Real Thought

I’ve been attempting to work with the “thoughts create your reality” philosophy for awhile now. It’s a bit embarrassing how long I’ve been trying to incorporate it into my way-of-thinking. This blog is basically a testament to it, but it hasn’t stuck yet. While I understand that my negativity is souring my experience of existence, those dumb thoughts just keep coming. And every-time I have an A-HA! moment of clarity, it quickly fizzles away.

I recently read The Law of Attraction (2006) book, and it’s essentially telling me the same stuff I discovered over and over during the past few years. But where I think it adds to the perspective, is this: I should be MUCH more proactive in imagining the life I want to experience. I’ve been taking a more reactive approach in which I diffuse negative thoughts instead of focusing on the stuff I want. In a sense, I’m still focused on negativity.

I should stop that and deliberately devise pleasant scenarios in my imagination instead. I should take time in the day to imagine an overall picture of the life I want to live AND I should consider what I want from each part of the day as I’m entering it. In the book, these activities are called the “Creative Workshop” and “Segment Intending”. I’m not supposed to simply react to whatever life throws at me, I’m supposed to intentionally create the experience I want.

I’ve been taking a VERY passive approach and it shows. It turns out that I AM supposed to be applying quite a bit of effort i.e. “hard work”. But instead of external action, I should be crafting internally, imagining scenes that evoke the best-feeling emotions I can muster — I should be doing this throughout the day. And if I’m not doing that, then THERE’S the source of my problems. Essentially, I’ve been expecting life to paint a pretty picture for me, but it doesn’t work that way apparently. I must paint the picture and life renders it.

Life renders whatever picture you’re crafting in your mind, but if you don’t intentionally set it, you’ll end up experiencing the sum of a mishmash of haphazard thoughts. Therefore, life will seem chaotic at times and stagnant at others. It’s a little bit of everything all mixed together, resulting in an unsatisfying flavor. That’s a bingo for me and why I’m trying to improve my experience.

Satisfying recipes have a few carefully selected ingredients specifically blended together in pleasing proportions, you don’t just throw whatever together. Same with music, it’s a few notes selected for their harmonic blend, you don’t just play every note in an indiscriminate arrangement. In life, it seems that thoughts are the basic building-blocks we have to work with and it’s in our best interest to deliberately arrange them in a manner we find most pleasing.

Cosmic Accident

Dear Rich, are humans a cosmic accident?

Well dear reader, if you want a thrill-filled and ultimately miserable experience, then yes. But if you want to enjoy your time here, then no. I’ve held both positions at different times in my life, and I can tell you that option-one produces a lot of angst whereas option-two produces a much higher degree of comfort and satisfaction overall.

Option-one, that humans ARE a cosmic accident, entails a belief in a perpetual struggle for survival. It means my ancestors fought and clawed their way into modernity and I am the result of that competitive exertion. And I too must continue this endeavor lest I fall prey to those forces that are stronger than I. And to that end, I am prone to worry so that I’m not caught with my guard down.

Option-two, that humans are NOT a cosmic accident, entails a belief in a world created to take-care of its inhabitants. A cozier idea don’t you think? It takes all the pressure off. I can feel myself relaxing as I contemplate the concept. And guess what? I’m still alive, even thriving, despite the fact that I’ve completely let my guard down. I don’t worry about anything anymore and life chugs-along just fine.

And believe me dear reader, I was a stalwart adherent of option-one. I was so committed in-fact, that I eventually broke under the strain. I became a believer in option-two not because it appealed to me, but because I was beaten into submission by my belief in a cold cruel world. I couldn’t handle it anymore and finally dumped the idea. What filled the void was option-two.

And once I adopted option-two, the obviousness of it was everywhere. I had only imagined the necessity of struggle, when in actuality, none was needed. Sure, I felt like a big dummy for scaring myself silly with a fearful fantasy throughout all those years, but I got over it. Life in general got a lot easier when I stopped imagining the worst. Nowadays, I simply trust that my existence isn’t an accident and it’s made all the difference.

Life is a LOT more enjoyable when you no longer believe in a harsh and uncaring world where vigilance is the only thing keeping you alive. Give up that idea dear reader, and you’ll see a vast improvement in your experience of existence.

