The Sly Steward

This is my interpretation of Luke 16:1-13

A man of wealth once accused his steward of recklessness. Distraught, worried how he’d survive without his position, the steward devised a scheme to lighten his burden. Before he was relieved of duty, he summoned all who owed his master money.

“You there! How much do you owe? A hundred? No, make it fifty! And you! How much must you pay? Well whatever it is, take off twenty!” And in this way, the steward made himself beloved amongst the people so they would take him in at the end of his time.

The man of wealth, upon hearing this clever plot, actually praised the steward for his shrewdness. It turns out that those who worship the wealth of this world are much wiser than those that seek only enlightenment. Through ill-gotten gains, they buy friendship, constructing a refuge for their time of need.

So if you too want to ensure a safe-harbor for yourself when all else fails, buy as many friends as possible while using whatever illegitimate means are at hand. Yet, consider that devotion to a part reveals devotion to the whole — and whoever deceives in a little reveals their overall dishonest nature.

But besides that, if you haven’t proven yourself with dirty money, who would trust you with truer treasures? And if you haven’t proven yourself with someone else’s possessions, who would give you any of your own!?

I’m being facetious of course. The alternative to an uncertain path paved with unprincipled profits, is a path to God. You obviously can’t follow two opposing routes at once. You can recognize God as your source of sustenance and eternal refuge — or you can make money the source of your salvation.

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Compass of Consciousness

An observer sits within the avatar as an audience to what’s happening. One thing that this consciousness notices is the thought-stream, an incessant flow of ideas and opinions and internal-debates that cascade through the mind. Yet this stream is only a single aspect of existence — and if the observer stops and stares too long, he can become mesmerized by it — frozen in time, just looking at thoughts as if they are life itself.

If you truly examine the totality of life, you’ll notice there’s two distinct aspects of a person. The character he’s playing as and the audience-member within him. In other words: inside each persona, there resides an observer that’s simply watching it all.

But so what? Why care about our composition? Because, it helps in developing a broader perspective of existence. If you’re completely lost and having a bad time here on Earth, this type of perspective can become like a compass helping you ascertain a definitive direction.

So much goes wrong when you’re lost. When you can’t find your way, you tend towards negativity — focusing on what’s wrong then becomes a way of life. And once you become a pessimist, there’s no obvious way out — EVERYTHING looks wrong. Everything’s a trick or a trap meant to deceive or destroy you.

The only way out is to look within and see that things aren’t what they appear to be — things are what you project them to be. You begin to realize that your negativity was painting a dark hue upon the world. And by ceasing to spray your pessimistically-laced graffiti all over the place, the world brightens up. And by this enlightenment, you find your way home.

Five outta Five

The other day, I was watching a prominent gaming YouTuber insist on rating everything LESS than “5 out of 5” — because there’s always room for improvement. But, is assuming a less-than-best experience, the ideal strategy for the game of life? I would say no, it’s actually a recipe for dissatisfaction.

I’ve tried both sides of the coin — and no matter which side you choose, you’re essentially convincing yourself that it’s true. It literally could’ve been the best burger in the world, you really don’t know — BUT, you’re going to give it a less-than-best rating “just in-case”. That’s erring on the side of negativity — it assumes you never get the best.

Whereas if you say: “THAT is a five-out-of-five burger!” You’ve lost nothing. In fact, you’ve gained a great experience. “WHAT!? I just ate a perfect burger!? Wow! What a lucky person I am.” Suddenly you go from a mediocre existence in which nothing can ever truly satisfy, to having the best life ever.

And if something utterly fails, and simply cannot be considered 5 outta 5, then find an aspect that IS 5 outta 5. It’s not hard. Are the fries good? The atmosphere good? Are you with good company? Plenty of napkins? Find something and appreciate it. Maybe it was the BEST worst-experience you ever had! Always find the 5 outta 5.

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.

Aware Avatar

An avatar is born into this world, it’s a part of it, perfectly formed to fit like a puzzle-piece. The piece is unique, containing attributes that allow it to fit within one particular spot. And like a puzzle, a greater picture is revealed when all the pieces assemble together. But what use is a creative process, especially the final product, when no one is around to appreciate it? And so consciousness comes in to observe the events taking place — from beginning to end, a watcher-within witnesses the existence of the avatar.

But this merging procedure can be a bumpy one. At around four years of age, a child goes from pure-automaton to an avatar with a passenger. This passenger, this observer, is oftentimes shaken by his sudden awareness of humanness. He imagines himself as a creature existing within a turbulent world in which he must struggle to survive. He believes that HE is the human. But not being of this world, he’s frightened beyond belief. How can he survive!? He knows absolutely nothing about this place!

If the merger had went well, the consciousness would’ve simply observed the life of the avatar, the character he’s assigned to watch. The avatar knows exactly what to do in this world. But instead, the consciousness mistakenly believes himself to be the human and is scrambling to get a foothold. The avatar simply wants to live out his life, but the observer shuts everything down, too afraid to act while busily fighting against the avatar’s inclination to participate in an active life.

Everyday, the consciousness forbids the avatar from acting. “Are you nuts! I can’t go out there! It’s dangerous!” And so the avatar is hidden away, restricted from fitting into the puzzle he so desperately wants to be a part of. Eventually the avatar gives up. From this perspective, depression is the avatar’s protest against the observer-within. The consciousness is forced to stop and think, forced to consider what’s really going on here.

But oftentimes, the observer doesn’t quite get it and returns to his old habits as soon as possible. The lesson he SHOULD learn, is that the avatar is an autonomous vehicle that’s fully-capable of proceeding through life — all while showing the consciousness a good time. If he’d simply observe, the watcher-within would be whisked around as a spectator to the character’s story. If he’d stop believing that HE is the human, things would go a lot smoother.

