Saturday, April 17, 2010

here, now, in time and space

BoldI am here, now, in space and time, because of the same thing that made Neo stay up all night, searching the internet. Something is wrong. Something is wrong with my world. I can't place my finger on it, like an itch inside my head, it maddens me with it's very unscratchability.

translated: with my inability to pinpoint what it is that is wrong.
I am emotionally, spiritually constipated. as are we all, or most. Probably mentally constipated too. I'm trying to eat more roughage, maybe take a laxative.

translated: I'm trying to learn how to process emotions, thoughts and beliefs.

For example, right now, the belief that something is wrong. There is only one possible reason I feel that something is wrong: there is some part of reality, concrete or abstract, that I believe should be different than it is.

Now, can I ever, ever know that?
We take for granted our "practical knowledge." :
"yes yes" you say, "of course we can't know anything absolutely, but for all practical intents and purposes, this seems to be how the world works."

to that I say, bs. Much of our "practical knowledge" is not in the slightest bit practical.

Here I sit, a twisted, pitiful creature. Like Gollum. Corrupted by the Ring. What is the ring?
The ring is Power.
The ring is Control.

We want to control our world. we want to make it other than it is. we are forming our own personal war on God. Re-enacting that old biblical, or semi-biblical story of satan rebelling against God. Like all good stories, the relevance is to our own story, our internal world.

when I try to change the world, change myself, I suffer immensely. I'm terrified of accepting the world, myself, in a way that would end this fearful striving to make the world different than it is.

The "rational" voice might say (it certainly does within me) that we are simply taking into account our future. We need to plan for that, and we do have an effect on it, and it's outcome.

But that is weasel talk and bad logic. The problem is the belief that something is wrong with right now. We pretend that we are punishing ourselves for our bad behaviour in order to make our behaviour better, but that is an illogical act.

Nature will give you the fruits of your action. You don't need to play nature's part and try to give yourself what you think you deserve. Nature is much kinder about it too. There's never any judgment in the way the universe works. You get what you pay for, you reap what you sow.

God doesn't prevent you from doing anything, He(/She) lets you do what you decide to do, and lets you get the result of that action. If you don't like the result, you can stop.

I have an objection to that:
What about addictions? Often I feel compelled to do something, not because it's particularly pleasant, but because not doing it is either particularly unpleasant, or thought to be unpleasant (though sometimes it's actually fine, when you actually find yourself in the situation you thought was going to be unbearable)

It is said that we, as humans, have the ultimate gift of free will. Is that true?

what does my experience say?

It says:
on the level of the observer, there is no action, and so there is no free will. There is nothing that is done, or not done. No action means no choice of which action to do. It is action-less, except for the primal action of being aware, or something a step simpler than that.
on a slightly further out layer, there is control over what you have your attention on. You may not be able to control your environment very much, or what thoughts you have, but what you put your attention on is to a large extent under your power.

however, as soon as you have free will, you have control. people can manipulate your thoughts, and even your attention. Think of a baby, being distracted from something a parent doesn't want him/her to be doing: maybe they wave a rattle, or pick them up and play with them. Maybe later on in life, you have a flashing billboard, offers of money, boobs, promises of peace and happiness.

Maybe someone just lies to you to get you to behave a certain way. Maybe they threaten you. Maybe they make you feel responsible, maybe they praise you, maybe they beg you.

Wherever there is freedom of choice, there is a whole sea of currents, pushing and pulling us. Environmental factors, mental conditioning factors, desire factors, avoidance factors.

Often, I feel powerless. I look at my actions and see a man, a boy, dominated by fears, hopes, and beliefs. I try and avoid pain and seek out pleasure. I do it my own way, not necessarily the most efficient way. But as humans do, I have the ability for self reflection. I can look at my processes and figure out how effective they are, and if they serve me well.

Lets look at feeling powerless: what is the effect of that: I get depressed. I become frightened of other peoples judgment, I withdraw into myself. This is not a useful happiness strategy. maybe there's some reason for it. I try to find a good reason for it. ... I find none. Only painful reasons.

Now the difficulty is that we are not machines, that can just replace a few lines of code with a more efficient algorithm.

I've been spending years trying to figure out how to properly do this. I've read various books, describing various methods. I've yet to find a way that is truly efficient. All my efforts feel like a lot of flailing around, for a little progress. Though that has been improving, as of late.

However, a big factor that slows this down significantly is the programming it's self. There are parts of me that don't want to do this de-programming.


because, as I said before, we are not machines. Our programming language is emotion, and that means you FEEL things. Everything you are trying to reprogram is read in the form of feeling things, and then re-written.

Most people spend there whole life avoiding feeling the parts of them that are the most scary. Fuck, I've been doing this for several years now, and I still avoid my feelings like hell.

But not all the time.

And the little time I manage to not run away, is when I manage to do some de-programming. And so, even with the little I've done, fighting my own bad programming (I think it would be akin, in this analogy, to having a metric fuck-ton of spam-ware on your computer, making it run super slowly and keep crashing when you try to run spam-ware cleanup programs, thus making the work slow and tedious.)

One final word of advice, from personal experience: if you decide to try your hand at reprogramming your code, and think, "well, I'll just go super hard core on that, push through any resistances, and be done with it." You are going to have trouble. Don't loose sight of the reason you are doing the work in the first place: your happiness. Or contentment, peace, fulfilment, whatever word you feel like using. The point being: keep yourself as happy as you reasonably can. If you are going through some emotionally draining work, be nice to yourself. eat good food, get some rest, hang out with friends, take a walk in nature, laugh.

Why? We are not robots. We work via feelings, we are squishy, organic beings, and we need cycles of rest along with our activity, or we will get burnt out. If you lift weights too much, you won't be getting stronger, you'll be hurting yourself and getting weaker. I've seen too many people try and go balls-to-the-wall with this spiritual stuff and end up burning out.

here is a quote that sums this all up: "start early, drive slowly, arrive safely."

I'll say it yet another way: there is an ideal speed to be going, with this stuff, and it is not too fast, not too slow. Both too fast and too slow, will get you there slower than a balanced speed.

All this really translates into, is that one of the factors to take into account when you are trying to do everything right (which I have been a complete failure at, but I keep trying) is the factor of your comfort.

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