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.

Confused Key

Existence is a dreamlike experience. If you fail to reconcile this fact, you will suffer. The symptoms of such suffering include dissatisfaction, frustration, and anxiousness. In other words, you’ll have a very bad time. You’ll be utterly confused by the disjointed logic as well as constantly worried and scared of everything. You’ll feel like Alice, lost in a wicked Wonderland.

But this confusion is the key out of your dilemma. This confusion actually reveals the dreamlike nature of existence. In a solid world, things would make sense. Because things DON’T make sense, you know there’s more to it — something beyond your perception is serving as the foundation of this experience. And if that’s true, then this world is generated by something you can’t see: the dreamer.

You’re confused because you refuse to accept that this is a dream. You strongly deny it in fact, grabbing at loose bits of “evidence” that support your case of solidity. You’re stuck on this firm-earth theory of yours and claim counter-evidence is mere coincidence or cherry-picking or the ideas of a delusional madman. But the only award you win for your argument is misery — a stupid prize for a stupid game.

You sit there convincing yourself of your dire predicament: lost in a harsh and brutal world as you struggle to survive despite the world’s best efforts to destroy you. And with this story, you scare yourself into a dissatisfying inaction. To end this self-induced nightmare, simply stop arguing. Abandon your theory of solidity. Believe instead, that your attitude and expectations directly affect your experience.

You are the dreamer. Through your focus and attention, you alter your experience. Allow your confusion to serve as a reminder of what this is. Seek to follow the paths your preferences paint before you. There is NOTHING restraining you except your own belief in lack & limitation. It’s a dream after-all, something you’re reminded of EVERY night.

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.

Complicated Belief

It seems to me, that a “belief in simplicity” is the primary component when it comes to effectively doing something. If you examine “talent” for instance, it’s the ability to perform a function without complication. If you have a talent for memorization, you simply recall previous facts — there aren’t any complex routines-of-memorization to perform, the facts just remain in your mind.

Whereas if you believe something is complicated, you’ll have trouble doing it. For example, if you’ve never ridden a bicycle and wonder how the heck you can manage to keep a two-wheeled vehicle stabilized while simultaneously peddling and steering, then you’re probably going to fall a few times if you try it. But eventually, as you get comfortable with the concept, biking becomes a piece of cake. It’ll go from seemingly complex, to effortlessly simple in just a moment.

What unlocks an ability, is not learning or even practice, but the acceptance of a belief that an ability is not complex — it’s simple instead. Again, “talent” is whatever we see as easy and uncomplicated. For example, my friend is a talented cook that can mix and match ingredients at-will, devising flavors that please the palate — to her, cooking is easy. Whereas I see all those ingredients, their various amounts and mixtures, their commingling flavors, and the assorted heating elements involved — and I see complexity. As a result, I’m not a good cook.

Take school for instance, its primary purpose is to take you-the-student through a ritual-of-schoolwork in order to convince you that you’ve learned something. And at the end, you’re given a certificate to further prove to you that knowledge has been imparted. But if you examine the curriculum involved, it’s woefully incomplete and teaches little of importance — and the students barely retain even that.

This is not a condemnation of the education system by the way. I’m saying the process of “learning” simply doesn’t matter. What matters is whether you’re convinced of the simplicity of the subject-matter. If you believe in the ritual of education and accept your status as graduate, then you can move into a professional field that you no longer believe to be complex.

The question then becomes, can we merely turn-on talent by convincing ourselves that the activity-in-question is not as complicated as we thought — that the activity is actually simple istead? “Beginner’s luck” is a thing because the beginner simply doesn’t know better — he assumes that a particular activity is easy. But if self-doubt finally convinces him of an activity’s complexity, he’ll lose his ability.

We don’t think about what we’re doing while doing something well — we just do it. Autopilot takes over as our consciousness sits back to watch the show. But if we consciously believe an activity to be too complex for autopilot to handle, and our consciousness attempts to perform it manually, the outcome is a mess. Whereas whenever consciousness is comfortable with an activity, it sits back and allows autopilot to perform unencumbered, as it should.

Temporary Truth

If it was possible to observe an absolute objective reality, wouldn’t we all see it and never have a single disagreement? And wouldn’t people throughout the historic narrative share a similar outlook? And as we personally age, our own interpretation of reality often shifts. Being that it’s so difficult to determine, we can deduce that it’s impossible to define an absolute objective reality.

This means it would be a futile effort to search for an absolute objective reality OR defend a particular interpretation. In other words, it’s opinions all the way down. Therefore, ANY description of an absolute objective reality is simply not true — it’s a personal perspective that’s only applicable in the exact moment it’s described. A description of this so-called reality can, and often does, change.

