I feel as though so much of my own life occurs and changes through a sort of cyber-alchemy: each youtube video, jpeg image and article further molding me into the being I am striving to become. So much of our human experience is media based yet so much of this goes undiscussed between friends and family members.
With this blog Mom, I hope to strengthen the bond between us and really change the way that we interact and know each other. I can think of no greater gift I can give you than the real me as I know myself and hopefully through these posts you'll be able to enter some of the inner workings of my mind. I know I'm a bit of a pain sometimes Mom but maybe I'll be less of a bother when I'm not in the room to make such a terrible racket for you :P
Hopefully you enjoy it. Thank you for always being a great Mom for T and I!
Lots of Love, Dylan
There are a lot of interesting things in the world for human beings to love and learn about. Among all of these though, one aspect remains, universally, most central to our being and in some ways the most taken for granted part of our lives- ourselves.
Human beings are complex organisms with so many various layers of being: moral, mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, chemical etc. With all these layers it's no wonder each of us is so unique and varied in our talents, strengths and subtleties. Our lives themselves are shaping us and as no two human lives are exactly alike, neither then can two individuals be exactly the same.
Societal factors such as mass media and cultural norms attempt to make our decisions for us by creating circumstances that make us cease to question the validity of our standpoints and the value of our decisions. Because this force is at play, it becomes increasingly important, in order to combat the lies and filth we are being fed en masse through these mediums, that we focus our efforts on independently examining, not just the societies around us where our personal influence is relatively diluted but first and foremost, ourselves, in all our subtle nuances and patterns.
Without this inner liberation, we are perhaps merely sheep being flocked about according to the wills and desires of the machine. We are infused with inhumanity and inculcated to accept it as just the way things are. Our human weaknesses and tendencies are exploited to a degree that one really can't be sure whether their actions are their own choosing or just probabilistic perhaps as a result of external conditions of atmosphere seeping into themselves.
As the the famous Greek philosopher Socrates has said- The unexamined life is not worth living.
Growing up, many children become partial to one thing or another. The habits their parents help them to establish often last many years and plant seeds that can be watered and grow over the years through continuous repeated attention. In my own childhood, I was bless to have been given the keys to knowledge. I remember countless nights of my parents reading us bedtime stories as toddlers.
Soon I myself began to read the stories. Every night for at least 30 minutes (often much much more) I would release myself into the fantasized worlds of young heroes as they grew in character and understanding, my own traits perhaps being shaped by these virtues, my young mind feasted upon this source of ever growing wonder and curiosity. Certainly all of this was also assisted by the proximity of the public library, just 100 yards from our doorstep.
A decade later, the good habits of my youth, having been forgotten through the ages barrage of force fed educational materials, the imposition of an impatient 10 second attention span, and often shortsighted priorities, I find myself again yearning for the wealth of knowledge that's all the while been waiting for me in books from though out the ages. Though the yearning has returned, competing desires conflict the best intentions to reinvigorate this habit. Luckily, though dedicated time is the obstacle between my current state and a completely reintegrated ends, technology has my back.
With the increasing availability of audiobook files in local libraries and online, as well as the abundance of e-books, the ability to keep a book or two on hand has never been easier. There are a plethora of apps in every app market on cellular phones that offer free or cheap access to these resources. Simply entering the app store on any platform and looking under the books category in apps populates many various potential book resources. Some apps even incorporate "read aloud" functionality, making any given e-book auditorily accessible.
Personally, I'm finding that audiobook options are really nice for me as they allow one to seemlessly integrate the enjoyment of text documents into other mundane aspects of one's daily life. Commuting to and from work, cooking, cleaning, any passive activity can easily become multipurposed and mentally enriching. Though the benefits of mental silence and presence cannot be emphasized enough, balance is definitely key especially when it comes to growing and maintaining healthy active brain functionality.
The unapplied concept of numbers is quite interesting. Upon opening numbers into the universe, the question can be pondered, "What is its true value?"
This exploded in my mind as a fundamental and universal concept which seems plausible as a guiding source if introspected upon frequently. In measuring value, numbers are key because they're concrete yet it seems numbers are often boxed into use merely within literal mathematical questions or business metrics. Perhaps the real question of value is how to maximize it within our own lives, time, and choices?
Dictionaries are great aren't they? Pragmatically though, there are just too many words in any given language to ever really gain mastery over even just one entire linguistic body. Knowing this limitation, the creation of a personal dictionary file becomes incredibly useful.
Throughout one's lifetime, individuals independently come across vast arrays of succulent dialectal delicacies. However, typical individuals will retain only some small portion of what they encounter. With the aid of self-made dictionaries, one elects to intentionally increase their working vocabulary in whatever given field they personally see benefit.
