A two-fer - double whammy follow up to the post I made just minutes ago at
http://sett.com/thetinyoctopus/overanxiety-worrying-insanity-and-the-possible-cure-for-these-ills. Similar to Metallica's Unforgiven song which has 3 parts and each one just really hits home. Obscure but relevant reference imo.
Most (if not all people) don't really live their lives - they just play games within them. You think you are all high and mighty reading these SETT articles and working on your self improvement and working on your life and bulking up and learning how to invest and expanding your consciousness with travel and good habits and hard hitting realizations regarding business and the opposite gender etc etc... You haven't been really living life. You haven't been present in your life. You've just been lost in thought and running inside a hamster wheel created by your mind.
This is the true Matrix sh*t right here folks. All of the above is all well and good and is part of your soul growth but here's the clincher. Like any novel or movie every good game comes to an end. And this you know to be obvious and true. You don't live forever. You don't remember everything. Time will pass regardless of what you think of it. Loved ones will die. Buildings will rise and crumble. Your favorite childhood escapes will become parking lots. The party will always end sometime. Your looks will fade. Your health will decay. You will be forgotten. Your mind will block this truth subconsciously and in the small moments you have the idle time to process it your mind will retreat in sheer terror and bury it even deeper than it did last time. Your mind will create more games and more illusions and more matrixies(is this a proper plural rofl) inside the matrix to keep you distracted from the truth. The truth that your mind is part of the game and like the game it will eventually end.
Even if the end doesn't come for you or you've created the barriers of wealth, happiness, peace, etc... to ward them off maybe you'll reach some sort of strange insanity like I have in which no matter how far you've distanced yourself from the terror within it always finds a way to creep up to you and drown out your thoughts until you can no longer control the never-ending negativity. You see you know this to be true as well. Everyone with over x million dollars isn't living in some sort of ecstatic ascended bliss - they have problems too - and sometimes even much more so than those who have absolutely nothing. Sure they've created a bigger sandwall to hold back the flood but the realization of the truth of our world pours from an infinite well. You can run away - and yes some of us run far - farther than our own physical lives - but if you believe in reincarnation it will just creep up on you at a later date. If not then pat yourself on the back since from blackness you've came and unto blackness you shall return!!! Unfortunately if you believe that then you are even more aware of the terror than most as you know once your physical shell dies all will cease.
So how do we break out of 'the game' and gain TRUE satisfaction with our lives? It's thru being present and giving up resistance to 'bad' events. Instead of running away from what we fear we need to embrace it and feel it and absorb and last drop of it. It is because when we are present we are no longer playing the games in our head. We are truly living as the manifest souls that have come to physical experience to EXPERIENCE things physically. When you put thoughts in your head and think about your past and future you're basically a disembodied spirit sitting in front of some ethereal computer desk playing Farmville. When you are thinking you are not experiencing. When you are playing games in your head you are not aware. When one puts down the controller and just starts experiencing life (yes even if you are homeless or losing a limb or whatnot) and you give up all resistance to what you are experiencing then and only then are you truly living in the present and not playing some sort of game in your head.
You ever hear how many people today say they feel like they exist but they aren't living? It's because they are trapped in the games and are living life without awareness and presence. College and repetitive work puts you into that sort of mindset where instead of worrying about truly enjoying and experiencing life you're thinking about the next deadline and goal/quest in your GAME of life. At my worst there are entire parts of my life in that state where I remember absolutely nothing. It's like my soul fell asleep and my physical body somehow just operated itself on animal existence and instinct. Somehow I survived and didn't break any laws but like a dream you don't remember I remember nothing of those unaware times.
You need to be careful as your mind plays tricks. Even when you think you are 'awake' and 'aware' you just may be playing another game in your mind! You ever had a dream where you thought you woke up until you realized you were still dreaming? This is exactly it! For all I know I could be dreaming right now as I write this and not even have known the full experience and awareness of what life has to offer. How do I know this is a realer deal than the last though?
* My worry/anxiety/general terror of the world has subsided
* My life has started shaping itself again into a place of calmness and peace and joy and not one where things seem to break and fall apart before my very eyes over and over again like they did the past 2 months.
