I tried to control because I was fearful

Souls love

Some of you will think this is nonsense.
Others will accept this as true.

Regardless, everyone has experienced a part of this, if only in short bursts.

Imagine living your life based not on your fears, but on your connection to everything else. That’s when you become strong, because you realize no one is an enemy. And so you stop trying to control, and instead, you start listening.

You start helping, instead of hiding, hiding under labels, and in groups that oppose that other group. Instead of living on dogmatic rules of what must be, you live by principles.

You become honest to what we are: One big group, that needs each other.

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Tyranny comes from within

As soon I see another person as being in opposition to me, as being on the “other side”, I have lost. Because I’ve reduced a real-life problem into a 2-dimensional mockery, a binary choice, disrespectful of debate which would lead to the best outcome.

The powers that be love keeping us choosing between right and left, but don’t blame them. It’s what we do: We reduce issues to for or against. And in doing so, we welcome the tyranny
and impede progress

The noisy fringe started to feel comfortable

Drifting into echo chambers on the internet is easy.

Your voice becoming part of the cacophony of a particular cave ideology.

Media bias and group-think dominates the internet.

Drama and excitement about the latest racist/sexist/white supremacist/immigrant/Islamic terrorist is attractive….It feeds the lizard brain of fear.

But not everything that’s out there needs to be a catastrophe in your personal life. In fact, few things out there on the fringe have much to do with you at all.

Finding perspective is important, because at the end of the day, your voice and your true self is needed.

Your community is made up of people like you, with everyone contributing something. Not what spews from the internet.

You didn’t build that

Part 2 of Shoons.

“Sena-tor,” the newcomer spoke in a growl, his snout twitched involuntarily. The man acknowledged him and he offered the scroll to one of the guards. The two locked eyes as the scroll was passed along to the man. “Attendance.” the man said, and unrolled the paper. His face was expressionless as he read. After a minute, his brow furrowed slightly. “We have a missing member,” he said.

Blank stares looked around, searching for the person who wasn’t there. And then, as if on que, the crowd moved, opening to allow the latecomer. He was tall and lanky, walking quickly, leaning forward, head down, face up. He made his way to the front, where he was met by a couple of men. “I am sorry,” he said, “I was working and the time sped so quickly-“

“Your work,” one of the men said. “Not Estate work.”

“We have a time segment for our personal needs,” the other said.

Senator cleared his throat. “It is tempting to stray, to follow the heart’s passion, to go outside of the program. Yet-“

“But I think I have found a 3% efficiency improvement to our distribution process-“

Senator’s eyes brightened. “Well, then…that is certainly good news. You will share this with the others during Collaboration so we can decide how to proceed with it.”

The man attempted to say something in reply, but was motioned back from the podium into the crowd. “If I could continue my work for a short segment,” he protested, and murmuring began in the crowd. “I have made-“

At this the Senator’s face grew cross. “You didn’t make anything,” he snapped. “It is the program: We work together, and we move forward together.”

He paused and seemed to relax, then continued, “Your work is meaningless in comparison to the bulk of progress from Academia. Furthermore, your tests are unsanctioned and unguided, until reviewed.” He smiled now, and looked across the crowd:

“It is the program that moves us forward. It drags us along, regardless of what we believe as our personal truth. It gives us the ultimate truth. And those who do not accept it will not only be denied the truths, but will face justice for failing in their responsibility to the Estate.”

 

He said he supports the Wall.

Translated: He’s a bigot.
I stop listening.

She said she supports the Women’s march.
Translated: She’s a bigot.
I stop listening.

We are labeling-ready, but listening-poor.

The irony in all this: Applying a generalized label to someone based on one data-point, from people who claim to support science.

Another irony is criticizing “bigots” and avoiding conversation with those you disagree with, and thinking you’re not showing bigoted intolerance, too.

How does this happen? Because I’m so sure of myself that my philosophy becomes my ideology, which becomes my morality. And why argue with those who are immoral?

Stay humble. Maybe more importantly, stay CURIOUS. Then the humble part takes care of itself.

I haven’t heard it all. I don’t know it all.
And neither have you.

Shoons

The man’s words were serious and reverential. But he smiled a small smile, which felt easy and comfortable. His skin was the rich earthy hue of sand, smooth and faintly creased around his mouth. He was the picture of vibrant health.

“Through the Legislation,” he declared, “we have found the clarity of science. And through its logic, we have found peace.”

He looked out at all the faces watching himx . They wanted to hear more…so he continued:

“We have harvested its truths, the fruit from its tree of knowledge. Fruit that was ever there, waiting…Waiting for those mindful enough, motivated and willing to seek it out.”

