I: I think I am full of superiority complex. I have this condescension and self-righteousness as I can see through. And why won’t I? I feel disgusted when I can see the stupid self-destructive actions people take. Why are people so stupid?
You: It’s an illusion. You come from what you have experienced. You may know certain things more. But you don’t know, can not know everything as you have not experienced everything. You only know your life and you see everything through your lens. You may be right in terms of what is to be done right, but you have no clue why they might not have been understanding what you understand.
I: I hate to fail.
You: It’s ok if you fail now. Accept the failure. It does not mean “You are THE FAILURE”.
I: I hate deadlines.
You: Deadlines are there so that you can enjoy the freedom afterward. Ultimately you are free and there is no rush. But don’t you want to accomplish things in life? If you do, then deadlines are your friends.
I: Is my physical experience that important?
You: Your physical appearance, experience are important. Because your mind lives inside your physical body.
I: Why am I so much bothered by the physical cravings – hunger for food, sex etc? They are killing me.
You: They are your physical needs which need to be dealt with for your mind to keep engaged and flourish. Neglecting them, you will starve yourself and feeling starved your mind will not let you who you can truly become.
I: Aren’t physical appearances just the way to attract other people?
You: Yes, but it depends on how you look. Our reality is that we already live in a society. You won’t be who you are if your parents wouldn’t raise you properly, if your closed ones wouldn’t love and take care of you. However, attracting other people may not be the final goal of life. Therefore, if you are in a place where your physical appearance is harming your mental peace- like if you are fat and feel shame, you are creating a problem for your own self. There are things you can try to reconcile with. You need to think about your priorities – what you really care about. But you need to believe that you can change. You should be able to hope. You are more than your body and your mind. So say when you feel vulnerable “I am not just my body. I am not just my mind either.”
I: What do you think about minimalistic life- making everything simple, possessing few things?
You: It might help you stay away from debt or pay off your debt. Letting redundant things go can save yourself from taking unnecessary burdens Depending on how you do it, it can be adventurous. You can be a digital nomad or an urban nomad. You can travel around, make more friends and have some exciting experiences. But you need to be brave and be ready to be surprised constantly and be prepared for dangerous experiences too.
Image courtesy: http://tiny.cc/rhyd6y
I: I am thinking about the cycle of life. Imagine a mammoth tree; it starts from a seed planted on earth; then it grows to be a small plant; it gets taller, bigger and wider; it branches out, takes more space, becomes the nest of some birds, provides the shadows to the passersby; but one day after many years it die; it can no longer maintain its life.
You: So is the life of most animals and the human too. Is it not?
I: Yeah. I just realized that a full cycle of life has its peak and its valley. Let’s say when you were born you were in a valley, then you walked, walked, walked all the way up to the peak of a mountain, then you must have to come back to the valley in the other side. What is striking me the most is that it’s not a choice to stay either on the peak or the valley of the landscape. Time is forcing you to move and there is no constancy.
You: We are just experiencers experiencing life.
I: Then why do we attach ourselves too much to anything at all? Like our parents, our house, our babies, our career, our achievements, our this, our that.
You: Because at many moment in life, you have things or relationships which are replaceable and things or relationships which are irreplaceable. You are right that we delude ourselves with many of our assumptions and false expectations. But at the same time we require a certain purpose for us to live and move on the path from the valley to the peak, to the valley again. Many actually never reach the peak, many die on the way to the valley. There is probably no one exact peak either.
I: Life is confusing to me often times. I drive myself to achieve things, to go to places, to desire. I do things to make myself happy. But there are many things that make me unhappy. There are many desires that will never be fulfilled. But if I don’t chase, I will never achieve, right? But the process of chasing is tiring and makes me unhappy. Every rejections, failures break my heart, but when I stand up again, I become stronger. But there is probably no end of this cycle. Just like the day ends with a night and a night ends with a day. Or, a night starts with the end of a day and a day starts with the end of a night. But ultimately I will die one day. So is it that ultimately I just want to remain as happy as possible most of the times. That’s the goal?
You: Well, not a bad goal. Is it?
I: There is so much imperfection in this world. Don’t you think? So much unfairness, so much dirt.
