An art of zen

An art of zen

Becoming zen, more zenned out.

An illusion.

 

No find behind a door that needs to be unlocked.

No elusive location that you discover after staring at the ceiling long enough.

 

It’s not an answer.

It’s not a pathway.

It’s not a space.

Nor a trance.

 

It’s nothing but this.

 

A you that your heart beats for.

A you that scratches an itch.

A you that smiles in such a special way.

And a you that forgives you.

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Careful What You Wish For

Careful What You Wish For

Easy now.
You can be fragile.
Lots of people break.
Shatter.
Pieces so small they never put them back together.
Fragmented souls.
Lost.
Peace is abound.
But so fickle to hold.
The far shore for which you sail.
The setting sun.
The dusk of your days.
Sunsets are beautiful.
But they are the end.
Ends have little certainty.
Except that they are not before a beginning.
Perhaps this is yours.
This moment.
This second.
I doubt it.
But every self-help book tells you that you must believe it is.
I hate self-help books.
Is believing enough.
Is knowing un-required.
Is knowing a luxury.
One that life cannot afford you.
Or can you not afford it.
Given the choice.
No one chooses certainty.
Except the man who lives in regret.
Choices ruin your life.
But you don’t have one without them.
Don’t break yourself over ensuring you always get one.

Jibber Jabber

Jibber Jabber

Destiny awaits. The future is before you. Or perhaps, you are before it. One step. That’s all it takes to get you going. The second one should follow. Put a good stride in now. Time waits for no man. Good, now that you’re moving it should get easier. Or harder. Who really knows. I certainly don’t. But you have to try. What else will you you do. What else would you do. It’s a fiction you know, that old idea that you’ll enjoy it. Or is it a new idea. But you probably won’t. At least not most of it. If you’re lucky, you might just enjoy some of it. Best case scenario, you fumble around till you find someone. Then again. You might not, odds are okay. But guarantees and promises aren’t made. You didn’t pick your looks. You’re probably not so attractive. But maybe you’re lucky. Maybe. Loneliness awaits those who abdicate responsibly. And those below the median. Then you’re at the bottom. Not much you can do about it. Just keep digging. There will probably be rocks. You could either stand on them, or put them on top of you. You’ll probably surprise yourself with your choice. Choices are never simple. Surprises are abound and withheld by the unconscious. Blame others not, seek your answers inside. Not likely. You’ll point the finger. Wave the finger. Raise your chin. Turn a cheek. We all do it. Maybe after a few times you’ll wake. But then again, probably not. Monkeys. Monkeys, full of snakes. Do you know your snakes. Are they familiar, or unknown. They always say you should fear the unknown. Probably smart advice. Although the snake could be a phoenix. Don’t know till you look. Probably a snake. You’re full of snakes. Do you think you’re not. You are most certainly mistaken. The line between good and evil runs through the middle of every human heart. In case you hadn’t herd. But don’t stumble now. The stairs of discontent are steep. Are your legs long enough. Do your muscles burn. Does the ache agonise you. Well you’re not alone. You stand upon the death of a billion men. Don’t falter. The burn will ease. Although, it is easier not to. It is easier to run. To blame. To curse. Some take great pleasure in it. Perhaps you will too. Perhaps you won’t. You think you won’t. Be careful of such thoughts. The path to hell is paved with good intentions. You needn’t remember anything more.

Who’s that knocking

Who’s that knocking

Edwards nose fell upon the table. He barely looked up to give it a despairing look. Perhaps just grateful it didn’t land in his soup. The others at the table fared no better. His mother Margaret had only one ear, a frizzly scraggle of hair and not much else. His father Norman was the worst of the lot, his face had slid off last June when he bent down to pickup the newspaper at the front door, needless to say, the news read no better that day. Edwards younger brother and sister were the only ones who could manage a smile, mostly because they were the only ones still with lips. Youthful ignorance their only friend, but time would come for them as it did for all. The unwelcome knock at the door. You just have to hope it doesn’t come for your good eye, or your preferred hand. Although it was given that what you valued most would be taken first, as if it was some cruel joke. But no one ever heard who was laughing. Perhaps that is the oddest part of all.