Sure I may not know all the answers. But from my vantage point I could see where I failed and others are failing currently. Stop playing the game for a second and just absorb the world around you in as a sort of unthinking but experiencing husk of pure awareness. Maybe then and only then will your life suddenly shape itself to become what you truly want. It is from the ether's of this 'presence' in which we create the lives we want. When we play the game we are trying to form our lives thru the rules of the game and in doing so the effort is much more enormous as you are trying to move a mountain with a toothpick rather than the hand of creation. Corrolary: When you are playing the game instead of being present you actually are being present but instead of creating ACTIVELY you are creating PASSIVELY. When you create passively you have NO CONSCIOUS CONTROL of what you are creating and hence may be creating more situations to worry about, more goals and insecurities to conquer, more ways to optimize your time, etc...
Once again I just realized Tynan covered this concept in depth before at:
Same concept but slightly different vantage point and more of a skim imo. Here's the clincher from his post though:
...........So when I'm washing those dishes, the positive aspects of that process make me a little bit happier, but the grime on my hands or the hassle of scraping burnt food doesn't have any effect on me at all. I let the positive parts cloud out those details. It's a work in progress for me, but I try to be fully present whenever I do anything, whether it's washing dishes or drinking tea with friends. It's that whole commitment to the present that allows me to see all of the positive details of each experience.
"Keep your eye on the ball!!!" they always say. Live in the present they always say! Seize the moment yadda yadda. I'd like to present a contrarian point of view - always look ahead!
I was responding to a post at http://sett.com/spandrella/reasons-to-live then browsing the interwebs after looking at my stocks again. In that post I linked I ruminated on how transient life seems to be in the present... how everything we fall in love we may eventually fall out of love with. With that, in the present, there may not be anything that excites.
Anyway, I stumbled onto the tech geek accumulator sites and saw the possibilities for the future and all of a sudden got excited again. Cheap 3-d printing for the home user at 200-400$. Cheap homes made out of mass scale 3-d printing techniques and clay! Yayaya! I felt the inner passions rise and my consciousness awaken again. I was excited about life again - and all because I looked ahead.
I am starting to wonder now if always looking ahead is the way to go. Back when I used to play zombie apocalypse games there was a common trend to them all. You always had to keep moving forward. If you stayed in any one place/street/corner/box you were as good as dead - guaranteed. It's all because the resources to keep you alive don't continually spawn in that little 16x16 pixel space of gameworld you occupy. The resources are always spawning far and away out there in the expanses. You always needed to keep gunning and keep moving. You'd exhaust the resources on one small corner of the map as you'd go and you'd quickly move to find more weapons and healthkits. Stagnation was a sure ticket to death as the chances of resources spawning where you are at this exact moment were slim to none.
Life is kind of like that too. The things you need to advance in life don't show up at your doorstep - you need to grab the fruit down from the trees. So what does this all have to do with always looking ahead vs living in the present? Simple. In the present things may not be where we want them to be. We may not be doing what we want to be doing. We may not have all that we want to have. Everything is far off and away and the more we focus on what is now the more depressed we get. Sure appreciation and gratitude help lessen the sting but they alone don't give us the energetic jolt to move forward again and survive. We need that inspiration to get us off our asses even as the zombies close in all around us and make a mad dash for that next street corner where an abundance of resources await!
I'm really glad to bring you this interview and GiveGetWin deal with Charlie Hoehn. The topic is critically important -- it's about getting away from anxiety and workaholism, and getting more out of life. Very important for driven go-getter types like most people who read here. This interview promotes Charlie's GiveGetWin deal, "Turn Work Into Play" -- designed to bring you greater sanity and happiness while helping you do more of what you want to do.
Here's the interview, there's some gems in this one --
"To Heal, Play."By Charlie Hoehn, as told to Chiara Cokieng and edited by Sebastian Marshall.
First and foremost, I'm a writer. That's what I'm doing right now. In the past, I've helped startups and authors with their books and projects with launching them.
I'm working on the finishing touches for a book I've been working on for the past five years. I had a monster set of notes that I hadn't planned on making into a book, so it took longer than I thought it would.