Posts tagged insight
Posts tagged insight
Our problems are not what define us, but how we cope with them.
Maybe, sometimes. It depends on the individual.
Some people (Buddhist Monks for example) will take the separation from Self to an extreme and embrace it as a way of life, but the average person does not need to do so. Separation from Self is a valuable tool, however. Especially useful when facing questions and problems that might overwhelm us otherwise.
Think of it this way: A person may dedicate their lives to Karate, master all it’s techniques and live their lives around it. If that is their choice, then so be it. But the average person can defend themselves effectively without making Black Belt. So it is that a person does not need to become a Monk to understand and gain value from the techniques they take to an extreme.
It’s just a matter of recognizing the times when one needs to break that connection. And it won’t always be easy. And one will inevitably fail at times. That is, however, the nature of life. We try, we reach, we slip, we fall, but we stand and try again.
It’s hard to say when an individual might specifically need to break connection with the Self. Perhaps when there is a hard choice to make. Perhaps when their life is miserable and they need to continue regardless. Sometimes just to give them a better perspective on a given subject. Like any tool, it is up to the user to find the right applications.
It is imperative that one should learn to disconnect from the Self. Our own experiences are invaluable, but inevitably flawed by the imperfection of our senses. Disconnecting from the Self and the needs and bias of the living being allows one to see beyond their own walls and into the greater world around them.
The world is larger than ourselves and the universe, in all it’s majesty, is far more than we will ever be. To understand it, we must allow our minds to expand beyond our petty confines and fill the endless reaches of space, to think on the scale of a god. Only then will we understand the minutia of our own existence and our place in the All that Is.
More than a few times I have been told that I need to “Live in the Now”. Meaning I need to stop thinking and “just live” whatever that means. Usually this is followed up with a comparison of life to a train and how “now” is the leading edge of the train… or something. Honestly I never quite grasp what they mean.
Here’s the thing: “Now” isn’t a real thing. By the time one is even aware of “now” it’s already over. It has no shape, no form, no solidity. It is at best instantaneous. And as any good H.G. Wells reader can tell, a thing that is instantaneous, that has no duration in time cannot be said to really exist. Therefore “now” does not exist. It is unreal. It is impossible to live in “now”.
There is also something worrying about the comparison of life to a train. Trains are set on a single path, from begging to end, immutable and unchangeable. True there are some rail lines that have switches, but those aren’t very common. The comparison gives the image of life as set thing and the person as merely a passive observer in it, with no control or power over their path. To me this is not only depressing, but downright horrifying. That life should be a single, uncontrollable drive from birth to death over which we have no power or will.
But personal experience tells me that life is not like a train. Perhaps it is more like driving a car. There is a fixed beginning (birth) and a fixed end (death), but between the two there are many, many intersections. And so, like the driver of a car, we must be alert. Awareness must be given to what is coming and what has been otherwise we risk running into an obstacle unaware. That is not to say one cannot admire the scenery, but diverting too much attention can be harmful.
Ultimately life is about balancing between awareness of the present, understanding of the past and expectation of the future. No one is better than the other two and all three are required for a full life.
It strikes me that this would be a very clever way of overcoming one’s writer’s block or even just finding inspiration when the writing muse is being vague.
While I was writing the previous post, I found that the image helped set the scene and centralize my thoughts remarkably well. Perhaps this is a technique I will seek out more often. If I can’t get past a certain point, I’ll just look up a picture of the thing or place (or as close as I can get with fantasy fiction) and use that to inspire me forward.
This could be a very clever idea.
It is easy to forget that there is no singular wall that divides particular groups. No Berlin-esque wall of division that keeps us all apart.
There is but the walls that we all carry that divide each individual from another. Walls of fear. Walls of hate. Walls for protection. Walls for deformation.
We all carry with us walls, in one form or another.
So I’ve been hearing some rumblings about NSFW blogs being essentially made invisible. That is to say, they won’t show up in search engine results or tag searches. Effectively making any blog tagged NSFW impossible to find short of off-site linking. A sort of indirect censorship, as it were. People can post whatever they want, only no one will find it. Worse still, it seems there’s an active process to label blogs likely to have NSFW content. Meaning anyone who posts, reblogs or likes NSFW content might simply vanish.
There might be more to this. I would like there to be more to this. Because the NSFW term has such a broad meaning. It could be anything from hardcore pornography to artistic nudity. It would be a terrible loss to the Tumblr culture to have these people silenced. And, while I won’t pretend to defend the virtues of pornography, there really should be no reason to wholesale block NSFW blogs like this. It is my hope that there is more to this plan. That it will result in something like Google’s “Safe Search” option, where Tumblr users can opt to filter NSFW blogs out, if they like. That would be a reasonable thing to do, if they wished to provide “safe” browsing for Tumblr.
On a broader sense it would be a disappointing admission to the glaring social elephant in the Humanity Room. That is to say, the continued shaming and demonizing of nudity, sex and human biology. That they should seek to silence and hide these blogs would essentially be an admission that we, as a people cannot handle our own physical nature. That despite all voices crying out to stop treating the human body like a disgusting perversion, there will be no progress.
Let us keep our fingers crossed.
So I started watching this.
It is an evolution simulator. Essentially it creates a series of entities, sets them a goal and then runs a sort of genetic mutation routine, keeping the best five of twenty tries and then running twenty variations on them and so on and so on, building each generation, measuring success by how far the “car” travels.
This is the kind of weird stuff I enjoy.
BUT while watching this I realized there are lessons to be found in watching these cars evolve. To wit:
One of the worst things is having to remind yourself that you actually did good things today. That, though you probably did spend too much time sitting at the computer, you did in fact wash the dishes, pick up the trash, and do the laundry. You aren’t, in fact, totally unproductive. And now you’re going to go to bed early, get up early and go to work, earn your pay to keep that roof over your head, food on your table and entertainment in your life.
How strange and sad it is to have to remind yourself to feel good about what you’ve done…
One of the problems is that society want’s it every way.
We have too many children for adoptive parents… but gay/lesbian couples shouldn’t adopt.
Contraceptives can stop the pregnancy before it starts, but they shouldn’t be freely available.
Planned Parenthood provides education and resources for young parents to cope with unexpected pregnancies, but the government shouldn’t fund them.
Sex is a basic biological function and human beings become sexually active and capable of reproduction at an age lower than that of consent but society views sex as a dirty, shameful act and the human body as a whole and it’s basic biological functions as a shameful thing, thus parents are frightened to educate their children until it’s already too late.
Is it any surprise, then, that we’ve come to this point?