You: Yeah. I guess we are in this mess because everyone is confused. Everyone knows for a fact that he or she is alive, feels pain, doesn’t want to feel pain, wants to be happy, wants to have things, can’t have things because of others, then wants to hurt others. A whole dynamics of give and take in unfair ways. And it’s good that our society is still progressing.
I: Are we really progressing towards a better world? I was reading this book. She is a writer from the past century. But her imagination, her wording, her observation just mesmerized me. I probably have never talked with a woman in the world of today where I live who is as convincing, creative like the author I was reading. But you see.. I guess most people these days don’t read or even write. Even I waste most of my time watching rubbish movies and videos than to explore my mind through reading or writing. It seems to me that all the advent of science and technology are making ourselves duller and duller, less of a human of some sort. We are losing more than we are supposed to gain as a human being. We are experiencing way less than our mind can truly conceive.
You: May be you are right.
I: I was also thinking that the society that we live in today doesn’t really have an incentive system for doing good deeds. We have clear incentive to be successful, to be dominant, but do we really have incentive to be just good persons? I guess it’s hard to establish such. Even though I have bad relationship with religion, I guess religion tried to exactly that- forcing people to do good with the fear of hell and God- that apparently doesn’t work. But in a world of today, does anyone want to be a good person anymore? What does it even mean by goodness?
You: These are hard questions. I wish I had answers. May be nobody has.
You and I – 1 : https://experienceandembrace.wordpress.com/2019/01/23/you-and-i/
You and I – 1 : https://experienceandembrace.wordpress.com/2019/01/23/you-and-i/
I: Have you ever lied to me?
You: I think so. But I think some lies might have been necessary.
I: Maybe. But when I know I was lied to, I feel differently towards those words I were told.
You: Well, feelings are weird creatures within. Aren’t they? How much do you think you understand how you feel. Rationale, on the other hand, gives you a way of reviewing them. If you see the utility of those lies, you might forgive me. Not that I care.
I: So, you are saying I needed to be in the delusion that very moment. Because you presupposed that I can’t handle the truth. That’s too much of an arrogance I would say.
You: You caught the asshole. But again I did it for what I felt right to do at that moment.
I: Well, acknowledge that you may have done a big mistake with your rational thoughts, your bag of ill-conceived ideas of me and my abilities.
You: I will have to think. Just calm down.
I: Okay. How do you stop craving something?
You: Depends on what you crave I guess. What do you crave?
I: I crave to recreate one memory. It’s this one time – I was with the girl I loved. It was in her apartment. She just came on top of me. I undressed her on the top and I kissed her breasts and she was holding my head. She was full of pleasure but she was calm like she was wanting it more and more. I have been with other girls after that, even probably tried to recreate with my feelings of guilt. But I no longer could, I never could feel the same way. I felt like I need her to recreate it, but I know it’s not possible. Maybe even with her. It’s probably will never be possible again. But I can’t stop craving. And every time I fail to recreate, I feel miserable.
You: It’s a memory you hold very dear to yourself. You know that you can’t recreate it so you will have to compartmentalize it. Somehow.. you will have to do it. Cravings are good. Just don’t let them kill you. You have seen the movie inception, right? Leonardo De Caprio’s wife Mal haunts him in his dreams. She is in his subconscious and he gets back to her through the elevator where she resides. Maybe because he can’t forgive himself. Nor is he willing to let the memories evaporate. He confines her, thus he gets himself confined even more ruthlessly. Do you think you might be doing the same?
I: Not intentionally as far as I can say. I started to realize that my desires are my enemies.
You: Because you can’t befriend them for some reasons. But that’s dreadful. You will have to be friends with them.
I: I see the futility in the harmony that you are asking me to have. Maybe I love chaos. Maybe that’s where I thrive.
You: It’s a choice ultimately. That’s just what I want you to know.
(to be continued ..)
You and I – 1 : https://experienceandembrace.wordpress.com/2019/01/23/you-and-i/
I: It’s snowing outside.
You: Yeah, it’s beautiful how everything is covered.
I: What do you think about “Deja Vu”?
You: Like you feel that it happened before?
