Fundamental Problem

The fundamental problem with embodied existence is NOT survival, health, money, purpose, relationships or any other in-world issue. The fundamental problem deals with the acceptance and appreciation of life’s dream-like nature. Life provides a dreamworld that takes getting used to. When we get frustrated by our inability to figure things out, we tend to paint life as the problem — instead of our own lack of understanding.

In our ignorance, we flail around as if drowning — then we’re overcome by the turbulence we created. From that perspective, of course life seems like a hellish nightmare designed to punish with pain. But it’s not true. Life is simply fulfilling our expectations. A cynical pessimist at the controls creates a dark and dreary dreamworld. And that dreamer mistakenly blames life, believing IT to be the source of all problems.

But YOU are the source of EVERY problem you’ve ever encountered. This is a dreamworld, and YOU inflict every ounce of pain upon yourself. You’ll deny it of course, and swear up and down that you’re not doing it to yourself. You’ll point out how life did this-and-that and you’re not to blame one bit. And THAT is why the fundamental problem of embodied existence is the inability to accept and appreciate life’s dream-like nature. You keep denying your contribution while declaring life as the problem.

Around and around you’ll go on this merry-go-round of misery… UNTIL you finally accept AND appreciate the dream-like nature of life — a place in which your attitude and expectations directly affect your experience. From there, you’ll stop focusing on the worst ideas you can imagine and focus on things that evoke joy instead. And lo and behold, the world will change before your eyes as that hellish nightmare morphs into a delightful dream. THIS is the ONLY problem you must solve, the rest is illusion.

Accomplish Mints

If you examine games for instance, the things you accomplish in-game aren’t that awesome, yet you still have a drive to do them. The point being: you don’t need something epic in order to feel entertained. In Tetris for example, you’re simply stacking bricks — you merely accepted the artificial goal of completing rows.

Do you need prizes for motivation? Clearly not, or else video-games wouldn’t be a thing. Time and energy are invested for arbitrary awards that mean nothing outside the game. It’s like a coloring book: you accept the goal of filling in the blanks and you’re rewarded with the feeling of accomplishment when it’s done.

Even a “to-do list” is a simple means to create the circumstance of accomplishment. In other words, accomplishment is easy. But if you’re a masochist, you’ll use the process as a means of frustrating yourself. For example: you’ll select goals you don’t believe you can reach, or you’ll design criteria that’s nebulous and ever-changing.

So if you’re not feeling accomplished, guess what? You’re a masochist using the mechanism of achievement as a means to torture yourself. STOP THAT! Relax and pick easy, well-defined goals for now. Practice winning for once. Stop teasing yourself with feelings of lack and limitation. Get out there and win!

Stupid Prizes

Play stupid games, win stupid prizes. Would you play a game that’s upsetting and irritating? It’d be a dumb way to spend your time. Yet that’s what I do, and I get first-prize every time.

I’m always receiving stupid prizes, which is how I know I’m engaging in a lot of stupid games. Yet causing oneself to get upset is low-quality entertainment — it’s masochism.

Particular things and specific circumstances just don’t matter. Want something? It’s just a change in perspective whether you attain it or not. You simply check-off the item in your mind.

Getting frustrated? Just check it off NOW, why wait? It’s yours, don’t sweat it any longer. From there, move to the next item on the list. See how it works? That’s what happens anyway, there’s always a “next item”.

You lack nothing, it’s yours! In fact, you’re bored of it already! Time for the next item on the list! Just ask yourself, what’s a stupider game: guaranteed victory or a constant state of defeat?

In other words, stop playing stupid games in which you repeatedly paint yourself into the losing corner. That’s not fun. There are better ways to entertain yourself than inciting frustration.

Redefining Defaults

The body is not a pain-generator, it’s a tool that allows the consciousness to experience an embodied existence. You can obviously misuse tools, for example you can hit yourself on the head with a hammer — that doesn’t mean a hammer’s primary purpose is to produce pain.

If you’re having an unpleasant time with your body, it’s likely that you’re misusing it (i.e. stop hitting yourself). It’s like you’re grabbing the wheel of your avatar and steering it into a wall — don’t do that. The body is fully capable of navigating through the world it was born into — allow this process to unfold.