Half Confused

Should one simply accept negativity as half of the whole (the other half being positivity)? In other words, is life truly a balance between light and dark, hot and cold, pleasant and unpleasant, pleasure and pain? And therefore: are anger, misery, and worry fundamental aspects of the human experience that we should honor?

No, negativity has no merit. Here’s an example: if wretched things are meant to be honored, then vomit your first meal of the day into a cup and drink it back up. Take some time to honor “disgust” today. Oh? You don’t want to do that? So there’s a line you won’t cross? Then draw the line further: put fear and frustration and all other forms of negativity beyond that line as well.

If there are aspects of negativity that you won’t do, why do any of it? Lashing out in anger. Constantly complaining. Being perpetually pessimistic. The negative aspects of the human experience are NOT fundamental activities that we should perform, they are the manifestation of a mistaken perspective.

If you believe that negativity is something you should practice, you’re confused, and you’re attempting to justify your bewilderment by pretending it’s an inherent part of life. It’s not. Imagine you’re trying to operate a forklift but you don’t know how it works, so you wing-it. From that point on, you assume that whatever you did is how it’s done. When someone finally attempts to explain the correct operation of the forklift, you belligerently tell them that you already know how it works. BUT, it turns out that frequent crashing and dropping boxes is NOT a necessary part of forklift operation.

In the same way, you entered life in a state of complete ignorance. From there, you managed to scrape together a strategy to navigate through the world. But the so-called strategy you devised sucks, and results in a LOT of crashing. Thankfully, it turns out that negativity is NOT a necessary part of life. You don’t need anger, outrage, frustration, regret, fear, worry, misery, pain, or anything else that results in a poor experience.

Life is better than that. YOU are better than that. So stop swilling your own vomit and cut out the negativity. Living life “right” simply begins with NOT purposefully hurting yourself. Life is NOT a struggle unless you make it one. You’re in a shallow pool flailing around like a madman: stop and stand up. Be still for a bit, listen to the quiet, examine the mechanism of existence.

Mechanical Man

Is man mechanical? A mechanical man is subject to defects, wear & tear, environmental conditions, and requires regular maintenance. Is it true though? Fortunately, it’s false. The mechanical-man myth is just another story we tell ourselves to inflict fear through the concept of solidity. By believing ourselves mechanical, we can worry ourselves into an exhilarating tizzy. But really, it’s just another form of masochism.

“Oh no, I’m getting older and the environment is so harsh! Things don’t run as well as they used to! I better perform regular maintenance or my body will never last!” The obvious falseness lies in the fact that not everyone adheres to the mechanical-man theory — yet miraculously, they live long full lives. Mechanical-man believers simply chalk it up to “good genetics” or “luck”, but they’re full of crap.

I know all about the mechanical-man theory because I used to be a believer. My body existed on borrowed time, it was decaying since the day I was born, the sun damaged my skin any chance it could while toxins snuck in from impurities in my food and water. Everything was poisonous! And germs! Don’t forget about the germs that lied in wait until my immune system entered into a weakened state.

But all of my vigilance was for naught. It was delusion, a fantasy of mechanization. To think that my meager efforts at maintenance were actually effective is laughable. I would pick and choose which parts required service and perform strange rituals of repair in hopes that they’d be beneficial.

And these rituals-of-repair regularly change with the fashion of the day. I had to eat a certain way, exert effort in a certain way, and deflect illness in a certain way — but every few years the current methods become out-dated and new methods take their place. Even location matters, as different regions practice different regimens.

As you can see, the mechanical-man myth effectively puts perfection out of reach. And if you do manage to fix one problem, there’s sure to be another following along. What a clever game to keep our attention so captivated by an endless stream of preventative-maintenance and repair. “Another ache! I’m so concerned! What could it be!? I better take action!”

Personally, I’ve chosen not to participate in that game anymore. There are better ways to entertain myself. And would you believe it? I’m still alive! My cunning and vigilance weren’t really keeping me safe. I’m not mechanical after-all! And without the threat of constant mechanical failure, I’m no longer plagued by worry and I’m much happier.

Imperfect Experience

Existence is the experience of imperfection. Imperfection provides reason for action. Whereas if something is in a state of perfection, nothing needs to be done. Therefore, we are constantly striving towards a perfection we hope we never achieve. Imperfection makes things fun.

