Like Begets Like

This morning in the bathroom, while she was getting ready to go out for a run, my friend told me that she must be in one of those phases where she’s “low-energy”. If you so dared, you might even say it was kinda like PMS. You could tell she had a short-fuse and was easily annoyed.

Then in the late morning, returning from the supermarket, walking into the elevator, her car-keys spontaneously flew out of her pocket (perhaps by an accidental push of her hand) and slid across the floor and went right into the gap at the front of the elevator. Gone.

She walked in and said “You’re not going to believe what just happened!”. In fact I did believe it. While eating some hummus, I googled “keys dropped down elevator” and watched the first video that appeared. It seemed simple enough. I taped some wire to a stick and grabbed a flashlight. Off we went.

We saw the keys, but the stick was a few inches too short. We came back with a stick taped to the original stick and successfully fished out the keys. Mission Accomplished.

I was amazed at my friend’s ability to externally manifest what she was feeling on the inside. And what she was feeling, was “annoyance”. PRESTO! her wish of annoyance was granted. Seek and ye shall find — it really works! I’m pretty sure I manifest annoying things too, but of course it’s much easier to notice these things in other people than in yourself.

Moral of the story: The external world directly reflects how you feel inside. In other words, as you walk through the world, the surrounding scenes are programmed through your internal thoughts and feelings. This world is a simulation after-all, and someone has to program it — perhaps that programmer, is you.

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Existential Alarm-clock

Imagine you’re walking outside and you remain within your thoughts the entire time. You literally notice nothing around you. Life happened and you missed it. Essentially, you were lost within yourself.

And if you remain in that state of self-centeredness, life will attempt to free you from the condition. Why? Because existence is meant to be experienced. Duh. You would even set the alarm yourself — and perhaps at some point you did.

But you don’t wake-up from an unconscious state very easily. It might even take a violent shake, to get you awake. And if you simply go back to sleep, a rousing stir might be in order — again and again until finally you’re attentive.

Then what? Well then you get to work, following the selfless role you find within. When you’re alert, you’ll hear it. And if you know what’s good for you, you’ll follow it without complaint.

This is a fulfilling role of course, an adventure you’re sure to enjoy — a privilege that would never waste itself on someone too oblivious to appreciate it. Duh. And therefore never ask for whom the alarm rings, it rings for thee.

The Dreamfinder

You entered a dreamworld whose ongoings are influenced by your intentions and focus. Essentially, whatever you want to happen, will happen. But this dreamworld isn’t harsh, so it puts a buffer on the fulfillment of your wishes. Imagine if in a fit of anger you wish the worst thing possible — thank goodness it probably won’t manifest.

But everything that’s given a home in your head eventually becomes a wish of what you’d like to happen — the good and the bad. “I’m an idiot!” Wish granted! “I hope she doesn’t come over and talk to me! Oh no, here she comes!” Wish granted! ANYTHING you focus on comes into being. If you say “I don’t want cheesecake” you’re still focusing on cheesecake.

Unfortunately for a lot of us, we don’t realize our power to manifest the world around us. And what’s worse, is that we got spooked when we entered this dreamworld and started creating some scary stuff that snowballed into a full-blown nightmare. But all of that nasty stuff you experienced was because you didn’t know any better. Oops.

But luckily, this is a dreamworld. If you want to wish the past away, you can — just shift your focus off of it. You can forget it altogether or simply mold it into a past you’re proud of. And as far as today and the yet-to-be, those are wide-open as well. Focus on the things you enjoy and answer every “why” with a reason that delights.

For example, if you display trust in the world, the world becomes trustable. Whereas if you’re paranoid and suspicious, THAT wish is granted! If you’ve developed a bad habit of scaring yourself, you’ll need some practice keeping your focus on the good stuff and devising the best world you can. But there’s no time like the present — get to work!