A strong vocabulary can help people of any age. Even Benjamin Franklin advised students to take to reading with dictionary on hand, such that they may enjoy the full canvas of an author's work and create for themselves an exact understanding of the material. Words are essentially the colors of our realities, the more shades we have available to us the more we can appreciate the subtle nuances and in this sense it's really true, knowledge is power.
There are a lot of potential ways to create personal dictionaries. After some quick research, my recommendation for a digital resource is Word Dynamo. By simply creating an account, users can begin making their own word lists, instantly transfering definitions from dictionary.com, or alternatively, adding personal definitions, perhaps of more meaningful significance to the user.
There are so many possibilities. Life is constantly unfolding before our very eyes and as each day slips by, the question lingers in the back of one's mind - what to make of it all?
There are a lot of approaches to the experiential science of making a life. Let's look at a few:
1. Semi-passively letting life happen - the most laid back, care free approach. Offering potential for a lot of comfort and contentment, and a sense of ease as life is handled entirely by extraneous decision makers and deciding factors. Possible side effects include: missing out on ambitions and the chance to break free from potentially improvable situations.
It's come to my attention that life is perhaps more like a journey than I've steadily and consciously given it credit.
As with any journey then, it would be really helpful for one to have some kind of a map. The interesting thing with life though is that so much of our lives are entirely elective. Some would actually say that the entirety of one's life is self-selected, therefore coming by a map just by accident is not so likely.
A Big Picture life map is one readily accessible solution for individuals to understand where they currently are in life from the vantage point of their relative relation to where they hope to go and what they hope to accomplish or create in their life. After all, what use does one set of data points have without the value revealing second set?
By consciously selecting the precise scope and factors of our desired end state, we expand our ability to attain that ends. The path becomes crystal clear and everyday we are blessed with a personally meaningful step and direction to live towards.
Elements to Consider:
No matter where you are they'll say you're wrong So forget them. Stand on your Self. It's so easy to get lost in what they want But are you happy? Are you really your own unaffected self?
I can feel them staring. I'm so tired of even pretending to care There's no point to what they're involved in I refuse to give them more of my attention.
Will they be happy, searching for others' bitterness and wrong? I worry for them, what they hope for? Wonder why they can't see themselves but merely aim to rip others below themselves? Will they be happier with no idols to dare for?
The sweet liberation I find alone is clouded in the suspicions of my fellows. Silence must mean lack While boldness must mean arrogance So many broken faces pushing their eye's color onto our souls
There's no way out but laughter. Though here I am, they see me
It's interesting to observe that there are essentially two selves in life. There's the self that God gives each of us as human beings, full of potential, full of life force, basic human capacities and connections to society. There's also the equally important self that each individual pursues independently from this starting point through continuous and deliberate self creation.
Each of us, with varying degrees of intentionality, makes choices in life that defines our persona in scalar ways. There seem to be absolute polarities along the lines of personality traits as well as shades of grey between either end. Every choice we make in every instant, every ambition and every desire we have for ourselves and the worlds around us creates our personality into numerous various lines of personal character or temperament. Any one action can simultaneously paint an individual with a multiplicity of colors.
One can choose, consciously or not, any number of various leisures or labours. The activity one chooses to take part in will no doubt add colors to the individual's person. Additionally though some layers of color are caused by the reasons one chooses to pursue that particular activity. One can act purely logically, self-indulgently, lovingly, etc. Various combinations of motive exist and one's draw to those various influences might over time create predominant elements of the person's personality.
In the modern day, everyone is constantly barraged with distraction. Whether the advertisements we casually glance at walking down the street or the onslaught of click bait ads and online postings, everybody wants your attention, big business even pays for it.
Millions of dollars each year are spent on marketing execs trying to figure out how to capture your attention and how to keep it long enough and in the exact right handling in order to sell you products. So in all this constant tug-of-war, what's a person to do in order to keep their attention for their own purposes and not entirely waste it for the means of all the other people vying to benefit from it?
One option of countering this trend is minimalism. Living simply with the less stuff in order to make the most of each of those selected things we do keep in our lives. We can counteract our fickle minds by deeply planting ourselves within specific realms of interest. Shallow distractions pale once we have created depthier contrasts.
The beauty of minimalism is that with this attitude, every moment becomes a blank canvas full of potential for recreating one's life with potency and focus. The less quantity we subscribe to the more depth we're able to dedicate to any one avenue. We essentially regain control of our attention and become free to dedicate it only to the things we ourselves find valuable.
In my own life I can honestly say that my lack of focus has long detrimented the gains I've made in my pursuits. Popular opinion today points to the existence of a hypothetical 10,000 hour rule in order to attain mastery, obviously with somewhat deliberate practice. The failure then of many people is their inability to decide on what's not important and fully dedicate themselves to only one or a few very important pursuits at once in order to attain real and substantial results.