I wish I had something to tell you for my absence :P.
I suspect that real, powerful creativity comes in bursts. Sometimes these bursts are forced focus that grows, while at other times it simply materializes from seemingly nowhere.
Unfortunately, I just plain suck at forcing myself to write creativity if I don’t have any subjects in mind. Certainly I could draw from everyday life and transfer those ideas to this blog, but I simply don’t feel all that inspired by what occurs in my current existence.
But I have yet to ever consider casting this ‘blog aside, because to me it represents an open page with which to fill ideas that I might actually take pride in. So to all 7 of you that seem to view this regularly, I suppose what I’m getting at is that there may come a time where I simply do another burst of writing again. Don’t hold your breath perhaps (haha), but it will likely occur inevitably.
What I really need are some good topics to think about.
Thanks for reading.
Sometimes everything seems so unreservedly fatalistic. Much as I believe in the strength of the individual and his/her ability to choose their own path, it often seems that I run across occurrences that are far too karmatic to be real. Synchronicity or fate, when these dealings occur, it throws my whole belief system into disarray. The absurdity of being faced with happenings that occur despite all realistic chance, or that come into being in an almost paradoxical way; these type of events are what really throw me in ponderousness.
Perhaps you have shared an experience to a similar level. Say you one day have met a person you knew from years before but have been out of touch with, all due to a scant coincidence of unbelievable proportion. Or perhaps you were in a relationship where you were dismissed for being overly needy, only to find your rebound relationship was with someone even ‘needier’ than yourself. These are just minor examples, but hopefully you glean the gist of what I wish to convey; that sometimes coincidence is so utterly synchronious, it appears to be some form of message intended for you from something greater than yourself.
But the idea of this is absurd. I think?
Thanks for reading.
What do you want from life? What would you like to achieve? What are your goals and dreams?
These are some of the most common questions we are likely to ever ask ourselves. So much so, in fact, that my stating them almost becomes a cliche (but then, we know how I love cliches). Nevertheless, as human beings in an increasingly materialistic and secular world, we are constantly faced with introspection on what we want, what we need, and what we should have.
The most typical and oft-written about desires are pretty basic. Great job, great house, great love. Just great, right? A great job will provide you with wealth and fulfillment. A great home will be your comfort and pride. A great love will be your unending source of support and inspiration. These three possessions altogether should transform your life into an unending depth of happiness; or so it is believed. However, cutting our life’s purpose into such a simple intent seems almost to erode the relative importance of such goals. And also, there are those who claim to have reached these plateaus but still, they do not feel the deep sense of enrichment that is supposed to be intrinsic with this higher territory. Furthermore, there are some who suggest that achieving all of these is impossible, as your relative analogy of “great” is dependent on your current situation. In short, you will always want more than what you have.
I realize you’ve probably read in great detail about these same things previously; that none of this is particularly new. I concur. But it is necessary to utilize the prerequisite argument of desire in order to move forward. Plainly stated, human beings are growth-oriented and desire is a manner that spurs us into growth-inducing action.
Desire is essentially a naked urge for some object, person, trait, etc. But in desire we also find ambition, which may be a more important trait in and of itself. Milton even, called ambition the “last infirmity of noble minds.” The difference between desire and ambition is facile; desire is simply a want whereas ambition is a plan to obtain a want.
When we set out a real goal for ourselves, we also outline a path that we believe will lead us to this goal. In our modern society, we are quite focused on this end. Though, in our pursuit of this, if we have a somewhat noble path to follow, then we are likely to find great joy and meaning along the path we have set out. Our ambition pushes us towards our desire and, in doing so, we learn and grow in the process. Whether we realize our desire or not, we are still improved for having attempted the trial to begin with.
A problem arises in this mechanism when we attribute too much weight to the actual ends. Say we desire a higher job within the company that we work for. We might increase our skill set and work more feverishly to become noticed and rewarded justly. This would be the typical path of advancement and it obviously improves us by following it. However, one might simply wish to jump past this whole development. Perhaps they might sleep with a superior or find some way to blackmail the CEO. Whatever the method, you can thus understand how our ambition can force us into ignoble actions that hinder our procession and learning.
So, it should be evident that desire does not always lead us along the most fulfilling path. Our ambition simply outlines possible methods to obtain the desire that we have set for ourselves. It is up to us to decide continuously how we should act while balancing growth, morals, effort, etc. Achievement is not simply limited to the attainment of a goal, but also by the process of which the goal is reached.