Here he became resolute: “We had the drive. No…the necessity,” and he stressed that last word, “to seek it out.”

He paused. “And we were methodical in our studies. We ran the information through our trusted algorthms, using sophisticated models using many inputs to anticipate every eventuality. These models came from the unbiased consensus of the collective from our best researchers. And it is the consensus which will carry us forward. It provided us the the means of improvement, of ourselves, our families, and, above all, of our community.”

He thought a moment… “It gave us the society we needed. The society we were meant to have.”

He turned to his left, and then to his right, to take in the two figures that towered beside him, each almost a head taller than the man.

“Our loyal shoons,” he said, admiring them, “the manifestation of analytical genetics.”

Their nostrils flared from their small snouts. Their lips were fine and delicate and their pale skin was so colorless that it seemed to glow with magic energy. Solid muscle tensed in its tight sheath of skin.

“The efficiencies and fail-safes we have developed give us the luxury of life without worry of variabilities and, so, they mitigate indecision and overwhelming options that distract. Each knows his role, what is required, and this is a logical conclusion from scientific evaluations. Each knows his duty to our society.”

“We move forward, not by happenstance, but by the clarity of Central planning, he continues. Because we have more choice. He looked across his audience. Together we survive. Our night safety program improves the Shared Counties. It keeps violence and thievery at all-time low, the population safely indoors and out of harm’s way.

A messenger shoon carrying a scroll appeared at the edges of the crowd and approached the man. The two shoons flanking the man tensed, the potential violence held in their new stance was apparent. It caused the messenger to hesitate a short distance away, waiting for the confrontation.

He warned me long ago, before my addiction.

things that dont matter

And so did Seth.  Men of science and analytics, who cared about me.  But I was helpless in the end, and became addicted.

Barry warned me long ago. But I didn’t listen.  Especially for those of us who are curious.

I became addicted to choices.  They threaten me every day.  They prevent me from making decisions.  And I wasted my life.  For a time.

What should I be, what should I do, what should I make?

Should I make beer or wine, what kind?.. or should I go on a hike? or rock climb? Or maybe I should bike? Or should I read? Which book?…I have stacks waiting for me.  So many podcasts…Should I listen to Joe Rogan, or Dave Rubin, or Aubrey Marcus, or Gary Vaynerchuk, or Brian Koppelman, or Tim Ferriss, or Tom Woods, or Adam Corolla, or Rhonda Patrick, or Dan Carlin, or Race Wars, or Duncan Trussell….?

Should I shop at rei or target? Or the thrift store. Amazon or WalMart?  I should write. How much? How long?  I should meet my friends though. Which place?.. so many options. I should meet with those potential clients, and get that marketing started. But which person should I focus on?  Need a new car, need to do my research, so much data to review, I’ll go online, then locally, visit, test drive, compare/contrast….

I’ve succeeded in so many choices. But not so many decisions.

Choices versus decisions.

Sweat the choices, the small things, that don’t impact your existence and meaning, and there’s no time for anything else. The decision-making times- what job, where to work, whether to quit – they get delayed, sometimes indefinitely.  Not a good time, I’ve got these choices I need to make. Or think I do.

And then it becomes too late, because now there’s stuff that must be paid for: car, or house, or vacation, or kids. I’ve got to be responsible. I’ve got to pay those bills.  And small compromises that were for only for the weekend or the summer, or “just until next year”, become life compromises.

And that’s the worst feeling in the world.

Regret.

But the next worst is Sad Acceptance.

Neither feeling dominates my life any more.  Because I told myself, whatever you do, make it your priority.  And ensure it’s my priority, not one pushed onto me by others.

Then put everything into it.  Be the best you can be at it, and then try to be better. Go beyond it. And if that job, role, task, that friend, that relationship, that place doesn’t serve you anymore, find out why.  And if you gotta move on, then move on, because there’e too much out there to dwell in a place that you cannot appreciate, especially if it doesn’t appreciate you.

And this has made life more difficult for me. But also joyous.  And real, and… well, life-like.

Succeed at making more decisions, not more choices.

 

 

I was an exhausted hater

Artwork by @revelatori

This is why all the angry haters who want to exert their morality will ultimately lose. So loud with righteous indignation, that even if they wanted to listen, they couldn’t hear.

In the meantime, the thoughtful majority sit patient, open-hearted, tolerant, unbiased, fact-focused. They have nothing to lose, because they have no agenda, no need to control.

The heart exerts so little to be, it absorbs without end, while hate constantly burns…an exhausting state, and sooner or later, is overwhelmed by love.

I know this, because I was a hater, wasting my energy, until I became “woke”.

It was then I realized my energies had better uses than pointing out obstacles.

That’s when I switched from “You can’t” to “Yes, you can.”