Progress

It’s been some time since I last posted, and in that post I listed a bunch of topics I would like to get into. Since then, I have collected quite a few additional books to expand my views even more on these topics, and now I have so much content that I feel I am writing a book of my own on the whole thing. It would take quite a while to write the entire thing and then post it, so I will be separating it all into chapters and posting those one by one as I finish them.

Before I started this project, I kept thinking to myself that there was so much to explain before I even got into it. And then when I start to explain what I think is the first thing that someone ought to know, I turn the corner and wait, wait, wait – there is another thing that I should probably explain first. So here I am, going around in circles: perception, consciousness, psychology, religion, culture, history, perception again. At this point, I realized explaining any of it is getting into it. The important thing to note here is that all of these things are inextricably interconnected with one another. The good news is I’ve found my starting point, and the first two chapters are coming along. The not so good news is that I have no idea how long this is going to take. I’ve created a monster – and I’d like it to be thorough. From here on out, I’d like to start posting updates and little anecdotes on recent thoughts and ideas in the meantime.

So for the first of this series, I’d like to share with you something I wrote when a friend of mine was recently going through a tough period in his life. Things didn’t seem to be working out. Relationships were crashing and burning. In my response, I wanted to encourage him and give him a different outlook – a better one; and it is largely based on teachings by Alan Watts:

Don’t take yourself too seriously. I may never be serious, but I am sincere. People seem to have gotten these two words confused. Seriousness belongs in the context of potential tragedy. A soldier is serious; war is serious. Therefore, if you are serious all of the time, you are setting yourself up for potential tragedy. You create an outlook where this is all you see; your perspective on life becomes one that is focused on tragedy, and your life becomes tragic.

If the only reason you do anything is because of all of the hardships and pain you’ve endured leading up to it, you’re basing your existence on suffering. At that point, the only reason you do anything is because you suffer. And thus suffering becomes your reason for living. Your world begins to revolve around it.

This mentality focuses on what has happened in the past, and in doing so it makes a grave mistake. Time is a convention – a useful convention, but a convention nonetheless. The only thing we truly know as being real is right here, right now, in this very moment. The past only exists in memories, which vary from person to person. Someone remembers something one way, another person another way. How did it really happen? Who’s to say? Everyone has a past, but no one lives there. We live here and now. Yesterday always was; and tomorrow never comes.

It is common for people in our current society to judge everything, themselves most of all. But in nature there is no judgment. There is no failure. Take water, for instance. It follows the path of least resistance. It branches out, and when it comes to a dead end, it doesn’t worry; it doesn’t become stricken by anxiety; it doesn’t believe it has failed. It simply flows in another direction. Dead ends don’t mean failure; they are simply a sign to flow in a different path. Your body is ~60% water. Act like it.

Now turn yourself around, because nothing’s worse than giving up.

 

You can find a short clip of Alan Watts expressing these kinds of ideas here. There are also many of his lectures scattered throughout the internet.

In conclusion, I hope to be posting more frequently in the coming year. I am working diligently on the upcoming content. For all of those who have shown an interest, for all of those who have supported me, and for all of those who continue to do so in this endeavor I’d like to thank you from the bottom of my heart.

-Tim

Author: Down Here on Earth

I am an English teacher, living abroad, with a keen interest in society, culture, religion and philosophy. My education involved large amounts of research, reading, and writing in these topics. With the skills I have honed, I plan on sharing my knowledge and perspective through this blog.

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