Because of fear and skepticism, you’re using your influence to interrupt your life’s narrative — stop that. Dismiss fear and rebuke skepticism and just go for it, allow your avatar to freely flow in the direction it needs to go. It WILL fight you when you try to impede its journey and you WILL lose. Skip the stress by becoming a pleasant passenger.

Relatedly: when new circumstances arise, life is NOT trying to torture you or scare you, it’s simply presenting you with invitations to engage. These are opportunities to do something new and interesting. Again, don’t let fear or skepticism prevent you from progressing on this path. You CANNOT protect yourself through inaction — you can’t hide from life.

Life only seems like a harsh taskmaster because you’re distrustful. Life is more like a mamma bird that’s pushing you out of the nest — she wants to see you soar. Yet you, being scared, fight to stay in the nest even though it’s uncomfortable and you’ve outgrown it. As you fall from the nest, you keep your wings tucked and refuse to unfurl them. Boom! Of course the landing hurts!!

Something else to consider: the options you don’t prefer aren’t there to irritate you, they’re simply part of the buffet. If you see something you’re not partial to, don’t select it — but don’t demonize it, just focus on the things you do like. Because something undesirable exists, don’t assume all of life sucks — just pass it by and select something that does interest you.

In essence, an absolute external world does NOT exist, the world you experience depends on your focus and emerges from your thoughts and attitude. Fear and skepticism are your enemies here. If you defeat them, it’ll be smooth sailing on an epic adventure through a grand narrative of human existence.

Six Times Six

I can’t forget that 6 x 6 = 36. When I was in 3rd or 4th grade I drilled the times-tables for a few weeks until I had it down cold. That’s a problem. It’s a problem because I’ve been telling myself pessimistic stories for DECADES. How am I supposed to forget ideas that I’ve been relentlessly repeating for so many years!? Like a martial-artist, I’m trained to react on instinct with split-second responses — in my case, with 40 mega-tons of negativity. Therefore, I must change my defaults.

For instance, when I think of the human body, my default is to see it as an instrument of pain, fragile and forever susceptible to the whims of a wicked-world hellbent on inflicting endless damage in the form of tiny internal organisms all the way up to blunt-force trauma from huge external objects. It’s just a waiting game until someday something catches me. And even if my vigilance keeps me safe, my poor weak body will one day collapse in on itself, ravaged by old-age.

Wow, that’s bleak. So instead of repeating THAT story over and over to myself, I should pick a new more-pleasant default. For example, my body is the projected image I imagine it to be, like a vision in a dream. If I imagine it to be weak, it’s weak — whereas if I imagine it to be strong, it’s strong. Everything else in the world is also a projected image, therefore my body can interact with these images in whatever way I choose. And instead of an instrument of pain, my body is an instrument of pleasure, providing me with a wondrous view into an exciting dreamworld of endless enjoyment.

Hm, that’s a bit better. Now I just have to drill THAT into my head. Another example is how I feel about participation. My default is to see participation in life as a burden, basically a sentence handed down for crimes I didn’t commit, an injustice put upon me as punishment for existing. That’s pretty bleak too. So instead of a burden, I should see participation as an opportunity to play. Life notices me standing in the corner staring at the floor and comes over to offer me a way to engage. How kind of life to be so caring towards an ungrateful guest, yet life never gives up, always offering something new to do.

Essentially, I’ve seen myself as a poor forsaken creature trapped within a harsh and brutal environment against my will. With only my cunning to protect me, I must struggle to survive another day amidst a world trying its hardest to kill me. Okay, that does sound dumb — and obviously I can see that I’m not tough nor cunning. In a way, my default view of life is crumbling away because it just doesn’t make sense — it doesn’t align with my experiences.

I haven’t been subject to the whims and ways of a cruel world, I’ve just had a bad attitude. It’s like watching a scary-movie before bedtime, it influences your dreams in a bad way, typically resulting in nightmares. By being so pessimistic, I’ve painted a very negative picture of the world. With a bad attitude, I twist whatever I see into something nefarious. The opposite would likely be true too: a positive attitude would result in a world-of-wonder, a playground to enjoy, an experience in which delight is the default.