Imagination is your key to unlock the hidden wonders of our world. — Dreamfinder

Earthly Explanation

Okay so you’re alive, what have you gotten yourself into? First of all, welcome to Earth. Unfortunately, you’ll be unable to remember much of this explanation as your capacity to retain input has been greatly reduced for the duration of your visit. This is on purpose of course, or else the sensation of immersion would not feel as complete. Sorry for the late explanation, but that’s also by design (same reasoning). And as you’ve probably noticed, you regularly experience sleep, this also helps you forget and reset for the oncoming day. You have to be handicapped in certain ways so you’ll feel like you’re a part of this world.

If you haven’t caught on already, this world is a fabricated experience — but that’s a good thing. We’ve received many complaints about the world feeling “too real” and we tend to take those as compliments. Basically, none of what you’re experiencing actually exists, it’s more of a computer-simulation of sorts. So all that gloomy/gory stuff simply isn’t there, which is why we don’t bother adjusting the realness-factor. At the end of the day it’s just flickering-pixels. Yes, some participants become frightened beyond their comfort-levels, but for us, it’s immersion-first. We take pride in the creation of a ride so convincing that you actually feel like a genuine embodied being. Trust us, if we did it any other way, the world wouldn’t be believable and you’d be bored.

After all, that’s the entire point of Earth: the simulation of a limited life for your enjoyment. Things are supposed to die here, that’s something new you get to experience. And not only do you experience limitations on your lifespan, but on your knowledge and creative capacity as well. That’s right, you get to be an incapable dummy. Ha! Enjoy it while it lasts! Haha! But seriously, the reason I’ve contacted you today is to check-in and make sure things are to your liking. Again, we do get our share of complaints, but we try to rectify them when we can. Let me start by going over some general concepts and controls in case you haven’t figured them out already.

This is sort of a game/movie hybrid. The path your character is following is found swirling around in your thoughts. It’s a combination of all those meaningful feelings, impulses, and inspirational ideas that are spurring you to do some things while avoiding others. Again, because of the necessity for immersion, the roadmap isn’t obvious — you have to kinda decipher it on the fly. No big deal though, it’s self-correcting for the most part — you’ll get there.

And as far as the controls and the gaming aspect, it’s not really what you’re used to in terms of conventional video-games. It’d be kinda silly if you simply had to move your character along an XYZ-axis with a joystick and press a jump-button now and again. Essentially with any video-game, the actual mechanics boil down to a player aligning with the character by way of the controls. So what you actually control doesn’t matter as much as the ability to sync with the gameplay over time with repeated practice.

In other words, the player learns and adapts to the timing of the game. In a traditional video-game, when an obstacle arrives, the player moves into the appropriate position and presses the jump button. Through practice over time, the player aligns himself with the game until he’s able to navigate with relative ease. In short, the player learns to identify obstacles and react appropriately. And that brings us back to Earth, where you the player, must identify obstacles and react appropriately.

But in Earth, the obstacles aren’t so obvious. Like I mentioned, this game goes beyond the simple XYZ-axis stuff. Spoiler Alert: for the most part, your character is on auto-pilot. And like I also mentioned, the path you’re on is basically pre-programmed. So what do you, the player actually get to do? Haha. Well first, you get to experience the exciting spectacle that-is-life from a front-row seat, that’s pretty cool in and of itself of course. As for game mechanics, it kinda goes like this:

Buttons and switches are passe at this point — you can’t control anything directly or it would kill the sensation of immersion, plus you’re handicapped all the way down to complete-noob status — you wouldn’t know what you’re doing anyway. So everything you-the-player can do is mental — it’s all in the mind. It’s not the things your character does per se, it’s the way in which you react to what he does — that’s what you control. But make no mistake, you do have the power to impede your character’s progress on his path — you can definitely sabotage yourself if that suits your fancy.

To delve a little deeper into why you can’t simply steer your own character, just think of all the external circumstances that would need to coordinate amongst billions of beginner-level players attempting to manually control their characters — that’s insane to even contemplate — so of course things are primarily coordinated on everyone’s behalf. Just imagine all those cars on the roads — of course they’re on a system-controlled auto-pilot.