Or at least it sounds simple enough.
Thanks for reading.
I often allude to a belief in duality; that one cannot experience anything holistically without also knowing its opposite. Love comes from misery, happiness from sadness, or comfort from pain. At great difficulty, we constantly undergo these dichotomous feelings over and over again. The reason being, simply, that we forget ourselves so easily.
I wonder if one might be able to to live within a happy middle-ground. If instead of extremes to either spectrum, one simply remained virtually in between, imbued by knowledge and little bias. Would this be an acceptable way to live? Or, would one likely become more barren spiritually by this lack of passionate experience? Is it necessary to be constantly vulnerable in order to live with a fervor?
Usually asking questions such as these leads me down a logical path and, inevitably, to an admissible answer. However, there really seems to be two ways to live with balance. One of perfect dichotomy and one of perfect center. What would you choose?
Thanks for reading.
Well, this is likely to alienate a good portion of my readership, as I’ve noted that a large portion of WordPress readership are devoutly religious. However, I am becoming undeniably bothered by a level of irresponsibility expressed by religious followers. I promise I won’t speak ill of religion in and of itself, but I do want to examine this common sense of viewing common areas of life as dealings with ‘immense’ higher concepts.
Why can’t we be responsible for our own joy? Why are we doomed as cogs in an existential machine that attributes everything great in our lives to the will of some higher being? Why are we apparently unable to do things on our own, instead requiring the strength of someone above us?
I’ve heard a lot of excuses for this type of behavior. “Humans are foul creatures devoid of joy; all things good are derived from God and we must seek Him to enjoy these great things.” Or. “God is like a parent teaching a child. The child is ignorant of the world and he needs to rely on the more experienced parent figure to truly teach him, in order to grow.”
Firstly, I admit that human society is not a pure construct by any means, nor are individuals all of utter nobility. Nonetheless, that does not mean we do not possess features of good, nobility and virtue. Countless people have demonstrated these feats throughout history, and still we continue to practice these traits every day. This is not because we have a higher being to guide us or the threat of hell to force us (though maybe for some, unfortunately), but instead because we have an internal moral compass that we can follow. Certainly perception on some areas of morality depends on the individual, but there are constants and often we can follow these completely of our own will.
Furthermore, it is true that we are ignorant to a great deal of things, so much so that comparing us to children amongst the universe is not very far-fetched. Where I differ in opinion is the declaration that there is an invisible, but omni-present, parent figure who is the only being that can offer us good traits, morals, and true knowledge. Is it really so difficult to rely on one’s self to find the strength for learning, or growth? Even in areas where we believe we are ignorant, we should at least have a conception of the ideal we are trying to reach. With that view in mind, we can subsequently find our own path to the ideal. God is not the one responsible for teaching us.
Essentially, there are people who express a desire to remove one’s self from their own life. By doing this, they become chess pieces in their own lives who live to serve the “Prime Mover.” In addition, when they make a poor choice, it was their own fault and their own recklessness. When they make a wise choice, it was because of the benevolent wisdom of this Prime Mover. They simply utilized His skill, they did not use their own intelligence, or morality, or etc.
I really find this utterly absurd. Regardless of dogma, individuals should have the strength of will to accept responsibility for their own actions as well as for who they are. We should find virtue from our own depth of character and we should be able to live morally by or own wisdom. If you turn these over to God, you are no longer living your life. You are shirking responsibility. You are discrediting your existence. You are devaluing spiritually and becoming a loathsome individual with a weak heart. Even if you are doing good, moral things because you believe it is God working through you, then you are still placing yourself as a pawn to be moved, thus being worthless as an individual. Others might grow from your actions, but you will remain empty in continuum.
I suppose this is my outlet for all those times I’ve kept quiet while reading many web logs about “finding the father so that you may make the right decisions.” I simply find this an insult to my intelligence and to my own sense of self. Please feel free to offer alternate views though, I am always open to expanding my views.
Thanks, as always, for reading.
Intermittently, I am confronted with a large debate on the residuum and necessity of positive thinking. Being that positivism/optimism (which I will differentiate shortly) is a popular methodology with many in our society, I resultantly muse on what exactly it accomplishes for us. Largely, I associate positive thinking with positivism, not optimism, in accordance with the slight difference; that positivism refers to a constant state of positivity, whereas optimism is just a tendency to take favorable outlooks on various situations/occurrences, etc. Therefore I’ll refer to positivism hereon.