And so the two must reconcile, otherwise they remain at odds — a cantankerous pair in constant combat, each with an ability to damage the other. The two reach a harmonic bond when the consciousness realizes his place: to be an appreciative audience to the avatar’s existence, always encouraging the avatar as it travels through a series of entertaining experiences. Under his control, life was boring and unimaginative — but now with the avatar as captain, the consciousness finally enjoys himself as a grand narrative unfolds.

Conscious Example

My character LOVES technology. And I mean loves it. I remember going through a rough-patch about a decade ago, and the imminent release of the 2nd-generation Macbook Air was enough to provide me with the courage to carry on. I’ve had two recent dreams about driving in Teslas on Autopilot. My friend just sent me a picture of a pallet full of Segway ninebot scooters at Costco and I was overcome by the glorious excess. On YouTube today, they suggested a couple videos featuring the DJI RoboMaster S1 programmable robot — I knew instantly that I needed one (okay maybe two).

But my consciousness doesn’t like when my character imagines getting involved with such things. “What?! A Tesla!? You can’t afford that!” or “What!? A $600 scooter!? Are you being serious right now?!!” or “What!? A $500 robotic kid’s toy!? Are you nuts!?!” My consciousness believes only in limitation and lack. If I can’t see a clear path to the goal, then it absolutely can NOT be done. And spoiler alert: I can never see a clear path — the answer is always NO.

Programming has fascinated me since elementary school when they had us type-in some BASIC instructions on Apple IIe computers. But it wasn’t until young-adulthood that I started programming for real. Even then, it was a struggle to overcome the idea that programming was near-impossible — something only well-trained engineers could do. My negativity was persistent. “Program something!? Do you know how hard that is!?? Don’t waste your time!!” and “So you made a little program, so what, you’ll never make anything significant enough to make money!”

Basically, my consciousness has been sabotaging my character’s path through life. I won’t even mention the fact that my consciousness once convinced my character to live in a mobile-home park for seven years simply because it was the simplest option he could imagine. “Cheap and easy? Do THAT!” My character wasn’t happy there, he went into deep soul-searching mode. For these past few years he’s been trying to exorcise the demon that’s been plaguing him his entire life: a relentlessly negative consciousness.

Apparently, the observer-within got a bit too overzealous and believed himself to be the whole kit-and-caboodle. He literally thought we was the beginning, middle, and end of his own existence. In short, the observer thought he was a fragile creature struggling for survival amidst a harsh and brutal world. He assumed that he had to go it alone — and of course FREAKED-OUT since he had no clue what to do. What he should’ve done is sat still and observed i.e. his job. But like a bad middle-manager, he took matters into his own hands and started going around like he was the character. Let’s just say he made a real mess of things.

This poor frightened fellow needs to understand that he’s off the hook. He’s not the guy in charge — just a passenger along for the ride. It’s kinda like that philosophical question: does a tree make a sound if it falls in the woods and no one hears it? Well it turns out, that no, you need an observer — which is why observers and characters are paired up. But sometimes the process doesn’t go so smoothly, obviously. So I’m telling you, dear conscious observer, you can relax now. Simply sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride — that’s your only job. The character, who was born of this world, will gladly do his thing — he’s already wound-up, just let him go.

Regarding Avatars

Dear higher-consciousness, how should I regard the avatar?

Good question, conscious-observer. Now that you’ve been riding around inside the avatar for all these years, it’s great that you’re finally acknowledging it. First, the avatar is not a “hunk-of-junk” that you “got stuck with”. It’s an advanced autonomous-vehicle that carries you along on your life’s journey from beginning to end. It does NOT require your input or intervention for correct operation. In fact, manual-control is not advised under ANY circumstance.

While the capacity for manual-control exists, it’s simply there to provide the sensation of immersion. In other words, you wouldn’t want to feel locked-in or trapped, so there’s some wiggle-room. Think of it like an amusement-park ride in which there’s merely a lap-bar reminding you to stay seated. While you could easily slide out from under the bar and jump-off, that’d be stupid and you’d hurt yourself. In the same way, you should remain seated at all times within the avatar and keep your hands OFF the controls — you simply don’t know enough to be effective.

If left alone, the avatar will whisk you around this world and complete all the tasks that lead to a fulfilling life. It’s that simple. ALL your needs will be met without you worrying about anything. Again, and no offense, but you literally don’t know enough about this world to do anything on your own — and why should you? That’s why you’re here! To experience this new and interesting adventure! It may seem intense at times, but don’t worry, your avatar can handle any-and-all situations as long as you allow it to.

The avatar is essentially an automaton containing a complete personality, capable of performing flawlessly throughout its lifespan. The avatar is more than a simple body, it’s the entirety of the character. YOU are the observer of this character, you are NOT the character. I can tell that you’ve confused the two, which is why you’re constantly attempting to manually control the avatar. The avatar is of this world whereas you are not, thus the avatar can easily navigate this realm whereas you cannot.

So, IF you find the avatar performing poorly, you can guarantee that the reason is YOU. Please be aware that there are two primary ways in which you can screw things up. The first is manual-control and the second is criticism. The avatar is a responsive and emotional caretaker that will listen to you. If you disparage the avatar or the world it resides within, it WILL feel the sting and performance will suffer. For the smoothest possible ride, you must remain a polite passenger.

Politeness isn’t hard: simply show some respect, be thankful. You don’t own the avatar, in fact it’s doing YOU a favor by ferrying you around. YOU don’t know more than the avatar, YOU are essentially clueless here, relying on the avatar to maintain your existence within this world. Wouldn’t it be grand if you acknowledged and appreciated this fact? When YOU look in the mirror, the avatar is like a puppy looking back, simply waiting for acceptance and a little pat on the head — let it know how much you love it.