But anyways, I was discussing obstacles. Obstacles literally get in your way, and you’ll typically pump the brakes when they do. But if you hit those brakes, then you pause on your path. And although it seems logical to stop, that’s actually the wrong approach. The correct procedure is NOT to pump your brakes, you’re supposed to TRUST the path you’re on and follow it to fruition. Then why do you even have the option to brake? Well it comes back to immersion again (of course).

Picture this, you’re playing an old-fashioned video-game in which your car is driving straight down an endless road. You can wiggle the steering-wheel back-and-forth and press a brake-pedal. If not for that wiggle-room and the ability to brake, you wouldn’t feel as though you’re playing a game, it’d be a read-only video instead. In other words, having a little wiggle-room and the ability to brake turns your life into a game that provides the sensation of being in control — which ultimately, you do have control of — unfortunately, that control is in the form of a kill-switch.

So let’s examine a braking example. Imagine that you have an innate desire to go down a particular path. Someone comes along and says “Hey, don’t go that way!” and then you start thinking, “Oh? Okay I won’t! Whew! That was a close one.” In this scenario, you met an obstacle and you pumped the brakes. Oops — you were supposed to continue along your merry way despite the obstacle. That’s the game mechanics you’re trying to sync with: something will happen and your reaction should be to keep on truckin’.

Here’s a less obvious example. Imagine someone says, “Hey let’s go do this activity that you don’t wanna do!” and then you start thinking, “Huh, this feels wrong to me, but my buddy really wants me to do it, maybe I should. You know what, I’ll do it! I’ll force myself if I have to!” In this scenario, you pumped the brakes on your path again. By going against your innate feelings (your roadmap), you halted your progression. Again, you were supposed to jump the hurdle and proceed on your path.

Don’t worry though, you’ll get it. What game worth playing doesn’t take repeated practice to get right? And now that you know a bit more about what’s going on here, perhaps things will go smoother for ya. Always keep in mind that this game was designed with your amusement in mind, not to scare or punish or any nonsense like that. Hey and when you’re done, don’t forget to rate and leave a review. We’re really proud of what we’ve put together here and your kind words go a long way.

My Mid90s

Mid-90s for me was late high school. I could sense my sentence coming to an end. I began to isolate myself. I quit band and lacrosse and barely socialized at lunch. Even though it was almost over, it wasn’t relief I felt. What was I going to do now? At least in school I had a set-place to go, assigned things to do, I had acquaintances.

But f*ck school, man. Just a piece of sh*t prison by another name. Well that’s how I felt anyway, a suburban kid in an upper-middle-class town near Boston. On the outside, this is an uninteresting story — it reflects a boring motionless time — but on the inside, an intense adventure raged on.

I was visited by the triptych of fear, uncertainty, and doubt. And on top of that, more loneliness than I ever felt. My time was spent wrestling with those feelings and the dour images they inspired. I ended up continuing school in the form of college. To belabor the prison analogy, I was sentenced with a combination of house-arrest and probation for the next few years.

In college, I knew no one. There was no time to form acquaintanceships. But do you know what happened in the mid-90s? Windows 95 was released. And do you know what happened not long after that? An explosion in the popularity of personal-computers — the PC era was born. And do you know what followed that? An explosion in the popularity of online-services (AOL, Prodigy, CompuServe). And you obviously know what happened next? THIS. The Internet became a global phenomenon.

But back to online-services. Within those silly-little text-boxes, I was able to chat with people from around the country. I could finally interact with people in a way that felt comfortable. And I did just that, for a few years at least. It was at the end of the mid-90s when I met my friend (on an online-service, in a chat-room of course).

So the narrative I experienced in the mid-90s can be summed-up as this:
1. Self-isolation and the resulting loneliness.
2. Discovery of a new platform of communication.
3. Awakening as a communicative being.
4. The foundation of a lifelong friendship.

That’s a tidy little narrative don’t you think? How can something like that happen within a physical-world based on random-chance? Sounds a little too coincidental, no? My character’s lack fulfilled by a deus-ex-machina-level intervention? Hmm. But I appreciate it, without doubt. My life after meeting my friend was much improved.

