Freewill?

We have freewill do we? Who is the one thinking our thoughts? Is freewill a continued state of giving unintentional attention to the thoughts that arise and then getting lost in them? Is freewill impulsively acting out however we feel? Wait, did I choose to feel this way at this moment and think this thought? Is freewill blaming others for making us feel this way? How can they make me feel this way if I am free?

Today is the day of change I declare! I act on my own accord and with complete autonomy. Wait, why did I just do that, again?

Who Are We Fighting?

Where do thoughts come from? Where do they originate? Do these questions even make sense? Is there really such thing as a beginning? Depending what we are looking for, I think our answers to such questions change relative to our perspective. Delving into these questions from some paradigms can produces fruitless answers. My formal education on the fields discussed below are limited; I only possess a natural curiosity that I like to tease. My finite knowledge comes from reading and pondering for which my ignorance to the ultimate depth and complexity of these questions will most certainly show.

Have you ever examined the intricacy of a trees root system? Or studied the interconnection of our entire ecosystem? Or tried to understand the neuroanatomy of our brains? Or our genome? We, as a species, are beginning to understand that life and its inner workings are not a simple linear trajectory. For example, before we mapped the human genome we thought, at least publicly, that upon completion we would know the specificity of each gene. In large, 14 years after the mapping we are still befuddled by the complexity of the whole workings of each gene. We are learning of a deep entanglement and a highly interdependent nature of the genes. Another such example, is our depth of understanding our brains neuroanatomy and which regions are responsible for distinct behaviors. Thus, we now know viewing the brain in an itemized way does not capture the workings wholly. As we continue our search for more knowledge and deepening our understanding in all areas of life from the individual parts and structures to grasping quantum mechanics we are become more aware of the vast entanglement and interdependent nature of reality. The paradigm from which we view reality greatly impacts the way we feel and see our external worlds.

As we saunter through life it seems that a lot of the time we view, with certainty, that a thought comes from an unambiguous location. It come from me, I was it’s originator. My feelings too come from specific locations. We think I too come from a specific location. In the case of anger and other emotions it comes from “them” or other people make us feel this way. In some ways there are some hints of truth to these thoughts and statements, but the view is usually to narrowly focused and it’s similar in saying certain genes only express certain properties, or that the rain comes from clouds, or that this distinct spot in the brain is responsible for hatred, envy, love, or compassion. We know such isolated views are wrong in a lot of contexts.

Think of a giant piece of grafting paper. If we mark one intersection and zoom in on that spot it will seem to only be a linear projection, either horizontal or vertical. However, if we zoom out we see a vast web and if we start to learn to view reality from this view a direct and independent origin doesn’t make sense: all of life is vastly entangled.

My point
Our thought, feeling, emotions and even “the self” is entangled and interdependent with external reality beyond comprehension. Ever aspect of your being is just as much “out there” as you feel as it is in you. If we are not aware of our natural tendencies and view our reality through the prism of the narrow view and one that is linear our thoughts, our actions, and our reasoning’s traps us, blinds us, and keeps us locked in a tiny sphere of reality. We end up seeing everything as an enemy and something we must fight and destroy. Our history books are rich of such examples. This belief is one of the main causes for hatred, anger, frustration, selfishness, greed, envy, and so forth. In this narrow view are a living in an idealistic world of our own making forever enslaved.  Just as written language is not natural but emerges from higher order thus taking intentionality for it emergence, so to is the view of interdependence. It take effort, intentionality and must be cultivated. With this view it is no longer a world of enemies, hatred, greed and selfishness but only a world in which people are stuck in our ancestors view of reality and in this world it is easy to relate and show compassion.

If anyone actually makes it this far I’d love to hear your thoughts, views and opinions so please share.

 

 

Poverty Mindset

A couple days ago I read this nice little article by Reynolds Made called the Power of Silence in which  she speaks about the importance of silence in her life and then gives some very piratical ways incorporate some silence in your life.

My post today is regarding a comment that I read that really struck a cord with me and it’s been on my mind since.  It went something like this, “I would like to have some silence in my life but I have two little kids.” I felt a great amount of compassion and understanding because this type of mindset is something we all find ourselves in, albeit to varying degrees.

To me, whenever we are here or in this state we are in a poverty mindset, in that it is disempowering and lacks creativity. What we want is outside our control or, first, in order for us to achieve (anything) our external circumstances must change before we can. If only I had this… then I could be happy; If only I could do this… then I could finally do what I always wanted; if only things were different.. then I could… if only, if only.

In David Deutsch’s book The Beginning of Infinity he say’s problems are inevitable and all problems are soluble given proper knowledge. For me there are several ways to achieve knowledge but it almost always starts with a question, and the way we framed and/or reframe the question becomes very important.

There is one question that I like to ponder when I find myself in a poverty mindset: Well, what can I do? Sometimes the solution is a quick one and other times the solution takes several years to achieve. It all depends on the complexity of the problem, and then I do what is within my control and leave the rest.

Thank you!

Painfully Aware

Today I awoke without a headache! It’s quite a marvelously and I’m so thankful that I don’t have one, well come to think of it I really haven’t had one in years. Just like the The Minimalist article The Worst Christmas Ever about the child that become painfully away of all the presents he/she didn’t get after only after ungifting all their presents, we too are usually only thankful and/or grateful for something after it has been stripped away or shortly after suffering a painful infliction, and this could be physical or mental.

We have so much to be thankful for but sometimes it takes deliberate attention and cultivation to remind ourselves how rich we really are! What are you thankful and or grateful for today?

Thank you!

Where is there to go?

I know this person who is always in a rush at work, day in and day out. I often wonder where she is really trying to go?  I wonder what it is that she is really trying to achieve and if she’s ever really found it? I wonder if she even knows?

I see this person in traffic racing around, day in and day out I see someone else. I often wonder where they are really trying to go? Do they know that it will literally only save them 5 minutes at most, and probably only less than a minute! I wonder if they even know?

I watch this person standing in the grocery line looking angry and impatient. I often wonder where they are really trying to go?  Speeding around the parking lot looking for the best spot; look at all this time they saved! I wonder what they will do with it? I wonder if they even know?

Where is there to go?

The last time?

When was the last time you truly touched something and felt it with your entire being?

When was the last time you just sat there and just felt your body tingling and buzzing reminding you that you are alive?

When was the last time you sat through an emotion? Not reacting, just feeling it, watching it pulse in and out and then fade away (before you know it I bet your deep in another thought)?

When was the last time you just sat there not reacting to an impulse to move, twitch, fidget, check an email, check your facebook, check your twitter, and let yourself be bored and then looked deeply at life all around you?

 When was the last time you sincerely said “thank you” to someone for no other reason than basic human dignity?

When was the last time you deeply listen to someone before you started replying in your own mind?

When was the last time you deliberately gave openly and freely without any stipulations? 

When was the last time you perform community service?

We are looking, but looking for what? Have you found it?

Breath, feel, love, sit, enjoy: this is it!

c43-two-laughing-kids

Least we forget

I thought technology was supposed to make life easier? Why does it seem that we working more than ever? Where is it that we are trying to go and what is it that we are trying to do?

———- 

I really think the majority of people have forgotten how to live, for one simple reason. We no longer question what life means and why we really do what we do daily (on an individual basis).