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.

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.

Just In Time

Hurry! You’re running out of time!! Just kidding, time isn’t a thing here. It seems like it is, but it’s only a construct that aids in storytelling. Just like in dreams or movies, time is fluid — years can pass in seconds or seconds can slow to an eternity. No big deal.

For example, deadlines are dramatic story elements. You’re in a dreamworld, nothing’s actually due here. Oh sure, you can pretend you’ve got an important appointment that you simply MUST make. “Oh no! I’m late!! What am I gonna do now!?” Add some pressure with a dash of histrionics and the mundane becomes exciting!

That’s a silly way to experience existence though: like a white rabbit running through Wonderland. For a higher-quality experience, you’ll want to ignore that kinda nonsense. So relax. Get comfy and sit still for a bit. Something less intense yet equally captivating will eventually come to you. Just watch your thoughts and sort through the incoming ideas.

“Oh I like that one!” So do that one. When you no longer believe in timetables, there’s no strain or frustration — you can’t be late. The day expands or contracts depending on the needs of the narrative. Today transforms while tomorrow waits. Cast the shackle of time from your wrist and embrace the timelessness of now.

Thought Supply

In this world, random thoughts are the raw material we have to work with. We’re bombarded by a ceaseless supply of images and ideas that flow into our awareness. By paying attention to some thoughts, while ignoring others, we create continuity — we craft a narrative that tells the story of our existence.

Oftentimes, we cling to images that evoke the most excitement within ourselves. These can be scenes that scare or embarrass or frustrate. Unfortunately, stringing such a story together makes life seem like an intense nightmare filled with nothing but pain and suffering. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be this way.

Life really isn’t like that UNLESS those are the only thoughts we focus on. All kinds of thoughts reach our awareness — it’s within our power to choose the ones we prefer. If we want a pleasant life, we are free to select satisfying thoughts. Whereas if we want a thrilling life, we can select the most frightening thoughts we can find.

Some of us assume that all thoughts are valid, and in order to survive, we must listen to the thoughts that predict dire circumstances. This is wrong — this is a recipe for a miserable life. Whereas the way to enjoy existence, is to ignore those thoughts while contemplating only the most delightful images and ideas.

Survival in this world is not achieved by avoiding danger. Whereas thriving in this world IS achieved by cultivating enjoyable thoughts. This is a thought-based place whose foundation is comprised of dreams rather than solid rock. To build the strongest foundation possible, select the highest quality thoughts.

Origin of Species

Being that I believe in Simulation Theory, that kinda kills the whole Darwinism thing. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted. That’s not to say that evolutionary-like patterns and inheritance aren’t fundamental parts of this world — but those things are done behind the scenes, in code — NOT by means of an ongoing struggle for survival.

As a programmer myself, I reuse code all the time. It’s common to use previously devised patterns and algorithms as the foundation of new stuff. So if you examine the codebase of my various programs, you can see undeniable similarities and an evolving design. And by building on previous code, each iteration grows in complexity.

Darwinism presumes that an epic competition occurred over the course of millions of years and WE, along with our cats and dogs, are the end result. But not truly the end, for the battle rages on in an endless quest to develop the most suitable beings for this harsh and brutal environment — a place that provides no quarter to the weak.

Except I AM weak. I’m quite inept in fact. And the people I’ve known throughout my life are pretty weak too, no offense. Physically, emotionally — just dealing with life, as well as lacking in self-control and determination — it’s a sad state of affairs I’d say. The “struggle for survival” just isn’t there.

Are we the anomalies? I don’t think so. I think this world was created as-is to be a playground for bodiless beings. WE are NOT the sum total of organic evolution, WE are what happens when the incorporeal dream. With a spark of inspiration, an entire world with ever-branching narratives filled the void.

Oh a big-bang happened alright — it was the moment the dream began. The storybook opened and pages began filling with tales of embodied beings living outlandish lives filled with chaotic circumstances. The crazier the better, each iteration trying to outdo whatever came before. So it is THIS, this silly whimsical dream, that is the origin of species.

Care Bear Stare

Does anyone actually care about anything? The answer I’ve gleaned from several decades of living here is no, not really. “Eh, close enough” or “Eh, I’m not in the mood today” is a more accurate depiction of what’s going on. Stuff still gets done and life keeps on chuggin’ — just in a lackadaisical way. People care for a little bit, then their enthusiasm wanes as time passes.

So what? Well this is another clue that life is not what it appears to be. If this world was a super-serious place in which split-second decisions and error-free assessments mattered, then we’d all be dead based on how little we care. Since we’re still here, we can safely assume that this world is obviously looking out for us. The fact that we care so little means that caring is not a requirement for survival.

Does that mean we should drop the pretense and stop caring about everything? Not at all. But we SHOULD adjust our perspective and take caring with a grain of salt. Caring to the point of outrage certainly violates the gist of what’s going on here. “Won’t the world collapse without outrage-level caring?” It’s obvious that outrage itself is more problematic than the ever-changing topics that spark it.

As we progress through life, we can plainly see the merry-go-round of reoccurring topics that people claim to care about. These topics alter their appearance in every age, yet we can rely on the typical bunch to show up: “The end is nigh!”, “Change is bad!”, “Because of this, everything’s ruined!”, “People are too different!”. Round and round we go, where it stops, we kinda know (because things keep repeating).

Whereas the proper application of care should come from a more playful perspective. For example, when children play they typically care deeply about the scene they’re in — but when dinner’s called, everything’s forgotten. Playmates go from mortal enemies to the kid passing you another slice of watermelon. To carry the consequences of pretend into dinner is a faux-pas.

In other words, it’s dumb to stress-out over stuff. The world maintains itself, and those within are more like kept-sheep than shepherds. We make horrible stewards — and the world knows this! It’s no secret. That’s why billions of clueless souls can meander around a planet without concern for survival, living complete lives with extensive story-arcs filled with fun and laughter. And if you’re not having a good time: lighten up.

In Lightness Grow

“No! Rich!? It can’t be!!!” Well I’m afraid it is…. For too long have I suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. Far too long has this world had its way with my mortal coil, casting it this way and that. A rudderless ship adrift amongst endless waves? Nay! For I shall use the guiding light that leads to safe-harbor. And I shall set an anchor of stone against ye, ne’er to stray again.

For in truth, there is a light that guides those set astray. In thy darkest hour it shines as a beacon to summon men home. From times of old it has resided within the beating heart and rhythmic breath, ever-present signals of a solid connection to the source. Simply close thy eyes and think of nothing, and in that void comes the ancient voice. Anytime it’s wished, empty the mind to let it fill with celestial calm.

And so it is upon this day, that I do declare my dedication to this just cause. Such terrestrial pedantry shall not mar me. Nay, for I shall rise to the heights of heavenly bodies soaring well above the fray, reflecting the brightness of the light that maintains their course. It is in hours such as these, that men’s wills are tried. Does one simply turn to dust under pressure?

Or does one become as a non-Newtonian fluid, strengthening under increasing strain — yet softening when the push is no longer present? The game played here is a simple one: maintain tranquility amidst a turbulent sea. The penalties and rewards are immediate. The sensation of drowning versus the perception of contentment. What begets which is obvious to those amply illuminated — so seek the light.