The case against nihilism

The case against nihilism

I once thought that to think that there was an intrinsic purpose to life was silly. I thought if one thought there was, one only got there by lying to themselves, deluding themselves in fear of death. I saw the world as just a place where things existed and everything happened purely by chance. Everyone and everything was here because of an uncountable number of chance happenings that lead to the universe, and to life. To me this suggested there lacked any purpose, for it to be chance instantly makes life arbitrary. The only conclusion I could come to was that our only purpose was to reproduce. That was it, like all other animals, we were here to live meaningless lives merely to create more meaningless lives.

What I now know is that my nihilism lead to, or in some way correlated with being hedonistic. I’m yet to work out, whether it is our nihilistic society that teaches hedonism, or if it is an evolution within the individual, perhaps a combination of the two. Whatever the cause, I lived my life for the moment, everything around me told me that this was the way to live. People, advertisements, magazines, TV, all said almost everything should be sacrificed to gain experiences and pleasures. Why? Because you might die tomorrow, because what else could you possibly do worth while in your life. More importantly because other people were doing it and posting it on their Facebook. Everything was about instant gratification, nothing could wait. If quality had to be sacrificed for time, I never thought twice. Now was all that mattered. Tomorrow doesn’t exist, the eternal now was all I had. Why should I make a sacrifice for what might not pay off, or that I might not be around to cash in.

The combination of these two philosophies were destructive. I made choices against my future for the benefit of the next five minutes. In the moment I could be satisfied, underneath, I was struggling. Life felt empty. I resented myself for not making better choices for the future I inevitably had to face. I needed to change, but I could not see how, or even why. I convinced myself I just needed more. More experiences. More stuff. Then I’d feel good. Then, I’d be happy.

So how did I escape the nihilism and hedonism which is so rampant in our western societies? Firstly I have to thank Jordan B. Peterson. It was not only by his word, but he is certainly the most influential of all. But to break it down, it was just a matter of learning. I found answers, I found that I was wrong. Now when I say wrong, I mean it in two ways. Technically, and pragmatically. Both are important in a journey in understanding your place in life. What saved me was my passion to learn and curiosity. My desire and interest in new ideas, slowly I found a path toward better ideas. These ideas were like pistachio nuts, each one you ate just makes you want another one.

We chase happiness as though it were air to breath. Like there was nothing more important or even anything else to consider. There are a few problems with this, firstly, happiness is fleeting even for those who lead the best lives (whatever that means). But really life is fundamentally suffering, you ignore this fact at your own peril. To do so will inevitably lead to frustration with life and resentment against whatever you come define as God, if you cannot conceptualise such a being, then the results are even worse. In this situation there is no one to blame or be angry at, the results of this can be as we see with mass shootings. Nihilists who wish to show the world just how resentful they are to the nature of being, hence why they always go for the most innocent victims available. I can’t help but believe that those who know that life is suffering are prepared and see no reason for resentment for their lot in life. It’s something to do with expectations, which are a real problem in our society. In the West today we raise children to be resentful. We instil in them a level of expectation that one could never hope to satisfy and philosophy destined to fail them.

There is a number of ways I believe we fail children, the first is this idea of inclusiveness, of removing the meritocracy. The first thing we do with children is tell them they can be anything the want, they just have to try. It sounds lovely and innocent but the effects have been shown to be quite the opposite. We continue to reinforce this belief when we give them medals for participation. We remove all capability of learning from failure, of learning perseverance. Next we remove their ability to push their own boundaries and learn what they are and are not capable of, everything, and everyone must be wrapped in bubble wrap. We don’t allow them to do anything that might be possible to hurt themselves, or others. In turn, this hurts our children and inevitably, our societies. Children no longer find and experience the limits and the boundaries, instead they are sheltered only to grow up to become adults who have failed to learn their own boundaries and limitations, they fail to learn about the world correctly.