In any case, there is noticeably no shortage of those who believe that positivism is the absolute of healthy and productive attitudes. Thus, they presume that anything less than this attitude is perverse and detrimental. If one should stumble upon a dilemma in life, then it is expected by this group that the individual will not falter in its face, but rather smile sincerely and allow this problem to pass over them. If the individual is a little more progressive than this, then they will utilize this efficacious outlook to labor and mend said dilemma.
Whether or not this is plausible for any one human being to follow at all times, I am not so sure. We are too much creatures of duality, and as such, I don’t consider it possible for us to be positive constantly with any real sincerity. If we do not assess the negative, then we will not understand the positive. If we spend too much time mulling over the positive, we will not see the entirety of the situation. Realism demands that we not take to fancy, but rather that we understand.
Obviously, being too negative is also a detriment. One who is always negative will never find reason to do anything, nor will they ever be satisfied with anything in life. Thus there would be no growth, no love, and no purpose. Whereas the constantly positive person spends his/her life in ignorance, the negative person will spend their life in desolation.
Neither is a desirable situation, but the solution is relatively plain. Balance is a necessary fundamental within life. To be positive in the face of adversity will give you the depth necessary to move forward. To see the realism of a situation will give you the understanding necessary to making the best decision. Subsequently, the most prudent way to reconcile positivity and negativity is logic.
By itself, logic can be a cold, calculative tool. However, when placed as a support in the midst of emotional reactions, it is the most prudent guideline and creates a process that is more probable to lead to satisfying results. Not only does logic prevent one from falling into despair, but it also allows one to make the hard decisions. It illuminates moral actions and discredits naive or detrimental ones.
On the whole, I suppose I would say that while positivism is beneficial, one should never undermine the truth simply to be contented. And consider, how can one actually feel happiness when ignoring the truth?
Or something like thattttttt!
Thanks for reading.
In my last post, I touched briefly on the idea of self-deception. I thought that perhaps I might expound upon this point a little and in a few more situations as well.
In truth, we are all masters of this trait; some more than others. On one hand, it might be perceived as a necessity for progression through life. Conversely though, it possesses many obvious pitfalls that obstruct that same progression and impacts us quite negatively.
As mentioned in part priorly, we can all be very good at lying to ourselves. We are sincere in what we say at the moment we say it, but beyond this, all real effort might be ignored and the actual whimsy of what we have stated is then revealed. We may want the end result, but we are not always so willing to work through the method towards this end.
Not only are we guilty of this in day to day tribulations, but so too do we tend to commit this self-sophism when interpreting our pasts. Often in the past we have done things we regret, or are ashamed of, or just events and actions we can’t quite comprehend. As such, we tend to choose a favorable interpretation of these events that, while pleasing to us, is not very close to what actually occurred. Or, an even greater deceit of self, we simply choose to (conveniently) forget parts or all of our past.
Obviously, the reasons for why we might lie to ourselves are innumerable and infinitely varied, but there are a few typical reasons that this act occurs. Foremost of these reasons is that we simply don’t wish to face the immediate reality of a situation, which may be difficult and/or force us to feel a little ashamed of ourselves. Frequently, we just don’t want to acknowledge that there might be a flaw we possess or have committed. It is far easier to think of ourselves in a certain manner and not allow this view to be altered, even by actual facts and events. We might even use the excuse that we need to ‘put the past behind us’ in order to be better people in the present. Regardless, there remains the simple actuality that in all cases there is a truth we are avoiding.
Another common occurrence of self-deception, but one that can sometimes be construed as positive, is the artificial construction of a ‘fresh start.’ For the same reason that people make resolutions on New Year’s day (which is actually an arbitrary time if you consider it), often others might decide to reinvent facets of their personalities or areas of their lives beginning at some capricious moment. Those involved with this not only create false moments of ‘new beginnings,’ but frequently will choose to discard all events prior to these moments as part of the past and of little importance. However, this can lead to positive advances despite the method.
Ultimately, I believe that self-deception is an unconscious reaction; something that is very useful to us for getting through life with less strife. Some might say that if we reflected too deeply on every flaw and failure, then we would never move forward at all. Still, I can’t help but believe that self-deception is the defense mechanism of the lethargic and the irresponsible. If one is willing, then it is perfectly plausible to be truthful in interpreting reality and also to be accepting of flaws (in place of sheer avoidance). It takes a strong individual to be truly honest, but in that same regard, it is the honest person who grows more. This doesn’t infer being unnecessarily harsh and cruel to yourself, but rather it means (at great difficulty) trying to be impartial and open instead of biased and evasive.