Bad Days

I had a bad day yesterday that also bled into today. In this instance, a bad day is defined as a day in which a series of unpleasant circumstances occur — and in many cases, these circumstances are clearly outside of the experiencer’s control (for example, a scheduled package never arrives or a website goes down).

I’d liken it to a roller coaster ride. Once you get on, there’s no getting off, and the intensity is too high to see anything but the particular scene that’s playing right in front of you — there’s no time for reflection.

And even though experiencing all those uncomfortable scenes in a row is an obvious tip-off to the artificiality of it all — it’s still hard to break out of it. For instance, I was drowsy and had a headache all morning — making it difficult to concentrate.

From past experience I know the roller coaster ride eventually comes to an end — then I’m so glad it’s over, I forget everything that just happened and go along my merry way.

A bad day serves as actual evidence that the things we’re experiencing within this world are manufactured. And if the circumstances are fake, then a world so-malleable must be too.

The question becomes: did I unwittingly write this stupid tangent — or is something external punishing me for some reason — or is this a scheduled hardship in my greater narrative? And the questioning continues: is there anything I can do to short-cut this nonsense or prevent it from occuring?

I know it’s fake but my mind gets so cloudy and keeps reverting back to the discomfort I’m feeling. Perhaps it’s part of a Harrison Bergeron style handicap placed on characters — without which, we’d be playing in god-mode, but as we know from video-games, god-mode gets boring fast.

I suppose the conclusion always comes back to this: if given the option of an easy time on Earth, we wouldn’t take it as evidenced by the fact that we don’t have an easy time. In other words, if we’re truly an infinite-being playing as a virtual character, we at some point chose to play the game exactly how it’s currently set-up.

Being it’s creator, we could have played ANY way possible, but we selected THIS option. That means THIS is the most engaging scenario we could devise. That means the discomfort we experience is part of the fun. After all, overcoming obstacles is the very foundation of every game we play, is it not?

Sensing in Reverse

What if I’ve had it backwards all these years. What if using the senses to “discover” my surroundings is a misunderstanding on my part. I had assumed that there’s an actual physical fully-formed pre-existing world that I’m supposed to explore by utilizing my senses. But what if that’s not how things really work?

What if an image in the imagination comes first and then the senses “perceive” whatever the mind conjures up? Additionally, from where do all those mental images originate? Why do thoughts continually flow into our observing mind? It’s as if a source is constantly feeding ideas to our consciousness.

My original understanding of the world went like this: The observing-self is placed within a prefabricated world. The observing-self then explores and experiences the world like a child lost in the woods. Additionally, the subconscious part of the mind often conjures up new and bewildering ideas that sometimes inspire and other times demotivate the observing-self.

But perhaps it’s not like that at all. Perhaps the observing-self is more like a brain-in-a-vat. A central source feeds the observing-self with images and ideas. Then, the observing-self uses that input to create the scenes and sensations it experiences. In this way, the observing-self forms the world according to its expectations.

Ideally, the expectations of the observing-self are positive and life proceeds in an enjoyable manner. But if the expectations are negative, then the observing-self creates a miserable experience for itself. If at some point the observing-self realizes that it’s actually creating the world, it can re-adjust as necessary.

Based on my observations over the course of several decades, it seems as though my original understanding is false. I’ve witnessed too many counter-examples — there’s just too many holes. My newer understanding aligns better with what I’ve witnessed and experienced. Essentially then, existence is a very dream-like experience.

To sum up: something beyond our consciousness maintains a nebulous collection of images and ideas. This collection constantly flows through our consciousness. Our observing-self picks and chooses whatever it wants to focus on for the moment — right now. And whatever we pick becomes our experience. If we’re doing it right, our experience is an enjoyable one. Whereas if we’re fundamentally confused, our experience is unpleasant. Our consciousness can eventually figure out what’s going on, then adjust its focus as necessary and create for itself an improved experience.