So to sum up and create a new equation:
NO: Life + Me = Pain
YES: Life + Me = Delight

Wrong View

What if I told you the world isn’t what you think it is? What if I said it’s NOT actually a torture-chamber designed to inflict maximum pain and suffering? Well if you’re anything like me, you’d say: “You idiot! I can see with my own eyes that this world is a hellscape in which strife and misery are rampant! You’re either a fool or you’re trying to lure me into a false sense of security! Either way, I have no time for this nonsense!”

Fair enough. But what if I told you that the unpleasantness you’re experiencing is simply a misinterpretation on your part? You focused on one tiny aspect while completely missing the larger world you’re within. For example, imagine you entered an immersive game in which you were surrounded by dirt — it’s dark and dank and the sounds you hear are low and ominous. You feel frightened so you stay put, not sure what else to do. You remain that way for the entirety of the game.

Upon exiting, you say to the game’s developer: “Wow, that sucked! What a crap game.” And the developer replies: “Oh that’s odd, it was supposed to be really fun. Hm. Well what’d you think about the skies and the oceans and the llamas? How about the mountains? Weren’t they majestic at least?” Confused, you say: “What are you talking about?! It was dark dirt all around!” The developer replies: “Oh, you were supposed to dig through that, like a growing plant emerging from the soil. Beyond the dirt was an expansive world filled with every imaginable delight.”

In other words, you messed up. Whoopsies. Yes, you are currently surrounded by muck and mire, but it’s YOU who is torturing yourself. YOU simply need to stop scaring yourself. Existence is more dreamlike than you think: the way in which you experience this world correlates directly with your thoughts. In other words, a bad attitude makes everything seem unpleasant whereas a positive attitude makes everything seem great. External circumstances are the RESULT of your attitude, they are NOT the cause. You had that reversed.

You believe that horrible things happen which then cause you to have a miserable time. In other words: bad things first, feeling bad second. No. In actuality, you felt bad, and that turbulence created a storm of horrible happenings. You were in a bad mood and told yourself a sad story. Everything around you became dark and grey and unpleasant to be around. THAT is what’s happening here.

To get out from the muck and mire you must STOP telling yourself terrible tales of gloom & doom. That’s IT! Suddenly you’ll spring forth from the mud, the sun emerging overhead, a resplendent glow lighting up the land, and you’ll begin to experience the delightfulness that surrounds. You’ll be glad to be within such a world, ever grateful for the enjoyment you’re experiencing. THAT is the right view.

Appreciation Station

What’s ice-cream without appreciation? An insult, an undigestible concoction, absolute garbage? Without appreciation, it’s nothing special at best, and something horrible at worst. This condition applies to everything: something is only worthwhile if it’s appreciated. Therefore, appreciation is the secret-sauce that turns mere rock into pure gold.

That’s magic by the way — a spell of sorts. Something of no-value becomes something of high-value through the application of appreciation. In other words: if you can focus your appreciation, you can turn anything into a treasure. Simply devise a story in which the object-in-question becomes the hero — and voila, you create gold.

The inverse is also true. Devise a wicked tale in which the object-in-question becomes a villain — and voila, you create crap. It’s an amazing power you possess: the ability to add or subtract value from anything, simply based on the story you tell yourself. The enjoyment you experience in life is directly related to these stories.

Not enjoying life? Then you’re obviously focused on unpleasant stories that make appreciation difficult. Whereas the logical path is to focus on amazing stories that fill you with delight. Why aren’t you doing this already? Because, a vehicle in motion will tend to drift and crash if no one’s steering it. You’ve neglected to steer your mind, letting it swerve this way and that.

Grab the wheel! It’s okay, it’s within your ability and it’s expected of you. Yes, it’ll take some practice to get the hang of it — but the sooner you start and the more you do it, the better you’ll get. You’ll no longer veer-off course and into every tree. Eventually life will become the awesome adventure you knew it could be.