A Familiar Discomfort

The mind can be a prison of sorts. In some way, we are trapped. Our flesh contains us: our bones the bars, and our body the cell.

What do we do with the time that we are given? After all, how could you explain life without time? How can we desire to halt motion, for without motion, we are dead – existence is rooted in time.

And the importance of roots can never be stressed enough. We want good roots. Because we know we will need them to be sturdy in nature’s harsh winds.

We never face losing it all more than when we doubt the integrity of your roots. When you doubt the very thing that is holding you up, you begin to fear, with a swelling intensity, that you might fall. It’s impossible to be certain of anything without the confirmation of the persistent, function, soothing sound of your roots.

What sound you ask. . . the sound of life: the ebb and the flow; the expansion and the contraction; the on and the off.

Yet, more often than not we spend our lives flickering, never holding a light. Flickering light is better than no light at all, but it is far inferior than true light. For flickering lights still allow the way for darkness, but, when something is truly seen, one cannot fear.

When light shows somethings’s true colors, it cannot be unseen. For there are those that experience color and then there are those that experience art.

The Unification of the Human Race

It was like being forcibly pulled, suddenly, into a deep, foreign sleep.

This is the best my words can do at imagining or contemplating the idea of death. Death, the event when whatever this thing called “I” that possesses this “consciousness” departs my “body.” The reason all of these words deserve quotes are because they are all things I learned at one time or another.

I was not always an “I.” Sometime I existed before in a world that did not yet have names. There were no labels and there were no distinctions between myself and the outside world.

Of course, I am talking about a point long ago in our origin story, somewhere in the early infancy stage.

At some critical point of the past I became and “I” and from there forward, “I” has always been assigned and been being assigned labels. This, furthering the divide between what is inside and outside of me.

From this point forward, we eventually learned something: we could do things that served “I” and it was pleasurable, so much so that we may eventually decide to serve the “I,” even if serving it comes at the expense of other people, other beings outside yourself; other “I’s.”

The true trick is to never forget where we come from. We should look out at other’s interests as our own. We should seek find harmony. My service to others should provide a greater sense of pleasure than the service to solely those actions and behaviors that only are used to benefit my behalf.

Furthermore, we should seek to bridge the gaps we have between ourselves and other humans. The divisions we have created; the variations that make us beautiful as a species are the same thing that can be used to tear us apart. The adage “divide and conquer” comes to mind.

This is why this years policitcal campaign has been  so succesful at capturing our attention; it has been appealing to people’s deepest emotions on which ever party you align yourself with.

The variations within the Human race are precisely what makes us, and life, so interesting — because of all the forms, expressions and perceptions of being a Human, but more broadly, being alive.

We forget sometimes that we are alive and how much there is that falls under and has been assigned to the label of “life.” It is beautiful and it is what we should be focused upon.

Instead, of focusing on unifying the Democratic and Republican parties, we should be focused on uniting the Human party because, after all, when you strip away all the words and personal individual biases, what we are left with, is that we are human. We can all share in that and, furthermore, we can expound upon it by exploring this broader domain in which we reside under and that is life itself.

 

 

The Self and The Universe

“Eyes see and ears hear as wind blows and water flows. All space becomes your mind. Time carries you along like a river, but never flows out of the present: the more it goes, the more it stays, and you no longer have to fight or kill it.”

-Alan Watts The Book: On The Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are

Life, Evolution and God

Biologists define life by three main characteristics:

First, it must use and obtain energy, while also excreting waste.

Second, it must be animated and either move or change in shape.

Three (and most importantly), Reproduce.

The third is the most important because through reproduction something amazing happens: the organism is provided the ability to change slowly as time passes.

Another word for this slow change is “evolve.”

Evolution is simply a mechanism or process by which life changes into more diverse and unique forms of life.

Personally, I think it is the most beautiful form of God.

I see no discord between evolution and God because evolution is simply a mechanism for change, diversity and further growth; and I have observed it firsthand (on a micro scale).

Each day, I evolve myself as a person; I am no longer the same ‘self’ as I once was and I think most people would agree their current ‘self’ differs from their previous ‘self.’

But recently, there has been evidence to show that I am doing more than that and we all are!

There is something known as Transgenerational epigentic inheritance. What this proposes is that life experiences can switch on or off specific genes and these altered genes can then be passed to our offspring.

It is a revolutionary idea and one that is supported by scientific research: what we do in our lives, and what we expose ourselves to, can not only affect us but also our offspring.

 

Knowing versus Perceiving Thyself?

People often say they know themselves. Others, are more skeptical to jump to such conclusions. But, what does it mean to know yourself?

Knowing yourself would involve knowing the mechanisms behind your behavior; it would be about the workings of the mind, the internal world, the body and whatever else is associated with our ideas of self.

This might be crudely possible. There are always parts of the mind though that really can’t be put into words, but regardless, what about perception?

If I stare at my dog and my dog stares back at me, what is truly going on? Well, for one and interaction is going on. We each are having an effect on one another. He is watching, or perceiving, me, and I him.

But, neither one of us are perceiving ourselves.

We go around the world observing, our eyes stare out at the world and at ourselves, or at least the parts we can see. My hands primarily are of great importance and usually highly involved in my field of vision, but so are my arms, torso, legs and feet.

But, let us pretend there are no mirrors of reflective surfaces in the world I live in, then what about the rest of my body? I am left to know them solely by touch and their motion.

Our world is becoming increasingly visual, but perception is not just about sight. It is our primary sense we use, but does that mean the others are less worthy of our respect. Moreover, what other worlds or mental, neural representations do these other senses map for us?

So, I guess my question of if we can perceive ourselves can be answered with the most famous answer in psychology, “Well, it depends.” If our definition of perception is visual then, no, we can never truly perceive ourselves. Mirrors don’t really reflect how you actually look and neither do videos, or pictures. There is always something missing from those forms and the forms of you viewed from the eyes of another person.

But, you can perceive yourself through sense of touch, which I would say is our second most used sense.

I’m curious for feedback on ranking our senses. My list would be:

  1. Sight
  2. Touch
  3. Hearing
  4. Taste
  5. Smell

Of course, each person’s answer should vary and there is no right or wrong answer.More interestingly, I am interested if there is some other abilities one might consider a sense, type of sense, or subset of a sense.

Thank you for reading.

A Short Reflection on Substance

“Really, the fundamental, ultimate mystery – the only thing you need to know to understand the deepest metaphysical secrets – is this: that for every outside there is an inside and for every inside there is an outside, and although they are different, they go together.”

                                                                                                                                -Alan Watt

This form of thinking falls under the category known as dialectical monism. Monism is the belief that everything is made up of one fundamental substance. In contrast, dualism is the idea that mind and body are fundamentally different things that interact with each other.

Dialectical monism sort of blends the two in a way. While it believes everything is one substance, it believes this substance to be expressed in two ways such as male and female or in the quote by Alan Watt, “an inside for every outside.”

This is a fundamental question for philosophy and psychology. Moreover, it is an important question for whoever is reading this.