I: Yeah, it’s been happening to me quite a lot. And it makes me feel bored.
You: But, does that matter though? What’s wrong with experiencing it again? Is the desire to constantly be in a new situation the best for our psyche?
I: I don’t know. That’s what everybody is up to. Isn’t it? New is exciting- they say.
You: That’s the problem I think. If you can’t perceive every moment as new, rather always perceive it as a reincarnated old, then you are just living inside your mind too much, circling and ultimately destined to diminish into a point of meaninglessness.
I: You are right. Every moment is a new one. It’s a perception issue, but the issue is real. The boredom is inevitably there to drown.
You: Well, then you recognized it.
I: But it doesn’t help though.
You: Maybe it will. Hope is necessary.
I: You want to play with snow?
You: Sure. As you know, you will really be playing with yourself.
I: I have seen some beautiful pictures of places. I really want to go visit them when I can.
You: Nice. What kind?
I: Mostly beautiful natural places. Most of the time there are some beautiful people waving or walking or doing something. It’s just refreshing to see. I guess it will be great to be there for real breathing the air near the ocean, over the mountain, through the valley, highways.
You: Yeah, escaping creates the euphoria. Maybe for good.
I: I know.
You: You remember that you wanted to know about love?
I: Yes. What about it?
You: Do you think there’s an ocean of love or a sky of love?
I: I will choose air over water. Just a preference. I don’t know how to swim.
You: You don’t know how to fly either. At least you can learn to swim.
I: You see, you are too pragmatic. In my imagination, I want to fly. I don’t crave to dive into the water.
You: Right you are! You want things that you can not have. Just saying..
I: Good. Now I am pissed.
You: Haha. Like you always are.
(to be continued ..)
I: I like that you like to live in the moment.
You: We are always living in a moment. What do you mean? You think you are not living in the moment?
I: True. But what I mean is that if I am doing things now for something that I expect to happen in a future moment, am I living in the moment? I am bit confused.
You: Of course you are still living in the moment. But you probably don’t feel like living in the moment.
I: But if I am not feeling to be living in the moment, am I truly living in the moment? Isn’t there a distinction between fact and fiction? Or is it that everything is fiction?
You: It can be that everything is a fiction.
I: No, our reality, the world outside us might not be a fiction. Pain might not be a fiction. Death might not be a fiction. I am not sure about pleasure though. Pleasures can be fictitious. I don’t know.. You seem to be living in the moment whereas I can’t really claim it like that. Or I should say I don’t feel to claim it like that. I tend to feel that I know what is ahead of me. At least I can have a good prediction of that based on my prior experience. But I am relying on my thinking mind and my collected knowledge and my instinct.
You: But don’t you ever wonder to start your day like you are a newborn baby?
I: I actually do.
You: Have you asked yourself why you have that desire to be reborn? Is it because you are burdened with your past?
I: It can be. But I’d say it’s not as simple as that.
You: I saw an episode of Black Mirror the other day. One thing kind of struck me. They were saying that memory is a way to trigger you to get back to your past to change your path. I have never thought it that way?
I: In a way it’s true. Especially if you are taking an action based on your memory. Isn’t it?
(to be continued ..)
Every waking moment, we are experiencing. It is so obvious but it still takes a little stepping back to recognize. When I am conscious, my consciousness is filled with thoughts of various colors. We are all so colorful inside if we can assign a different color to each of the different emotion that we experience. We don’t feel the same way and that’s what makes the difference; because each of us had different experiences through our senses in a unique path in the environment. It’s like different colored, different sized bubbles in an open shared space. Each of us is like a bubble that expands, that pops. Bubbles collide with each other, merge, crash. It’s constantly changing. As long as the mind is active, it continues to interpret in its own way. In the physical world, we need a few requirements to survive. But on top of our physical reality, we created the emotional reality that we don’t really understand properly. All the accumulated genetic, environmental memories imprinted in our bodies and minds may be a little too much to grasp all at once. But ultimately all of it make who I am, who you are, who they are. It doesn’t require to understand every single thing to live, just like it doesn’t require to notice every single object on a road to navigate through the road. There are no ends of knowing. So, the quest of knowing ultimately becomes narrow based on what you are seeking for.
