We are natural storytellers, and we are born with an innate affinity for the magnetic pull of a story. We look up to great storytellers and might even practice storytelling as a desirable skill. And yet rarely we write our own stories and are beset by the tyranny of circumstance to define our identity. As a child, we could be anything and anyone we wanted. Why would we stop believing we are anything less than superheroes?
Wisdom for the Way
As many others - I live my life in exploration and growth. In order to remind myself of the key principles upon which I want to guide my journey, I found a need to store my gathered ideas in a body of knowledge. As with all things, it's even more worthy to share it with others. I hope sincerely that somewhere along these texts, you will find something that will change your life for the better, as it has for mine.
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An often repeated maxim regarding self-development is that you should learn from your past. I vigorously disagree. Your past experiences – and even those of others – are mere faded footprints on the sandy path to personal growth, not conclusive evidence of truth. In fact, I believe greatness comes from ignoring your past.
Meditation and other practices of the mind still have the public image of an esoteric, supernatural pursuit with no practical use. It is, however, very much a practical tool to shape your mental health that is now rooted in science. A lack of a spiritual or religious belief structure does not impact your use for it in any way. Let’s dive into the depths of the mind.
In everyday life we name, label and create abstractions for just about everything we encounter. Yet applying just a little but of scrutiny will reveal that none of this is accurate at all. What happens if we realize that the pot we create is not a pot, the tree we see is not a tree, and even you do not exist at all?
Nature holds a fascinating concept of balance at it’s very core. But what truly is balance? Is it the formation of a perfect middle road in the absence of left and right or does it demand a stark contrast in order to exist? Some questions lingering on my mind over the past few days as the ebb and flow of life enchant me once more.
Many Buddhist teachings postulate that the root of all suffering is to want and long for that you do not possess. Following this train of thought – why do we not reverse the dynamic and direct our energy into appreciation of what we already have. Is this not the key to happiness?
It would be fair to say I consider my entire purpose and desire is to explore life and find beauty wherever I go. In my eye, it is the only way to truly enjoy every day, and yet in today’s society we never consider the artistic value and appreciation for beauty. Why is this? What is even considered beautiful? And can the eye of the beholder be trained?
As my parents prepare their will and write down at what state of health they want to their life to be terminated – I am inspired to face the facts of our existence once more. All of us are born, and all of us will die. An uncomfortable fact too often pushed aside and ignored to hide from the primal fear for the infinite void. But as in all things, there is a balance and sparkle of greatness to be found in facing the truth head on.
As the successful launch from SpaceX brings tremendous scientific progress, wonder, and awe to the world the event is contrasted by mass negativity stemming from a global pandemic and racial division. During these times I cannot help but reflect on the scores of coincidences that have brought us – you – to the present day, and how so many are misguided in their negative focus.
We human beings are not rational. Our mind is flawed with shortcuts and biases. A common bias is the confirmation bias, where we tend to assign more value to evidence that supports our existing belief system and are more likely to disregard nonsupporting evidence. Being aware of the bias is already powerful, but this flaw in our mind can also be exploited in a great way.