The answer to nihilism isn’t simple or easy, or maybe it is. Maybe it is the logos. This is the spoken word, the truth. For me it all comes back to pragmatism. This ability we have, we must use to bring forth what helps us. If we continue to foster youth whom misunderstood the fundamentals of life then we are not achieving what we could. If we are here to do anything, then that is to make tomorrow better, not just for yourself, but for all.

Be the hero

Be the hero

The Oracle in The Matrix hands Neo a cookie after insinuating that a decision will be forced upon him. A situation will be imposed on him in which he will need to take action, to make a decision. A decision that will impact upon the outcome of this hero, the outcome of this hero’s world. A decision that extends so much further past the extent of the hero’s insecurities, vulnerabilities and misfortune. A decision that transcends the hero himself.

I sit watching birds fly around me. Contemplating what I’d use wings for if I had them.

Simply put, the hero sacrifices, the hero uses wings to fly towards his demons. Facing the mirror that reflects himself to himself, his purest of adversities and self-doubt. This hero attempts to save Morpheus, regardless of whether he understands and has learned all he could have about the limitless Matrix beforehand.

The hero learns that he is required to act regardless of whether he has the understanding to do so.

The hero learns that understanding the repercussions of any action they take is out of their grasp. Th hero learns that attempting to understand these repercussions leaves an individual hopeless, flailing in a dark void that can only imprison, serving to offer only endless questions to unsolved answers.

In order to live in reality, action needs to be taken. To dissolve fear Neo needed to risk losing against Agent Smith. One needs to risk losing and exposing oneself to further fear. The type of fear that can make you nauseous at the ponder of it. The type if fear that doesn’t ring the doorbell before entering.

Inevitably, there is always a Morpheus that needs to be saved, there are always fears to overcome. Use your wings for heroic purposes.

What’s in a name.

What’s in a name.

Pain leaps, for joy – for sorrow. It dances upon your grave. What is it to you. This, this that is you. Do you hold and grip, dry are the hands that never close, slippery are the ones that remain closed. You should run. But you shouldn’t. Is the answer right, little does it matter what your mother thought. There are ones who tell you what is so. Denied, but the truth is somewhere down there.

Somewhere a piano plays. Melodies, are they sad or gay. Do you shrink or do you rise. This is not for you to choose, although you must decide. Choice is a bit like never being asked. What is will. You walk alone, a poorly lit street, the bewitching hour has past. Noises, foreign, threatening. Is it sodden mud under foot. Is there a welcoming inn up the street. Does the end of the street meet the end of the road. Does a stone have your last sight written upon it.

Memories. Are they what they appear. If you ponder upon them. Do they become clearer. The path behind more certain. Does the sky change colour. Is there red, is there blue. Are you sure. If you’re not, what will you do about it. Did you wake just now, or do you still sleep. Was that emotion. That lantern, hanging above your row boat. Does it guide your way on the misty lake. Does it’s light shine toward surer water. Does it hide things in shadows. Is this a corner of your mind. The undusted. Is the cutlery blunt. Is this house your own. Do the doors stay open. Or do you close them behind you. Do you check your keys. Is there more than you expected. Are the unknown large or small. Do they jingle a soft tone. Do they make you cringe when they rattle.

If you point. What do you point at. Is that it. Are you sure. Have you checked. You probably should. When you walk. What plays. The violin. The cello. When you fly. Do you fly with birds. Do you fly with beetles. Birds can be vultures. Choices are never what they seem. Cracks and seams. So much darkness can be hidden. It sneaks. It creeps. It stays hidden so you cannot see the light. Contrasts. Distinctions. Names. The separation of the chaos from the order.

Do you know where your foot stands. Does chaos melt your soul. Does order chill your bones. The balance of Yin. Of Yang. Where are your feet. I bet you’re not even sure without careful reflection. Unless they’re both in chaos. Then you know. You know all too well. Bring back something worthy. Don’t waste your chaos. Your life will be spent dancing round it. Make it count when you fall in.