I just realize every day how integral love is to our existence. This intense emotion that we receive the moment we are born from our mother, we never stop seeking it. Of course in our own way, we have our own understanding of what love means to us. You probably have all heard about Freud. Basically, all he is saying is that the portion of our conscious mind that we are in control of or we think we control is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s a huge hidden body under the surface of the water that is invisible. The unconscious mind is that huge hidden body that constructs the emotional network inside us, that in turn make us feel in a certain way in a certain moment and make us do actions. Because it is quite unfathomable, we remain a mystery to our own selves. And I guess we would probably not enjoy knowing everything either. But the seeking to dig deeper, get wetter with our emotional fuel should be welcomed.
Desire. The desire to be loved, desire to be seen, desire to be respected, desire to be visible, the constant changes in our desires. Where do all these desires come from? Sometimes I ask whether I can live without desires. Maybe I could if I didn’t have a physical body which wants food, sex, cravings to be touched, longings to be exhibited in a preferential way. Who am I talking to right now? Is there a listener within me that I am talking to, is there a reader within me I am writing to? I recognize all these entities need not be isolated. Maybe they are all one constructing the self that I can recognize and call “me”. Or maybe not as I can’t really explain all the unconscious processes inside me.
My problems are very simple to understand. I need food, I need sex, I need love. And that’s why I work. But I am uncomfortable when I don’t get them the way I want. But it’s so easy to see why I can never get them the way I want. And when I realize that my problems vanish. But sometimes I am just blind, and sometimes I am just stubborn and try not to see.
About 30 years. So many days I have lived. Why does it need to be so complex to live the next day? It’s not that different after all. It is just not complex at all. All you need is to just live.
Birth was not a choice, but living life should be and is a choice. There is no inherent one meaning for life, just because there is no one way of living life. Your meaning of life should adhere to your way of living life. However, the space where our lives are contained is a shared space. Therefore, we create some rules to abide by so that our distinct subjectivities don’t collide up to the point that we crush (which unfortunately is happening). The ordinary monkey way of living has evolved in such a way that we let these rules rule our inner selves so much that we can’t find our inner selves anymore and everything feels like a burden. Life feels meaningless. Think about it.. when you were a child, you were mindlessly roaming everywhere, probably was not giving a damn about the meaning of life. Then why do you give so much damn about meaning now? Because we are just bored, everything feels the same, we can’t change things, we feel helpless, we can’t create, we don’t know where we are heading, it all looks like a fog. But I can argue that if you can start thinking like a baby again, you will see you would feel differently. But I know it’s not easy. Time is a forward-moving trajectory. So, if you choose to live, it’s probably better to live the way your mind and body is in a union which then generate joy and fulfillment. There are some known facts from past experiences, scientific discoveries through neuroscience, yogic science, what can lead to the betterment of health and mind that we can follow to live longer and happier. Even though your body shares a lot of genetic memory, your mind already inherited a lot of baggage from the past, it’s probably always better to believe in the fluid nature of mind that can change and strive towards bringing good for you and others. And if you definitely need a meaning for yourself to move forward, just create one. I believe in taking the full responsibility for this life I am carrying.
I just finished reading Haruki Murakami’s “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle”. Just wrote my experience as my review on goodreads:
In short “A genuinely outstanding experience”. This is how I read it- I started on Thursday. I finished on Monday and I don’t know what went on in this world in between. I think just like Mr. Wind-up bird, I was stuck in my own well as I was recovering from my own darkness. I could see through the events like they were happening right within me. I got terrorized, I got shaken, I got enthusiastic, I was trying to find my baseball bat to find the strength in me. I was trying to find meaning, I was trying to find solace, but I was just being thrown into even more void, but eventually, I was feeling stronger and stronger; braver and braver. I could know love in a much more deeper place in my heart, I could learn how to let go, I could learn how to be not afraid amidst big walls that are suffocating me. I can replay the entrance and exit of each character on the scenes of my mental stage. Some were pushing me, some were pulling me. And in the end, I was wound up. But I think I discovered more than ever at the same time.