If you’re not good at something, great! That’s the point! Games, for example, get boring the moment you master them. Excitement emerges when things don’t go as planned. Variety springs forth from imperfect implementations. Sameness is tediousness.

To extract enjoyment, we must accept and appreciate a playful approach towards perfection. We can’t allow ourselves to feel frustrated by a lack of perfection because we truly don’t want to get there. We WANT the condition of imperfection to inspire our efforts.

It’s a game like any other: we should be sincere in our pursuit but not solemnly so. We should genuinely engage in an activity, but not too seriously. We shouldn’t feel disdain for imperfection, but embrace it on an impossible path towards perfection.

Unknowable Truth

The ultimate truth of life, is that absolute truth isn’t knowable. Reality is only ever experienced from a particular perspective. When observed from different positions or at different times, what seemed true no longer is. We can easily witness this phenomenon as we age, yet we rarely regard its significance. Instead of acknowledging the truth of unknowableness, we pick a few “facts” and cling to them as long as we can, telling ourselves that they represent absolute truth.

We play this truth-game for as long as we can. Because these ideas aren’t actually true, they readily collapse whenever we fail to maintain our delusion. We’ll struggle for a bit until we pick a new “truth” to believe in. And on and on we go, attempting to make our leaky boat float, patching it wherever we find weakness. It’s a futile effort of course, but it’s a game we apparently like to play.

For playing this stupid game, we win the stupid prize of a flimsy foundation upon which our life rests. Our life never feels secure because it isn’t. But playing pretend isn’t the problem, the problem lies with trying to extract an absolute truth from these games. Within this world, we can only play: the characters we meet and the circumstances we experience are forms of fiction, not fact.

The things of this world are fictional and fleeting. And because nothing is of substance, it’s all frivolity. In other words: the temporary tales that constitute our experience reveal that it’s all for fun. Solid unchanging facts can be taken seriously, fleeting fiction cannot. Therefore, we purposefully play the truth-game in order to add solemnity and solidity to life.

The opposite is also true. If at any point we find life too intense, we can simply stop playing the truth-game. In other words, we can stop believing in the sources of fear and woe. Monsters disappear when we no longer believe in them. Once we stop fantasizing about the solidity of the world, there is no foundation upon which woe and worry can rest. By accepting and appreciating the ultimate truth of unknowableness, we cease in scaring ourselves — life turns from nasty nightmare into delightful dream.

Experimental Update

A few years ago, I began an experiment in perspective. I stopped thinking of the world as a physical object upon which I was a creature struggling to survive, and began thinking of the world as a virtual experience — like a computer-simulation or a dream. I can now say without a doubt, that the experiment was a success.

Just as an example: within that time, I moved from a single-wide mobile-home in a trailer-park to a two-story top-floor condo in the heart of a beautiful downtown overlooking a park. I invested zero-effort within the external world to achieve that change, it was 100% internal. But keep in mind, it was an intense effort to completely flip my perspective — I spent months and now years dedicated to the idea of “virtuality”.

And guess what? I’m still here! This proves to me that life is NOT about struggling for survival atop a harsh & brutal world that’s hellbent on destroying its inhabitants. It turns out that the experience of existence is actually pretty nice — it was a harsh & brutal perspective that made everything unpleasant.

Is my life currently perfect? No. But is it significantly better? YES, by a long-shot. I no longer bathe in worry, I don’t have existential dread, I more often look for what’s good rather than what’s bad, my frustration with life has lessened, and I believe existence is a benign experience meant to entertain.

When something does suck, I recognize that it’s caused by the turbulence formed from a bad attitude and negative thinking. After a few years of experimental observation, this theory has only proved more true. Life doesn’t suck, I suck at managing my mind. And whenever I mismanage it, bad things are sure to follow. But the reverse is also true, when I DO manage my focus, I have a much better time.

So there you go: by maintaining the illusionary nature of existence in my mind, I’ve been able to vastly improve my experience on Earth. The more I’ve accepted the idea of a virtual reality, the better things have gotten. A lifetime of angst simply vanished — it was all an illusion. I’m no longer lost in a sea of negative thoughts, I’m able to focus on right now.

If you’re looking to improve YOUR experience of existence, I highly recommend a virtual approach to reality.