So who’s to say what’s what? Well, nobody. You simply can’t do it. It’s not a functionality we’re provided as part of our existence. We can only experience a subjective world that’s more dreamlike than concrete. And that’s a good thing because a dreamlike world is malleable. We’re not stuck in an unchanging reality bound by stark rules of engagement. We live in a world of artists, gamers, and pop-stars.

Nothing needs to get done here, it’s a dream. So instead of survival, we snap photos of sumptuous meals. Instead of self-defense, we master the game-controller and upload videos of our gameplay. Instead of learning the ways of our people, practices handed-down from generation to generation, we do “whatever”. Finding our place in society and determining our career is a nebulous affair because that’s the type of world we’re in — it really doesn’t matter.

If you ARE concerned with the mundane trivialities of life on Earth, WHY!? That’s NOT what THIS is! THIS is where dreams come to fruition. This world is SO malleable that ALL of your wishes can come true if you simply follow them through. There is no “can’t” within a dream unless YOU are its speaker. “We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams…”

Patterns of Thought

Manage your thoughts, blah, blah, blah…. Yet the REAL question is this: why have unpleasant thoughts to begin with? How quickly a mood can sour when a dour thought comes to mind. If those thoughts simply never came, there’d be no need to manage them. So what’s the source, what’s going on here?

My current guess is as follows. The thoughts traveling through our thought-stream are based on patterns-of-thought we maintain in the mind. In other words, if I watch a scary movie before bed, I’ll likely have a nightmare that night. For example, if I read a lot about computer programming, my incoming thoughts will likely be related to programming.

Concentrate on sad themes and you’ll have sad thoughts. Focus on frustration and you’ll have frustrating thoughts. Delve into drama and you’ll have dramatic thoughts. Worry about whatever, and you’ll have an endless supply of worrisome thoughts. Therefore, bathe your mind in material that promotes the life you want to live.

Establish a better pattern through discipline. Discipline is the process of purposefully focusing your thoughts on a preselected target. And the way in which you direct your attention is by telling yourself a convincing and motivating story. You need a narrative that’s believable and fills you with enough energy to maintain itself.

For example, scaring yourself through constant worry works wonders. I could tell myself there are deadly germs everywhere and I’d die if I failed to wash my hands. Boom! Now I’m motivated to wash my hands all day. But scaring yourself into action is a low-quality method of motivation:

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”

If you want high-quality thoughts coming in, you have to bathe yourself in high-quality material. If you want a delightful life, then the books you read, the movies you watch, the shows you stream, and even the thoughts you stop to ponder, all have to be in the form of something you find delightful. You can’t watch disturbing shows or contemplate dour ideas and expect your incoming thoughts to be pleasant.

You must create and maintain patterns that paint images of success and enjoyment. Your job is to craft a story that fills your thoughts with hopefulness and delight on a consistent basis. Your life will reflect the consistency of the pattern you establish: wandering thoughts create a meandering life that feels like a rollercoaster. Use discipline to set a steady course.

Reference Section

Without a reference, can something exist?

In certain forms of computer programming for example, once the references to an object are removed, the object is cleaned-up by the garbage collector — it’s gone and the memory is free to hold new objects. Because space in memory is finite, things have to be kept tidy or else the garbage piles up.

In programming, references are simply variable names — but in the physical world, references are not only names but visual references and thoughts and ideas and stories.

For example, my pencil exists because I can see it. If I put that pencil in a box and bury it underground, does my pencil cease to exist? As long as I remember that I buried it and where, the pencil will continue to exist because there’s a reference to it. Whereas if I leave no record and happen to forget, then perhaps the pencil ceases to exist.

Think of history: as you go back in time, the narrative degrades substantially. We don’t have a clear record of daily life from a thousand years ago. As we move forward, older things fade away. If we want to know how previous peoples lived, we have to piece it together like a puzzle and even then it’s just a guess.

Another aspect to consider is this: does inquiry itself cause things to come into being? In other words, does the act of observation and examination result in the formation of details that were previously absent? For example, did microscopic organisms come into being at the exact moment microscopes were invented?

If this world is a simulation, why would it bother rendering something unobservable? Not until we look in a particular direction would a scene manifest before our eyes. This line of thinking leads to the following conclusion: if we look for the worst, we’ll find it. Therefore, it would be foolish to create and maintain references to things we find unpleasant.

If references are the mechanism by which an object’s presence is maintained in the world, it would be in our best interest to nurture the references we prefer — the ones that evoke enjoyment. So forget the sad stories, refuse to retell and reinforce them. Memory is maintained through repetition — so repeat only what brings forth delight and know the goodness of life.