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.

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.

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.