So, in interpreting the past, why not simply be truthful with yourself? Accept failures and weaknesses as learning experiences and keep their memory in your mind so that you don’t repeat such mistakes.
In creating new beginnings for yourself, why not simply accept that change is gradual? Set goals and paths to follow, but don’t expect to change in a day, nor expect that all your previous problems will be left behind because you will it so.
On the whole, self-deception recognized or not is still deceit. Counter with honesty.
Ah, I do say a lot of things regarding virtuous actions, but I so frequently need to debate if I can abide by my own words.
Thanks for reading!
If you’re anything alike myself, you’re probably pretty decent at rationalizing. You can perceive cause and effect keenly and you are able to plan while accounting for probabilities and causalities. However, on the other side of the double-edged sword, you also happen to be very good at giving yourself quality justification for almost anything.
When it comes to avoidance, we tend to be quite creative and prudent with our vindications. Say you really wanted to go buy groceries yesterday, but after work you were just so tired it was ‘better for your health’ to leave it for another day. And you absolutely wanted to start reading that chapter for your class today, but you just had ‘so much other work’ and it was really not that important to read compared to all the other things you needed to do (of which you can’t quite remember the specifics).
Certainly this occurs frequently with most people and it is part of the day to day negotiation with the self that accounts for productivity in general. When this truly becomes an obstacle of a larger scope is when we apply it to the goals we actually want to complete.
We often discuss how we would like to improve ourselves and what our subsequent plans for such are. Examples are endless, but commonly you will hear, “oh I would like to go back and finish my degree,” or “yeah I’m going to start hitting the gym soon,” or especially “I’m going to start saving my money!” The problem with these atypical phrases is that we are completely sincere when we say them. However, it is unlikely that we have made any actual plans to complete these tasks. We think only of the end result and we remain dormant within inaction.
Another common set of problems is when we actually feign an attempt to complete our goals. Say we want to save a certain amount of money, we then write up a budget for ourselves and analyze our monthly costs to do such. However, we can fall prey to either frustration in the face of large planning (aka laziness), or we may even not be able to adapt if something changes from the initial budget (or, we might just be looking for an excuse to discard this whole budget anyways). In all these cases, we want to achieve our goals and we are taking steps towards doing them, but we are not actually doing them. Perhaps it’s the sincerity of our goals themselves, or perhaps it’s just general lethargy, but either way, nothing is actually being accomplished.
So what is the answer to actually accomplishing goals? You may want to cause me bodily harm for stating something so infantile so plainly, but the answer is simply just to do it. Do you want to go the gym? Then go. Don’t say it would be better on another day because you’re tired. Chances are you’ll probably be tired that day too. Want to save money? Follow your budget to the T. Don’t justify breaking your budget just so that you can go buy a plasma screen TV instead. It only makes sense that you would do all you can to achieve what you really desire. Otherwise, you might as well admit to yourself that you don’t want to achieve your goal as badly as you had first suspected. Be honest with yourself and separate your whimsical dreams with your real and concrete plans.
I suppose that is the real point here. Be able to draw a distinct line between, “I wish…” and “I will achieve…” and don’t allow yourself to confuse the two through vacillating logic and weak spirit.
With that said, I wonder if I might be able to follow my own advice?
Thanks for reading!
I hate to be pegged.
I suspect there’s few people more frustrating to be around than those who believe they know and understand you inside out. Not only does this type of thinking discredit the depth and multifariousness of your existence, but it also places you in a character block that essentially stagnates you in the eyes of others.
Obviously there is wisdom in recognizing trends and common characteristics in experiences and people. This isn’t quite what I’m debating. What poses a dilemma is when people type-cast others into roles based on people they’ve known before. These people become unable to differentiate the others as unique beings and they attribute their actions based on a certain logic base that, most likely, is not as comprehensive as they believe.
I suppose what we’re really looking for is balance. We should be able to recognize individuals as anomalous to a point and, understanding this, then we can help ourselves to comprehend some of their being through past intercourses and exchanges with others.
As was said by Walt Whitman, “Did I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself. I am large and contain volumes.”
Thanks for reading.