing.

And with that same consciousness, you blame the avatar for the miserable time you’re having. That poor avatar is the cause of every problem in the world. It can’t be your intense negativity that’s causing you to be unsatisfied — right? It MUST be the avatar’s fault. Tearing it down day after day has no detrimental effect — right? Poor sleep? Slouching? Headaches? Poor digestion? Feeling startled all the time? None of that sounds familiar right?

Maybe, just maybe, after all the abusive diatribes you’ve levied against your avatar, perhaps you’ve managed to beat it into a quivering mass of poorly-performing goo? MAYBE you can’t sleep or stay unflustered or even stand-up straight because your avatar actually does listen to you — it reads you LOUD AND CLEAR. And you’ve never said ANYTHING except “YOU SUCK”.

This is what they mean by self-love: appreciating your avatar, the vehicle that’s done nothing except carry you through this world in order to experience a fun time. But not you, Mister Smarty-Pants, you’d rather bully an avatar than enjoy yourself. That sounds like a super-smart idea — a real good plan. How’s that been working out for ya? LIKE SHIT!!! In other words, STOP IT!!

Who am I? Well if the avatar is the character you’re playing-as while on Earth, and you’re the conscious-observer being whisked around by the avatar, I am the higher consciousness the resides beyond it all. I’m here when you fuck-up. The balancer. I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed. But if you say one more goddamned thing about your avatar… I dare you… I double-dog dare you….

Listen princess, you tried your way for a good many decades already, and it only proved what a complete and clueless moron you are. Now you get to sit pretty while you keep your yapper zipped. The only words I want to hear from you is how fucking awesome everything is. How fucking amazed you are by this world. How happy and appreciative you are to be living in this magnificent place. And you better fucking mean every fucking word of it.

It’s not rocket-science pal. Within the mind, bullshit-based thoughts enter: shut them down. Favorable thoughts enter: you invite them in to stay awhile. Use your focus to concentrate on everything good that evokes delight. Avoid focusing on stupid shit. And for the love of all that is holy, DO NOT disparage your avatar — pay it some goddamned respect for once.

Listen, you fucked up but it’s time to start over: Hi, welcome to Earth! Please enjoy yourself while you ride around in this complementary vehicle. We’ve spared no expense in making this the most interesting and immersive experience ever! There’s all sorts of activities and adventures to keep you entertained for many years to come! We’re so excited to share this with you, and hope you have a wonderful time in this place where dreams come true! Have fun!

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.

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.

Awesome Burger

Dear Rich, you seem to be pushing an agenda of positivity, does that mean everything in your life is super awesome?

Well remember, I have decades of experience in thinking the worst about the world. In other words, I’m well-practiced in pessimism. If you want a negative response, just ask me. I can tell you why any objective will not only fail, but will result in the worst consequences imaginable. I still have these thoughts, I just don’t accept them as true like I used to — they’re silly suggestions from a joker that likes to pretend the world is on fire.

So nowadays I brush these initial reactions aside, replacing them with more appropriate responses. I understand that it’s dumb for me to pretend to predict the future with a decidedly dour slant. Either I should keep my yapper zipped or perhaps offer some encouragement towards the endeavor. I’ve been so wrong about predicting dire outcomes, that I have no place shutting-down some else’s goals (not even my own).

As far as my life being super-duper awesome? No, it’s not. For instance, I had a headache yesterday. And that’s literally the worst thing that usually happens to me. But man, are those rough. If you look with a zoomed-out perspective, then everything appears to be going well. But that’s not how we look at our own life is it!? No, we’re zoomed-in to our own life. So no matter what problem we’re currently facing, it’s a BIG all-consuming problem to us.

And that’s why I still spend a significant portion of my day just reconciling with life. I notice an imperfection and suddenly LIFE SUCKS!!! It’s the WORST thing ever!!! Like when Five Guys neglected to put ketchup on my hamburger!? WHY ME!!??? Why must I be cursed with this wretched fate!? Okay, I didn’t mind that much since I was busy munching the Cajun fries. And actually, my headache went away immediately after that — so I can’t complain.

As you can tell, I’m very harsh and unforgiving in regards to any perceived imperfections I see. And that critical perspective makes it difficult to appreciate life. Therefore, my agenda of positivity is a means to change that disparaging perspective. It’s not necessarily a reflection of the life I’m experiencing, but it represents the mental state I want to achieve. As they say: practice makes improvement.

Elegant Earth

Dear Rich, why do you try so hard to make the world seem as though it’s a nice place?

Make no mistake dear reader, I make pessimists look like optimists, and introverts look like extroverts. My default mode is to sit isolated in a small room while staring at a glowing screen. And if I happen to leave that room, I will denigrate everything that passes into view. You will not like me and I will not like you.

But as it turns out, such an outlook is a terrible way to experience existence. Go figure. So maybe I got tired of feeling the repugnance and the fear — whatever crossed my path, I was disgusted by it or scared of it. Or maybe, after criticizing everything else in this world, perhaps there was nothing left to disparage but my own bad attitude.

Whatever it was, the situation became untenable. Therefore, my focus has been altered, my natural tendency to find-fault and rip-apart has been aimed at my discontentment. I am using all the condemning power at my disposal to shutdown and shame my tendency for pessimism and ungratefulness.

And as part of that effort, I am defending the world I long insulted. And you know what? I actually do feel better. And it turns out that all those horrible things that I thought, weren’t even true. Oopsie! My bad! As a means to make amends and as a way to reinforce it within myself, I am painting the world as a place that cares.